oh, go take a hike

While most lawns are still green, and the weather is still favorable, it’s hard to see the white topped mountains and not be thinking about winter that’s at our heels. Sooner than later our days are going to be a whole lot shorter and a whole lot colder.

So when you get a dry sunny day you make the most of it and get some fresh air. Which is exactly what we’ve been up to this week. With two toddlers whose neighborhood friends are now back in school, we start to get stir crazy being inside all the time. We can all benefit from going out to explore the great outdoors.

We invited grandma and grandpa to tag along and loaded up the kids and the dog and headed to Reflection Lake. Which is only about 20 minutes from our house and right off the main highway, making it an easy and convenient hiking spot.

IMG_1169Sharky especially loves adventures. Where he can run and jump and swim. There was other dogs to sniff and people to check out. Puddles to jump in and sticks to chew. Even a tiny princess found her way to the trail that day.

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IMG_1177The main trail loop is short with a few pit stops to enjoy. Like this wildlife viewing tower. Which the kids had a blast on. It came with some pretty spectacular views on top of being a massive jungle gym.

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The rest of the trail the kids and the dog ran free. Sharky made an attempt to swim out to catch a beaver (yeah right dog), and the kids played in and out of the trees as if this very spot was our own backyard.

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It’s not often enough we take the kids and the dog out to be wild, and crazy and loud. Away from cartoons and nap times. Inside voices and household rules. To explore and not have limits and just be, kids.

We had such a good time, this morning when we realized we were lucky enough to have another sunshine filled day, we ate breakfast and finished up our coffee and packed everyone up again to run errands and stop for a hike on the way. We live right above a nice golf course that is host to several trails perfect for a quick getaway.

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It was a crispy 32 degrees when we started out and the small ones weren’t to keen on that. Luckily they have a really sweet daddy who packed them until it warmed up a bit. A hike in freezing temps isn’t the most appealing when you could be at home in your sweats all cozy with a fresh cup of coffee. But it’s almost indescribable when the sun gets higher and hits you just right and warms you right down to your toes. Add that to a dog who couldn’t be running any faster in and out of the brush and a little girl whose toes are toasty and she’s ready to skip and sing along the trail.

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Our destination was just a couple miles from where we parked the Jeep, and it was worth the chilly walk.

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Reid took a snooze in the backpack while Hayden and Sharky jumped in mud puddles. We sat and basked in the sunshine knowing we should be enjoying every moment we can in this beautiful weather. We made our way back to the Jeep with hot soup and sandwiches on our minds. Oh, and hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent doing yard work and finishing touches on Halloween costumes. Oh, and making the Pioneer Woman’s perfect pot roast. You guys, it was SO GOOD. And easy. And delicious and tender. And made the house smell fab. Is that convincing enough?

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Our day was simple. But perfect. The rest of our week has gymnastics, and bunco and Halloween parties, and baking and pumpkins to carve. But you better believe that when we need to wind down and get some fresh air, you’ll find us here.

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