And it is that time again for another entry for Artefact motherhood, a beautiful  blog circle which is a collaboration of artists & mothers from around the world sharing stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. These are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artefacts we are leaving behind for children and the generations to come. Please have a look through mine and then check out  the next artist in our circle.

It was such an amazing day, I had been looking forward to this experience for such a long time! It was day 2 of our first camping trip as a family of four. We had thought the campsite would be empty since most kids had already gone back to school but it was actually pretty packed, I guess everyone was thinking the same as us but luckily we found a pitch in our favourite area. 

Although, Forrest, your very first night in the tent didn't go so great, it was exceptionally cold outside and you woke up crying almost every half hour, it turned out I had overdressed you and you were actually sweating!  I felt so bad! But once I took some of your layers off you were a lot happier. We had two blow up beds like we usually do with you and I on one and Nixie and daddy on the other bed which we discovered had a hole in it and by the morning they were mostly sleeping on the ground well daddy was,  he laid on it in a certain way so that your sister still had air on her side.  That's what I call love.

Even though I barely got any sleep I woke up feeling so good, being out in the woods has a way of always making me feel better. And Nixie, you had been missing all of our camping adventures. It's something we have all missed. We usually go for a week every month beginning from March/April but this year with Forrest's arrival and a bunch of other reasons it just didn't happen! Even though we live here in the new forest and are out in the woods all the time it's different when you're able to be out for an extended period without ever stepping foot inside,  It's one of my favourite feelings. 

I had been so excited to take you camping Forrest!  You seemed right at home.  I managed to be the first one to get up so I went to the bathroom first while the three of you stayed all cosy in the tent.  When I got back you (Nixie ) and daddy headed to the toilet block while Forrest and I went for a little walk. I had you in the wrap and it felt so wonderful being here with you in the early morning for the first time.  Soon you will get very used to this area. When they came back, we all had breakfast/coffees and daddy's famous hot chocolate. It's your sister's favourite thing when camping and it's become a tradition. You were such a happy little one loving every second of everything! You are such a little love!

After breakfast you (Nixie) spent the next few hours playing ball games & frisbee with several different kids. There was one little boy just a bit older than you who you really clicked with and the two of you were having such a great time together,  you even shared your hot chocolate with him.  You had met each other the day before. They were getting ready to go home,  but in the meantime the two of you kept running in and out of our tent building forts of some kind and for the first time we had the experience of another child just coming into our tent and taking off their clothes and getting comfortable...his dad was looking for him.. and apologized profusely when I said he was inside and taking his layers off, the dad looked quite shocked and asked if it was OK if he went in to go get him and I said, "Of course but it's no worries, they're having the best time!" I was just happy to finally be experiencing it from the other side!

When it did come time for him to leave it was pretty heartbreaking.  The two of you were even conspiring ways to get you to go home with him, and he even got you into the car before he got in so you were in between two car seats,  it was a pretty painful goodbye,  you wouldn't budge so I had to lift you out of their car while you held on to their headrest,  you were completely horizontal while crying and screaming his name.  It was such a big reaction, you had such strong powerful emotions coming out of you. 

Daddy held you for a while but then you wanted me to and I ended up carrying you on my shoulders, you had calmed down but every minute or so you'd think about your friend and the tears and cries would start all over again.  You started to flail a bit so I had to put you down because otherwise I was going to drop you.We were heading out on a walk and had our picnic already packed.  We started to head over to what we call the frog spot but you were inconsolable.  Your cries and screams escalated. All you wanted to do was go back to the campsite to see your friend but he was no longer there.

For a second I couldn't quite understand why it was all so extreme but then I realised to my embarrassment that I hadn't properly acknowledged what you had just gone through. So I went over to you and asked if I could hold you and that I was so sorry that you missed your friend and that you were so sad that he had to leave and how it must have felt so unfair. I told you how I could relate to those feelings.  You really feel so deeply and intensely and that is a gift,  it may not feel so now but one day I promise you it will.  It is such a beautiful strength that you possess. I promised you that what you were feeling would pass and that everything would be OK. 

What was amazing was that as soon as we connected like this everything shifted.  I felt we had such a beautiful moment.  I felt extra close to you.  Daddy had Forrest in the wrap so I was able to just give you all the snuggles and it felt so good.

