Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our First Day Hike... post having a child

Daniel and I have been meaning to go on a day hike with Jack for some time now. However, life keeps getting in the way. We recently had a conversation where we came to the conclusion that since we became homeowners {Fall 2005} we have had little time to do the things we truly love.

When we were first married, we had all the time in the world, but little funds. Our mutual love of the outdoors and proximity to many hiking trails paved the way for many fun weekends hiking and sleeping under the stars.

Then we grew up a little. We bought our first home and spent five long years renovating it. In hindsight, it was a great experience, but we {temporarily} gave up many of our hobbies so that we could coax our little fixer upper into a home that we loved {which we then sold so we could move due to a lay off}. Now we have more funds, but seemingly less and less time to devote to our hobbies.

All of that to say: we have decided that we need to start being intentional about using our precious time to do the things we love. There will always be a new thing that needs to be done around the house. The lawn will always feel like it needs to be mowed. The dishes and laundry won't ever do themselves. But for now, we have agreed to make a concerted effort to do something fun together at least once a month. 

We want to enjoy our lives now. Not wait until we retire. Also we want to pass along our passion for the outdoors to our son. I guess it is fitting that we kicked off our "day of outdoor fun" on Earth Day...

Last night we checked the weather and decided Sunday would be perfect for a hike in Huntsville. This morning we packed all of our gear, our son and our dog into the Subaru. Somehow we made it out the door by 8:05am and to church by 9am. Thankfully it was cool enough to leave Sophie in the car during church.

After church, we made a pit stop at Five Guys to fuel up on burgers and fries – the perfect diet for hiking??? At least we didn't have to feel guilty eating it since we were going to be burning extra calories.

Once lunch was finished, we drove to Monte Sano for a little adventure. It was supposed to be fun. The weather was perfect. We had our favorite dog and our favorite little boy with us and we were going to do something we both loved.

Here's the reality: 
Sophie whined all day about being stuck in a car. 
Jack fussed once we got to the trailhead and needed to be fed and changed. 
Daniel and I both had to change clothes in the car. 
We couldn't find our trailhead.
Sophie continued to whine on the trail because we weren't going fast enough and we kept stopping to check the {unhelpful} map.
We couldn't seem to find the trail we wanted to be on. All of the connector trails we came across were on the "wrong side of the map." {We are actually very good at orienteering, but the map was so so and we were both growing impatient with Sophie which clouded our judgement}.
We never did get on the right trail. 
The wind picked up and Jack got cold and fussy...
I sang The Wheels on the Bus and Daniel threatened to not hike beside me.
So many things {seemingly} conspired against us that we found ourselves snapping at each other and at Sophie when we should have been exuberant to be out hiking.

Life is never going to be perfect. We did a 3-mile hike with our little one. It wasn't exactly what we hoped for and we spent part of the time being snippy. But the thing is, we got out and did something we both really love. Deep down anyways. I think we just need to keep doing it. Sophie is not always going to whine. We will have good days and bad. But we need to be out on the trails and breathing in the fresh air of God's creation. We plan to go back. 

Especially now that we know where the right trailhead is!

We also can't wait to bring our bikes here. The trails for biking will be so much fun – some are even kid {baby} friendly.

On a separate note, here is a quick overview of the Deuter Kid Comfort Carrier II:
We borrowed this from my sister who used it to take their 2-year-old to Ireland.
Overall I really liked it. The shoulder straps and hip belt are really cushy. Deuter does a good job in designing their packs so they don't rest right up against your back – great air flow, so you back isn't completely soaked in sweat.

There are a ton of pockets, which will be great for longer hikes {especially as Jack gets bigger and needs snacks and toys}.

It was a little big for Jack, but he rode in it comfortably. We really should have tested/adjusted the straps at home. Trying to fit it to Jack in the parking lot was a mistake on our end.

Jack fell asleep while we hiked and we never worried about him falling out or his head bobbing around.

The only negative is that when you adjust the torso to the longest setting, it was still too short for Daniel. That means I get the joy of carrying Jack. {This was actually not too bad of a deal for me since Daniel carried a Deuter day pack with our water and extras... it probably weighed at least as much as Jack}.


  1. Hey, your baby is so sweet! God bless you! Don't let it out of your sight.

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  2. Thanks for the review on the pack; I worry my husband would have the same problem then, he is 6'4". I noticed you are reading Baby Lead Weaning, how do you like the book? I haven't decided to buy it yet, or if the info online suffices. Is it going well for you and Jack?

    1. I think you can purchase a longer torso version (just like when you get an internal frame pck for your specific size). Ours is on loan and we are enjoying it. It definitely does an awesome jobof taking the weight off of your shoulders and putting it on your hips, just like an overnight pack would do.

      I really like the idea of BLW. We have our 6 mo check up on Thurs (a couple weeks late) and I plan on discussing it with our Pediatrician. I am personally all for it, but my husband has some reservations. I will probably post a review of the book and follow up of what we do in a couple of weeks.

      Good luck with finding the right carrier for hiking!


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