Sunday, November 2, 2014

Project Get Outside: Hike It Baby 30

I started my "Project Get Outside", or at least took the first picture and did #projectgetoutside,  seven weeks ago. I can't believe we have been in this newer rhythm of getting outside for seven weeks already. In some ways I feel like I have finally been given a secret. A secret weapon really. There is something about nature that is so calming on my children. I am not saying it removes every bump or drama that is happening that day, but it brings peace to all of us. I literally am finding (and have known deep down) that if I am in a sour mood normally a walk outside will bring me out of it. Andrew use to beg me to walk when I felt depressed. But I would often resist. I think I am realizing there's not any power in staying in a bad place, and that I can help heal myself physically and emotionally by being outside.

These pictures were from a couple of days ago when I was feeling that funk of tiredness and mess. It is hard with two small children because there really is never much of a break. I love being a mother but it is hard to not really have that moment where I decide since its Saturday that I will just take it easy and read a good book. I know it is only a season, but there are some days where it's harder to sit down for a breath and watch Blanche throw everything off the couch onto the floor. I am doing a lot better with messes, but there are some days where I want to stop feeling like I am playing a never ending game of who can clean up a mess or make a mess the fastest. One thing I love about nature is that we can make a big mess and then leave. We can throw wood chips and sticks and eat our lunch outside and burn off some of that energy.

The thing about nature too though is that it takes me by surprise. I arrive grumpy and the wind blows across my face and the sun kisses my cheeks. The birds are singing and I begin to feel as though nature is my lover trying to make me laugh. Trying to remind me life isn't so bad. My head starts to clear a bit like I've just been told a good joke. Yeah, why was I so stressed anyways?

Today the girls and I started a second project. This one is a part two to our getting outside. I am involved a bit with a hiking group in Austin. It is called Hike it Baby.  This program is such an awesome one. One of my friends from the baby wearing group actually helped start the Austin chapter. A lot of us baby wearers had been meeting to hike, and now we are an official chapter. It is normally really low key and fun. I usually go when Andrew can help with Blanche, but just the girls and I have went once on a toddler led hike. This month however they are doing a fun contest and challenge called "Hike it Baby 30." It is 30 miles of hiking and walking in the 30 days of November. This is an awesome addition to my Project Get Outside. I have finally gotten comfortable getting out with both girls. I know what to pack and how long certain trails are going to take. Now I can be part of a challenge to track my miles and watch as other mamas across the country do the same.

I am doing as many miles on our regional dirt trail as I can with the girls alone. Then I am hoping Andrew can help us on a few more adventurous hikes around the Austin area as well. The girls and I did 4 miles today. 26 to go. We can do this! I know though in my competitive personality, that it is good that I am still reading The Last Child in the Woods. Because although having a goal and meeting it is important, I still want to make sure the girls are getting their chance to run and play, and not just logging miles.

I am reading in The Last Child in the Woods about how children just need free and unscheduled time. They need the loose and free objects of nature to play and explore and grow. I am so thankful for this book, and how life or God often connects things. I love that my journey is becoming such a beautiful one each day. I am loving that I live in an area with amazing trails and parks. And beautiful weather. I am feeling blessed to be given two beautiful girls that I get to take outside. Right now although things can feel crazy at times, my main job is to just love my little girls. We really have very little worries in this stage. The biggest meltdown of the day can simply be over a granola bar. It is a gift to be given the chance to not only bring life into this world, but to be allowed to cultivate that life with love and the beauty of nature.

My other two posts about Project Get Outside:

First Post

Second Post

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