Going out with a Bang

We couldn't have chosen a better way to celebrate the New Year.  Although we wish we were enjoying a foot or more of snow, nice weather in December does have it's advantages.  All bundled up, we headed to Hilsdale Lake for an evening hike and dinner picnic in the woods to enjoy the 63 degree weather.  Though it was very windy, the trees provided us nice shelter from the breeze and the boys loved the opportunity to play around in the leaves and dirt.  John was very excited to try out his new backpacking pots so we actually ate a hot meal and warmed up a bit with some hot chocolate.

 Ready to roll, Aaron is sporting his new backpack with a few toys and book that he picked out to take with us.
 Ethan was all snuggled up to my back.  Aaron is leading the way!
 Notice the matching pants, shoes, and trekking pole.  "I'm like daddy!"
 Overcoming obstacles
 A nice lady stopped to take our picture for us.
 "Aaron, check out the bats."  Meanwhile, Ethan is more concerned with animal crackers.
 Hot chocolate heating up. 
 Aaron chugging the hot chocolate.
 Gourmet dinner!  This turned into a tuna, noodle, veggie creation complete with a side of peas and biscuits.
 Yum!  (That bowl of peas went flying about 2 min later.)

 A mixture of noodles, peas, and dirt...

 Aaron thought it was hilarious that he got to ride on daddy's back on the way back to the car. It was getting dark fast and much easier/faster to hike while carrying both kids.
 1) Check out that awesome fanny pack (hehehe) - it's the hood of my new backpack!!  It comes off the big pack for day hikes.  2) Eman was pooped...
Yep, he's asleep.  He was crying while we packed up from dinner and as soon as we hit the trail, he was out!  He slept all the way back to the car!

Aaron enjoyed his ride back.  (I think daddy did too!)

When we got home we set the timer for a "midnight countdown" at 7:30 - just before bedtime.  With a sippy cup of sparkling cider for Aaron, water for Eman, and wine glasses of "spiked" sparkling cider for us, we toasted each other after watching the clock and counting down from 10.  "Cheers!" Surprisingly, Aaron was not so keen on the taste but after it sat in the fridge all night and lost the carbonation he thought it was great.  Off to bed the kids went and then it was an evening of lounging and drifting off on the couch waiting for that darn ball to drop!  What a GREAT end to 2011!!

Happy New Year to all our friends and family!!


  1. Oh Boy! Those are precious memories:-) You guys are SUCH great parents. Love it that you are all outdoor peeps. Does Aaron have his own walking stick? So cute with his gear on. Nanny wants to go on a hike with you all in the Spring/Summer, ok? Love you!


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