I really can’t get enough of this camping thing – it’s like a whole new world of week-ending has opened up to us.  The fresh air!  The campfires!  The…nostalgia!  (Yes, that’s me!)

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We set out Friday morning for Tinkham, a small campground on the Snoqualmie River just 45 minutes from home.  We staked our claim on the last two open sites and Shane got to work setting up the tent.  Meanwhile, Jules got to work harvesting huckleberries.

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We drove into North Bend around lunchtime to drop off Shane for a bike ride with the guys.  I couldn’t resist the lure of Scott’s Dairy Freeze.  But giving a soft-serve cone to a toddler on an 85-degree day?  Not my wisest choice.  This girl was stick-y!

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We spent the rest of the afternoon down by the river near camp, cooling our feet and throwing rocks.

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Shane and Jason made it back from their ride and forded the river with the kids, sunning themselves on the rocks like a troop of turtles.

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We cooked burgers over the campfire for dinner and capped of the evening with s’mores.  I’ve become pretty accomplished at preparing a meal with a roll of tin foil and an open flame!

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While dining in the great outdoors, pants are optional.

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Since this was our first completely rain-free camping trip, we decided to forego the rain fly and enjoy the view of the trees above.  It was such a treat to wake up to a canopy of green!

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I love Saturday mornings at camp, sipping coffee in the slight morning chill and lingering over a leisurely breakfast.

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We eventually changed out of our pajamas and drove over to Lost Lake to spread out our blankets and munch on our snacks.

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Our friends Lloyd and Viv brought their dog, Harper, and Juliette was smitten.  All weekend long, it was, “Harrrrrperrrrr, where arrrrrrre you?   Harper, come please!  HARPER!  COME!”

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Juliette volunteered to keep her baby warm when the wind picked up.

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Shane and Juliette dozed in the afternoon while I drank coffee with Nance and then took a stroll through the woods near our site.

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It was right around this point that I decided:  we’re never moving.  “Peace on earth” can feel so unattainable when you’re in the vortex of news feeds and social media and daily to-do’s, but gosh, this was certainly the quiet oasis I’d been craving.

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Jules and Shane had awakened from their 2-hour slumber when I got back to camp, so we walked back over to the river to soak in the warm, early evening light.

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Rocks.  They never get old!

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Meanwhile, the boys stood sentry at our site.  Who goes there?!

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We ate another campfire meal and then…s’mores.  Of course.  Juliette doesn’t know yet that a true s’more contains chocolate, as she’s thrilled with just the mallow and graham cracker.  Before this summer is over, kiddo, I’ll let you in on the secret.  Prepare to have your mind blown.

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We stayed up late on Saturday, playing a version of truth or dare that involved a jump-kick contest, some serious soul-baring, a little bit of awkwardness, and a lot of laughter.

Sunday morning was gorgeous and warm, so we put off breaking down camp and lingered by the river.

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The Rusts shared a zen family moment…

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Jules played with rocks (seriously, who needs Legos and blocks and Magna-tiles?!)…

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And then the guys set off on a ride to North Bend.  Catch you soon, fellas!

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Since I had some time to kill before meeting Shane at the end of his route, Jules and I headed to Bybee Nims with Nance and the boys to do some blueberry picking.

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Juliette was an exceptionally focused harvester, diligently picking only the bluest, plumpest berries.

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Ok, can we talk for a minute about how sweet these two are together?  You are killing me, kids!

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Photo cred for this one goes to Gryff!

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Five pounds of berries later, we were ready to head out and meet up with Shane and Jason.

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It was like our very own miniature version of the Tour de France, watching these two roll up while the kids cheered excitedly.

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Josh and Lloyd were right behind them.  I’m so thankful that Shane has buddies he can bike for hours with (Lord knows I can’t hang!).

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One last pic by the river, and then we jetted home, eager to unpack and shower and have someone else prepare dinner for us (thanks, Tutta Bella!).  Civilization has its perks.

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