Camping in PA

When P and I first started dating, I discovered he had never been camping before! I grew up camping and had always loved it, so the first Memorial Day weekend we were together, I planned a little camping trip for us up in Maine, and ever since he’s been hooked!

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Unfortunately with work and life and all the things, we haven’t made it camping in two years! The first years we were together, we went as often as we could and camped in Vermont, Connecticut, Texas and Louisiana in addition to the first trip in Maine.

This year for hubby’s birthday one of the only things he had on his list was to go camping. I really didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the same time off together, but not only did it work out, last minute we ended up with a fourth day off and were able to leave a day early!

We headed out to Raystown Lake in PA for the first night (the bonus night) and it was a beautiful spot to camp. The restrooms were a little less than desireable for a campground (no running water), but considering we were only there for 24 hours we didn’t really need much.

The scenery was gorgeous and Brantley even went into the lake with us and attempted swimming for the first time. He had so much fun splashing in the lake even though he kept at least his back feet firmly planted the whole time! It was great!

Our second stop was at Keystone State Park about an hour east of Pittsburgh. We chose this destination specifically for it’s proximity to Pittsburgh as we attended a pup night at PNC Park while we were on our trip.

The first night we set up camp and explored before dinner, and of course ended the night with a campfire and s’mores.

The second day we walked be all around the grounds over to the water and back up to our campsite. No swimming for him here, but still nice to see the water. We headed back to camp and made lunch before some rain rolled in… we ducked into the tent and played a card game, read a bit, and even snuck in a nap.

Then we headed into Pittsburgh and we had such a fun time with the pups in the Park! Brantley met 3 other wheatens, which he’s only ever met maybe one or two before ever and it was cute seeing them together. We (or at least I) didn’t really watch the game because there was too much going on with the dogs, but it was a really cute set-up and everyone had a good time. That said, we both agree that we will have to get back to this ballpark sans Brantley to actually enjoy the park and the game, but it was definitely a fun detour!

The third day, we slept in! I haven’t slept in in ages and I got over 8.5 hours of sleep (I’d like to have that again right about now)! We took B on another walk around the grounds, had breakfast and got cleaned up (the bathroom facilities here were great), and then slowly but surely started taking down camp.

We made lunch at the campsite, finished loading the car and were on the road home by 1pm. I had a serious hankering for ice cream and P knew that there was a creamery at Penn State which we were going to be driving within spitting distance of, so we added it as a detour and we were all happier for it–even Brantley!

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The only other stops we made on the way back were for gas and bathrooms, and we spent the car ride home reading through our travel guides to plan our next adventure (which I will share more on later). But all in all I’d say it was a great trip!

Always good to be home, but now the camping bug has most definitely bit us again, and although we likely won’t be able to go at all for the rest of this year, we are already thinking about next summer!

What is your favorite type of family vacation? Do you have any fond memories of family trips you took as a kid? Are there any great places to camp that we should put on our list for the future?

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The Done List

It has been well over a month since I last blogged and I have been missing this outlet as a way to express myself and share the happenings of life and work. I had been seeking inspiration and making a lot of lists until last night. On our way home from our weekend away, P and I were listening to “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and she mentioned getting great blog ideas and wanting to save them away but needing to trust yourself to come up with new great ideas for posts all the time and to use them when you have them.

I don’t recall the exact quote but it was something like creativity grows more creativity, or inspiration in place of the word creativity… something like that. However she put it hit me and I was sitting there thinking, you know what, it’s time to log back on and get back to it. It’s been too long! (Check out her blog and book to get more inspo for your own happiness–I think when we finish the book I might start listening to her podcasts too.)

The other thing that had me feeling so inspired the other day was @EliseJoy‘s #100aysofelisepeptalksmake a DONE list.” I’m a list maker anyway so this one really struck me. It’s easy to think of all of the things you need to do, or that you want to do, or even to beat yourself up for the things that you haven’t done yet. But if you stop for a minute and really think about what you have finished and make that into a list, you will feel so much better. I’m paraphrasing what Elise said in her post here, but it resonated with me, like really really resonated. (Check out her blog for and jump over to her instagram links above for a lot more inspo.)

I spent the time away from the blog doing a lot of things, but one of the things that I think is pretty interesting is that I spent time email and talking to other bloggers (or following and reading other blogs) and telling them that I missed writing and I missed this outlet, yet I still couldn’t find the drive to get back here and get going. Sometimes you need a break, sometimes something that you love so much and that you really want to do, you just have to take some space from before you can really get back into it. I tried to come back a lot sooner with a post in late May after a shorter hiatus post One Room Challenge, but I wasn’t ready yet.

So anyway, I think I’m back… I think I’ve found my voice a little more, and I am feeling inspired. Some of the coming posts will be of the catching up variety but some of them will be all new and progress reports that you’ve not been getting. I hope your still here to read through it all and offer continued support.

My Done List since I’ve been gone:

  • Finished the living room, like it’s really really done.
  • Adjusted to hubby’s new work schedule
  • Committed to a fitness class 2x/week and have actually gone and loved it every week!
  • Finished knitting a baby blanket for my dear friend’s newest little one.
  • Spent some time with said friend and met the new baby.
  • Worked my ass off.
  • Taken on a few new clients and focussed on getting their plans done and materials specified.
  • Taken a dozen naps.
  • Spent some quality time with Brantley.
  • Spent some quality time with Pat.
  • Worked out our new budget.
  • Started a “no spending” challenge at home.
  • Went on our first camping trip in over two years.
  • Enjoyed a relaxing weekend at the shore.
  • Hosted my in-laws for a night.
  • Reorganized the linen closet.
  • Cleaned countless times and remade the mess.
  • Lived.

I could go on, but I think you get the point… making a done list is so rewarding. I feel like this ‘quiet time’ around the blog hasn’t been a huge waste or isn’t time lost. I feel like it has been time well spent on a few other things. Or, well a lot of other things by the looks of the list above.

I would challenge all of you to make a done list. It feels so good, I promise! Need a prompt, What have you done in the last month? Over the holiday weekend? I’m sure you have done a lot more than you are giving yourself credit for.

If you made it all the way through this picture-less post, thank you so much for reading! Feel free to comment below and let me know if you’ve taken a time-out in any areas of your life lately. I hope this post inspires you to get back on the horse!

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