On labor day weekend, we packed up our borrowed trailer and our family of 6 for our first ever real camping trip.
Brady’s family (The Harris Family, Major’s namesake) come from all over the place – Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona to camp together for 3 days on arguably the most beautiful mountain in Utah, Pine Valley. Because we are lucky to have Pine Valley in our city’s backyard, in years past we have opted to sleep in our own beds and travel up for the day. But this year, for some reason, we felt a pull to stay up on the mountain. I’ll call it: divine suggestion.
We had not a lick of cell phone service, so we left our screens in the truck all weekend and enjoyed some serious old fashioned family togetherness. Nothing superb or extravagant came up over the weekend, but even still it felt like an incredible weekend. I really wanted to UNPLUG, and that also meant from carrying my phone around every second for pictures. So, I sacrificed a lot of photo-ops, but still feel sound about my decision. Here are some things I don’t want to forget about the Harris reunion 2016.
- No family makes you feel like you have birthed the royal bloodline like the Harris family. The great-aunts dote over the little ones like they are little kings and queens. I was glad to be nursing Major, because otherwise I wouldn’t have seen him all weekend. That son of mine knew just how to take in the attention. He smiled each time he was looked at, calmly went from person to person, and when he was tired, he would simply slump down on the shoulder of the person he was being carried. Angel boy!
- My girls were so busy crafting in the craft area, building forts in the woods, running around playing with cousins, hiking, climbing, and game-playing that I pretty much didn’t see them all weekend, but my goodness they had a blast. My heart swelled with each filthy pair of jeans I placed into the washer once we got home. Childhood at it’s finest, I tell you.
- Grae couldn’t wait to go to “the mountains” and she liked it just as much as she thought she would. She announced at least 200 times, “Mommy! I see the mountains!” throughout the weekend. She of course marched to her own little beat, and when she was tired she would say “mommy, you wrap me?” and I would sling her in my wrap (because Major clearly wasn’t going to be needing it with 100 extra arms around). She snoozed in that sling each day and I felt us connect in a way we hadn’t for a while. Tender mercies!
- Stella got a pocket fisherman for her birthday and was bound and determined to use it. A whole truck load of cousins went down to the lake, and about an hour later, they all walked home. Where is Stella and Brady? I asked. At the lake. Stella refused to come home until she caught her first fish, which she did! Made her whole trip!
- We slept terribly the first night, and I wanted to go home for the second night, but Mr. Miller urged me to consider staying another night. Usually, he would have given into me easily, but I knew he wanted to stay, so I dropped the matter. He switched me places on the second night and hopped up for each child’s need, in place of me doing it. We all slept soundly that next night and I was so glad we stayed. I felt extra grateful for a good man to love me, and a good father to raise my babies with.
On the drive home we talked about how amazing it is to have a family so large with zero animosity or negativity – at all. Each Harris loves and adores the next. And never for a second do I feel like an “in-law”. I wondered for a lot of the ride home how I ever lived without the Harris’s for the first twenty years of my life. I’m still not sure, but I’m so glad I’m part of their tribe now. I can only hope I will raise a posterity just as special. ♥