I’ve been camping twice in my life which is at least one time too many. Honestly, I love the idea but not the reality. Roasting marshmallows around the campfire and gazing up at the stars with your children really means repeatedly wiping sticky hands with baby wipes, managing sugar highs two hours after bedtime, and going to your (blowup) bed smelling like a bonfire. And that’s after your children sneak into your tent because they “can’t sleep.” Hmm. Might have been the 14 marshmallows you consumed, but go ahead, climb in.
And then there’s the bugs. When I camped last May, pregnant with fourth child, I got bitten on my abdomen by chiggers that had invaded our tent, and seriously thought I had contracted Zika. My OB was concerned enough that she asked me to come in to the office and have the rash checked out. Needless to say, I have sworn off the hard stuff and am sticking to the comfort of my own bed from now on. Trouble is, my family still thinks it utter delight to pitch a tent, sit near a campfire, and spend the night under the stars. So what’s a girl to do?
I created a camp theme for my twins’ fifth birthday. We invited their classmates and friends to help us celebrate, served trail mix and had a nature hunt. I DIY’d a teepee out of wooden dowel rods, rope and canvas drop cloth all for about $40, though I love this adorable pitch tent from Restoration Hardware and this less expensive version from Target.
After the party, we combined all the outdoorsy items we had collected to create a special room for the twins, complete with a vintage quilt from my mom and my husband’s Boy Scout uniform and patches. The “campfire” still gets used every day, no one wakes up smelling like smoke, and everybody’s happy including mama. Winning.
Curtains from West Elm // Rug from Rugs USA // Bedding and pillows from Land of Nod
Birthday party pictures by lahphotography