I grew up in Las Vegas. I still haven't quite decided how I feel about it. It's unreasonably hot in the summer. The traffic is usually a nightmare. There are too many people in this desert. And it's dry, and landlocked.
But there are some days when I forget all of that and actually stop to appreciate some of the beauty that God placed around me.
A couple weeks ago, we took a family hiking trip (actually twice in 1 week) to Red Rock Canyon. It's just west of the Vegas valley; a quick 30 minute drive. And it's quite an escape from the usual desert landscape. The weather is a bit cooler, it's green and in some places there is running water (say wha??). But more than all of that, there are incredible mountains.
One of my 2012 goals was to get out of the house more often. Sometimes I feel like we do things to work toward that, and then there are whole weeks that Isaac and I haven't left the house. I think though, all in all, we have gotten out a lot more this year than we did last. This was definitely one of those times and we had a really good time as a family.
This was Isaac's first hiking trip. We kept joking about what he might be thinking. Something like, "Mom, I'm from the 'burbs. What are we doing walking through all this dirt, in the heat, in the sun!?" But he did really well. When he got tired he rode on Ben's back (and on his front for the 2nd hike, which was a little more strenuous). And the best part of all, it tired him out! He napped for hours after each trip. I think I've learned another good mom secret: take the kids hiking to wear them out!