One of my most cherished childhood memories is the memory of my dad taking my sisters, cousins and I on nature hikes at my grandparent's place in Jackson, MS.  That and playing and building forts in those same woods around their house.  My dad and his brother and sisters grew up on a "farm" of sorts, in the woods {it was actually in a neighborhood but they had a lot of land surrounding them}.  My dad raised cattle for awhile and he and his siblings spent much of their childhood using the land and small pond surrounding them in many different ways.
It was in those same woods that my personal love for the outdoors began.  I was an explorer and a pirate and a lost child with her two little sisters trying to escape from Indians and then an Indian myself.  I shot my first gun at a tin can in those woods...found my first small collection of arrow heads...became mesmerized by the tiny abandoned houses on the property and the story of who once lived there...spent hours "barrel jumping" over my grandfather's raised garden containers until misjudging a jump and tearing the underside of one of my legs OFF...built tepee forts by kicking over small pine trees...tore them down...and built them back up again.
My grandfather passed away when I was young and my grandmother sold the property and moved into the city, closer to family.  I appeased my love for the woods/outdoors by signing up for "Outdoor Survival" courses at summer camp, taking overnight camping trips...and that was honestly all until I started dating Stephen.  I quickly realized that dating him meant dating his love of hunting and fishing and everything outdoors...which of course I was perfectly fine with, if not happy about.  I spent many a weekend between the months of November and January with him and his dad in a trailer, sleeping in full snow gear, by a tiny space heater, learning just how many things could be cooked in bacon grease.  
My parents finally found a small piece of land for themselves a couple years ago {after searching cautiously and hopefully MY ENTIRE CHILDHOOD {;)}.  As some of you have followed, they built a place we like to call "the camp" so that we can all come, visit, and stay.  And with that I realized my children were going to be blessed with a kind of access to the great outdoors that I only dreamed of growing up.  
I pray they one day find the same spiritual fulfillment I've found in woods such as these... exploring the beautiful marriage of simplicity and intricacy in God's creation...discovering how small we are and how big he is...hearing his voice in the wind and seeing his words in the sky...and feeling his daily grace with each free step we take. 


  1. This is a very sweet post! Love the memories!

  2. OH, Nat; brings back dear memories of the original Lakeshore Road family property, and smiles and excitement seeing these pictures of my grandbabies discovering the new Lakeshore property!

  3. Growing up "out in the country" was very special. We had such freedom to roam and explore. I love this post and seeing how much Bennett & Emory love being out in the great outdoors.

  4. Adorable! So glad they enjoy outdoors! And what a beautiful place the camp is! Now, the only thing you have to worry about is Miss Priss thinking she is every bit as big as Bennett! Great post! :-) Love ya'll, La

  5. What a great post! And Jackson?! That's my hometown!!! Wonder if we ever crossed paths as kids:) Hope y'all are well!

  6. wonderful wonderful post- awesome memories. b & e & j & w will love explorin as well :) (love b's iberia hat)!


all materials published on this blog
© by Natalie at create.live.design, 2007-2012