a perfect hike.

okay, so maybe not perfect. 

and this post should probably be titled "how to survive a hiking trip with eight kids twelve and under". 

it's sunday about noon.

tell the kids to put their tennies on, we're going on a hike.

"where? (sycamore canyon), with who? (just the 10 of us) how long will it take to get there? (only about 5 hours :) do we have to?" (yes)

pack a lunch, load everyone up and head out.

make the mistake of going through downtown Sedona which is PACKED on this beautiful day and the one stoplight in town is not working.  and pedestrians are calling us idiots because we're not stopping for them- never mind the fact that they are still 30 feet from the cross walk.  add an extra 20 minutes.  kids are antsy.  (*sigh* we haven't even been in the van an hour)

make it to Cottonwood.  directions say turn right at Tuzigoot National Monument sign.  drive through the entire town.  didn't see any sign, did you?  nope.  turn around. kids are getting ornery.  the how-much-longer's and the don't-you-know-where-you're-going's have started.

drive BACK through town.  still no sign of the sign.  turn down another street.  oops, dead end.  hubby's getting frustrated but refuses to ask for directions at a gas station.  you ask, he says.  no, you ask, I reply.  this was your idea.  debate about just going back home.  he finally gives in agrees to stop.  and the kids wonder what's so hard about asking someone. I mumble something about it being a guy thing.

finally find the sign.

bumpity bump down 11 miles of dirt road and I wonder if I'll go into labor. kids are bouncing around screaming yee haw in the back seat and I feel a major headache coming on.

arrive at the trail head.  before we even come to a complete stop, kids are jumping out and running wildly down the steep trail.  now I have heart palpitations and have yelled stop, wait and slow down approximately 362 times.

but then it did get better.  we saw views like this: (I wish I had a polarizer or lens hood)

and this: (maybe I just wish I had a better lens)

and took a break by this pretty waterfall: (mainly due to the fact that the choruses of I'm hungry's and I'm thirsty's had begun)

and boys will be boys like this: (I gave up on yelling "stay out of the water.") 

and this:

but they can be fun and sorta cute at times like this:

and we had moments like these:

and because it was valentine's day we saw lots of these sketched along the trail:

and then we came across this drawing and my heart swelled:

because these are the two people who started this whole mess in the first place.  

and because in reality, everything in life is so perfectly imperfect.

but this I know for sure: the memories we create and keep with us will be absolutely perfect.

-have a fun tuesday!





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