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Conquering the fear of the outdoors

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It’s confession time:

Going outside scares me. Not in the agoraphobia type way necessarily but more in the bug-phobic type way. And the dirt-phobic. And the sun-burn-phobic. And the “It’s too hot/too cold”-phobic type way.

I am just absolutely not a “venture into the woods and go camping without showers for a week” type gal. I like my nature to be seen from a paved pathway, preferably with a nice chlorinated pool, a lounge chair, and a pina colada nearby.

One of the greatest perks about moving to North Carolina last year was supposed to be that we’d be able to spend more time outside as a family since the winters wouldn’t be so brutal. Instead, we moved here in the heat of summer and were faced with the discovery that copperhead snakes live in our neighborhood, fire ants next to our patio, and a momentary scare that we had funnel spiders in our front yard. (I’ll give you a second to google that. When you stop screaming, come back here.)

I was Freaked. All my good intentions of doing a better job of playing outside with the kids flew out the window.

But this one? She loooooves it outside.

So does her sister. And I know that kids need to get out regularly. This has been a major source of mommy guilt for me.

I broke down and bought a copy of “Fifteen Minutes Outside.” Ironically, it arrived from Amazon the day before the tunnel spider scare in October. It’s been sitting in my cabinet ever since. Playing outside with the kids is not something that comes naturally to me. I love that this book has 365 all-season suggestions for things to do with your kids outdoors. I needed a list and a kick in the pants to get through the door.

So today is January 1. Resolutions are flying. It is easy peasy for me to sign on for yet another photography project. I’m both practiced and comfortable with the camera in my hands. But if I want to be really brutally honest with myself and push myself to do something that is healthy for both me and the kids? I need to conquer my fear of the outdoors.

While I’ll be busy doing another Project 365 in 2013, I’m hoping many of those captures will be made outside. I’ve committed to doing 365 days of at least 15 minutes outside. Rain, heat, and even snow if we get it. Every. Single. Day.

YIKES!

Day 1: We took the girls to a nearby park. See that gorgeous paved pathway?? Ha. Baby steps.

We got soaking wet in the rain but the girls loved it. We all walked into the park together but it took Daddy carrying the girls out to get us home.

I’m planning on keeping notes and doing updates on my progress with this effort this year. It’s only fair to share my crazy struggles with you. I want you to know that while this site is full of polished pretty things, there is PLENTY of crazy behind the scenes.

So wish me luck. Please.

And bonus points to anyone who can tell me what the heck this is:

What are you working on this year?

Cerys @ Toddling into Madness - I too have made this promise – brought the book last year more for my husband than myself as I’m an outdoors person but he’s not. Much of my project 365 this year I hope will be outdoors photographs because of this. Today for us was a dog walk in our local park and puddle inspecting for the kids. Happy New Year

Lee - When you find out what the spiky thing is, let me know. We have them all over the place up here in MD. They are rock hard and stepping on one can cause a fall because the little buggers will roll. I took one home and cut it open to see the seed, but cannot figure out what trees they come from.

Rosie - The mysterious thing looks like it might be a plane tree seed pod.

Shannon H - Ha! I love this post and you have inspired me to a new resolution for this year. I was never outdoor-aphobic for myself but I have found that things have changed now that I have a kid :-)

And by the way….that is a “Gum Ball.” At least that’s what we called them growing up. I think its a seed pod from a Sweet Gum Tree.

Michelle - I agree, that is a Gum ball or Sweetgum Fruit! There are lots of cool crafts the girls (and you!) can do with them. I made a very a cool wreath from them years ago. There are whole websites dedicated to them!

Gina @connectingfamilyandseoul - My son and I started this goal on April 1st of last year. At the end of October we got way off track. November and December were busy months for us, not to mention the cold weather was setting in. I would LOVE to get back on track with this, even though January can be unbearably cold. So glad that someone else is partaking on this journey as well. I think I’ll head outside with my toddler now. :)

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