How to have a Weeknight Adventure!

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Our last post we gave a you Simple List of Family Adventures that you can do any day of the week. Last night we decided to take our own advice and have a weeknight adventure!

 

If you can’t tell we LOVE our bikes … we have 9 total in our basement (not counting the baby’s Strider). Our friends call it the “Bike Shop.”  Needless to say we don’t get to ride ALL variations of our bikes too often.

 

We are part of a Mountain Bike Club near our house and they have a weekly Wednesday Night Ride. Normally we are elbows deep in a CrossFit workout during this time, but the stars aligned yesterday and we were able to do BOTH!

 

The trailhead is a huge open area where everyone parks and is still off the main road by at least 400 yards, so there is no traffic or a busy parking lot with lots of moving vehicles to be concerned about. We always attend these events as a family, including CrossFit (check out Abigail’s evening Crossfit Set-up here).  The baby is not a burden to either of us, and we became parents knowing this. So we have changed our lives ever so slightly to accommodate her. When we mountain bike, we take turns. This is the only biking we do that we can’t all do together; at least not yet. Last time we were out on the mountain bikes, I got to ride and Donald stayed at the trail head and watched the Abigail. This time I stayed with her and he rode.

 

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Trail Head

 

The ride was only about an hour long, so Abigail and I explored. These trails are part of the trail system we played in the mud at last week, although there was no mud this time.

 

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Adventure equipment

 

We took our time and explored the trail. She wanted to find Daddy so we headed in the same direction the bikers went.

 

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Trail

 

We picked up rocks and looked at flowers!

 

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Finding Rocks
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Putting the flower back

 

Her Dinosaur goes everywhere with her now.

 

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showing Dino the trail

 

She found a rock for him to hold during our walk!

 

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Dino and his rock
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Dinosaur loves to hold rocks

 

We poked along at no fast pace, playing with our shadows and touching nature.  I have found lately that if I let her choose the pace, and the direction on the path we are going, she feels like she is making decisions and I am supporting her. This has helped with our Tenacious Twos. We struggle at somethings, but if she has a chance to make decisions and be independent the day can go much smoother.

 

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Taking a break
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holding Hands

 

When it was time to head back, I carrier the little adventurer for a bit. We had walked into the trail system about a mile. When we got back we had a drink and chilled at the Sprinter.

 

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Hanging out in the Sprinter!
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Taking a Break

 

A great after work adventure was had by all! Have you been out on an after work adventure this week? Tell us about it! Send photos too and you could be featured you on our next post!

 

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What is considered Family Adventures?

I have been approached lately and asked “why are you writing a blog? What is considered Family Adventures?”

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popsicles

 

Great questions! Why do we spend our time writing, taking photographs, and creating video? Its simple. We think its critical to share with other parents how easy it can be to just “get out” and enjoy life outside the home and in the fresh air.

 

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Running in the flowers

 

Its important to understand that you dont need a lot of money, a week of vacation time, or even a lot of experience or gear to enjoy an adventure with your family.

 

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Climbing Trees

 

Here is a List of Simple Family Adventures you can enjoy any day of the week:

  • Picnic & Bubbles
  • Play at the playground
  • Walk in the Park
  • Hike at a local State Park
  • Visit local Animal Shelter
  • Volunteer
  • Ride Bikes
  • Walk the Dogs
  • Enjoy some popsicles outside
  • Climb trees
  • Run in a field

 

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Bubbles and Picnic

 

We put together a video from one of our weeknight adventures recently. The weather was amazing and its staying light out longer so we took the bikes to the local park and had a picnic.

 

 

 

Bikepacking Shakedown for OBX Ride!

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We are approximately 2 weeks out from a family bikepacking trip of the Outer Banks of North Carolina!  The trip will take my wife our daughter and myself approximately 8 days to cover 250 miles via our trusty Salsa Vaya and Surly Big Dummy (Silver Back Gorilla).  A trip like this is a great excuse to snag some new accessories and gear, so this weekend we hit the road to test some of our new additions. 

