happy campers

Current destination: Port of Kimberling (Branson), Missouri

Next stop: Keller, Texas

Mood: Happy (except for when our sunburns sting and we didn’t get a nap in)

We set up camp just off the dock in Port of Kimberling.

We did it! We survived the first trip in the camper! Or rather, we’re surviving the first trip. After a rather hectic start – a blown tire, some serious damage, an insurance claim, and quite a bit of cursing – we finally got on the road to Missouri. Our first night in the camper was a success, meaning the air blew cold and the kids slept hard; and we spent most of the day swimming and relaxing in Table Rock Lake yesterday. Zoey’s had a blast because she has a playmate, her (second? third? I’m not really sure how it works…) cousin, Alexa who’s just a year or so older. And Charley has had a blast because she has mom.

While the first leg of the trip was less than relaxing since Casey and I had no idea what we were doing, today has been much better and we’re quickly learning that camping is a money pit and maybe we should have stayed home tiny living is a lot of fun.

I am, however, struggling a little bit with discipline as Zoey is going through a very whiny, very sassy, very stubborn phase (which I fear may last her entire life) and I’m not sure when to go hard or when to go home. Either there were more (electronic) distractions at home or there were just more places to hide from her, but it’s become very apparent that I have no idea what the hell I’m doing when it comes to pretty much anything, but especially mom-ing.

I get it – no one really knows what they’re doing, but some people just look like they do. For some, it’s effortless. For me, it’s a constant internal battle.

Am I being too patient? Not patient enough?

Should I put her in time-out? Spank her? Yell at her? Attempt to reason with her? Cover my ears and sing “LA LA LA LA LA” until she goes away?


I know, I know; I need to give myself grace and blah blah blah – I hear this regularly – but sometimes I feel so alone! Do other people not struggle with this? Am I the only one who questions their every move? And how do I overcome the searing, white-hot rage that courses through my veins when she narrows her eyes and tells me “no?”

For now, I’m just grateful that we’re surrounded by family, all of whom are willing to help. But what do I do when it’s just us and the open road? How will I maintain the little sanity I have left?! Especially when this monster is what I have to deal with.

The Monster in all her monstrous glory

Life is hard, but at least we’re happy campers. Amirite?


  1. 🙋🏻‍♀️ Struggler here! Too patient vs. not patient enough is me on the daily…on the hourly…and sometimes on the minute. “White-hot rage” describes me perfectly when I’m trying to load everyone in the car and everyone is fighting it and it’s a million degrees outside.


  2. Patience has never been my virtue. My mom was always Michael’s “patient parent”. So, I often battle with myself & wonder how much I’m screwing him up without her help. Make sure you & Casey lean on each other. Let him be in charge if you need the time to take a breather & vice versa. That’s supposed to be one of the positives about raising a child with both parents… or so I’ve been told! Haha


    1. Michael is a good, smart kid and he knows how much you love him and how hard you try. Sometimes I think those are the most important things! Casey and I are pretty good at leaning on each other; the biggest issues come when he’s too sick to help – those are the hardest times (for more than one reason).

      I miss your mom too.❤️❤️


  3. Four is a really hard age! Ivy was SO stubborn and SO crazy-making it’s a wonder that we all got through it. Chris and I ended up ignoring a lot of tantrums. But I tried to even that out with trying to teach her how to control her reactions to things and calm herself down when she would freak out. Still working on that one.


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