Ah, I feel so refreshed.
I have been so swamped in recent years with infants and all that, that I really have had little "me" time. I think in my job and with my husband's wonderful support I have found much more "me" time than most mothers I know. But it doesn't really mean much more than that I demand time for myself.
However, lately I find I have had much more time than I have been accustomed to over the last few years.
I stopped and thought really hard (I think I blogged before) about what I really wanted from life and what I wanted from this in-between stage. There is a lot I have planned for when the kids are older, like more volunteer work, and more work on other hobbies. Likewise, maybe returning to school. Maybe writing more.
For now though, none of these time consuming endeavors appeal to me. My job takes away enough time from family as is, so these were not the things I felt like persuing with more time.
I decided working again on small craft projects and getting out on more hikes with the kids, was what I really wanted.
It has been hard because we planned a nice hike a couple of weekends, ago but dh fell ill. So we rescheduled for this weekend. Sunday was my only day off.
Of course, I woke up Sunday feeling a little under the weather myself. This put me in a pretty foul mood. I decided I Wanted to try anyway, but as we drove into the wildnerness I griped that this is why we never get to do anything like this. !! There's just always something. I was frustrated that as I tried to make time for these kind of things, it wasn't exactly panning out.
The hike quickly alleviated my bad mood though and I actually felt much better after pushing through. I just knew that laying around the house was NOT going to help me. I had been so itching to get OUT of the house.
Anyway, so we ventured out near Folsom, not quite sure what to expect. I had found the hike online, and I don't think of Folsom as being particularly scenic. (There is so much more breathtaking scenery nearby). But as we approached, we marveled at the place hidden away (how would anyone know it was there otherwise? Thank you internet!) and the peacefulness. We did not see one soul the first hour of our hike.
Started along some backyards of some mansions, and a lot of road noises. I was skeptical, but soon enough peacefulness started to settle in and we went through a small "forest."
I was disappointed when we reached the half way point, or the river, and hadn't really seen any animals. ?? Besides all the birds.
Anyway, we stopped and lounged a while, and was surprised how quiet it was for such a BEAUTIFUL day. Saw 2 boats and a couple of people fishing on the banks of the river.
We turned back and took a different trail back to our car, and then I saw IT. A bird was flying overhead, and I looked up an was absolutely stunned. IT was a BALD EAGLE. Um, okay, that bird sure looked like a bald eagle. It was magnificent. I had seen one perched in a tree once in the Oregon wilderness. Just about the most beautiful animal I had ever seen. Unfortunately, with the sun glare I couldn't quite make out as much. & I didn't really know Bald Eagles were in California, so I Was skeptical if that's really what I saw. When I pointed it out to dh and the kids, the glare was too strong and they couldn't make out any features. I thought maybe I was wrong.
Of course first thing when I get home I googled bald eagles, and Folsom, and yes they are there. Though I guess it is quite a rare sighting. I felt so blessed. (& not crazy after all).
Next time I am bringing my binoculars!!
Anyway, the kids did really well. IT was a 2-hour hike (stops and all) and LM fared well, though I wouldn't put him through more, and he did trip a couple of times.
At that age we went on some very intense hikes with BM, but he is a daredevil. & I just don't think we're up to much more this year. LM is very cautious. Which is fine. Mommy and Daddy need to work up to some bigger hikes ourselves. We're getting old and out of shape.
Anyway, they were kind of whiny towards the last half hour and could tell LM in particular was getting quite tired of this whole hiking thing. When all of a sudden the fishermen we had seen come by with a giant catch! They had a catfish that was certainly bigger than LM.
It was perfect timing as that really perked the kids up. They were walking fast and BM decided he wanted to try to catch up to them again. Also, LM said seeing that big fish was his favorite part of the hike.
We also did see some gorgeous butterflies.
On the way back we ran into a few hikers. & towards the end there was some picnic tables on a tremendous vista. It was so gorgeous. The sky was so blue, and just miles of rolling hills. We decided to return for a picnic in the future.
Of course, spring is the time of year to enjoy a hike like this. The hills just get brown and ugly in the summer. Well, that, and in this area it also gets hotter than HAdes.
Likewise, dh and I discussed doing small, local hikes in the spring, and venturing out to Tahoe and San Francisco, and Point Reyes, etc., in the summer months. A good way to escape the heat - for sure!!
Anyway, I returned home feeling much better, and refreshed. I am glad I forged ahead and we followed through.
I can hardly think of a better way to spend a Sunday!
Of course, after that, we had promised the kids to a trip to IHOP for their "Horton HEars a Who" special menu. I admit the commercials got ME. I thought it looked very clever and I like IHOP anyway. So we took the kids.
Let me say, this was quite a splurge for us, and we were rather disappointed. I glanced at the kids' menu and didn't see any prices. Likewise, it was a confusing menu. We don't eat out that much, but used to a few choices and clear prices. (USually says it comes with a side, a drink, a dessert, etc.)
Anyway, dh later mentioned the same thing. What's with the no prices? We weren't particularly pleased by this. Though we gathered from some of the prices on the big menu that the Horton special was probably the cheapest choice anyway. ($3.99. They listed a few of the kids' choices - not all - in the $4.99 range on the big menu).
Anyway, of course, on reason this perplexed me was there was a picture of a rather large piece of ham, a large scoop of green eggs (yes - green eggs and ham) and some smaller pancakes. I was thinking - they will serve that for $4.99????
OF course, dh pointed out the false advertising when the food came out. The ham was little itty bitty and the pancakes were much bigger. LOL. I said, well, that certainly looks like a $4.99 meal. Makes more sense.
Anyway, beyond all that the service was pretty blah.
We ordered waters and used a 15% off coupon.
Anyway, I like IHOP, but that experience left me rather bummed. Not the best.
I just got a cheeseburger. But I have to say that the ham/eggs/bacon/sausage meal was pretty tempting. I am a meat lover. I laughed when I realized it was on the lighter menu as "low carb." LOL. I mean, it didn't say it was "light" - more like the specialty menu. But I just laugh at eating all that food in an effort to lose weight or be healthy. Egads! It was tempting to me as a major meat gorging fest, indeed. But yeah, I wasn't going to fool myself that that would be good for me because it had no carbs. Yeesh.
Well, the kids did like their pancakes, but LM was having problems with their big fork. Was having problems stabbing his food with it, and it was probably a bit heavy. So when we left he said, "Restaurants are stupid. I never want to go to a restaurant again." Dh agreed. LOL.
So much for that treat. Though I guess I take pleasure knowing the kids enjoyed the hike 10 times more than a trip to IHOP.
Ah, I feel so refreshed.