Donuts and Hikes

Over Labor Day we found ourselves with a little break. Those days are so rare in the midst of Fall activities and especially while Trav is coaching soccer, but thankfully we ended up with a day of no plans and we were glad for it. The difference between us however can be adequately summed up by our responses to that news. In the spirit of enjoying a day with no plans or no agenda, I suggested we go get donuts to kick our relaxing day off.  
Travis suggested we have an adventure and go on a family hike. 
Is it a wonder opposites attract??  
He won out and drug us all to Red Wing, MN where we discovered the joys of Barn Bluff for the first time. I was thinking my plan for donuts was far better the whole drive down there but once we got there I conceded, this might be fun too. 
This backpack we've had for three kids finally came in handy with Walker! For years I've thought the sun shade was missing but turns out, it was there the whole time.  
That discovery alone redeemed my day! 
It was a gorgeous day, sunny and not too hot. It was declared quickly that we were not as fast as Carter who literally ran the entire hike! I did not need that pointed out to me, I could have predicted that from him. Ava started out with a bang and then probably out of pity, she kept me company in the rear. 
I loved watching Walker's head peak out from his fortress the whole way. Trav was my hero for climbing with him on his back, he was not a lightweight in September! 

The beautiful view of Red Wing!

Proof that every now and then the energizer bunny needs a break too!
Our teenager. 
Good grief, when did she turn 13??
I was a hot and sweaty mess but I was also the carrier of the water in my backpack, so that turned out in my favor!  Ava and I stuck together, she's no dummy either. I sure loved her in that hat! 
So beautiful! 
I sort of felt like we should break out in our best "The hills are alive, with the sound of music..." 

If for nothing but this picture, that family hike was totally worth it! Turns out a little adventure is good for the soul and the bonding, and for sure with each step logged, I was earning those celebratory donuts!

So thirsty from his ride!

Smile, Mom wants a picture! 
*naturally this is their cue to not smile OR look at the camera*
Kind how I felt when I learned donuts were not the primary activity of the day. 

I do love him and I do love the adventures he makes me take. I like to think I'm also a good counterpart for when those adventures go sideways and involve way too much effort, ha!  
And PS, also pictured is the cutest photobomber I've ever seen. 
Because Carter is cut from the same rock as his Daddy, this one was in his element the whole time. Running, exploring, climbing, jumping, and doing what boys do best, adventuring! 
I'd go again just for this smile! 

For the record, we never did get donuts. 
I settled for a latte on the way home.
And takeout for dinner. 

It wasn't all bad  :) 


Preschool Field Trip

After Carter started preschool this Fall, I signed up to go on his first field trip to the Apple Orchard. I went on this same trip with Ava and loved it, so I knew I would want to share it with Carter. 
He was thrilled I was coming with him (can't you tell!?!?!) but mostly he was thrilled we were riding on a school bus! 
And to top it all off, we got to ride with his buddy Markus. It was a good day to be Carter!  We did all the things you do at an orchard, we went on a hay ride, saw the trees dripping with apples, sampled a few ourselves, learned about the process of pollination, and had fun!

It was such a fun morning together, I'm so glad we could share this little trip. I loved watching Carter with his buddies and teachers, he is one cute little preschooler! 

Walker's First Year Pictures

I had Walker's first year photos taken in September, a few months late but who's counting? The talented Diana Rouse took them for me and she worked her magic like always! Walker was less than thrilled and the opposite of cooperative but she managed to put her running shoes on and making something out of what I surely thought would be nothing. There aren't words needed to describe these, I can't believe how much he has already changed just two months later.  So happy we cemented this season in time with a few photos, especially the sweet pics like the one below with Trav's Grandpa Jack's cowboy hat.  Perfect accessory for our Texas Ranger! Enjoy! 

September 2015
Photo Cred: Diana Rouse, Diana Jo Photography