There is always purpose...

Wednesday


All of the cliches about motherhood exist for one reason. Because they're true.
It is amazing and wonderful. 
It is also painfully redundant and many times unsatisfying.

I want a sign above my door that reads:

"Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department"

The truth is that some days I wanna punch myself in the face. I want to wear my noise cancelling headphones throughout the ENTIRE day, and sometimes when I look at the clock in the morning my first thought is to calculate how much longer until they go back to bed. 

Don't judge me.

As fast as I write those painfully honest words (and expose myself to massive criticism), I smile thinking about the 20 minutes I spent sharpening pencils with my little man today. He probably peed his diaper when he heard the 'roar' of the pencil sharpener for the first time and I am proud to say that I am responsible for bringing that much excitement to his life.

We spent 20 minutes sharpening every last pencil in the tin for big brother and big sister. He was pumped. He was squealing, screaming, gasping with excitement and got quite bossy telling me that I could NOT help. 
"Mine. Yots and yots!"
(lots and lots of pencils)

So, I watched and took pictures to document his first ever pencil sharpening moment. It was fun, and sweet and reminded me that even in the smallest moments there is purpose for me being here. I am teaching him, encouraging him and stepping back to give him the independence he craves. We are together, and I am so very lucky to get to be with this sweet boy, kissing him and squeezing those chubby little legs every single day.

Even after 3 kids, I am reminded on days like these that although the "amazing moments" are usually outnumbered by "those other moments", there is still purpose. There will always be ridiculously simple moments like sharpening pencils, to remind me that there is purpose in what I'm doing here as a mom.

There is always purpose.

Daytripping: Red Top Lookout

Monday


As always, our day trip location was unplanned as we got onto I-90 but thanks to the WTA's amazing website search engine we found a really awesome spot: Red Top Lookout.

I checked the following boxes; kid friendly, less than 3 miles, Snoqualmie region.

Red Top Lookout is a fire lookout built in 1952, still operational with 360 degree views of the Stuart Range, Teanaway Ridge, Chelan and Entiat Mountains, Mount Rainier, and even Mount Adams on a clear daty. 

One of the coolest parts of this short 1.5 mile hike is that the lookout is within view from the very beginning! This was especially great for our kids because their excitement was at an all time high from the very start. They truly enjoy the journey every time we day trip, but this time they were high pitched, chatty-chatty the entire way up. I'm sure the wildlife heard us coming from far away. 
....yeah, this lasted about 2 minutes. Literally.

Honesty forces me to say that we are not avid hikers, expert hikers, experienced hikers or anything of the sort. We are two parents, three kids and we often joke that we're breaking down like 2 old jalopies in a junkyard, but are determined to rally (or fake it) for our kids sake. We were once athletic, so this helps. I only say this because after being in the car for an hour an half, the first 2 minutes of this hike felt like some sort of fitness assessment that I was failing miserably.

It's steep. It's steep, but short, and once we stretched our legs everything was fine. The wind did howl like mad and if you have long hair I'd advise you put that under a hat or something. The rocky switchbacks are gravelly but certainly wide enough to be safe with kids in tow.
(the wind I mentioned earlier...it was no joke)
(cutest little cliffside crapper we've ever seen - poor little guy thought it was a house)
The views were absolutely out of this world. On this particular day the clouds were here and there and it had rained part of our drive, then it was sunny and that weather was playing out in the distance as we watched from the top of the trail. At the lookout, the landscape was pretty unforgiving with sharp cliff edges, so my eyes were transfixed on my kids quite honestly. I was nervous at the top. Sadly, the lookout was closed (it was a holiday) so the closest we could get was the stairs...but even so, all the effort was well worth it. There really aren't words to describe such beauty.
On the other side is a CLIFF. I am still dying to see the inside, another day.
That's my family, not ants.
I never, ever, want to see him that high, next to a cliff, ever again.

I think our kids thought they were on top of the world. It felt so high, and so amazing.

(*disclaimer* not a cliff, not even close, just my camera position.)
The sun rays in the picture above were very real - no trickery there. The weather on this day was completely nuts, sunny then cloudy, then sun rays the entire hike. It was heavenly.

Here's my 2 cents if you decide to go on this adventure:
The drive, while sort of long from the Seattle area, was very pretty. I-90 has many things to see that entertain even the tiniest of passengers such as, waterfalls, reservoirs, animal overpasses and underpasses, fields of farm animals, trains and plenty more.
As always I recommend the Snoqualmie Summit as the last really decent bathroom stop, seriously.
Because cell service is no guarantee, I always take snapshots with my phone of all the directions and trail info from the WTA site just in case, and in many cases, this has saved us! I can rely on photos or paper...never cell service.
Keep a close eye for the tiny brown fire service road sign...its small and off of a very fast 2 lane highway. Once you exit the highway be prepared for a scenic, bumpy, sometimes narrow, safe...then scary...then safe drive up to the top. There's a vault toilet at the parking lot (doesn't look like a parking lot but pretty obvious that's where you park) which is better than no toilet, but refer back to my first advice...Snoqualmie Summit. Once you start the hike there is a very cute "cliffside crapper" if you get desperate. And that's about it. Dress warm, because it was sunny when we started and much colder once we got moving - remember you will be at 5360 ft elevation.

WTA website: www.wta.org

*Side note* at the end of our hike we did see fairly fresh bear poop at the adjoining trail so we booked it to the car. I know this doesn't frighten some people but our 2 year old is an absolute gong show and most always sounds like some sort of faulty siren - I'd rather not startle a bear and be forced to decide which child I like the best if you know what I mean.
by mlekoshi