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Friday, November 4, 2016

Looking to Nature for Fulfillment

E showing O a plant while she piggy-backed it on our adventures.
Iz squishing mud and looking for prints along a lake.

We always always always bring carriers for them both so we can continue our adventures even when things get tricky.

Elk scat! And later goose and raccoon too. This gal loves trying to track animals and was pretty excited about her finds.

Comparing at the local World Bird Sanctuary. Just about there!

Iz's favoritte resident a the bird sanctuary. This bald eagle gal had an injury to her left leg that didn't heal properly at another sanctuary so she can't fully support herself on it. Iz was very entranced by her.
A huge part of our recent move was to allow for us to spend more time in nature. We were actually a bit of a wild card as we flip flopped between going more rural and being close to friends and conveniences and ultimately decided on the closeness and community, but keeping in mind the proximity to some of our favorite nature areas and trails. It's important to us to teach our daughters to look toward nature for entertainment and fulfillment and in order to do so we've committed to getting out together as often as we can.

Some adventures are easier than others and at these ages of four and one and a half there are unique challenges, but there is nothing like setting them free to lead the way and explore in whichever way feels right to them and by pushing through those challenges rather than avoiding them, I hope we are teaching them that they can do hard things and that it's always worth the effort while nurturing an appreciation and love for nature. And on my end? I can deal with discontent out on the trails better than I can in the living room just about any day and I never once look back and wish we would have just stayed home and nothing clears my head and grounds me back down more than simply being outside.

Even with all of the hubbub of moving and settling in we have gotten out way more often now simply because we now can. Now we can find a place to explore and just be gone a few hours rather than each and every trip having to be a full day adventure. We like those too, and look forward to plenty of them, but with where we are at right now, this is exactly what we need and we look forward to moving forward while honoring our commitment to our family to get out every weekend we possibly can and every day the girls and I possibly can throughout the week.

There's nothing that makes me feel more connected with my people and with myself than breathing deep and easy in wide open spaces. It makes all of the effort we are putting forth feel worth it. Nothing we could ever buy them could compete with the look on Iz's face as she tracks elk tracks and scat and later sees them atop a hill. Nothing competes with her and I throwing leaves in water and racing across a bridge to watch them come out the other side. Nothing competes with watching O take in all of the different textures and sights for the first time or seeing them splashing in huge puddles with smiles on their faces. Nothing. Not anything. This is what we need most.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Settling in and Regrouping to Move Forward

Iz kicking back for lunch during last weekend's adventuring.

So much has happened in the last what is it...five months or so? Now, at last, I am ready to revisit this space and continue our story as we continue to settle in and regroup to move forward. 

We spent our first night of sleep in our new home back in June and since then we have been pretty busy while we sold our old home, evicted surprise bats from our new home's attic, built a fence around the backyard and rebuilt a swing set for our girls and so many other things that happen with such a big transition that while it has been nearly four months now, we are still getting our bearings a bit and it will be awhile longer until we will call ourselves settled. We are home, we are happy and we are so grateful in every particle of our beings, but settled? Well, that's going to take awhile. 

These last few months we have done what we needed to get ourselves here and to make things safe and comfortable for us while letting go of paying attention to our finances for a bit as bats and fence building and the general needs that come with a move kept popping up, along with way too many calls for take out as we scrambled trying to make it all fit together, but we are as committed as ever to get back to it now and finally feel like we are in a place to do so. I mean, we finally have our baby solidly back in cloth diapers now after many failed attempts since arriving, so I take that as a good sign that if we are capable of taking that on than we are now capable of moving forward in other ways as well. Silly, but definitely a good gauge for me!

And moving forward to what? To zero debt. To intentional frugality. To filling our lives full of fulfilling experiences. To not wasting our resources. To living a life that fills our hearts and that allows us to follow them. 

It's a bit of a bumpy transition to reign things in again, but in so many ways this is where I thrive. I like having boundaries and I am familiar with making do and I will write more about all of this over the next weeks, months and years as we travel this path and share our growth. 

For now, we are happy to be in a place where we are through that huge transition and to a place where we have a new goal to work toward and surpass. All the while we are soaking it up. All of the reasons we wanted to be here have not disappointed us, one of the main reasons being to be closer to places we could easily get to for hiking and exploring as a family. Now that the fence building has mostly wrapped up our weekends have a little more breathing room, and so do we as we hit the trails and open fields. Definitely more on that later as we continue to move forward.