Our Family’s “52 Weeks of Nature” Journey Revisited
posted by: Guest Blogger
The first year of our 52 Weeks of Nature journey culminated in 52 blogs, Instagram and Twitter accounts and perhaps, most importantly, we spent invaluable time outdoors as a family. To give you some background, 52 Weeks of Nature is our families’ commitment to living an outdoor lifestyle every week of the year. It began, at the end of 2015, as a yearlong commitment that quickly became the Luna-Naughton lifestyle. I’m happy to report that it’s here to stay!
In 2016 we blogged, instagrammed and tweeted our way through most of our outdoor adventures. It was an education in outdoor preparation to say the least. There was the time, maybe multiple times that we showed up to a trailhead without the requisite cash for the cash only park fee. (Oops, are we on a list now for not paying?) Or the time we didn’t dress MJ warm enough and he screamed bloody murder as we ended our chilly hike. Not only did we learn about logistics and the importance of being well prepared (with extra cloths, food, maps), we also learned how to co-exist outside together.
At the beginning of the year, Joe and I were able to reconnect as our kids slept in their carriers. As the year comes to a close we have witnessed AJ hike 2, then 3 and now 4 miles. And we have watched as MJ as gone from a front carrier to a back carrier to hiking on his own two feet. Those conversations that Joe and I had while the kids slept have gradually turned into the chitter chatter of two boys and their parents discovering nature together.
We are moving into 2017 and are revamping our blog using photography to tell the story; rather than 500 words divided into paragraphs. We are still planning on writing once or twice a month, but finding enough time to write a weekly blog proved too much and the content sometimes read like a report rather than a reflection.
Also, instead of defaulting to hiking (albeit our favorite activity), we are developing outdoor themes for 2017 so that we are sure to expose our kids to new activities. For example, our January theme is “sledding and hot chocolate.” We are so excited to check out some of Colorado’s best sledding hills and to make things sweeter we will be bringing along a different homemade hot chocolate recipe for each adventure. Cold weather, snow, sledding, mountains, family and hot chocolate – what could be better!
As we embark on this continued journey in 2017 its impossible not to acknowledge the amazing benefits that 52 Weeks of Nature has had on our lives. My kids have hiked many miles and they’ve been carried too. They’ve spent time outdoors completely removed from electronics, the static noise of air conditioners and heaters and TV’s playing in the background. They’ve had opportunities to build resilience, develop a relationship with nature and the environment, and my husband and I have had great conversations while the kids were nestled on our backs.
What started out as a one-year commitment is now a lifestyle. I cannot imagine the weekend without escaping to the mountains and the trails for some fresh air and quality time with my family.
To that end:
“May the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rains fall soft upon your fields”
-The Luna Naughtons