Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

Anytime we dig ourselves out from the trenches it always takes a bit of time. February seems to grab a lot of people and be a bit of a downer. It’s not exactly the easiest time of the year to unfunk oneself. However, I’m really appreciating the slower pace of this month. I’m focusing on getting down on the ground with the kids. I need to walk some miles in order to exercise, so I’ve added a stroller walk into our routines. But the work of being mindful in our explorations is just as important, so we’ve been at a wandering pace.img_6054

In these slower days, I can wait while they climb the stairs. I can listen as the water begins to flow underneath the ice. We waddle like penguins on the ice. We run back and forth across bridges and spend time just staring at what is underneath. I can point out the woodpecker tapping on the trees. I can talk about why hollow trees fall over. I exclaim over and over how good it feels to bask in the sunshine. img_6051

I can marvel at the beauty of the ice. I can walk as slow as my 1-year-old.

Here I am. I’m being slow. I’m embracing how it good it feels.

Hike 43 Done! 1 more mile. 88.5 miles so far!

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#RockingMotherhood

I’ve been tagged to write a post about why I’m #RockingMotherhood I’m struggling a bit in general right now- so this was a really hard and good exercise for me. I’ve been really letting the exercise portion of my health routine slide, and it’s made a noticeable difference in my life. I’m attempting to see the positives right now so I’ve let the thoughts sort of come to me over the week and this is what I’ve come up with.img_9084

  1. I’m great at keeping my kids on schedule. Yeah, I know. Everyone and their brother is anti-schedule these days. But my kids do better when breakfast is at 6, lunch is at 11:30, nap takes place at noon and bedtime is 7:00 ish. I do better as a mom when I know what to expect. I’m not a slave to my schedule, I flex when I need to, but it serves us well.
  2. I offer my kids unstructured play time. We goof off a lot. Eventually, I’m going to hear them say I’m bored. It’ll be good for them.
  3. We go OUTSIDE! Almost daily. We hike or just play around. The kids get dirty. I want them to love the smell of dirt. I try to push myself to get outside more with them and show them what it means to love being outside. I learn so much by watching their enthusiasm for the smallest thing. Shoveling snow is their favorite chore.
  4. I read. I read to them. I read my own books in front of them. I read and I read and I read. (why yes, Little Blue Truck has been on repeat around here.)
  5. I tell them how much I love them and that I’m proud of them. Especially with my eldest, at night before lights out, I snuggle up and tell him all the things that make him wonderful. I want them to know I’m proud, not just of what they accomplish but also of who they are.
  6. I make mistakes and say I’m sorry about them. I try to model apologizing as often as possible.
  7. We plan to have adventures. We’re currently planning a trip to England, so we talk a lot about travel and where we’re going. We plan adventures together. I make sure to ask them what hike they’d like to go on next. I also talk about the trips we’ve taken in the past
  8. I cook dinner. And it’s usually tasty.
  9. I make them cute hand knit things to wear. Handwork is so important. There is nothing cuter than a baby decked out in clothes you’ve made yourself.
  10. I love my husband. I think this is super important. Someday these kiddos are going to have relationships of their own. I want my example to be a good one. I try to actively love my husband. I try to tell him that I love him as often as possible. I wouldn’t be the mom I am if it wasn’t for him. He’s such a great Dada to our kiddos. I’m strengthened by his presence and want my kids to know it.
  11. I take time for myself. I am a better mom when I: workout, eat healthier, go on hikes, meditate, go on women’s retreats, hang out with my sisters, talk with my mom, and have girl time with my friends. I don’t do all these things at once and I balance them with the time I pour into my kiddos. When I take a small amount of time for myself I have so much more energy for them.img_5598

Motherhood isn’t easy. There are a lot of things I struggle with (dishes I’m looking at you). Making it a priority to be there for my kids is a challenge some days and a breeze others. As I read through what others have said I realized how much we all give to our kids on a daily basis. Celebrating our accomplishments is time well spent.

Thanks to Stephanie at Antler & Gills for tagging me. I’m currently in the process of tagging people, so I’ll update this post when I have them.

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Beaches are not just for summer

img_5594I think some of the most satisfying hikes I go on are ones where we don’t go very far. I love an adult paced hike. They are wonderful and needed. But these hikes where we walk half a mile and then the kids play by the lakeshore and then we walk the half mile back to the car? These are magic.

A huge part of that has to do with my brain being able to unplug for the 20 minutes we spend at the beach. As long as they aren’t attempting to drown, I’m free to let my mind roam. Occasionally I can even meditate for a few minutes. The kids are so focused on

  • throwing rocks into the water
  • building sand castles
  • stomping in puddles
  • finding the perfect rock
  • making sand angels
  • digging a trench
  • crushing ice

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It’s liberating for both parties involved. The climb back to the parking lot is satisfying and tough for their little legs. We sit in the nature center and drink cocoa and eat snacks. Everyone is happy.

