pursue adventure – guest post

I am so excited to introduce you to Adventure Mom!
She’s one of my oldest friends.  We grew up together.  Even though we haven’t seen each other in years I am sure we would pick up just where we left off.
I can hardly remember a Sunday after church when we weren’t begging our parents to let us have the other over….to play Cabbage Patch kids.  Then when we were a little older we would beg my dad to take us on the “boy adventures.” (which seemed so much more fun to us than the girl stuff.)   And he would.  He took us caving and camping and rappelling.  We loved it.
So, this is Nedra.
She’s in the Guinness book of world records!
Her super fun space on the internet is Adventure Mom Blog.  You should head over there and check it out.  You will not be disappointed.  You can follow her adventures.  She has a page with discounts for adventures, which is always adding to.  She is on a budget and still has awesome adventures and does super cool stuff with her kids.   I love Nedra.  She is dedicated to living life.  She shares her heart and it will touch you deeply.  She will inspire you.  She will encourage you.  She is amazing and strong and beautiful.  And fun!!!
Here is one of my absolute favorite posts of hers.  A must read.   Why death has made me want to live.
It is just amazing.  It left me speechless.  (Which is pretty hard!)
And I love this one too.  Walk like a…. zombie.
Please head on over and get to know her.  You will not regret it.
Without further ado.
Take it away Nedra……….
Pursue Adventure
Adventure is not something that typically knocks on your door.
It’s a lifestyle that has to be pursued.
Now when I say lifestyle, I don’t mean you have to travel around the world and sell all of your possessions. What I do mean is that you have to fight for it. As moms, our schedules are set on a lot of routines, meal times, bedtimes, sports activities, etc. As a mom I feel more alive when I have something new to look forward to. I crave variety because the routines of everyday life can get boring. I love the bedtime prayers, hearing about their day and the hugs and kisses but loathe the adult stuff like meal planning, cleaning, paying bills and doing the laundry. (and why is it so hard for me to put the laundry away) We have to make time for what is important to us. Depending on what stage of motherhood you are in, you could just be trying to schedule in a shower. Trust me it gets better and you won’t be in this season forever. My boys are 5 and 9 and I am LOVING these ages. Diaper bags and strollers have become a distant memory and new adventures lie around every corner. We have been able to create so many great memories through the years during each and every stage of life. We just modified our adventures a bit when we needed to for their ages to help with attention spans.
You can travel with your kids My oldest son’s first road trip was when he was 10 days old for a wedding. I’ve found that the sooner kids are used to road trips the better for the kids and the parents. He was a month old for his first big tourist attraction to The Pictured Rocks in Munising, Michigan. We just had to take more breaks for meals and diaper changings but it was still a great trip that I don’t regret taking. Years later, we were concerned about the prospect of my youngest falling off one of the cliffs on our trip to The Natural Bridge in Slade, KY. He is our wild kamikaze kid. I didn’t understand kid “backpacks” and maybe passed a little judgement until we had HIM. His backpack was a must for public outings or he would be GONE. It only truly looked cruel when he would quit walking while wearing it, causing him to look like a disgruntled pet being dragged on the ground. We held him with a death grip during the super dangerous parts and didn’t let him get farther than arms length.
Out of nowhere one day, my youngest son brought up a trip we took months ago while driving in the car. I accidentally got us lost at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. We were in a sea of sand dunes that all looked the same without a point of reference once you couldn’t see the lake. He and I were checking out the view of Lake Michigan from a sand dune a little farther away. I decided it would be easier to take a shortcut and climb across the tops of the sand dunes to meet my husband and other son instead of back tracking. BAD IDEA! Long story short, there was a real possibility of a search team being needed (it was the first time I’ve been truly LOST not temporarily misplaced) and we learned the valuable lesson of staying on the trail. Aww the memories!
Mondays can be fun days. Who says you can only have fun on the weekend? Our family took a hike on a gorgeous Monday at a local park and had so much fun climbing trees and running through the woods. Don’t let beautiful days go to waste by reserving fun for weekends.
Be informed and plan ahead. Know what events are going on in your city that week. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on your computer researching. I can find out in 5 minutes what free/affordable events are going on just by checking out our city’s local events website. I like to keep my options open and see what things I want to do, then modify them around any existing plans if I need to. Pack snacks or plan your meals out and you will be less likely to suffer a mommy meltdown.
This past summer we brought our kids to the free swing dance night downtown. You don’t always have to get a sitter. You’d be surprised at what your kids will try.
  Explore your city like a tourist. You may have lived in your city for a long time, but do you know the unique places that tourist visit when they are in town? They are so many events, parks,museums where you can create fun memories together. On an adventure exploring our downtown, my boys and I found an enormous tire swing/ art piece to play on together. Take time to find the nooks and crannies of your city.
Be on the lookout for new parks, trails or creeks you haven’t visited yet to explore. I found a clean creek next to a park that was a great way to spend a hot afternoon after school with my boys. We would skips stones, look for wildlife, splash and jump from rock to rock and just PLAY together. I just dressed them in swimsuits so that I wouldn’t freak out if they got their clothes wet.
Operation Wearout. A benefit of trying new things and places it that it helps your kids sleep faster at night or in the car. It’s a beautiful thing.
Start saying the phase “Why not?” instead of “Why?” That is how the boys and I became apart of The Guinness Book of World Records for the largest rubber chicken toss. Who cares if it’s random or stupid! Are you a world record holder? We are.
When you say “why not” to new experiences you meet people and go places that you would never have dreamed of before and your family will be more well rounded because of it. They will be open to learning about new things anywhere they go. When I invite other families to a random activity, a lot of times they will say my kids won’t be into that. I have never taken my boys to something they didn’t like. There are some things you don’t think you will like until you experience them.
  You don’t have to only try new adventures with your family. My husband and I mixed up date night with an intro to curling class. My friend and I tried the luge. I took an aerial silks class and attended roller derby practices by myself. Give yourself a break from the mom guilt. When your dreams are brought to life, you will carry that renewed spirit to your whole family and they will benefit from it.
Challenge yourself. Who doesn’t have a list of stuff they want to do? A goal is a dream with a deadline. I made a list of things I wanted to do this year. Some are going to be more challenging to accomplish than others. One easily attained bucket list item I accomplished already was trying disk golf. All your adventures don’t have to be big or life changing. If you want to do it bad enough you will find a way if not you will find an excuse. Stop the excuses. You don’t have to wait until your kids are grown up. Again stop the mom guilt.
  You don’t have to have a lot of money I find free/ affordable things to do all the time. Just be open to anything. I have a list of resources in my article on “Creative Funancing.” I have used birthday and Christmas gifts for adventures I have wanted to try. I used a group rate to try the trapeze with a group of girlfriends to celebrate our birthdays. In celebration of my oldest son’s birthday, we came back two months later with a Groupon discount that we used as a family, .
 I encourage you to make time for adventure in your life. The older I get the more I am valuing experiences over receiving stuff. Kids will forget the stuff you bought them but the memories your family create together will last a lifetime. Pursue adventure and you will never regret it.
Time to dream and do!

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