Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Dear blog, I have been neglectful.  I have written so many times in my head as I drove to and from work or as I laid awake at night nursing a crabby baby, but that never materialized into anything.  But a blog is always forgiving when you admit that you have been neglectful, happy to publish another entry and forget the days of unpublished past.  This is unlike the people I have been tending to while I let the blog go dormant, so I guess that is really the way it should be.  I chose to do the things I usually write about instead of writing about them. And I picked up a new hobby (or some may say, sport).

On Mother's day, I finally got my 30th birthday present, a bicycle.  It was almost a year late, but that is okay because on my 30th birthday I was pregnant and in no mood to ride a bike.  Before I knew it my thirtieth year was flying by, I was back to work after maternity leave and in the swing of things, thinking about a bike but not pursuing it until this spring.

I love my bike, a Trek Dual Sport 8.2 DS.  It is in the fitness hybrid category as bicycles go which means it can do some off-roading, but not as much as a mountain bike, and can go fast, but not as fast as a road bike. I'm learning a lot about bikes since last bike I owned I got when I was 9 or 10 years old and it served me until I was a teen and no longer riding bikes. Plus, I was pretty tall by then and not really fitting on my hot pink 10-speed.

I went for one ride with D on my new bike and the Husband said he wanted a bike too.  I am all for finding a family activity so we hit the bike stores and got him a Giant bike. I find the brand name fitting for my tall husband's XL bike. Now that we had bikes, we needed a child carrier for Stormy.  Then, we needed a bike carrier rack for the van and soon we were spending a lot of time and money thinking about bikes. It is all worth the expense because Stormy, D, the Husband and I have been enjoying family bike rides together.  It is something we can all do together and enjoy.  I can't think of another thing we do together we all like, except watch television (which is what they are doing as I type this).  I can't wait for us to go for another ride.

Riding my new bike made me remember a part of me that has been dormant for years, the outdoors me. I worked at a summer camp for three summers.   I was a lifeguard for years.  The Husband and I walked a few times a week. I would eat my lunch outside. I was always outside and then suddenly, I wasn't, except for a run on Saturday morning and then once pregnant with Stormy, that too ended. I've wanted a bike for years, ever since my mom and sister got bikes while I was in graduate school.  The Husband and I have talked about getting bikes many times over our almost 9 years of marriage. I was hoping to get some cross-training in to improve my running, but I have found so much more in just a few rides. We have something to bond over as a family.

We even took out bikes to visit our parents over the weekend and had some great riding, something I never thought we would ever do.  D even got a new bike from her grandparents.  It doesn't have training wheels so I hope either she learns to ride or we get some training wheels soon.

Even more outdoor activities were in store for us in Iowa.  On Saturday, we cooked dinner over a fire at my parent's house. D got to heat her very own hot dog over open flame for the first time.  This is nothing quite like cooking over a fire.

My dad has been pestering inviting us to go kayaking with him for quite some time and we always decline.  But with the fresh air of biking in my body, I thought, why not hit the lake too.  So I found myself in a small, but beautiful, lake hear my parent's house in a kayak, enjoying the water and the surrounding forest. Kayaking is far superior to canoeing in my book. There is an amazing sense of solitude which is rare or this mom and you don't have to depend on another person in a kayak like you do with a canoe (I've had some bad canoe partners in the past). I also went for a paddle boat ride with D and her cousins and grandpa.  The Husband already asked me how long before we start collecting kayaks.  I think we might get some next year, if we can find a good place to paddle around Peoria.

I am dubbing my thirty first year the year of re-awakening my love of nature and being out in it.  What a difference fresh air can make.  Any suggestions of what to do or where to go?