erin's adventure

friends, i am so excited for you to meet my friend, erin of tweetpotatopie! she is an incredibly inspiring creative, entrepreneur & one of my closest friends. today i am wrapping up our mini adventure series with erin's story that's a little closer to home. welcome, erin...
this past thursday, i had a dentist appointment.
although we live in illinois, my dentist is the same one i've had since childhood and is located just over the border, in lake geneva, wisconsin.

at first, i despaired.  all i could think about were the multiplied should-do's and need-to-do's that filled my list for this sunny day.  i could get SO much done in this weather!

as we drove to the dentist office, we passed the lake geneva farmer's market that just to happens to be open...every thursday...and an idea began to form.
as soon as my appointment was over, we scooted out of there in a hurry and made a beeline for the farmer's market.
while we browsed the booths, full of kitschy sports-themed-painted gourd-birdhouses and handmade jewelry, we munched on our homemade lunch that we gathered from vendors along the way...
mason-jar-canned garlic dill pickle spears, butterscotch granola bites, cheesy focaccia wasn't enough to fill us, but it was surely enough to tide us over for a bit!
colton scored a $1 eclair {i think his freckles won him a discount with the baker-lady}, and we even remembered to grab a bundle of fresh lettuces for our dinner salad.

more than all that, though, we had an adventure.
we did!
you see, i think there's this misconception that an adventure involves a road trip...or possibly an extended vacation...certainly some grandiose expense...that could qualify as an adventure, right?? 
and yes, vacations and road trips and disney world and cruises and alllllll that...that all has its time and place.
but let's not forget about the adventures that await us on a daily basis.
adventures that are ours if we'd only take the few extra moments to seize them.
maybe it's as simple as an ice cream cone from your local mom & pop ice cream stand.
our family has a favorite little haunt one town east of us...we've made it an informal sunday evening tradition to drive over there for an ice cream with the kiddos.  it sets us back about twenty bucks...but is more than worth that for the memories we make.
maybe it's taking the extra minute or two to walk through the park, as opposed to rushing for your car and high-tailing it out...
kids are good at this adventure-finding, you know that?  i think if i'd take my cues from them more often, a lot more adventures would find their way to me.
maybe it's actually dipping your toes in the water and really feeling it...and savoring the moment or two of mind-clearing rest.

i don't know what adventure is for you...
although this day's adventures all involved my kiddos, solitary adventures are just as precious to me.
one day it may be a well-deserved pedicure...
another day it is stopping in a new little boutique that i noticed in town.
it's taking the long road home from the grocery store, just so i can get my favorite iced coffee.
it's a three-mile walk stretched to the max, so i can squeeze in two full podcasts, not just one.
here are some of my favorite "mini-adventures," taken from the past several weeks...adapt how ever you see fit!
~on a day when i knew my hubby would be gone for the evening, i took the kiddos to the store and let them pick out any cereal they wanted.  we grabbed two family movies from the Redbox and that night was "sugary cereal and movie night!"  they thought it was great!
~we love hitting up our local garage sales.  you'd be surprised at the treasures you can find!  i've found that it curbs the constant "mom, can i get this??" if i give my kiddos a couple dollars to spend, with the instruction that once that money is gone, they're done buying for the day.  and you'll probably end up with far fewer beanie babies going home with you that way, too.  i'm just sayin.
~i've recently discovered not one, but two fabulous bakeries within ten-ish minutes of my house.  i love stopping in there if i can work it in as "on the way" to one of my other errands.  most times, i take home treats for everyone, but occasionally, it's just for me.
~a few nights ago, i got all the kids ready and tucked into bed, except my son.  and then i asked him if he wanted to play a game of uno.  his face lit up like you wouldn't believe.  it took him completely by surprise.  and really, it only kept him up about ten minutes longer than everyone else, anyway.

really, i do believe that once you open your eyes to the adventure around you, you'll find that some of your most treasured times are the simple, inexpensive moments that caught you unawares.

enjoy!  and happy adventuring! 
thanks so much, erin! you can find more about erin on her blog & instagram.


Michaela Harris said...

Thanks for this, Erin!

I was a creative writing major in college and we were always instructed to "cultivate creativity." For college students, that meant exploring the town our college was in, crafting a perfectly made cup of coffee, or planning a poetry event in which real sticks were brought in to decorate the stage and support a "where the wild things are" theme. They were always little moments, you know? I loved hearing about the way you see that in and with your kids.

Katie said...

What a great reminder - thanks Erin!

Natalie @ Being Mrs. Olson said...

I totally love this! Although I don't have children yet, my husband and I are good about recognizing adventure. I try to have a good attitude when plans go crooked and find something else along the way. I always exclaim, "we're on an adventure"! It helps with stress and reminds you to enjoy every moment. I love that you make special moments for your kids, too!

LoriLyn said...

Those kiddos are cute! Love the cereal night and the Uno idea :)

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