Sometimes being an outdoor parent requires flexibility and compromise. Actually make that ALL the time in ALL parenting. But the hard work is worth it when you and your kids can enjoy that time together. Too much of my life is spent telling my kids what to do and not do. I relish the moments when we can all just play outside together. Even if it takes some work.
I’m proud to announce the arrival of a great now resource for outdoor families. Outdoor Families Magazine is an online monthly magazine with great tips, destinations and information for all those outdoor families out there. The free digital magazine officially launches Thursday January 15, 2015 at www.outdoorfamiliesonline.com. It’s for all families interested in getting outside and promises to “provide unparalleled adventure content…to inspire a connection to the…natural world.”
I’ve had the opportunity to meet with the founders of OFO virtually and in person and I can assure you they are committed to sharing their family outdoor experiences in order to make the wilderness more accessible for everyone.
To celebrate the launch of the new magazine Outdoor Families Online is holding The Great Family Adventure Photo Contest. Prizes for the Great Family Adventure Photo Contest include a family vacation to Oxnard California, Hiking Boots from Hi-Tec, and a $100 gift card from Sierra Trading Post. I know I’m not the only one with family vacation photos that are worth sharing. Now’s the chance to share and win.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ski or snowboard now’s your chance! January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and several Utah ski resorts are offering beginner deals including a $45 lesson, rental and lift ticket package from Brighton Resort.
|Graphic from SkiUtah.com|
When I first learned to snowboard it was through Brighton’s Ladies’ Day clinic. I signed up for the four week course with a bit of a rebellious attitude. Mountain Dad and I had been trying to get pregnant with no luck. “Fine,” I thought. “If I can’t be a mom I’ll do something else I’ve always wanted to do.” Thus started my love of downhill snow sports.
Now, years later, I’m in the opposite position. At seven months pregnant, skiing and snowboarding black diamonds is definitely not happening. However, I want my tots to feel the joy of speeding down the mountain, the wind in their hair and a smile on their faces so I decided I’d put on my skis for a little ride in the tow rope area. (I really hope my doctor, mother, and sister aren’t reading this).
Little g and I “skied” a little last year with her between my skis, flopping around like a rag doll while I hunched over her to keep her from rolling snowball-style down the mountain. It was a lot of work for me and she had no control on the snow. At three-years-old this season we have boots that actually fit her and she’s noticeably taller and stronger, although this photo doesn’t exactly show off her strength.
2014 was a great year to be outdoors and I’m sure 2015 will be too. Part of the fun of New Years for me is thinking ahead at who I want to be in the coming year, how I want to change and what I can do to make that change happen.
I’m not planning to run an iron man or travel to all seven continents this year but I would like to push myself to experience the outdoors in different ways. Kid friendly ways. I’d like to participate in an outdoors service project. See how far little g can hike on her own. Teach Big E to ride a bike without training wheels. Get both of my kids out on skis at least once a week throughout the season. My goals may not be huge but they’re important to our family. Being outdoors improves my mood, helps us all get some exercise and makes me more grateful for the world around me.
The number one game changer for our Mountain family this year will be the arrival of Mountain Baby in March. Ready or not, she’s coming in ten weeks. How will having a newborn affect our camping, hiking and outdoors plans? I’m not entirely sure.
So far it’s kept me from snowboarding this season, and I don’t imagine skydiving anytime soon, but growing a child, feeling her flutters and kicks has connected me to the cycle of life in a very intimate way. I’m excited to be a mom again and remember the tender beginnings we all had. I’ve already experienced the expansion of love that comes with welcoming a baby into the world. Like the Grinch I expect my heart to “grow three sizes that day” because special things start in small packages. It’s a miracle to be a mom and I plan to treasure the happy moments before the chaos overwhelms me.
So what will your 2015 bring? What outdoors plans do you have and how do you accomplish them with young kids in tow? Leave a comment and let’s start this conversation!
Happy New Year!