Hike 42. Total Mileage 87.5

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A smattering

img_5500It’s been a bit of a soggy winter for us this year. It was often rainy instead of snowy, which ultimately was disappointing for us. We had a great time getting outdoors as much as possible, however, I really did miss the snow. It’s so much easier to tolerate cold when there are fun things to play in. Luckily there was an abundance of puddles. img_5528

The boys really got a lot of mileage out of their snow shovels, rain boots, and rain suits. We made it on several smaller toddler led hikes this past month. img_5842

While technically not hiking, we did have a lot of outdoor time in our front yard.

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Nature says thou shalt keep the air, skate, swim, walk, ride, run

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Oh! Sunshine! Where have you been? Taste it on my lips.img_5475 41 was glorious.

This amazing hike was once again at Havenwoods. Elliot joined us. Both boys went up and we walked 2.5 miles. It felt like the best thing.img_5477

The kids loved playing on the frozen pond. They made snow angels and practiced their skating. It was intriguing to watch them find their own confidence on the ice. img_5481

Total Mileage: 86.5

Nature says thou shalt keep the air, skate, swim, walk, ride, run. When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the sole leather has passed into the fibre of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out. He is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1851

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40 Down, 12 more to go

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Hike 40! Ah ha! It felt so good to get back out for more than just a stroll around the block. Going to Havenwoods is always so wonderful for us. It’s just far enough away to feel special and close enough to be convenient. img_5380 img_5377

The boys loved checking out the map as always. We were turned around at one point, also as always. I never can seem to grasp where the actual turn around point is, no matter how many times I check the map. Eventually, I’d like a course in map reading or GPS locating. I think it would be really fascinating.img_5383

Warren is not my cold weather baby. Luckily Graham is, so I only had to carry one of them.

Total Mileage: 84

I still need to figure out how many weeks I have left, but I’m getting close! I might have to commit to doing more than one hike per week.

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Half Dark

The holidays hit. I went cross country skiing. I ate too much and exercised too little. I didn’t laugh enough and I retreated into myself.  I wondered why I wasn’t feeling well. And then realized how little I’d been doing. My last hike was over a month ago. My last kid led hike was even longer ago. Our outside time dwindled to almost nothing, after a whole summer and fall of day long outside time.

I don’t tend to make or keep resolutions, but I’m hoping to set some intentions.

  1. Clean Efficiently- Do the chores quickly when they need to be done, so they don’t prevent me from doing the things I love
  2. Set up recipe organizer- This will allow Elliot to help out with cooking, will make shopping easier, quicker and more efficient. Hopefully, it will also reduce our grocery bills
  3. Organize Photos (this is a year long project)
  4. Exercise- I’m currently doing HASfit. It’s a 28-day program, but I plan to keep with it. Also hiking at least once a week. I’ve scheduled Hike it Baby Hikes with my friends and we are also planning some backpacking trips. I need to start scheduling camping trips for this year.
  5. Write more consistently- I have some deadlines to submit for. After that, I need a bit of direction in terms of what I’m working on and when.

3 organization tasks, that hopefully do not take the whole year, 1 personal goal, and 1 professional goal. I’m hopeful about this. More hiking tomorrow! I’m still at 39 hikes for the 52 hike challenge. I need to know how many weeks I have left.

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A Little Picture Fest

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Nothing much. And Everything. We were cold. We were windswept. We were happy.

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Women Friends

I requested “something hard.” After all, it is important to challenge yourself. And then we had to push a car out of a ditch. That was before we started hiking! Hike 39 was three friends humoring me. We went to Devil’s Lake State Park (my first time.) The first snow of the season was upon us, and we had the place to ourselves. img_4357

The snow was so luscious. The wind by the lake was bitter, but on the trail, it was much nicer. We did 2.5 miles. There were three dogs and four ladies and it was a blast.img_4365 img_4359

Total Mileage: 83

“Wise women/ welcome as sunshine/ spreading delight”  -Pauline Prior-Pitt

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I’m in Love with Mud

Hike 38 saw us headed to Kohl Park in Mequon. It was my first time on the Forked Aster Trail. The trail was super muddy.img_4328

 

We got there before the sun had hit and caught the first glimpse of winter. One of the best things about Wisconsin is the seasons that we experience. I have really enjoyed fall and I am looking forward to some winter hiking and sporting. img_4337

There was a lot of variation in the trail itself. There were stands of maple trees and oak trees. These faded into a pine grove with brief interludes of old farm/ prairie lands. img_4333

 

Life without snacks isn’t worth living according to these two. We completed 1.5 miles. Graham walked the whole way and Warren did about half. He really struggled with the muddy sections. img_4338

Total Mileage: 80.5

“I’m in love with mud/ It’s sad, I know, but true./I just can’t help but splash in it,/ or stomp a path right through.” -Gareth Lancaster

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