Family day trips are great, especially when you get to be out in the open, consumed by nature. Okay, that totally does not sound like me. I am not a hiker. I do not enjoy lounging in the forest. I appreciate it all from a distance, but it isn't my "go-to" idea of F U N.
However, I have an active family, and they L O V E nature trails, hikes, forests and oceans and I love them to pieces for it. So, I go. I'm mostly afraid of being eaten by a wild animal, being taken by the ocean, or one of my children falling off the edge of a trail. I will tell you that the more I participate, it is slowly growing on me. Don't let me see signs about bears or other wildlife because I will turn right around and go back to my car.
Our most recent adventure was to the East Bay at Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area. We met up with one of our favorite people, Jeff's cousin, Melissa, who happens to be one of my dearest friends since I was 18. She is always good to hang out with our crazy fun family; always ready for an adventure with the Kimble-Walls! :)
I learn a lot about myself on trips like this, like how strong I really am - even when I think I am going to keel over or am scared of some random sound in the bushes. I also realize how important moments spent as an entire family unit are to my kids. I am making a more conscious effort to reserve off days for doing things that they enjoy. I treasure the memories that I have with my parents and brother as we traveled, whether it be camping, hanging at the beach, or exploring new cities and states together. Being such a large family is not the easiest thing when you want to see the world, but we are committing to explore as much as we can together. That's the beauty of it, we get to do it together. Before long, our eldest will be in college (yikes, just 2 more years), and our youngest a high schooler. Time is going by so quickly, and I don't want to miss out on an experience with them.
Having kids sometimes feels like an uphill battle, but just like on our hiking trip, in life there are a lot of sweet, precious moments and at the end, when you look down and back, you see how far you got and feel pretty proud that no one fell off; even though we might have bickered on the way up and/or some of us complained - we made it. Together. You see, getting to the top is just part of it. It's the climb that makes us stronger, brings us together, and shows us new things. This truth is something we try to show our kids, not just tell them. Giving them hands on experience to relate to life will help them grow as teens and adults. Getting to where you want to go isn't easy work. It's uphill, it can be a battle, it can be exhausting, but it is so satisfying. Enjoy these moments while you can.