Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Water babies at Camp Keowee

We were given the opportunity to go to the lake for the weekend last weekend, and we just couldn't pass it up. My close friend, Carole, has a house on Lake Keowee, which we affectionately refer to as "Camp Keowee". Leading up to this weekend, we'd had a busy time with our New York trip last weekend then family time this week with MaSha's birthday and Tara, Leece, Madison and GranO's visit, so I was a little bit on the fence about whether we should go. I thought it might be a good idea to have a low-key weekend at home. Also I figured that we would have to pack everything up, including the kitchen sink, and was concerned that we might not be able to get the boys out on the water, which would translate to "doing the exact same things that we'd be doing at home, without all the conveniences of home". All that said, Thomas really wanted to go and so I went along with it. But I did put him in charge of planning and packing (I won't divulge whether or not anything was left behind ha!).

It's only about an hour away from our house, so we got there on Friday evening and had some time to kill to sit back and relax and enjoy this gorgeous view! I immediately was glad that we came. Just sitting outside with water nearby and a cold beverage in hand and kids running around happy - that's pretty sweet, folks.

Ryan and his Da-Da

Brothers - checking out the water

Their "high chairs" for the weekend :)
I love having them eat outside - no mess to clean up!
Stokes and William slept in their pack n plays and we put Ryan on a bottom bunk bed that is very low to the floor. The boys weren't too keen on going to sleep in a strange place and in a different kind of bed. They usually go right down for us at home, but they were crying and upset when we tried to put them down at the lake house. It took us a little while to get them calmed down but then they slept like rocks.

Saturday morning was leisurely. We once again spent time out on the deck, which is enclosed, by the way, so I could relax! They loved it anytime a boat or a jet ski would go by and they would point and say, "boat"!
Da-Da making Ryan laugh

Selfie with Stokes and William
(notice that dirt on William's chin? that's b/c he was EATING it. YUM)

Morning snuggles
We decided to go out to lunch with the boys and went to Ye Old Sandwich Shoppe in Seneca. It was one of Thomas's favorite places eat during college and he loves going back. The boys did so well at lunch. They were charming as could be and did not make a mess. A family sitting near us was sweet to try to entertain them by smiling and hiding their faces (peek a boo style).

Stokes at lunch

Having a great time!

Sweetie Ryan

My William

After lunch we went back to the house and MaSha came up to the lake. We were waiting until another adult got there before attempting to swim. I purchased puddle jumpers for Stokes and William a few weeks ago but we hadn't used them yet. I wasn't sure how they would do and I just get nervous to have the little guys around water. They move so much and so fast! I am a good swimmer and have been since I was a toddler. My parents were always proud to tell me that I never used floats or swimmies or anything like that and I also went off the high dive at the age of 2. I always thought that I would teach my kids to the do the same and to be good swimmers so I wouldn't have to worry around the water too much. Then we had triplets. Game changer! There just isn't much time or opportunity to spend with them one-on-one in the water. Our trips to the pool have been limited and I haven't felt totally comfortable there. I'm always on edge. It's crazy how nervous I am with my boys around water. I have this horrible fear....ok, we're not even going to go there. Too scary.

Right after their afternoon naps, we got swimsuits and puddle jumpers on (and an infant life jacket for Ryan) and headed down to the dock for some swimming and floating.

Always careful that an adult had a hold of everyone!

MaSha and her grandsons
The boys did awesome in the water! I was totally impressed. They showed us that they are indeed little water babies! It took them a little while to get used to the puddle jumpers, but once they were comfortable, it was great! William especially proved to be our little fish. He would just swim around and laugh and have fun. Stokes liked being in the water, but mostly wanted someone to be holding him. He loved jumping off the dock into the water. I was pretty surprised with what a daredevil he usually is that he wasn't more daring in the water. Ryan loved the water, too, and would kick and kick. We kept him in either the infant life jacket or his float. I can't get over how relaxed I was with them in the lake. The puddle jumpers made all the difference. I feel like a 2:3 pool day with just Thomas, me and the boys could be manageable now. The whole thing was a huge relief!

Stokes, me and William

Our family!
Post-swim we came on back up the house, put dry diapers on the boys, and had dinner.

Ryan and Thomas

Ryan and MaSha

Thomas made 3 itty bitty cheeseburgers for the boys.
How cute are they?!?!


Eating outside is fun.

Ryan and me

Be still, my heart :)

Gorgeous boy

I was having so much fun just hanging out with them!

After dinner, we gave them baths and put them to bed. Same old story about not wanting to go to sleep in a new environment, but they did a little better on Saturday night than Friday night. After we got the boys down, Carole drove up to spend the night with us, too! I was so glad that she decided to come!

