Monday, October 3, 2011

Unplug and get outside!

Like many of you, I have a tough time tearing my kids away from the computer, games on the wii and endless programming on The Disney Channel. I may be contradicting myself by having just invested in cable tv for the next six months (Hey -- I got a fab six month deal for the Wisconsin winter!) ... But .... I find it super important to get the kids outside and keep them active. Even if it's just walking, hanging out at the park or playing with friends in the neighborhood. I try to get them outside every day, for as much time as I can. In the warmer months we even tend to eat most of our meals outside (less clean-up = bonus!).

The first weekend of October was GORGEOUS here! The sun was shining and the temps were in the 50's and 60's. Absolutely beautiful. It was a perfect weekend to be enjoying eachother's company OUTSIDE! I let the kids spend an hour both mornings on the computer and watching tv while I did what I needed to around the apartment, but after that WE WERE OUTSIDE!

Saturday was spent all day at the pumpking patch with friends (more on that later). And, Sunday was spent just the three of us, enjoying eachother ... and enjoying the outdoors.

Sunday morning the kids and I met up with several ladies that I'm coaching throught the local rec program and their families (no pic - sorry!). The kids joined us on their bikes as we ran their longest run to date on a local path. The kids had fun meeting everyone .... and of course they got to enjoy the local park afterwards. It was a win-win for all of us.

I did some quick research online and found a small apple orchard outside of Cottage Grove, WI (HERE). Door Creek Orchard had just enough to keep us busy for an hour or so (about as long as my kids attention span will last while picking apples!). We explored the lower and the upper orchards, visited the farm animals and took in the country BEAUTIFUL scenery (WOW!).

They each got their own bag to fill with the yummy teeny-tiny apples of their choice and we had a blast tasting the fresh fruit right off the tree. My brown-nosing daughter also picked an apple to give to her second grade teacher the next morning. And, of course, we took the opportunity to pose under a pretty apple tree.

We then headed over to the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. This is one of my favorite places to visit this summer. But, I have never taken my kids with me. I do a lot of my longer runs by myself or with friends on the trail. And, I've been meeting many of my clients that are training for 5Ks at the trail head in Cottage Grove. They love the country scenery and how beautiful and peaceful it is on a Sunday morning. I wanted to show the kids what beautiful scenery my clients and I are experiencing and enjoying. It also gave me an opportunity to explain to them a little bit about why I coach and why I enjoying helping people achieve their goals. I told them about all of the neat men and women I've met throughout this opportunity I have been given.

The kids and I "hiked" along the trail and looked at nature. They saw some bunnies and I told them that I've seen a lot of little critters while I've been out running mile-after-mile. The deer at dusk have startled me and I've dodged chipmunks left and right.

Little Diva found a "fuzzy wuzzy" caterpillar and was happy she rescued it before the cyclists came by. We found him a nice shade tree and all watched him as he crawled up and away to safety.

I showed the kids the awesome YOU ROCK greeting that had been painted at the trailhead. It always makes my running buddies and I smile as we finish up each and every run. I then told the kids how much THEY ROCK for agreeing to turn off the tv and the computer (even if they did whine a bit before piling into the Marathon Mommy Minivan!!) and getting outside with me. Just think of the things they would've missed out on that day. The little creatures they saw, the experiences we had together, the smiles and laughs we shared. They agreed that mommy was right. We'll see if they remember that little discussion next time!

And, tonight after an eight hour day at work and school, being a single parent training for another half marathon .... I still had to run tonight. And, you know what?!?! They happily agreed to go on a four mile family fun run with me around the neighborhood. No whining ... no questioning me ... just miles of smiles!!!!


  1. Looks like you had a great weekend with them! I'm so glad you had good weather and were able to get out and enjoy it. :)

  2. Aw, this is so sweet. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to go run with me. :)

  3. Looks like you had a great time and kept them busy and happy without electronics - it's great to keep a balance with all things in life :)!

  4. What a fun day! I really want to go apple picking sometime. Maybe this weekend??? Also, Daniel and I go to Culvers specifically for the Diet Mt. Dew :).