'A portrait a week of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015'

Exploring trails with Soren has to be one of my absolute favorite things to do.  He's so curious and enjoys both learning AND teaching on the hike.  I am receiving a lecture in this shot after accidentally stepping on a Daddy Long Leg appendage.  'You need to be more careful MOM!  Daddy Long Legs are part of Nature.  Nature is beautiful.' I couldn't make that up if I tried!

Ault Park: Toads, Mushrooms and Orb Weavers; Oh My!

I can't say enough about the Ault Park trails.  They are great for running and perfect for discovery.  Anyone can enjoy these trails.

Soren and I hit them yesterday and had a blast.  He worked on reading the trail map and choosing direction.  We hiked around the entire park through the trails.  From Forest to Tree to Cliff to the Overlook - we hit them all (almost...)!  I wonder what he enjoys more - the discovery of bugs and vegetation

or the challenge of the trail.

It was a blast seeing him discover and become confident on the trail.  And it wasn't always easy!  He had plenty of mud slides and giant trees to climb over and through not to mention the sweet 'baby' toad that 'needed to be returned to the creek'.  Of course!

And the 'woah!'s over fungi, fallen trees, and sticks that make words in the dirt.

And the acorns, abandoned wasp nests and orb weaver webs....

It was a morning well spent.

Outside: with Kids

I know - seriously HOT outside.  So the timing of this post may not be the best, but important none the less.

I had an amazing surprise visit a couple days ago from a friend of mine and mother of an adorable toddling babe, that lets the wee one fall.  I should rephrase that.  Not epic crazy falls, but on her tush without reacting immediately or running to the rescue.  Fall - and climb, explore and do the things that she feels her little body is ready for.  My first response 'wow! look at her balance!  Kudos sweets!' and then to momma (be it I was much more reactionary, although I tried diligently not to be) 'kudos momma for letting her try and be'.  

She then sent me this fantastic article.  Great read and so inspiring.  Soren is no stranger to the outdoors.  Bug bites, bug hunting, camping, canoeing (of which we received TONS of backlash for), and now - my personal favorite, mountain biking.  He begs to go outside everyday no matter what the climate.  He walks barefoot through rocks and grass and will take any opportunity test his balance and jumping skills.  

His physical confidence is incredible to me.  

And there is so much to do in this fair City!  From Woodland Mound:

Sharon Woods:

Otto Armleder Park:

Canoe the Little Miami:

And those are just from last year.  This year, there's been Rock Climbing, Smale Park, Mountain Biking at Idlewild and fishing at Isabelle Park.  So much to do!  Get out and be active! (need incentive?  They will eat just about anything, sleep soundly and have stories for DAYS!)

And never discount what you can find in your own back yard!


'A portrait a week of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015'

oren has been creating 'collections' from outdoors.  Leaves, rocks, acorns - you name it.  He's even snuck in a daddy long leg or 'Harvestman' from time to time.  We live next to a bird reserve so it's been great stomping grounds for this curious kiddo.  Here he is investigating the veins on a leaf. 'It's where they get their nutrition, mom!'


'A portrait a week of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015'

First fishing trip of the Summer!  We hung with good friends and worked on casting.  The kiddos really seemed to get the hang of it before they decided catching fish with the net would be easier.  Thank goodness for galoshes, well - sort of.  See below for the most efficient technique for emptying water from them. Hilarious.