Hike on Christmas Eve's Eve

Holy moly it's two days until Christmas! My parents came to visit! Zane killed it in a swim meet (2 state cuts and a team record in 200 fly)! Annie was in the Nutcracker (3 acts, swoon)! Zane participated in his first band concert! Soren (and M) sang in a wonderful preschool concert! There was a stake music fireside and a ward choir Christmas program! All of that was exhilarating! 
But today, we went on a hike and brought our camera. So tonight that's the story I'll tell.
It started with bad attitudes, of course. Annie and Soren were perfectly content inside, racing hot wheels down a ramp in the family room. They were unaware that 50+ degrees and sunny on December 23rd is ridiculously fantastic weather and one should ONLY be outside on such days. Zane, on the other hand, had just had a great swim practice and told me he was feeling the OPPOSITE of when he sits in front of a screen for too long (yes! bottle up that feeling and sell it, I say!), so at least 1 out of 3 kids wasn't crying as we pulled out of the driveway.
This hike took exactly 11 minutes to drive to, IN TOWN. In town! Again, ridiculous. B found us the trail and led the way to a waterfall he had seen on a previous bike ride. He loves these beech trees, they don't lose their leaves.
(By the way, I realized once I got home that my camera had been on a weird setting the entire hike! Darts, sorry for the weird colors!)
Good news, folks: it only took about 2 minutes before both younger kids were all in. Soren jumped ahead, shouting, "Follow me, gang!" and as long as we allowed him to be leader, he was happy as a clam. Along the path, he would sometimes stop and scream, "MOSS!!" As if it were a wild animal: "MOSS!" Or the new world: "MOSS!"
It WAS the only green stuff out there, after all.
Before too long, we made it to the waterfall. Again, weird camera settings. But pretty in its own right.
I made the crew pose for some sun-drenched superhero moments.
Then we foraged around, looking for frogs and fish (and moss!) and walking across fallen trees. Some of us napped while our picture was being taken:
Nature is quite wonderful, isn't it?
On the way back, Soren took to kicking trees for some reason. B explained that we love trees, and I suggested hugging them instead of kicking. That set in motion the delightful task of hugging every. single. tree we walked by the rest of the way. That's a lot of trees. Z's comment: "Well, I think Soren's found his future career as tree hugger." I'll take it. Annie was pretty good at it too.
 I love these three sillies. Even with weird camera settings.
And turns out, some of those trees they were hugging were pretty cool. I'm not sure I would have stopped and noticed them otherwise.
Sigh. Beech trees.  
And look, a little Christmas cheer as well.
After we got home, inside hot-wheels-down-the-ramp play continued as before. But a few hours later, Soren said to me, "Do you know what my favorite activity is? Going on hikes! With my family!" Nailed it.


walt or jean said…
Such beautiful memories and fun pictures. The tree huggers are so precious.
ash said…
That looks wonderful! Hooray for SC winters.

Your kiddos are so sweet!