davis family campout

every year, matt’s entire extended family gets together and camps. like, for real camping. in the wilderness. tents, dutch ovens, sleeping bags, the works. this year, matt graciously invited me to join the campout, and we had a great time! we left salt lake friday evening after work and headed down to the campground just outside springville. it was sprinkling a little bit as we pulled up to join the group, so as i hopped out of the jeep i was so happy i’d made the effort to find my brand new hunter rain boots {subtle humblebrag, anyone?} and wear them for their maiden voyage on such a fun occasion! we ate a delicious stew for dinner and spent the evening chatting with his {extended and nuclear} family. i was so excited to finally meet his siblings that i’d been hearing so much about! each campsite was organized into ‘clans’ according to who {our generation’s} grandparents are. so we were with his parents and mom’s siblings and their families.

camping 8

as anyone who has known me for any period of time is aware, i’m not exactly what you’d call a ‘camper.’ i am not a huge fan of being dirty, and i don’t like to be uncomfortable. long ago my parents swapped tents and propane stoves for reservations at the W {okay, more like the best western} because mumsy ‘just couldn’t take it anymore’ {and for the record, neither could her young adult daughter}. but i have the outdoors deep within my soul from years and years of camping in the high sierras at calaveras big trees state park, a patch of wilderness that is now as much a part of my heart as the sacramento valley. i have the fondest memories of days spent laying on rocks at beaver creek, saving lady bugs from their water-swept fate, hiking through the north and south grove, roasting marshmallows, and making dadsy attend the famous ‘hug a tree’ campfire, even though i knew it made him insane {sorry, popsicle.} but, i love matt and he loves the campout, so i decided i’d give it a try!

this was definitely a different kind of camping than the outdoor adventures of my youth. most of the families slept on double high air mattresses and cots {what a joy!} and matt so graciously lent me his fancy backpacking sleeper pad, which made things very comfortable. that is one of matt’s many, many wonderful qualities is that he is always very considerate of my comfort level and will sacrifice his own comfort if it means helping me-what a gentleman!

camping 1there was also a lot of relaxing! i am used to the get-up-at-6-am-to-start-the-hike kind of camping, which has its advantages, but i did appreciate the slow{er} pace of the campout. we slept in, had the most delicious breakfasts {biscuits and gravy! pancakes and bacon! eggs, potatoes and cheese!} and then either went for a short walk {usually to a fishing spot so my beloved could catch a lil’ something} and then sauntered back to the campsite to visit with each other or enjoy the spurts of sunshine. i also brought my book, thrive, by arianna huffington, though i didn’t get much reading time. i’ve started that book every memorial day for what feels like years and i can’t seem to finish it! but that’s a story for another day.

camping 2

whilst in the wilderness, matt got really into carving wood into various objects. it started with his cousins, etc asking him to make them swords and such out of sticks. he then decided to embark on making something a bit more useful, like a spoon! that turned into also making a fork, which took a lot of time and energy. i feel like he was diligently carving for days!

camping 3matt and his brother scott searching for wood {river birch, aptly named} to carve into utensils

camping 9

the spoon in its untamed state

camping 6

pretty cool, huh?! matt said he used the fork the other day to eat a watercress and tomato salad, what a brave soul! as you can see, there was gorgeous grass at the campsite to lay out on, and sunday the sun came out and we had a wonderful afternoon just laying outside the tents chatting, reading, {carving} and enjoying being outdoors.

one of the coolest elements to the family campout is sunday morning church. it’s one of the only sundays i can get away with bringing a diet coke and chocolate twizzlers {matt’s fave}. everyone {all 400+ camp attendees} bring their camp chairs to a common area and there is a program! all of the missionaries who’ve returned since the last campout get up and say a few words, there are stories about ancestors and spiritual thoughts are given. there are also stats about the family read {such as the fact that there are nearly 1,000 descendents of matt’s great grandparents, including spouses!}, current missionaries in the field, etc. it was incredible!

camping 7

<us dancin’ in the pouring rain–i love sara’s jacket!>

i love my own family. i have always felt incredibly blessed that i was sent to my sweet, convert parents and we often say that we were handpicked for each other before i came to earth. i am so grateful to my parents for their sacrifices and their devotion to our family. i wouldn’t have had it any other way.

that said, it was so fun to see what it’s like to be around a huge family! matt is one of eight kids; growing up in a family of three kids and being much younger than my closest sibling, i have little to no experience with lots of siblings. it’s pretty cool! there is always someone to chat with and always something fun going on. plus, matt has the cutest niece who is a really darling lil’ gal, so she was fun to bounce around with and definitely kept us all entertained.

it was a crazy, wet, {slightly} dirty, sunny, freezing, {sometimes} warm, incredible weekend! i am so grateful that matt invited me and that we had such a wonderful time!




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