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Yepp Maxi Child Seat

Our daughter is not quite potty trained yet, so for this trip we are still going to need to lug a full week of diapers with us.  The good news is they really don’t weigh much, but they do take up a ton of space.  So in an effort to find a good place to store a bulky light item, I found the Oveja Negra Threadworks Front End Loader.  This is the second bag I have from Oveja Negra and have been very impressed with the quality of their products, price point and timely shipping.  The Front End Loader allows me to strap a dry bag up on my Jones Loop H Bars and not even notice it is there.  Even with a weeks worth of diapers attached to my bars, my steering was the same and hand placement was not effected.

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Surly Big Dummy

The major addition, to the wife’s Salsa Vaya, was the Salsa Down Under Front Rack.  What a bargain at $65! Typical Salsa, the rack is super sturdy, easy to install and just plain WORKS.  We plopped some bags on the front of the wife’s bike, dropped her HUGE DSLR camera and lens with some clothes wrapped around it on one side and went for a test ride.  The racks hold perfectly, bags stay in place and everyone is happy.

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Brooks Saddle

All of our gear worked great!  I even had the opportunity to chase a couple of Tri geeks on my Surly Big Dummy after they passed me, fun race.   The weather was perfect our gear is just about all-together and we are super excited to get to North Carolina and cover some miles.

Here is the video of our new gear on our test ride!

Cross Country Move from the Midwest to the Old West – Guest Blog

We recently put a call out for Guest Bloggers and Gilliam Herrle rose her hand! She submitted an excellent post about her families cross country move from the midwest to the old west with their two young boys.  Check out her post and some amazing photos!

http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours
http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours

Last summer, our family finally made the long awaited decision to move from Ohio to Colorado. My grandparents live in Evergreen, Colorado and have been pushing for us to move out here for years. My husband and I have definitely always craved a little move adventure in our lives and last July, the timing was right. So we sold almost all of our belongings, packed what we could fit into our car and drove out to settle in Fort Collins, Colorado with our two young sons.

http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours
http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours

After living in the Midwest all my life, the main thing that has impacted me the most in Colorado has been this: the mountains. Our ideals as a family have always been to spend a lot of time outdoors. We live a simple life and love to be outside where conversation can flow and children’s imaginations can run wild. Being near the mountains have just exploded our feelings about this. Summer was the perfect time to move out west and to be able to explore our new surroundings. There are so many amazing places to venture to and discover.

 

One aspect of Colorado that I adore is that the landscape and scenery differ so vastly throughout the state. Prior to moving here, mountains were mountains to me but since traveling around and seeing only SOME of the West, I realize that each place here holds its own unique beauty.

http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours
http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours
http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours
http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours

 

Living somewhere so beautiful has certainly changed our habits as a family. For me, the mountains are a constant reminder that there is MORE to life than just me, or my house or the suburbs. They are a constant reminder of the bigness and realness of nature. I was insistent that we live as close to the foothills as possible when we were looking for a place to live here. Now, I love that when I am headed  back from anywhere in the city, I always drive towards the mountains to find home. When I look out my window, I can always see the Front Range and it is almost always calling to me and reminding me to get out and enjoy the world.

 

As often as we can, we pack the kids in the car and head out to go hiking. We aren’t seasoned hikers or campers or backpackers, yet. We don’t have a lot of fancy gear. But we all get ready and we get ourselves outside. My oldest son likes to pack a little bag full of things that he’ll need and I sometimes bring my camera. As we drive west, we can all feel the weight of the everyday melting aside and as our feet hit a familiar path we all start to feel just a little more free.

http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours
http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours

For me, the mountains have been healing in a strange way and sometimes, I don’t see how I have lived without them all my life. But I know that mountains aren’t the end all and that adventure can be found wherever you go. Even when we aren’t heading out for a bigger hike or trip, we have started spending so much more time outdoors. There is favorite nature preserve down the road where we love to go to when things are getting rough inside between our two rowdy boys. It’s amazing how nature soothes them. Our littlest son struggles with a lot of “high needs” but when he is outside and his mind can focus instead on rocks and mud, he feels peace.

 

http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours
http://comesincolours.blogspot.com
Comes in Colours

Spending time outside has always been a part of our lives but now it has become a necessity. I’m so glad that we took the risk to move across the country. I’m so glad that we are spending more time in nature and that we are doing new things. Going west has impacted our family in so many ways and reminded us that it is always good to say “yes” to adventure, whether big or small!

