I have found nothing so calming and centering as getting out into nature and away from the mundane routine of day to day life. Andy had been telling me to go check out this nature center and trails close to our house, so one afternoon I took the girls.
They had a great time finding walking sticks, though quickly lost interest when they found other more interesting things, like a path to follow.
I let them take the lead that day and just followed them most of the time.
I did whip out our handy-dandy magnifying glasses that I keep in my mommy backpack, so that they could investigate some fungus and other things a little more closely.
They had a great time exploring everything the place had to offer.
It was comforting that Annika wasn't the only child at the playground to misunderstand what a gazebo is for.
I've been in a particularly reflective mood since returning from our year abroad in Berlin. Between struggling to figure out our new day to day and where the heck the _____ store is, I've been trying to contemplate the path we have taken so far. I know that I certainly have taken "the one less traveled by" so far, shaping our experiences to be much different than the average up until now. I sincerely hope that our choices have not made us unrelatable, while at the same time full of stories to tell. I like to think that our humbling midwestern sensibilities ward off any snobbery on our part anyway. As one of my favorite kids' books says, "Different is what makes this world so great." Here's to a return year of being a little different.