Throwback to camping, and hello autumn

Hey, remember when we used to go camping? Circa 2012?

Millers and Prichards

I am so ready for this again.

It’s nearly my favorite month and there’s much to look forward to. Our wedding anniversary, SEC conference football, an evening with Liz Gilbert. My heart swells at the thought.

Come October 1, I’ll officially be in the holiday spirit – the sort of spirit that enjoys eating copious amounts Brach’s candy corn while ignoring tooth pain. The kind of spirit that burns autumn harvest┬ácandles and orders Salted Caramel Mochas. The kind of spirit that opens up all the windows in the house so the temperature drops to brisk 60 degrees. Hello fuzzy blankets and wool socks! Hello boots and skinny jeans! Hello chili on the stove and slow-cooked roast in the oven!

Hello, autumn. I’m so glad you finally showed up.


Camp at Indian Boundary

On a great recommendation, we set off for Indian Boundary on Thursday afternoon. We haven’t camped since we went to Hyde Memorial Park outside Santa Fe (which was one of our favorite trips ever), so we’ve been very eager to go. October is the best time of year to camp in East Tennessee, so we got right to it. Indian Boundary is just south of us in Cherokee National Forest. (More photos behind the cut!)

Continue reading “Camp at Indian Boundary”


It seems like there are a lot of fall breaks going on around us, so I’ve decided we’ll also take a day (or two) off for fun. One of the things I learned very quickly last year is that homeschooling requires a lot of balance, specifically in the areas of time, attention, and effort. We need to be focused and diligent, but also adventuresome and spontaneous. We need structure and guidelines, but also curiosity and exploration. I love that we have the freedom to run down rabbit trails if we want to.

Balance is important for me too, because if all I ever focused on was their curriculum and schedule, I’d be bored, bitter and bossy. Like anyone, I need my own space to run or read, to write or create. The boys need downtime with room to breathe and run wild. For our family, there is no better place to find balance than in the woods, and I can smell the campfire already.

Yes, I’m taking my candy corn.

Hyde Memorial State Park

We had not been camping since 2004, when Jeremy was a mere 18 months old and Jackson wasn’t even a thought yet. And to say we went camping in 2004 is even a stretch. We packed up our things for a week, grabbed the dog and the toddler and drove to Pipestem, West Virginia, a place my parents used to take my sister and I as kids. However, I wasn’t able to relive the nostalgia because thunderstorms rolled in, and after one full day and one long night of raining, we packed up camp and headed to my grandmother’s house. We haven’t camped since.

Mountains above Santa Fe

Hyde Memorial is about seven miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, nestled below a ski resort among the beautiful aspen trees. It isn’t until you head up the mountain that you realize how dense the woods are and how secluded you are from the city, which is exactly what we all needed.

Because it was Jackson’s first camping trip, there were a few concerns I had for him, namely sleeping in a tent, hanging around a fire, general issues of having no fear, etc. Fortunately, the only misfortunes we suffered were the usual – boys not sharing, pushing and tattling, and being Mommy’s shadow. All non-camping related, naturally!

Fire sitting My favorite three boys Playing army guys Sweet brothers May 2010 Throwing rocks

Camping was just what I hoped it would be, minus the golf balls in my throat (that finally shrunk to jelly beans by Day 3), and the drastic drop in overnight temperatures that drove Chuck to the store at 3 a.m. for extra blankets. As an added bonus, I got to blow a bunch of money shop at Whole Foods on Saturday. Overall, the weekend was lovely.

Hyde Campsite

Hank at Hyde Memorial