Last week Jeremy expressed to me that he was feeling a little homesick for KY. He said he felt like he just needed to see some wide open spaces and green fields. He works every day in San Francisco and the city bustle can get intense after awhile. Our hometown is just across the Bay in Alameda. It's a charming city and we love it, but it is densely populated. Definitely no fields of wheat or corn here! So, when we get to feeling like that, it means it's time for a hike!
We decided to stay close and go to Tilden Park in the East Bay. Tilden Park is lovely and I still had not seen Lake Anza that is nestled within it. We were there within 30 minutes. We parked and did a nice little trail around the lake. It only took us about 30-40 minutes, but that was perfect. Caleb was able to walk that distance so we didn't need to get out the big hiking back pack for him. Anna Kate napped in the Ergo for most of the walk. It was a nice, flat trail with views of the lake the whole time, but it was very bumpy with roots from trees plus we had to climb over a few rocky areas. When it got particularly rough, Jeremy carried Caleb in those sections. Rock climbing with Anna Kate on me is not that easy, but I only had to do that twice. :)
I decided not to take my phone. I hate how much I use it. It's both a lifeline and a terrible distraction for the stay-at-home mom. How many times at the end of a long, tiring day have I completely checked out and vegged out while scrolling though social media? How many books could I have read instead of checking my phone? How many hours of sleep have I lost when I could have gone to bed at 10 pm instead of 11pm after playing on the phone an hour. I hate it, but it is a terrible habit to break. It's always there unless you leave it on purpose. So, I focused entirely on my little family that afternoon with no distractions to take a perfect pic and upload to Instagram.
Here's a few of the things I treasured in my heart that day: Jeremy holding Caleb's little hand while helping him navigate bumpy trails. Visibly noticing the work weariness leave Jeremy's shoulders and face as he walked in nature and said, "You know me so well. I needed this." Emily proudly leading the way most of the time. She loves to follow a path--to discover what's just around the bend before the next person. My two big kids happily climbed and ran and discovered a little bit of God's creation. They were happy and healthy and beautiful. I just felt a big dose of mama pride that despite all of the more "productive" things I could have been doing that day, I had chosen well what we all needed most.
After the hike, we took the kids to Tilden Park's Merry-Go-Round. I had wanted to do this with the kids at some point, so I was pleasantly surprised that the historic grand carousel was so close to Lake Anza. I had just enough cash for the kids to do one ride. Emily rode a horse that went up/down while the carousel spun its circle. Caleb was too timid to ride the horse even with daddy standing right beside him. So, they sat together on one of the benches during the ride.
Caleb fell asleep on the way home from the park. It was a good day. The cool, windy weather kept the crowds away, but we were totally comfortable in a light jacket and jeans. I love my little family.