>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm still high from our wonderful Sunday.

It was a picturebook fall day; we took a boyfull van on a color tour, out to hike the bluffs at Devil's Lake. We climbed the 300 or so vertical feet up the half-mile trail with one running ahead, one in hand, one on back, and a giant dog at our sides.

We were quite the production.

The trail was narrow and steep; stone steps winding through talus. Short legs and curious hands are no match for weekend hikers on a mission, so we often stepped off to let people pass our slow-going caravan.

Other hikers passed by, versions of an earlier us. A young couple, breezing by carefree; new parents, nervously navigating the terrain with their only baby perched in a metal frame backpack; a relaxed family slowly climbing with a couple of kids, mom and dad playing man-to-man defense. And then there was us - John and I running the Zone.

When did we become such a circus? We are that family I used to gape at before I had kids. The family that simultaneously freaked me out (because they were loud and clamoring and crazy enough to take their kids up the rugged trail) and reassured me (that you can have kids and still get out hiking, camping, enjoying the pursuits that the child-free likely take for granted).

We usually hike and camp during the week, when we have the trails and the lake to ourselves. But on this sunny Sunday in October, we shared the park with the rest of the workweek world. They, a backdrop for a rare glimpse at contrast. Who we are laid over who we were.

The boys tired themselves with the climb and descent, with rocks thrown into the lake and bodies flung from tree stump platforms. The bluffs, the colors and the sparkling lake left me feeling peaceful and centered and happy in the autumn sunshine; and it reminded me who I am - who I was before I became Mama. Reminded me what brought John and I together in the first place.

I hope we are instilling a love for exploration and the natural world in our kids at their young, impressionable ages. I hope they grow to love it like we do and that it fills them up and becomes part of who they are.


Jamie Smith October 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

What great photos! Looks like you all had amazing October day together.

Graceful October 21, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

That last photo is awesome -- it's inspiring me to take a leap (maybe a metaphorical one, but a leap all the same) myself!

Corinne October 21, 2009 at 6:29 PM  

So lovely! What a wonderful day for you guys to have. Weather permitting we're heading to the mountains this weekend. Hiker watching is so fun ;)

Boy Crazy October 21, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

Graceful - I love my new camera. I'm finally able to catch my boys in action. :)

Jo@Mylestones October 21, 2009 at 9:19 PM  

Gorgeous photos, my dear. Sounds (and looks!) like the perfect day.

Dawn October 22, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

you may have been thinking three-ring-circus, but maybe those baby-backpackers were inspired by you... thinking that yep! we can have kids and still have grand adventures!

Grumble Girl October 23, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

So nice for you... and I'm sure your boys will love the outdoors as much as you do. Lovely pics! nice life, babe.

Dianne Avery October 25, 2009 at 10:08 AM  

I love your pictures, nicely done. I giggle at your man to man defense comment, my hubby talks about that all the time when I get crazy and talk about having a third. :-)

Lee of MWOB October 30, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

I love this post. You guys are heroic. Reminding me to get out into nature more which gets tough to do in the middle of this crazy city which I also love.

Beautiful photos and what gorgeous boys you have....


Brianna December 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Oh, I love Devil's Lake. I used to go rockclimbing there every week during my High School summers. Sigh...feels like ages ago.


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I'm a realistic optimist who relies on raw honesty and plenty of humor to navigate the boystorm that is my life. I am mother to three and wife to one. These are my stories.

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