I promised my kids that when I completed my Bachelors degree I would take them on a fun camping trip. As someone that has only gone once and didn't have to set up a tent myself, I wanted a good entry level experience for us all. So, of course, Jellystone Park in Warrens, Wisconsin would be our first time camping all together. Several friends had recommended the park. When I initially told the kids they were so excited. My eldest daughter went on Pinterest and pinned a bunch of ideas on what to pack to what to cook over a campfire. To make life a little easier, I reserved a cabin (our next camping trip we'll attempt a tent).

I am so glad I reserved a cabin because I ended up injuring myself last weekend. I wish I had a really cool story but I do not. I was trying to pull a tree weed out of the ground (have you ever tried doing this? It's really tough!) and I felt a pop in my chest wall. Turns out after x-rays canceled out that it could be a broken or dislocated rib, I had torn a chest muscle. Because of this, I am unable to lift or do anything in full range of my shoulder or chest. I put a plea out on Facebook to see if anyone could join the kids and I. The Finnie family came to our rescue! At the last minute, they made plans to join us. It was like National Lampoon with two families in the van and a new puppy headed two hours away to Wisconsin where it would host one of the "best vacations ever" as my eldest daughter expressed at the end of the trip.

If you've never been to Jellystone Park in Warrens, Wisconsin, you should go. Not only was the staff incredibly accommodating but the grounds has a lot to offer families. From miniature golf, an outdoor movie, an incredible waterpark to cabin camping with amazing amenities. You can rent a golf cart to get around the big campus easily. There's a darling train run by an elderly grandpa who makes you feel right at home. The best part of our trip? Cooking our food over the campfire. We enjoyed s'mores, hot dogs and baked beans. Everything tastes so much better over the campfire.

We asked the kids what they thought was the best part of the trip and the resounding theme was just spending time together doing something like this. It was a good reminder to myself to take the time to make these memories with family and friends. Often times were all so focused on the busy-ness of life, we miss these opportunities to make meaningful moments with our kids. Both my kids had perma-grins on their faces when we got home. Hearing "you're the best mom ever" sure made it all worth it too. Thank you to the Finnie family for your kindness to mind and for all your help! Goes to show, it really does takes a village to raise a family, Jellystone Park proved that - and for that I am grateful.

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