"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Monday, July 15, 2013


This morning I woke up in my bed, a few kiddos had slipped in requesting cartoons with raspy voices, asking for breakfast and feeling the same way I was feeling.  Sad.

This past week at Trail West in Colorado was the best week we've ever had.  And now it's over.
There's a reality of vacation ending when the return to work and mundane responsibilities are implemented.  
But this is more than just a vacation, way more.  There's something special about this place tucked into the mountains with a staff and crew readily waiting to love and bless your family.
The phrase "family camp" sounds cheesy, not fun, and for many before they experience the adventure, a waste of time.

I would say that all who go would agree, it's a trip and an experience that brings adventure, rest, joy, reflection and so much more.

Our adventure began early in the morning, meeting a few other families and covering 4 states with 10 kids in 12 hours. 

We met up with many more families in Buena Vista, CO for slipping our toes in the river, grabbing Kay's, playing at the park, knowing the line forming under the wooden sign welcoming us to Trail West was awaiting us.

I feel like every picture stirs up memories and emotion in my heart.  I could write a paragraph of how my heart feels when he's away from work and our phones don't have service and her laughter is the only sound I hear.

 We set up camp in our room and the endless fun began.

And when you think about what makes this trip so sweet, it's laughable to think egg races on horses and dizzy bat spins have anything to do with it.  But it does and I can't explain it, it's a simplicity and childhood fun for all ages and we laughed until our bellies hurt and knew we were making memories.

We traded nap times for fun together, grabbing our cameras and finding the balance of wanting to capture every single moment and yet just being present.

Making memories, a trip in pictures enjoying "vacation style"...
Jeep Tours

Pool side play 

Wrangler Breakfast
Without a doubt my favorite part.  We rose early with a few other families and hopped in a wagon, rode to a clearing where breakfast was being prepared over a campfire.  And something about the quiet of the mountains early morning and the French toast flipping, little ones giggling and playing, we knew this will be the memory we would miss once it's gone.

And we already do.

My Alice was a baby the last time we were in this spot.  She had just had surgery, been released from the hospital, and taken off her feeding tube.  And this year, sister caught her breakfast on her plate and smiled with pride.

Summit at the Continental Divide
All families and kids loaded up to hike the Continental Divide.  A mix of challenge and fun, surrounded by mountains and littles.

Dining Hall meals
40 families each gathered at round tables for family style meals.  It's loud, it's messy, it's delicious.
And we miss it already.

Frontier Camp
For a morning we got to spend time in the Frontier camp's hot springs pool.  We swam for hours while kids played, daddies played frisbee golf, and mamas talked.

Square Dance

After a mini show and dinner served under the Aspen trees, we danced.

And danced and danced.

High Ropes Course
My girl has been waiting to do the ropes course and she knew she was old enough this year.  She loved it and blazed through it without fear or hesitation.

With her daddy by her side.

It was more than just a vacation.

It was a week of being surrounded by majestic mountains and reminders both grand and small that the Lord's presence is tangible, it's real, it's for the taking.

Space created in our hearts of the shadows we've allowed to creep into our hearts and lives, the awareness and recognition that change is needed.  Refinement necessary.  Reflection that while we can't bring home the sand volleyball courts and late night game nights, we can continue to press in and respond to the stirrings He has begun.

We are thankful.  We know the saving and sacrifice to be there was worth it, beyond worth it.  We know that this time was special and was a blessing we can't put into words.

And as our car pulled away in the early morning hours to return home tears filled our eyes.  Not because we didn't want to come home but because the place we allowed our hearts and minds to camp in for a week was over.

Colorado, we'll see you next year.