When we arrived at the frog spot we immediately started looking for any little frogs or toads to be friends with, but our search got interrupted when all of a sudden I felt the earth beneath me rumble,  it was an incredible feeling,  at first I didn't know what it was,  but then right in front of us a herd of maybe 12 horses came galloping by trampling the ferns and sticks making such a noise.  We all stood silently in awe of them,  it really was beautiful and they gave me goosebumps.  When they had passed we continued our search for frogs and we never did find any but you found the sweetest little toad. You were so gentle with her and after a short while you said it was time to set her free again (I was impressed by this,  sometimes it can take you a while before wanting to let them go).

We continued on our way and you still had moments where you got upset about your friend leaving and where you just wanted to go back to the campsite. It's probably one of the biggest upsets we've experienced with you.  But you were also easily distracted because at one point you had been really crying and wailing when a couple walked by with a little dog and when you saw the dog you immediately asked if it was friendly and when they said yes you started playing with her giving out the sweetest sounding laughs.  I had wanted to go a bit further before we had our first picnic stop but you and Forrest made it feel like a good idea to have one sooner but before our first stop you found another little toad with whom you had the sweetest cuddle with and you also made friends with quite a big slug that you were so excited to share with me.

We found a great little spot  and had our lunch. You were being extra cuddly with me, and laid your head in my lap while eating and it felt so special.  I was just so happy to be out like this with all three of you.  Forest, you were having so much fun exploring and climbing this log that I had laid our blanket next to. These types of days are my favourite days,  these are the days that really fuel me and fill me up.  The last few months have been so up and down for me and this reconnection was something my soul really needed.

I experienced a few moments of stillness while I was nursing you to sleep Forrest.  It was divine. Nixie and daddy had gone off exploring and it was just you and me and the forest. I could feel every single part of my body relax even deeper and I felt consumed in the most beautiful ways by the sounds and the smells surrounding us. It all felt so peaceful. If I could have fallen asleep standing up I would have! 

Once they came back after a little while we continued on our way. We decided to explore a new area and met some lovely horses on the way. Nixie you had a lot of fun climbing trees and finding treasures. Once we reached our next spot for a picnic you were in full dino mode and were searching the trees with daddy for dino eggs and you whenever you would find some you’d bring them to me for safe keeping, they needed to be protected from the carnivores that were about to eat them! 

We were lucky with the weather and it was a beautiful sunny afternoon and Forrest you woke up from your nap in such a happy mood, I just love your sleepy just-waking-up-smiles! You really loved crawling around on the grass and playing with Nixie, she was pretending to be a dinosaur hiding in the bushes and you thought this was the funniest thing ever! 

Eventually we continued on our adventure but we had to stop when you, Nixie, saw a little beetle on the path and needed to move it to the other side so that it wouldn’t get run over by bikes that go past but for some reason you refused to pick it up and wanted daddy to.  We walked past the most incredible hollowed out tree and you and daddy fit into it and were making Forrest burst into the biggest never ending giggles by making funny faces at him! I just love all the laughter we’ve gained as a family becoming a family of four!

When we got back to our tent you wanted to ride your bike, we’ve asked if you wanted to get your stabilizers off but you adamantly refused saying you will only take them off when you are 13 years old. While you had fun on your bike, Forrest,you were enjoying another log to climb on, you really are such a dream to be camping with, you are ever so content just sitting anywhere in nature and even though you do like to taste things it hasn’t been that big of an issue at least when you're with me daddy will say otherwise!

Daddy and Nixie went to wash dishes and you and I waited at the tent and you have truly mastered standing up now while holding on to things! It's really crazy how quickly things seem to be happening with you! After dinner we had one last hot chocolate and then we went out looking for bats and this was amazing, but you missed this as you were sound asleep in the wrap. But for you,  Nixie, this was your first time going out in search of them and you were in absolute awe!! They put on a good show for us too and they flew right past our heads and you could even hear the flutter of their wings!  When we got back before heading to bed we had some late night bday cake as it was daddy's B-Day the day before and we still had some left. Finally we all migrated into our tent and got all cosy under the blankets and we all fell asleep super easily and happily. My heart was full. 


Please check out Jessie,  the next incredibly talented artist in our Artefact Motherhood blog circle and continue through all the artists until you get back to me!

to learn more about this collaboration please visit Artifact Motherhood