Sunday, May 25, 2014

Making Memories- Memorial Weekend Hike

 Getting four children ranging in age from 4 to 15 to agree on a family activity is not an easy task.  I often struggle to feel like I am providing quality activities for the kids that they will remember.  Making memories is important to me.  I want them to look back on these years as years of joy, development and with any luck, love for their mother. 

It would be easy to take them swimming, which is what most of them wanted to do.  Yes, we would be getting in physical activity.  Yes, it would most likely be a great memory.  However, it costs money.  Quite a bit of money actually.  Next, I don't know about your family but typically once our towels are laid out and our spot claimed, the kids scatter in all directions to do their own thing.  For our Saturday family activity this is not what I wanted.  I wanted my children close to me.  Close to each other.


Free.  Good for the soul.  Good for the body.  We are all together.  Appreciate the place we live.  Good for the environment. Can take the dogs. 

My idea involved a family hike up in the mountains.  Oh my goodness.  You would have thought I cut off the arm of one of my children when I listened to all the grumbles and groans as we prepared to head out.  I heard negotiating, begging, questions and down right kids that were upset we were not swimming or doing something else. 

Being the great mother that I am, I simply kept restating how excited I was to be with my children and dogs in the mountains and how much fun it would be to adventure in the outdoors.  I drove to a trail head about 13 miles outside of town.  In the parking area I could see trucks with 4 wheeler trailers.  We don't have those things but figured we could hike it none the less.

With nothing more than a couple water bottles and sunglasses we set off.

 Pretty early on I asked Miss Olaya if she was having fun.  She responded that she was and then under her breathe, my little four year old said, "as long as we don't see any poison snakes up here" to her sister.  That's my girl.

 The dogs had a fabulous time.  Miss Lucy looks like a black lab in this picture.  She is actually a Newfoundland just back from the groomer with her summer shave down. 

 For this photo I asked Olaya if she was happy.  She said she was but she wanted to be at grandma's.  FIGURES!
 For a while my phone was taking bad pictures.  Cause....I currently don't have a case and keep it in my bra.  The phone screen got a little clouded with....yep...boob sweat.  You are welcome for that visual. :)

 Up where we were there was no cell service.  Unfortunately, I could not run my MapMyWalk to see how far we went.  I wasn't so much concerned with distance or speed for this hike.  I simply wanted my children close to me and enjoying all that we are surrounded with.  We hiked up for one hour.  I figured coming down would not take nearly as long.  It didn't.  Only 30 minutes. 
 As much as I heard a few complaints going up, the laughs and comments of pleasure started as we went down.  I thought I had different children.  They were running and playing.  So different from the struggle for each step headed up. 
 We didn't make it out injury free.  Miss Olaya had a little struggle with figuring out the proper mechanics behind using a walking stick.  Somehow her stick made direct contact with her eye leaving her a little scratch and some blood to show off.  For the photo above she was using the camera as a mirror to see her injury.
 I wish I had started doing these things sooner with my children.  Don't get me wrong.  I have always done activities with my kids.  Movies being a big one.  It was a warm day and I thought about taking the kids to a matinee.  There are quite a few movies we want to see right now.  Those are memories also, right?  That doesn't work anymore.  I don't want them to look back and say my mom took me to the movies and we shared popcorn.  I want them to say my mom held my had as we walked up a trail.  We watched as the dogs splashed through the stream.  My mom encouraged me to make it to the top.  I want them the remember walking, serving and laughing together.  We saw caterpillars, butterflies, flowers, birds, trees.  We felt hot, tired and invigorated. 

 I want these moments when the kids hold hands walking down the trail.  When brother helps sister and sister learns who she can trust.
 I want them to feel the sun on their face.  The breeze blowing in the trees.
 Even the dogs played hard.  Our English Pointer never stopped running.  The Newfoundland, she sure enjoyed laying in the stream to rest and cool off.
 I want memories of laughter and smiles.  They joy that comes from pushing our bodies and feeling fabulous.
 I want them to appreciate the beauty we have right in our backyard.  Seriously... we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. 
 Today was a good day.  We made good choices.  We made some memories.  We did things we didn't want to do and realized we liked it.  Coming off the trail all the kids said they had a good time and that they loved it.  PHEW!!!!
 Until.....Taron was stung by a bee on his lip right as we were getting in the car. It started swelling pretty fast.
 Then, as we drove back down the mountain we had the windows open.  All of a sudden, Keaton screams and starts flailing his arms and legs around like crazy.  You could feel the car shaking even as we drove.  A bee flew in the window and went smack on his face.  He didn't actually get stung.  However, that bee didn't stand a chance against his fear based revenge.  And that little bee....wasn't so little. It was huge.  Poor kid! Some luck he has to have that thing make it in the window and smack him in the face.

Love these kids!!!  This mama is feeling today was a success.  Ready for more days just like this.

Ready for a Challenge?

Anyone that knows me knows that I have had my fair share of challenges lately.  From these challenges I am stronger, braver and hopefully come out learning amazing new things about myself.  While I have a different kind of challenge starting, I 'm confident the end result will be the same.

Along with 5 other coaches I will be hosting a mixed group Beachbody Challenge starting June 9th.  This challenge is all about motivation, accountability and  learning something new about myself.

Do you do better when someone is cheering you on? That's exactly what happens in Beachbody Challenge Groups. We share our struggles and triumphs, cheer each other on and pick each other back up when we stumble. Um, and there's some really sweet prizes sometimes.

This is an amazing opportunity for you to get some great coaching from me and 5 other coaches. The challenge begins June 9. I am looking for 3-5 people to join with me and get their summer started off on the right foot! Leave a comment below (or shoot me a message if you'd rather) if this sounds like something you need in your life!