My kids love being outside, they run out the door without boots half the time and sometimes one will run out in a dress with me chasing after her with 7 more layers.  I’ve learned to kind of give up on that last concept due to the layers ending up off and scattered around the yard or the living room.  I’ve raised these two to love being outside, which they both have been since they were babies.  I’d found peace and solace in the outdoors, where post partum depression and co dependency was heavy in my life and also living in a state far from home.  No friends or family, I felt incredibly alone.  So, my son and I would hike almost every single day.  If we weren’t hiking, we were at a park with friends or walking around our neighborhoods.  Getting him outside was the best thing I could have ever done for him and for myself.  It gave me the courage to find new friends, to breathe in this new motherhood thing, and to explore places I had never even dreamed I’d be able to see in my lifetime.  I had started hiking with him in Oregon when he was about 5 months old, then we moved back home to Washington, I had my daughter and I started tandem wearing them both when she was but 3 weeks old.  Being outside with them gives us all a sense of calm, but it’s not always calm and it’s not always easy.  There are meltdowns, fights about chair logs and who dethroned who on said chair log.  But there’s always something we get out of it.  Whether that’s the fresh mountain air, the freedom of not being inside 4 walls or the company we have along the trail.  Exploring new species of plants or insects and all around, but all around just being together in nature.  It’s not always going to be easy, but the effort we all put into getting outside together means the most to me.  This year, we are doing the 1000 hours outside, challenge.  I did this challenge only to see how many hours we truly do spend outside.  I’ve never tracked it.  Summers are spent barefoot, running around or all day picnicking under a tree.  It’s spending time with friends outside and I have always been curious to see what we actually track.  Our biggest challenge will be getting out in the pouring rain because I do love me a cozy indoor day with coffee, legos, baking and Gilmore Girls.  Washington is by far one of the wettest states, and being on the west side of the mountains, we get a lot of it.  I’m grateful my kids don’t mind going out in it because we have all the correct gear, but it’s hard to find the motivation to do it.  I’ll be blogging more about our time outside this year and my challenge to you is to get outside as well!  Do you have a favorite hike nearby that you take your kids?  Are you a rain or shine kind of family too?  You can follow along on our daily adventures on my Instagram: @ashleyscheider

Here is one of our recent hikes with some of our best friends in Snoqualmie, Washington.  Just one hour outside of Seattle.

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