I'm exhausted and filthy and have so many things around the house I *should* be doing right now. But I wanted to take a minute to sit down and reflect.
God has been so faithful to our family and my heart is so full and happy. We just returned this afternoon from our first Family Camp as a FAMILY of THREE. When we got home and started unpacking I found myself getting a little teary-eyed (big shocker there) thinking about our weekend...and how much has changed in these last few years.
What in the world is "Family Camp?" you may ask. In a nutshell, it's an annual family Bible conference held at a camp called Winema along the Oregon coast. If you were an outsider to this camp you probably wouldn't think it's anything spectacular. To be blunt: There is nothing fancy or extravagant about it. In fact, the camp property is pretty rundown and most things on it could use some updating. But you know what? That camp has completely grown on me. My husband and his family have been attending it for years and years. There is so much tradition that I've come to associate with this annual trip and it's an amazing time to spend in fellowship with family and friends. Many great memories have been made there and I'm certain there are many more to follow.
If you've been following my blog from the early days you may or may not remember this post. It's one of the first posts I wrote on this blog and I shared how difficult it was to attend the annual event of Family Camp *STILL* as a family of *TWO*. Yes, still. We had just finished our initial consultation with our specialist and pregnancy and a child seemed so far out of grasp. Family Camp that year was extremely difficult as I tried to accept how out of whack my expectations and dreams were from reality...and how long everything was taking.
Fast forward to last year. Family Camp 2012. I was 38 weeks pregnant...far too pregnant to sleep in a bunk bed for three consecutive nights...at the coast...way too far away from the hospital we planned to deliver at, which completely freaked out 38-weeks-pregnant/crazy-paranoid Jess. We did, however, go to the coast for the day. So there we were on a Sunday at the beach. Ellie technically got to go to Family Camp that year--snug in my belly. Admittedly, though we were just taking a day trip, I was still pretty nervous to be that far away from home. But I soaked in the experience, thanking God for His blessings and the child we were about to meet. I remember on the drive there I kept rubbing my belly, in complete awe of everything and so thankful for how much had changed in the last year.
And this year. Oh, thank goodness. We finally got to attend the camp as a FAMILY. Yes, a legitimate F-A-M-I-L-Y of three. It was of course much different this year with an 11-month-old in tow. Who still needs two naps a day and an early bedtime. Oh, and it turns out she still gets overstimulated when there is too much going on. But it was good. So good. To HIM I am thankful. So very thankful.
Just another example of how our experiences and journey to parenthood have shaped me and given me a new appreciation for things. Things that I would've probably taken for granted had our path to parenthood been easy.
Here's to many, many years of making amazing memories with loved ones at Family Camp.