Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Our San Diego summer is winding down and I cannot believe it. I'd be a wreck over the fact if we weren't going back to our VA framily (friend family) and our Honey House. This county has been my dream come true as a mom. It's SUNNY. It's warm. It's beautiful. You can't help but have fun (ah I'm such a broken record around here!!). Like our morning last week downtown at Waterfront Park!

The photos here are clearly all about that, but as I was prepping them last night, I realized that I should throw into this post what I've learned about how to get out with your kids, because I don't want you to be fooled - the "adventure Mom" thing has definitely been a learned lifestyle for me. I've had some great examples in the arena (my friend, Lizzie, tops that list. She is incredible), and I am so grateful to them for showing me the ropes. Can't lie here, I'm also grateful for the pretty dire circumstances that law school gave me -- I have literally been forced to get us out and go to 1) pass time when I'm Single Mom and 2) to make life fun.

Here are my 6 tips:

1. Just GO. Don't overthink getting out. Prepare yourself - charge your phone, pack your goods (next point down), know where you're going, know your limits. But don't become afraid of the prep work + of what can go wrong, like bad traffic, getting lost, being late, of your kids griping about what you're doing, of you questioning your sanity -- all of that is going to happen, either all in one outing (those ones are super fun!! ;)), or day by day. If you only read one tip from me, let it be this one: you are brave + tough enough for this kind of stuff. So don't think. Just go!

2. Pack your goods. Especially food! Can't emphasize to pack food enough, mostly because I've dropped that ball a lot and it's not pretty. We're lucky to have joined forces with my dear friend, Chrissy, and her kids this summer, and Chrissy has taught me to not shaft your food game. Actually when I asked her today for her #1 tip for going out with your kids, she said "FOOD" and she emphasized that simple is best: apple sauce packets, a box of crackers, graham crackers, that kind of stuff. Chrissy also keeps a flat of water bottles in her trunk (she's saved us there, too!), and I started keeping some in my car, too, per her example. 

Other than food, depending on how long we're going to be out, I tote a change of clothes for the girls (you never know) and about 423 diapers. :)

3. Go with friends. For so many reasons - like point 2 above :) - find a friend that likes/needs to get out, too, and band together! You have another set of adult hands, and in my humble opinion, you have more fun. I reference this all the time - "love is what you go through together" - and let me tell you, there's some serious love that comes out of getting out and going for the gold with just you, a friend or two, and your gaggles of children.

4. Ask for help from strangers. Don't worry if you have to reach out to people you don't know for help. For example, I opened my backpack last week at the park and found zero diapers (what happened to my 423?!), and Claire's full diaper was about to explode. I was *this* close to shutting down our party and driving the 25 minutes home to change her, with the hope that Claire's diaper would stay intact, but by the looks of that bulging thing (raise your hand if you've been there), I just couldn't risk it! Luckily, I had a swim diaper on me, so with that in hand, I went up to a stranger-mom and said, "Hey there! Favor. Can I swap you a swim diaper for a real one? I've got an emergency change on my hands." She didn't hesitate for a half-second. She was so kind. Our party was saved. :) 

5. Stay sooo flexible. Like Elasti-Girl flexible. If you get to your destination 40 minutes late (been there), great. If you can't find parking for 40 minutes (been there), no big. If your kids get hungry, and you didn't pack enough food so you have to go buy some (been there), cool. Becoming Elasti-Girl was really hard for me to do when Olivia was little, but this is how I learned to get there: set your expectations sooo low. If you expect to have a perfect adventure - you're doing something awesome + you prepped well - prepare to be demolished by the universe, hurt, and then mad (been there)! If you expect very little of the outing - of your children's attitudes toward, the ease of getting there, the pictures your'e going to take (see next point!) - you'll be the happiest Adventure Mom on the block. 

6. Take pictures! Pictures let you relive the adventure. The girls and I literally re-relish the fun, and we tend to appreciate what we did even more when we're scrolling through our pictures. Taking pictures, I've learned, also helps turn unfortunate events around. EG, I led our posse down a wrong path this morning as we were trying to get back from a coastal trail to our cars, but Chrissy said, "Well let's take a picture! It's beautiful here and now we're suddenly on a real adventure." (If this post hasn't made it clear yet that, yes, everyone needs a Chrissy in their life, I quit). The kids got into adventurer mode, and what would've solicited gripes extracted smiles. :D Don't be wary of snapping the "ugly" moments, too. Those shots are the funniest when re-living later. EG, see "Olivia Mean Face" in this post below... :)

Alright, what'd I miss? What are you doing that helps you get out the door and stay out with your people? I'd love to hear, so don't be shy!

Also - I gotta say this - the last thing I want is for this post to be a comparison trap. If you're not the type that likes to get out and go - if you'd prefer to make the adventures happen at home - you're as awesome as the next girl, sister. The beauty of mothering is that none of us does it the same (at least we shouldn't)! We help each other along, but at the end of the day, you do you and I do me and that's what makes the world go 'round. :)

And now, enjoy a morning at Waterfront Park! A favorite, FREE, amazing (!!) spot here in SD...
Waterfront Park wins for the views and the ambiance. The Harbor sits behind you, where some stellar ships like the "piwate ship!" below are docked. You can tour them, but for the sake of saving money, we opted out this year. Next year, though, we have high hopes to climb aboard. 
I asked Claire to smile and she gave me...
She was so happy. :) Olivia was, too. I mean, for the first time in forever, I said "Yes, you can get in the fountain!" Big day in their little lives.
Downtown sits on the other side of the park. There's a perfect city vibe down here. It's not crazy busy but it's the city!!! We love this entire area of Downtown SD.
I asked Olivia to smile and the girl gave me this...
OH my. ;) Really I just had to catch her in the act...
I haven't mentioned yet that we were there with my friend, Chrissy, and her three kids - the super woman that I talked about above. These two are usually at each other, but they were feeling the love for a second there... !!
And these three are only sometimes at each other (the reality of having a framily)! Overall, though, there is serious love between these five. And I tell you, it's because of what they've gone through together!

(PS that jumping boy on the right. YES!)
Their energy drooped a little, so we snacked (yes, on Chrissy's food. I'm shameful and she's stalwart), and we snapped a few pics with our kids....
Miss Bear's saying "Cheeese." :)
And we got a pic of us partners in crime -- that's the famous Chrissy up there with her darling kids. Oh how we love this crew! And props to little, Savvy, for snapping the photo below of us moms with my big ol' camera. Truly would NOT have had the summer we have without Chrissy here with me. I am so grateful for that friend!
After eating and snapping these, we hopped over to the stellar playground behind the fountains. I tell you, Waterfront Park is a spot to hit when you come to SD with your kids. Between the fountains and the park and the views (and more views!), you can't lose.

Truly, I'm all ears for your tips about making adventures outside and inside doable and oh so memorable. We're all in this together (cue fist-pump emoji). :)



  1. love it! So jealous here! :) can't wait to see you all back in Cville! woot woot. Let the adventures of 3 L begin!

    1. Seriously!!! Cannot cannot cannot wait. <3

  2. Just wanted to let you know that you inspired me! I had a feeling that it was time to read Jeni's blog and it was just what I needed to motivate me to do something fun and invite a friend along. And great times were had thanks to you. Thanks, Jeni! ❤️

    1. Girl I love you. <3 You are absolutely welcome. I have to say "thanks" right back for inspiring me to follow those little feelings that come to my own head/heart more often. You're teaching me!! As always. I'm running in STG this week and WISH you were with me. Love you, Sarah!!


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