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I’m trying really hard not to procrastinate posting the details of William’s camping party. If you only knew how many pictures are on my hard drive intended for blog posts that never make it into existence, you’d applaud me right now. Perfect camping weather is quickly fleeting, but it’s not too late to have your own camping party or backyard camp-out!

September has to be the best time of year to go camping, doesn’t it? Sure, it gets chilly at night, but with plenty of sleeping bags, wool blankets, and somebody to cuddle, it’s cozy! (Says the girl who slept inside with the baby.) If you’re reading this with your window open right now, try to tell me you don’t want to go outside and take a nature hike. You can smell the leaves starting to change, find plenty of cool seeds and leaves to learn about, see some wildlife busily preparing for the cooler months. You can’t beat the crisp air that makes you really appreciate that campfire, or the golden glow that falls over your campsite at dinnertime. And the days are short enough you don’t even have to keep the kids up way too late to do a little stargazing.

For Will’s birthday, a slow-cooked “smoked” brisket was the obvious choice for supper at the party. It not only says “camping food” to me, but makes enough to feed a crowd, and this particular recipe (coming soon now added!) is cooked in the oven, so it can be made ahead and warmed on a grill, campfire, or in your oven the day of the party. We topped our brisket with Russ and Frank’s BBQ Sauce (because I liked the look of the bottle!), but the brisket recipe comes with instructions for making your own sauce with the flavorful juices leftover, which you could serve in a recycled Mason jar.

We also served Kettle Chips (I also chose these for the appearance of the packaging–I know, I know), beans cooked over the fire, and my mom made her famous orange jello salad.

That’s root beer. Will also picked out a couple flavors of IZZE sparkling juice to drink. But my favorite part of the meal was dessert…

You can’t have a camping party without s’mores, so we had those of course. But William also kept requesting–or rather declaring–that there would be cupcakes at his party, so we made owl cupcakes. I decorated, William helped make the batter and the frosting. Since we were having s’mores and cupcakes and jello “salad,” and Swedish Fish, I opted for mini cupcakes instead of normal ones, in an attempt to keep the sugar high from being…higher.

It didn’t help much. Will was still pretty wound up as we were getting him ready for bed that night. Thank goodness for aunties who read to him and got him calmed down a bit.

But you can’t deny a Birthday Boy sugar at his own party, and seeing him eat his very first s’more made my heart feel all warm and melty.

And a little sticky.

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