My best memories growing up in Oregon revolve around going camping as a child with my dad, and also, my grandparents. I love everything about it. So when my mom suggested that instead of our usual girls trip to New Orleans over memorial day, we hunt for a cabin in the woods and take the whole family camping instead, I jumped on it. It’s hard for our family of six to travel. We had to give it up for awhile as when we’d travel after Jude’s vaccine injury, he’d regress, have demyelination and various chemical sensitivity reactions. We’ve tried a few small trips within driving distance in the last year and he’s done amazingly well. We haven’t taken the whole family back to Louisiana or Alabama though because of the logistics of taking food for 6 people for an extended period. It’s hard. We love to travel, we miss our old home territory and not being able to visit my mom in Alabama. That will be changing very soon as Whole Foods is opening a new store in 2015 near her house at the beach. I.CANNOT.WAIT.
Anyway, it’s hard to travel with food for 6 people and allergy issues since we can’t just drive through or eat out anywhere. Camping is the PERFECT answer. I cooked double meals for a week, froze one, served one for dinner. We prepped all kinds of snacks and we were good to go! We searched and searched for the perfect spot to go camping within driving distance of our home and found the Frio River Cabins. We wanted woodsy, campfires, swimming in the river and the comforts of a cabin with a kitchen and real beds. The location was perfect. The water was cold but so clear and glorious. The kids were able to roam, explore, discover, dig, bird watch, chase minnows and skip rocks. We had hammock time, card games (Jude won at UNO!), meals over campfire, scary stories, wading in the river, swimming at a waterfall, we watching Maggie chase rabbits till she passed our from exhaustion. We ate and laughed and fell in to bed with sun kissed skin, exhausted. I felt so content and happy watching my family these four days. It’s the happiest I’ve been in a very, very long time. My 3 oldest kids even experienced s’mores! It was such a big deal for them with their allergies. For those curious, we used these marshmallows, these graham cookies, and this chocolate. Far from healthy but an exciting special treat for them. We even gave Jonah his very first piece of chocolate ever at almost 19 months. He nodded “yes” as he chomped in to his first bite lol.
And the weather, oh my goodness, the weather. A cold front came through the day before left. That meant it was in the 70′s during the day and high 40′s / low 50′s at night. It was perfect! Swimming in the crystal clear cold water during the day and cold enough to warm up by a fire at night, perfect! We couldn’t have special ordered better weather for mid May in Texas!
I can say, we will definitely be going back. We made so many wonderful memories….I’m counting down the days until we can go back. These days, they are fleeting. This will be the last summer Ty’s at home and not working. He’s about to turn 17 (!?!?) and we will have the challenge of working around his work/life schedule even more. He’ll soon venture out and that doesn’t escape me. We have to make as many memories while he’s here as possible. I want to cherish these days with all 4 at home. This trip and these memories are ingrained on my heart….
Consider yourself warned, photo overload ahead! I took over a 1,000 photos, and these are some of the faves. I used both my Nikon D700 and my new Samsung NX300.
These crack me up….my sweet Jude experiencing smores for the first time. So funny!
We really enjoyed our time around the fire, telling stories, looking at the stars, watching fireflies….
My baby boy with his very own walking stick?? Swooooooon. Steal my heart cute. And I think Maggie loved the river more than all her people combined!
You know what else makes me swoon? A baby wearing daddy.
Right before our trip I stumbled upon Jude’s old “happy camper” tshirt and it was the perfect fit for Jonah. Great timing and so stinking cute.
The property was stunning. Woods, the river, mountains on the horizon.
I think I’m finally all caught up blogging through the fall and the end of 2013 for client sessions. I didn’t really blog that many mini sessions in 2013, mostly because of time constraints on my end. But I have to admit, it’s hard to file images away on my hard drive once they have been lovingly delivered to my clients. There are just some I love so much and wanted to come share….so here is a roundup of just a few faves. I love doing mini sessions throughout the year!
And a few more….
I thought I’d come share what went in our camping first aid kit after getting some requests over on this instagram photo.
I know going in that my husband is going to roll his eyes joyfully at this post. I know this because he’s been sweetly snickering every time he passes the pile on the kitchen counter for the last week. It’s ok, I can embrace my neurotic love of all things first aid kit. I think it makes me quirky and loveable. And even though we gave up most things that come in a traditional first aid kits, I still find myself wanting to prepare, prepare, prepare when we travel to the great outdoors. So what’s a first aid kit fanatic to do when she turns crunchy? Why, a holistic first aid kit, of course!