 

 

Gillian Herrle runs a lifestyle blog and is a professional photographer serving the northern Colorado area. Visit her blog here and on Instagram here!

 

 

Are you interested in writing for Adventure Family in Motion? Send us an email about what you would like to write about! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Essential Steps to Jumping in Puddles!

Yesterday we spent the morning walking around some mountain bike trails in the area, enjoying the warm sun and big puddles!

 

Here are a few toddler approved essential steps to jumping in puddles!

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Find a fun place with mud and puddles
Jumping in Puddles - DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Find a fun place with mud and puddles

 

Find a FUN place in your area that you can run free.  Somewhere where you don’t have to worry about holding hands for fear of your toddler bolting into the street.

 

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Hold Hands

 

Enjoy the company you are with. Don’t worry about your phone, your Facebook, your emails. Just enjoy your little one(s).

 

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Discover whats on the ground

 

Stop and explore the mud. Looks at the tracks on the ground that bikes made, or birds left.

 

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Climbing fallen logs

 

Let them be brave and try things on their own.

 

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“Will you help me please?”

 

Help them when they ask for it.

 

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Splashing
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Splashing

 

Let them get wet and discover the puddles!

 

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Touching the water
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Playing in the water

 

Let them touch!

 

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Finding Rocks
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Finding Rocks

 

Find pet rocks!

 

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Jumping in Puddles - DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Throwing Rocks!
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Throwing Rocks

 

Let them THROW pet rocks! (not at each other! LOL)

 

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Finding Sticks

 

Make friends with a stick!

 

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hugs!

 

Love the trail you are on!

 

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discovering the trail

 

Remember to TAKE YOUR TIME! Don’t rush your toddler. Let them be the ones in charge of the time.

 

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Be Free

 

Breathe! Let the wind blow your hair and just be!

 

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Mommy Hugs!

 

Most of all don’t forget to hug them every change you get.

 

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Happy Girl!

Have you splashed in the mud lately?

Send us your family adventures photos HERE or tag us in your photos on Twitter using (@AdvFamInMotion) Your photos could be featured on our blog!

Then and Now: 5 Year Wedding Anniversary

Cabin, Front Royal, VA
You are my greatest adventure
You are my greatest adventure

On March 28th we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.

Anniversary March 28, 2014
Anniversary March 28, 2014

5 years ago we [sort-of] eloped. Our families were all aware we were getting married but instead of the craziness of the big day where it would be all about everyone else EXCEPT the two of us, we decided to do it OUR way!

WeddingMarch 28, 2009
WeddingMarch 28, 2009

We rented an awesome cabin in Front Royal, VA. Took our two large dogs. Brought some great food. Hired an officiant. And were married at 9:00am on a rainy, foggy morning in jeans and outer shells, with our two dogs as witnesses. One word: AMAZING!

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA

It was absolutely perfect! After the 15 minute tiny ceremony we went wine tasting in the beautiful hills of Virginia.

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Hills in Front Royal, VA
sunset - Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Sunset – Cabin in Front Royal, VA

Fast Forward 5 years. Both our big lovable dogs have passed away from Cancer, we have moved across the country and back and we have a beautiful little girl. Since we just happen to be in a close vicinity of the cabin for our 5 year anniversary we decided why not spend the evening!

Sprinter Van
Sprinter Van

A quick 2 hour drive landed us in the hills of Virginia. 15 minutes outside of Front Royal, still stands this beautiful cabin.

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA

It was just like we remembered. Only this time instead of walking the dogs around the grounds, we chased a nearly 2 year old!

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Our little lady!
Our little lady!

We are not apposed to wine tasting with our little one, but on a Thursday afternoon the local wineries were not open since its the off season. So we rented a few movies and sat by the fire playing paper dolls!

Watching movies!
Watching movies!
Dinner
Dinner
Lobster
Lobster
Wine and Beer
Wine and Beer

The next morning we took THE photo. Our “now” photo. What a change life has been. Its a pure blessing where we were, what we have done and where we are now. There are so many adventures in our future! We are happier now then we have ever been.

Then and Now
Then and Now