Camping Prep 101

Memorial Day weekend is coming up and if you know anything about camping, this is a HUGE camping weekend!  Reservations for a spot at Beeds Lake State Park (right outside our hometown) happened back in February when the Iowa DNR opened up reservations for the season!  It will be jam packed that weekend!  The boys aren’t technically scheduled to be with us that weekend, but camping at Beeds Lake with friends and family is a tradition, so they are choosing to come with us.  We don’t venture too far away on Memorial Day as we usually have baseball games scheduled and we never know T’s schedule with field work and farmer support!  So, now that I know we’ll be there for 3 nights and 2 full days the planning must begin!  (Yes, we are only about 3 miles from home, but what’s the fun in camping if you’re constantly going back forth!)  Here is how I prep for several days of camping (especially with kids)!

  1. Meal Plan – I figure out how many of each meal (breakfast, dinner, & supper) we’ll be having at the campgrounds and then
    Meal planning for camping!

    Meal planning for camping!

    make sure I have a “main dish” for each of those!  I fill in around the sides.  Now, this doesn’t mean we have to eat these meals on certain days, but I want to make sure I have enough food for meals and snacks of course!

  2. Plan Outfits – Now, this might sound ridiculous and I don’t do it so much for T and myself or even R for that matter (although I do make sure he has enough of every item of clothing), but this is HUGE for M!  I do this when we camp for weekends and especially when we go on family vacation!  I figure however many days we are going to be gone and add at least 2 extra outfits, plus extra socks & underwear!  Then, I place them in “packs” together like in the picture!  This makes it so easy for a couple different reasons!  The main one for us is that M awakes usually before the rest of us.  He can grab a “pack” and get
    Clothes packs make it easy for kids to get dressed by themselves while camping!

    Clothes packs make it easy for kids to get dressed by themselves while camping!

    dressed without disturbing anyone else.  No need for me to worry or monitor matching of clothes because let’s face it…guys don’t really care!  I do and don’t want the boys looking like homeless children, so…I have everything prematched and no fear!  I then place these in a tub or on hanging shelves that we have put in their closet.

  3. Make Lists – I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I typically make at least 2 lists.  I make the list of items to get from the grocery store and I make a list of things that need to be taken from the house.  That list might include perishables that we don’t pack ahead of time in the camper, the dog dish, food for the dog, a lighter for starting fires, etc.  Again, it seems like an easy one, but does help make the final steps of leaving home much smoother.  We actually have a list started already from 2 weeks ago when we went camping!
  4. Know Your Role – This is something that T and I have fallen into without even trying, but it works so well.  We both know what each other is taking care of without even really discussing it!  He takes care of filling the camper with water, loading the truck with fire wood, getting fishing poles, bikes, etc.  I’m responsible for clothes and food.  Then, the rest of it we work together on.  Similarly he hooks the camper to the truck, I lift the 4 corner jacks, same when we get to our site…we have a routine.  Find a routing that works well for your family and stick with it every time you camp.

While camping is never without hiccups, these four simple steps can help ensure that it goes smooth and with as few as hiccups as possible!  Have a great holiday weekend!


One Hat, 2 Hats, Red Hat, Blue Hat

I know, a cheesy spin-off of Dr. Seuss, right? But, honestly…it describes my life right now. A few months back a friend of mine, Jen over at Just A Mom Giving It A Tri wrote about the different hats that she wears as a woman! Without even realizing it today, I started a Facebook post related to that topic and suddenly I decided it was much better as a blog post! (You can read about Jen & her hats HERE!)

So, how many hats do I wear?  Well, this week for example I am a City Clerk (my full-time big-girl job), wife, step-mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, Norwex consultant, social media expert, and Jamberry Nails consultant.  Whew, I’m exhausted!  So, why do I “do” all these things?  Well, to be honest, I’ve gained so many great skills and experiences, that I can’t help it!  Let’s look at these individually!

  1. City Clerk – I kind of fell into this job!  Ok, well, pushed really!  I was unhappy in my previous job, burned out really, and T basically forced (not really, but I like to tell people he did) me to apply!  So, here I am!  I love the job and the people that I’ve met while doing it.  The experiences and skills that I’ve gained.  But, the why?  Well, to be honest…I helping to raise 2 very active, fast growing boys…they are not cheap to feed!!!
  2. Wife – I do this because I found that person who complimented me!  He is calm when I’m not, he is strong when I am not, and we make a fantastic team!  I’ve also gained skills from being married: negotiating, compromising, patience, growth, etc.
  3. Step-Mom – oh boy…talk about learning!  I have learned that I can love someone who I did not give birth to, more than I love myself!  I’ve learned selflessness and patience, gratitude and strength!
  4. Direct Sales Consultant – I not only have developed my people skills even more so than before, but I’ve also developed a sense of worth by doing “extra” to provide for my family as well as gaining friendships that will last for a long time!  My communication has also been challenged and I’ve been forced to learn different ways to not only read people, but how to respond.