I started off with nice sized box I picked up at Bed, Bath and Beyond (couldn’t find it on their website but the one linked is the same. It folds out and has 3 tiers). I wanted something that was durable, with a hard case and something that would be big enough to house glass mason jars, etc. I highly recommend buying small travel containers for most of the products so that it doesn’t look like you are packing everything AND the kitchen sink. It helps keep the snickering to a minimum. I like these travel containers as I prefer glass over plastic.
Glass roller ball containers – these are great for essential oils and ACV.
Bottle Droppers – I use these for silver, witch hazel, peroxide and ear oil.
Clear Glass Jars – these are great for baking soda, coconut oil, vitamin c, aloe and gelatin.
While I’m linking amazon above so you can see what I use, I do buy them (not in bulk) from Natural Grocers. Except the roller balls, I buy those in bulk because we use so many of them! I wrote the contents of each glass jar on the bottom in sharpie.
Reusable Ice Pack
Small essential oil diffuser
Fractionated coconut oil
Coconut Oil – the single most universally used item in our kit. We can cook our eggs with it, use it for diaper rash, reduce sunburns and so much more.
Activated Charcoal – we use this if someone has an upset stomach, food poisoning, etc.
Apple Cider Vinegar (jar and spray bottle) – there are a million and one uses for ACV. My top favorites are for stomach problems, urinary tract infections, apply topically to ease both sunburns and bug bites.
Bentonite Clay – we use this for stomach issues, tummy bugs, food poisoning or at the onset of illness.
Vitamin C – immune booster. Can reduce sunburn if used with Vitamin E.
Colloidal Silver – immune booster, great for ear infections, eye infections.
Baking Soda – can be used in a detox bath for illness. Can also be used on spider bites.
Probiotics – we never leave home without them. They help keep the immune system strong and functioning properly. We travel with store bought probiotics (live strain, must be kept cool). We also consume fermented foods and drinks daily and those travel with us as well.
Echinacea – we use it at the onset of illness.
Aloe – sunburns.
Epsom Salt – perfect for soaking sore muscles, ridding the body of toxins during illness or an allergic reaction. A pinch in some warm drinking water can help ease constipation.
Hydrogen Peroxide – we use it to clean wounds.
Witch Hazel – soothes skin irritation, scrapes and burns.
Gelatin – this is the first thing we consume at the first sign of illness.
Elderberry – immune boosting. We take it leading up to a trip, especially if air travel is necessary.
Mullein Ear Oil – garlic oil for ear infections.
Calm Forte – we call this the “anti-whine”. It helps calm kiddos who are too hyper, tired of traveling or just all out of sorts.
Addicide – we keep this in our house at all times and always travel with it. It’s a homeopathic that removes pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives and dyes from the body.
Arnica – homeopathic pain reliever.
Belladonna – homeopathic for inflammation. Use for minor injuries, sunburns, etc.
Chamomilla – promotes relaxation and helps with teething. If you have a restless bunch at the end of a road trip, a quick dose of chamomilla will help calm.
Poison Oak Blend
Nux Vomica – indigestion, nausea
Other homeopathics to consider throwing in you kit include: Kali Mur, Lycopodium, Ferrum, Phosphorus, Gelsemium, Rhus Tox, Aconite, Pulsatilla, Kali Bich, Apis, Lachesis, Mercurius
Serenity / Lavender
What is in your holistic first aid kit? Did I forget anything?
We just got back from a week of vacation on the Frio River last night and I’ll be by to blog our trip. Until then, feast your eyes on this little sweetie. Watching his big brother love on him this morning was seriously just the sweetest thing.
For the first time in 8 years of business, we are unplugging. 4 days of no internet, no phones, no texting. While I’m looking forward to it, it is also pretty unnerving to unplug for the first time. We run 3 businesses primarily online and it’s such a huge part of our lives to put down and walk away. But I’m thrilled to be taking time to reconnect with my family. I’ll be back on Friday. Until then, if ya need me, drop me an email at lstradtner @ mac. com and I’ll get back to you Friday night!
:::::yanks plug and runs!:::::