Sunday morning, Thomas wanted to go for a swim early before the boats started driving by while the lake was nice and calm. The boys and I hung out on the deck to watch him.

Waving to us

Ready to go!

And he's off

All done...and worn out!

Hanging out with Stokes and William
Check out Stokes with that hat - I'm telling you, he's
obsessed with hats!
After breakfast and hanging out a little while, we hit the lake for swimming sesh #2 of the weekend.
How cute are my boys?!?!




All of us floating again
Having both MaSha and Carole there made it even easier to watch all 3 of them. We could alternate who was in which float and who was holding who. We all took turns paddle boarding and relaxing while the boys were being watched by others. We even got the boys on the paddle board with us. Thomas took William around for a spin, so then I got on and gave Stokes a turn. It seemed like William wanted to get on with Stokes and me, but that arrangement didn't last long. They stayed still for a little while, but I freaked out a little when Stokes went off one side and William went off the other side. I couldn't get to them both at the same time. Everything was fine, but it was a little scary and that was the end of 2 kids on the paddle board at one time. When Stokes fell off, he went under pretty good and it definitely scared him. He got more clingy after that and didn't want to float by himself much.

You can see here that my camera lens got fogged up. It took me a while to realize it but you can see once I finally got it cleaned up!

Me with Stokes, Thomas with Ryan and Carole with William

MaSha with Ryan and Stokes

Carole and William

Carole with William and MaSha with Ryan and Stokes

Thomas paddle boarding with William

Carole and Ryan

Stokes with me

MaSha and William

Ryan with me

He was waving, "hello!"

MaSha did some paddle boarding too

Carole with Ryan and me with  Stokes and William

Hey there, MaSha!
We stayed out swimming for probably and hour and half and before we knew it, it was lunch time. We also had the honor of having a few more guests coming by. Clark and Steph, some of our very faves, just had a baby on July 30th. We were in New York at the time and weren't able to go to the hospital to visit and were absolutely THRILLED that they were willing to come up to the lake to spend a few hours with us and introduce us to their beautiful baby girl. I mean, talk about troopers - this baby is like a week old and they come up to the lake like it's no big deal! I was beyond excited to see them!!!!
p.s. The baby's name is Ava Lane. I love her already. She's gorgeous. And so sweet! She slept 99% of the time they were there. Perfect baby!

MaSha, Ava Lane, Steph and Steph's dad, Al.

My newest little "niece" :)

New mom and new baby - Stephanie and Ava Lane

Carole and William checking out the baby

Just look at that face! He's so handsome.

MaSha holding Ava Lane

Motherhood suits Stephanie big time!

Look at this beautiful girl!!! ahhhhh

"Auntie" Katie giving her a bottle.
I got to hold her for probably an hour and I loved every second!

Thomas and Ava Lane
At some point, Clark and Thomas decided they needed a little guy bonding time on the lake and snuck down to the water for some floating and paddle boarding.

Thomas on the float and Clark on the paddle board
They were the perfect guests and I was so impressed with their new, sweet family.

Later that afternoon, we went back down to the lake with the boys and went swimming AGAIN! I really wanted to maximize our time in the water since we had extra adults and the boys were doing so well with the puddle jumpers. Not to mention that the lake water was the perfect temperature and it felt amazing. I'm a big fan of Lake Keowee!

After our last swim, we came in, gave the boys baths, had dinner and packed it up to come back to Greenville. I was sad coming home, thinking about work on Monday and the end to such a perfect weekend.
Ryan playing with Mama's phone

Carole reading to William and Ryan

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Carole for letting us enjoy her lake house for the weekend. It was so generous of her and although I was admittedly a little skeptical at first, I had the BEST time! The boys loved it, too and it's always great to be able to spend time with Carole (she's like my second mom). The lake house is the perfect spot - plenty of beds and bathrooms, decks with great views, comfortable furniture, it's pretty well child-proofed (thanks to Carole's granddaughters, Molly and Kate! :), it's a beautiful house on an incredible lake. We are so appreciative for the time we got to spend there.

It was an incredible weekend.

Carole with Ryan, William and Stokes


  1. What s fun weekend! And yay for the Mays family already out and about! I'm impressed. Great photos, as always!

  2. Yay! So happy that y'all we're able to maximize on this opportunity!! So fun!! (The pic of you with the 3 cuties on the deck is a framer!!)

  3. So glad y'all had fun!! Love you and your precious family.

  4. So much fun seeing the boys splash and enjoy the water. Loved being with you!

  5. Precious pics!! Looks like it was definitely worth it! My favorite pic is of the 3 boys in their diapers with Mama on the deck!!

    1. Thanks, Julia! Happy (belated) birthday to Champs and congrats on baby boy #2!!! Exciting times at your house! :)