Sea of Green

by Kayte

We’ve had some big rains in Los Angeles this winter and no where is the effect more stunning than at our local hiking grounds. This is what it looked like just this past Thanksgiving


November 2016

…and this is what it looks like now! It was a really neat day for a hike. There was a storm coming in and we watched the clouds roll in over the hills. We got back in our car just as the first drops were starting to fall.







Sawdust Santas

by Kayte

This season my parents volunteered with an organization called Sawdust Santas which “builds and distributes heirloom quality, wooden toys and gifts to underprivileged youth” in Michigan. Part of the organization’s funding comes from selling other smaller toys, and a little grandma-sized elf brought Max and Lola each a wooden car kit. Today the kids spent some quality time building with their grandparents; Lola and grandpa made a school bus, and Max and grandma built a train engine.

The weather was beautiful today so we also went for a hike in our backyard. It was the first time we’ve ever had to drag Max and Lola out of the house – they said “no!” when we asked them if they wanted to hike, even though the whole family was going (Karen and Jessie left earlier this morning). They eventually had a change of heart, but their teenage years flashed before my eyes. 

#OptOutside 2016

by Kayte

We avoided the stores again this Black Friday and opted to head outside instead. The fresh air and exercise were relaxing after a long week of cooking and eating. I think we’ll just lay low the rest of the weekend and enjoy being home as a family.






1.5 Miles

by Kayte

Lola asked to go for a hike today and how could we say no to that? It was a beautiful, cool morning and we hiked a one-and-a-half mile loop in about an hour. Max and Lola both walked the entire way, including up a really steep hill. I love that we can do these activities as a family.




Golden State

by Kayte

Auntie Karen and I picked up the kids from school and went out for a hike; something I’m not usually able to do during the week when I’m solo. Even though the temperature was cool it was hot out on the sunny trail with no shade. The hills are already turning their summer golden color. The kids did a great job walking the whole way out and back…maybe a mile? (I did carry Lola for a bit after the slipped and scraped her knee.) It was a restorative last day to end a wonderful week with Auntie K.




Victory Trailhead

by Kayte

Another beautiful day for a hike in sunny SoCal.




Open Space

by Kayte








by Kayte

We took a cue from REI this year and spent Black Friday in the great outdoors instead of a store. Not that we usually go shopping on Black Friday (usually it’s sweatpants day), but #OptOutside was extra motivation for us to change out of our PJs and go for a hike. We explored a new trailhead near our house and were pleasantly surprised to find wide trails and rolling hills. The kids were enthusiastic regarding the adventure, but their stamina only lasted about a half mile. I’m sure with a little practice they’ll be able to do the full four-mile loop in no time!




Picnic Breakfast

by Kayte

Today we got out the door early, grabbed some bagels to-go, and headed over to our favorite hike at Franklin Canyon. After a nice picnic breakfast we took a stroll around the lake. It was a refreshing start to our weekend.


Morning Hike

by Kayte

It has been so hot here in the afternoons that we made a point to get out early today to enjoy the cool morning air. Nothing like a little hike at Tree People to rejuvenate our activity level: it inspired us to ride our bikes to the park later AND go swimming in the pool that afternoon. A fun, active day from start to finish.


Fryman Canyon

by Kayte

Max & Lola asked to go for a hike today so they could use their new binoculars. We went to Fryman Canyon which is another loop in the Tree People park: a much longer and much steeper one. Brody and I ended up carrying both the binoculars and the kids for most of hike, but we got a good workout.


A Walk in the Woods

by Kayte

Max & Lola have randomly been asking to go on a hike all week so we finally went on Saturday morning. It’s cool that they’re starting to pick their own activities. It was kind of a dreary, drizzly morning, but we managed to stay pretty dry under the canopy and the fresh air smell was unbelievable. A great recharge to start the weekend.








Franklin Reservoir

by Kayte

On Monday we went for a hike around the Franklin Reservoir. There was a show filming which made parking tough, and they stopped us on the trail so we didn’t interrupt a take, but we still had a nice time. We visited the turtles at the duck pond and hiked all the way around the lake. Max even walked for most of it, just requiring a hand when the path got too uneven. Lola fell down a bunch even with constant hand-holding. Practice makes perfect.





by Kayte

As always we tried to make the most of our weekend by getting out for an adventure. Tree People was closed for an event, so we went to our other favorite: Franklin Canyon. Max & Lola are getting more sure-footed and energetic. They were both able to walk the entire way around the lake (with lots of hand-holding). They loved watching the ducks and turtles in the pond, and we all loved being outside.





Tree People

by Kayte

On Sunday we went for a hike at Tree People – a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees around Los Angeles. Their headquarters is in the middle of Coldwater Canyon Park which has lots of great trails. Everything is so well-maintained that Max & Lola were able to walk by themselves the whole time. Max was on the lookout for alligators (maybe he thought we were at the zoo?) while Lola just wanted to run and jump.






Adventure With a Ranger

by Kayte

We’re already making the most of our new nap schedule and taking advantage of being able to get out in the mornings. Today we went on an Adventure With a Ranger in the Santa Monica Mountains. A group of families joined two rangers to explore the Rocky Oaks park. We reviewed outdoor safety, made animal masks while learning about wildlife, and hiked a mile-long loop through the park. The program said “Ages 2-7” but the hike was a bit much for Max & Lola, so we ended up carrying them the whole way. Good workout for mommy and daddy. It was a fun adventure for everyone and something I hope to do more of now that we have our mornings free.

Family Hike

by Kayte





by Kayte

Look what we found on our hike today! We weren’t very high up, and it was 75* outside, so someone must have brought it in for a photo shoot or something. We walked around a bend and entire hillside was covered in it. This is the first time Max & Lola have ever experienced snow. Pretty “cool”. 😉

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