Monday, February 8, 2016

hit the road, jack.

Our weekends are pretty predictable. And that's pretty much fine by me, because I tend to like predictable things. Routines are my jam. Uneventful, fun-yet-productive, quiet weekends with Matt and Millie are pretty much all I ever want. But on Friday night, as Matt and I enjoyed a thrilling game of Scrabble as we binged on Goldfish crackers (hahahaha our snack choices are as exciting as our nightlife is!), he suggested we break out of our Saturday errands-and-chores routine. "Want to go hiking at Tallulah Gorge tomorrow?"

WHOA NOW MATTIE. A) It's going to be freezing cold tomorrow. Like LITERALLY. Thirty degrees. Who wants to walk around the woods in 30 degree weather? B) It's TOMORROW. That means we would be making out-of-town plans that require over an hour drive each way on LESS THAN 12 HOURS' NOTICE. That means this is spontaneous, and that makes me nervous. Spontaneity scares me.

Those were my immediate thoughts, but after about 30 additional seconds of careful consideration, I thought...why not? And so...we did it! Chores and errands be damned, we're going hiking! (They weren't that damned. They just got postponed a few hours, ha.)

Millie's at a really great age/personality right now (well, she's always been a great age and personality, so I don't know why I started with that) and is very adaptable to whatever's going on. Random road trip and then schlepping through the freezing cold woods for a few hours? Bring it on, she says. As long as we also bring on plenty of snacks, that is. She's not adaptable to hunger.

It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the foothills of the mountains (which reminded me again how much I love living where I live). While we were driving, we selected which trail we wanted to do (yay, PLANNING! Haha.) and also listened to the Serial Season 1 hearing updates (???!!). And then we were there, and I made final decisions about precisely how many layers I was going to put Millie in before we loaded her into the Ergo. Ha. I don't want any babies catching frostbite on my watch!
Hang on, Mommy. Let me at least choose a good trail before you guys stuff me in that Ergo...
I think I went hiking at the Gorge once in college, approximately...13ish...years ago. So basically I didn't really remember anything at all. And also it was summer and totally different. So this was a hike full of pleasant surprises (like the view! the waterfalls! the friendly fellow hikers with friendly dogs!) and a few less-pleasant ones (like a billion stairs. and a suspension bridge, aka MY ARCH-NEMESIS/SECOND GREATEST FEAR IN LIFE (right behind birds)) (omg, what if I'd seen a bird while walking on the bridge?!?!?!?!?!?!? I wouldn't have lived to tell the tale).

These stairs were all fun and games...if you happened to be riding on someone's back. Otherwise...nope. LEGS ON FI-YAH!!!
It was pretty cold, but we still had a fantastic time. Millie did great- she was happy to be in the Ergo (we rarely do a back carry with her, so this had some novelty going for it), and she loved getting down to look around when we stopped at "scenic viewpoints." She especially loved looking down and screaming "WA-WAH!!!" every time she saw water. Our little scientist!!
She also enjoyed (as per usual) waving at and greeting all of the people and "Nonahs" (Lolas) (dogs) walking by. She did not enjoy (also per usual) most of the times we tried to convince her to smile for a picture (or even look in the general direction of the camera). I kept on trying, though. Eventually she has to give in, right?

Okay, fine, I'll play along for JUST THIS ONE family selfie!

But now I'm getting very sleepy, Mommy...

Okay, night night.
The above picture is what we'll call Millie is Pretty Adaptable: Exhibit A. Catch a nap when you can!

All in all, it was a pretty perfect day. I give 10 points to Team Spontaneity. Maybe there is something to it. And anyway, we were home (with groceries!!) by like there was still a good bit of time to do my usual Saturday lazing and puttering around. So boom.

One last view before we go...
The rest of the day was spent basically letting Millie raise herself. HA. Matt and I were just a leeeeettle bit exhausted from hauling our 30 (??? she has a pedi appt later this week, so we'll finally find out how much she really weighs!) pound chunkalunk up and down mountains. Somehow, she arrived back to our house filled with ALL THE ENERGY IN THE WORLD, and Matt and I were more like...maybe if we just lay here, she won't burn the house down or severely injure herself? It worked out okay for an hour, but I wouldn't recommend it as a long-term parenting strategy.

Except for she did at one point decide she really needed to wear her daddy's hoodie. And then she looked like a Ewok Jedi Star Wars character (it's been awhile, I don't remember which). So that was pretty hilarious. (Or maybe I was just really tired.)

So the moral of this story is...sometimes a spontaneous road trip is exactly the right thing to do. Just be sure to take a lot of snacks.


  1. Oh my heart I cannot stand how big Millie is getting! That hat, those piggies, the cheeks, the nap, and the's all way too adorable. I couldn't be happier for you, Erika! Your dream has come true. <3

  2. Fun day! I am usually not spontaneous either, but these pics are convincing me to maybe give it a try once in a while. :)

  3. With the pink hat, Mills totally looks like one of the Trolls from the new movie.
    I applaud your spontaneity but I applaud your choice of activity more.

  4. You go, girl. I am equally opposed to spontaneity but usually end up feeling good about it when I give in, so glad that was the case for you this time around!

  5. So fun! I am definitely not spontaneous either - maybe all mothers are like this? It was also awesome for your FitBit because you had like a million steps before noon or something, ha!

  6. Now that I am back to work and Bowen is in daycare I find the weekend just isn't long enough at all :( We basically only have Saturday like you said for groceries, chores, errands, etc. I need a 3 day weekend!! Love that last picture, so cute!!!

  7. Catching up on your fabulous blog! This looks like such a fun day! And what a beautiful place to hike. I can't wait to do this with Olivia once the weather warms up! (It's 12 degrees right now! Haha!)

  8. How did I not know that your greatest fear is also mine and therefore the most legit of all fears???? BIRDS! They are terrifying. Henry loves them and I don't understand where I went wrong.
    Yay for spontaneity and mountains! Oh to live in a place where the wilderness is a mere hour away...

  9. I figured you had an active weekend when I saw that you surpassed everyone to become the leader on my FitBit list! What a lovely adventure (minus the bridge -- I can't even look at the picture!!); glad you were able to enjoy the moderately cold temps before the really cold weather comes later this week!!

  10. I cannot get enough of Millie's big smile and your fun family adventures. Seriously, it brings me a lot of joy to read your updates even though I don't actually know you :) Yeah for spontaneity! I, too, like routine, but I rarely regret deviating and doing something fun.

  11. What a fun way to spend your Saturday! While I can't find it in myself to abhor birds, I am completely with you on suspension bridges. I feel like I'm tempting the fates with each step. Way to face your fears for some beautiful views with your beautiful girl!

  12. Sounds like a ton of fun!! Have y'all been to High Falls? Also pretty close and a nice little hike. They also have a 1970s playground that I can't believe still passes state standards for a State Park.

  13. I also hate suspension bridges which I always forget until I'm in the middle of them. Argh. Yay for spontaneity!

    And also, this is post I've been waiting for where "infertility" and "parenthood" as labels on your blog are tied. Of course the next "parenthood" post will be even better. (And yes, I did the math because I realize "parenthood" is definitively pulling ahead now.)

    And I do know that infertility is still a part of your life but so is parenthood and that makes me soooo happy.

    1. Also we stopped buying Goldfish and Veggie Straws because we were eating 90% of them as opposed to leaving them for the kids!


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