Obviously I’m a daughter, daughter-in-law, and the rest that I listed by default of the other hats that I wear, but it doesn’t mean that those hats haven’t taught me several lessons and have helped me to develop all the other skills that I listed previously.  While some days I’m so busy my own head spins and I feel like my list of “to do’s” is never ending, but I am grateful for the experiences and hats that have been brought into my life.

What hats do you wear??  What have you learned from your different hats?


3 of the hats I wear: wife, Norwex Consultant, Jamberry consultant

3 of the hats I wear: wife, Norwex Consultant, Jamberry consultant

If you’d like to connect with me on my other Social Media profiles, you can click the links below!

Katy Flint – Norwex Independent Consultant

Katy Flint’s Jamberry Nails




My True Feelings About Mother’s Day

Can I tell you a secret? I hate Mother’s Day! I love honoring my mom, which I feel that I do throughout the year and of course do my best to make her feel extra special on Mother’s Day, but being a step-mom on Mother’s Day is hard!  This is one of those real times that choosing the path I have is very difficult and the feelings are very raw!

R & M have a mom who is very present in their life and she is a good one!  I will NEVER try to take that away from her!  However, I’d by lying if I didn’t say that it hurts to not be recognized on Mother’s Day for the things that I do to help support and better the boys’ lives as well as love them unconditionally.  I don’t blame anyone for this, I’m not angry with them, T, or anyone else.  It just sucks and there is no good solution.  We try very hard to be very respectful of the boys’ mom and so we don’t make a big deal out of this type of thing (until now…whoops!)  In fact, while I was driving R to his moms this morning, I said to him, “you know Sunday is Mother’s Day…you need to make sure to make your mom a card or something!”  I encourage their relationship and focus on that she is their mother!  However, I will admit that every once in a while, it would be nice if someone recognized me for what I do for the boys.

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To Child Athletes & Parents, Part 2

This is the second post in a 2-part series. If you missed it, catch Dear Child Athletes HERE!

Dear Parents (of Child Athletes),

First, you won’t a more enthusiastic parent in the stands than myself!  I’m the biggest cheerleader there is for my boys and am not afraid of who sees or hears, so before you start thinking that I’m one of those parents who sits on their hands and is silent (ironically, that is T), think again!

These Are Kids – I know that you think you’re setting your kid up for the future, but remember…right now they are kids.  Let them be kids!  Let them have fun and play their sports.  Let them run and get dirty, let them play with their friends…don’t fill their schedules with endless teams and practices.  Make sure they have time to just be kids!!  Be positive and upbeat.  You can provide criticism and coaching and still be positive!  Don’t kill your kids’ spirits!  Remember, they are JUST wpid-1430873347595.jpgKIDS!

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To Child Athletes & Parents, Part 1

This will be a 2 part post to both the child athlete and their parents!

Part 1: Dear Child Athlete

Dear Child Athlete,

I know how excited you get when it’s time for practice, games, etc.  It’s so much fun to be out doing something with your friends!  You have no idea how lucky you are to get to participate in the sports and activities that you do!  There are a few things that I’d like you to keep in mind while you play and participate!

  •  It’s Just a Game! – Remember, no matter what anyone says, it really just is a game.  It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, hit the ball or don’t, pitch a no hitter, set a record, or come in last!  Your future will not be affected by the outcome of this game or activity, I PROMISE!
  • Listen & Learn – organized activities and sports are a great time to learn!  I know what you’re thinking “learning is for school”, but that couldn’t be further than the truth.  We all learn valuable skills & lessons from participating in sports & activities.  Listen to your coaches, think about what they tell you, be a good teammate, and a fair and honest competitor.  You will learn how to take criticism, praise, and how to get along with others!  Those skills will take you so much further in life than knowing how to pitch a curve ball or make the perfect tackle!wpid-1430444733732.jpg
  • Do Your Best – yup, like I said, it’s just a game, but you should put your best foot forward and do your best!  That goes for anything in life!  No matter what you do, do it with pride, passion, and to the best of your ability!  If running that 200M dash in 1 minute is the best to your ability, GREAT!  If standing in the batters box and not flinching, SUPER!  If hitting a home run is your sweet spot, DO IT!  Whatever your best is, do it and do it always!  Having passion and drive will get you further in life than any type of pitch!
  • Have FUN –   You are a child!  Please remember that!  You only have one job right now and that is to be a kid!  I don’t care if your 7 or 17, you’re still a kid!  You don’t have to live out your parents aspirations through your sport or activity.  You need to have fun, learn, and enjoy being a kid.  If something isn’t fun anymore, don’t do it!  Life is too short to be miserable in your extra curricular activities, but find something that makes you happy!  If baseball makes you happy, PLAY!  If working a summer job makes you happy, WORK AWAY!  If learning how to play the tuned bayonets is your mojo, GO FOR IT!  Have fun, enjoy!  (Trust me, there will be plenty of things in life you will have do that HAVING to play soccer even though you hate it, that isn’t worth it!)

I hope you all know how much your parents love you and support you!  Enjoy what you do and do your best!


An Adult