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.
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.