(Here is a short little bit I wrote while in the black hills of SD.)

It never fails. I always have them even when I try really hard not to.

This is our third year attending family camp at Outlaw Ranch in SD and we love it! Paul does music for the week and we get to tag along. We try to prepare, we enjoy the ride out and do all sorts of adventures during the week.

This year has proved to be a year of unvoiced, unknown, unmet expectations.

We have three kids this year which has proved a whole different ball game. A harder one at that too.

Here is a list of all the things I wasn’t expecting that has changed our experienced here at camp:

The boys having friends here that they have seen the last three years and wanting to play with them instead of us.

Our family sitting alone at a table because of our dietary needs, having a baby and generally just being really loud messy eaters makes us unapproachable to strangers.

Having a baby that needs to nap during our family outing time.

Heading to the cabin for bed time while the rest of camp sets off to campfire. (one of my favorite things ever!)

It being 110 degrees so our family can’t go out and enjoy the hundreds of hiking trails along the way.

Wanting ice cream and not being able to have it.

Being in a cabin far from the bathroom and having children that need to use it multiple times in the middle of the night and day.

Paul and I thinking it was a family vacation but only seeing each other to pass off children or responsibility. Our famous line is, “tag you’re it”.

Paul’s grandfather passing away this morning.

Forgetting to bring pillows and sheets for Paul and I, because apparently we only think about what the kids need. Blankets and clean clothes work wonders for a pillow.

Thinking I would have tons of time to read while I stay in the cabin with children, and instead being so tired I just sleep.

Thinking that all my expectations would be met.

What I have to come to realize is that if you have expectations, they will get you every time. They will disappoint you, level you and leave you feeling empty and hurt and sad.

When we live in expectations we only see what we want to see and only expect others to live the way we demand them to. When they don’t live up to our expectations, then we are left disappointed and we can no longer see truth, only hurt.

Camp started out rough. Letting go of expectations and accepting our week for what it was and my children for who they are and not who I want them to be.

After letting go of my expectations, the week was amazing.