My dear friend Amanda wrote a wonderful post about our camping trip together... she summed it up better than I ever could so I really think you should go read the post HERE. Please. It is beautiful. It made me cry. Her post has inspired me to write about our trip too :)

 the whole group of us

Amanda and I went to college together ... along with our spouses who weren't our spouses then... 15 years ago. I have loved Amanda from the first time we met living a few rooms down from each other in the dorm.
Amanda and I looking camptastic

We didn't see each other for a whole bunch of years but reconnected a few years ago thanks to Facebook and the great wide world of blogging. Love it.

 Amanda's husband Brian and my husband Doug

Actually... Amanda's husband Brian and I went on a double date together once... he with his then girlfriend and me with a guy I never should have agreed to go on a date with. I had blocked forgotten the experience entirely but Brian has a mind like a steel trap and reminded me of it while we were camping! Ah the memories :)

 Amanda, myself & Colleen visiting

Other dear friends of ours from college met up with us and it was so fun to meet everyone's kids ... but it was a bit surreal to be sitting around ... similar to what we would have been doing 15 years ago... except with NINE kids hanging around. :) My how things have changed!!

Glen & Colleen

It was so wonderful to just BE with people who really know us and GET us ... there is something beautiful about being friends with people for 15 years. No fakeness required.
 the group of us looking very distinguished

We have a lot of similarities in our families too... Amanda & Brian's oldest son Will is a real-life genius who is being tested for Aspergers. Aiden isn't a genius but he is very smart and he definitely has Aspergers. Will and Aiden are only a few months apart in age...  they are very different from each other but they present some very similar challenges to their parents!
 Aiden & Will

They had a great time throwing stuff in the campfire ... which to genius Will was doing science experiments and to Aiden was burning stuff (insert wild laughter here).  Will is very serious and I swear he knows more about science than I will EVER know. Seriously. He cracked me up on a regular basis with his conversations. He is a great kid but he and Aiden certainly share some huge social challenges.

Both Amanda and I worry about our middle sons- her Nate and my Owen- because they tend to be our "easy" kids and it can be tough being the sibling of a special needs kid. You don't get as much of the attention and sometimes things just aren't fair.

Owen & Nate

The boys all had a great time playing together and it was unbelievably nice because it gave us time to just BE. 

 Will the Bubble Master

Aiden being goofy

Brian & Amanda had a camper (we were in tents) and they graciously let us hang around inside and warm up during the rain and cold weather! They also loaned us an extra tent and blankets after we spent the first night frozen like popsicles :).

 my boys watching TV zombie-like

Amanda and I both have 3 year old daughters - you can go read about Finleigh and her special needs on Amanda's blog. She is a beautiful little girl with a wonderful smile and hugs that will melt your heart.  She and Olivia definitely share a stubborn streak though!

 Finleigh & her daddy

 Finn was the only one who didn't mind the freezing cold lake water!
 Amanda took a picture of Doug taking this picture of me :)

I managed to burn my thumb... I tripped over my son and caught myself on the side of the camper... unfortunately my thumb landed on the insanely hot stove vent. It hurt. A lot.

What a souvenir :)

It was an all-around wonderful few days and I am so very sad that we live so very far away from each other.
Finleigh, Olivia, Aiden, Nate in the front and Owen & Will in the back

I love you Amanda and I love your family!
Don't we look pretty after not showering for days on end? Camptastic for certain.

There is just nothing better than being with true friends :).


Unknown said…
How is your thumb by the way? Did it scar, you brave mama that didn't even let her son know it happen after she'd tripped over him to burn her thumb so as not to upset him?

And you got way better pictures than me. No big surprise there.

Love you!
Unknown said…
that was quite the burn!! it looks like you all had a blast, camping with good friends is priceless. I'm glad you got to do it.
Patricia Ward said…
Really nice to see how much fun you had camping - also nice to see Glen & Colleen & kids faces once again. I understand all about your friends being far away! Sigh.............
Margaret said…
Love this!
Friends who you can just "be" with are irreplaceable...truly :)

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