I know winter is inevitable, but this fall has gifted some incredible warm days just begging to be spent outdoors.
Who am I to say "no" to that? We've hiked and explored, and walked and played for miles all over for the past few weeks of these lingering warm days.
The boys have their favorite spots to explore and recently have begun packing their favorite gear to bring along.
I used to get out of the door with just a sippy cup and an extra diaper but now there are far more important things to remember for a day of hiking.
Like spy gear. One never knows when you could be called into duty for some intense espionage so it's better to always be ready with your motion detector and super sonic ear piece.
And you can't have a successful hike with a plastic carving knife to blaze a trail in case the worn footpath disappears or you need to hunt for survival, so I'm told.
I was also educated that army satchels are a must on these excursions. A heavy duty canvas bag can come in handy for rock hauling, stick collecting, and snack toting, in case that hunting with a plastic toy knife thing doesn't pay off.
My hiking must-have list is a little lighter. I want our hands free for all the lessons and opportunities time outside brings our way.
These sunny days hiking a few miles with my crew are filled with rich moments of watching a box turtle hide himself inside a pile of leaves until we lose sight of him, or talking about the trees and plants growing strong beside the lake water and how we should be like trees planted by water.
It's about packing moments into the day of praying aloud for the people that come to our minds and the hikers we pass. It's handing the camera off to one of the boys to take some turns getting used to capture memories through his eyes.
It's leaving my hands free to hold theirs, and their sticks that won't fit in their army satchels, and my heart open to drink in these precious fleeting moments just like these lingering warm days.