Seeking Adventure


There are many things I want to teach our girls, but something that is really important to me is to instill in them a sense of adventure. I know I have mentioned this before and it most definitely will come up again. It’s something we strive for on a large scale, but also in our day to day with them. I want Rowan and Finley to see the world with wide eyes, to see it’s possibilities and to charge ahead ready to explore. I want them to see the best in things, to make the most out of every situation, to be adaptable, and easy going. I love bringing them to experience new things. As I was doing a little research about where to go on vacation last week, I came across some message boards of people debating about bringing kids on certain vacations. They wrote “they wont remember”, “it’s a waste of money”, and “it’s not worth the hassle”. For a moment I wondered if this was something I agreed with. I decided that for our family (hear my when I say OUR FAMILY), these statements are so far from the truth. Yes. I agree that my kids may not remember a lot of the adventures we take them on at this point in their lives. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t shaping their little minds into who they are growing up to be. I see Rowan soaking up information like a sponge now a days. Why would I not want to fill her little mind with art, culture, and new experiences. Is it always the most fun, most memorable experience? Ha! Far from it sometimes. But bringing them to do and see new things helps us live out those attributes we want to teach them. To see that sometimes things don’t go as planned. To see it’s worth the trouble of doing something outside of your comfort level and to make the most out of something when it goes wrong. It also helps teach Kev and I to be more easy going as parents, to go with the flow better and to laugh over ridiculous situations. Because when kids are involved of course things get crazy sometimes. Our kids health and well being are always first and foremost, but that doesn’t mean we have to be tied ball and chain to their schedule. This also doesn’t mean you have to plan some extravagant vacation. This is not just about vacations. It can be small. We look for opportunities in our small town daily life. You will be surprised at how many things are out there to go try and share with your little ones.

A few weeks ago Kev was away on the Men’s Retreat with our church. It was the same weekend as the Adirondack Balloon Festival. I’ve always really wanted to go, but have heard you have to leave by 3am if you want to get anywhere near where they take off for the sunrise launch. I debated it all night. It was going to be just me, and the kids, at 3 am… Was I crazy? Anyway, 1 hour of sleep later I woke up, bundled the kids up, packed lots of snacks and blankets and made our way up north. Honestly, it was the cutest thing ever. Both girls stayed awake the entire ride up. Rowan sang me songs and we talked about hot air balloons. There was something kind of magical about being up at 3am on the road headed on an adventure. We waited around for the balloons to take off but the overcast weather and rain kind of put a damper on the situation. At first I was super bummed and than that turned into frustration. I was tired, had woke the girls up super early, and only 3 out of the 100+ balloons that were suppose to take off were even blown up. Here is where I learned my own lesson. We were sitting on the blanket, just the three of us and I looked at Rowan. There she was smiling ear to ear. She was watching the sun rise and in awe of the 3 balloons being blown up. She didn’t know the difference and in that moment neither did I.

Here is a little video I made of our early morning…




  1. I can not tell you how much I LOVE this post. We don’t subscribe to the idea that our child is too little to do anything. Every adventure helps her grow and shape who she is becoming. We recently took an 18 day road trip down the Pacific coast with a 21 month old and the reactions from people when we told them we were going to do it were shocking — to us. People thought we were nothing short of completely crazy. In reality, it was the most amazing 18 days of our life as a family of 3. In our travels we came across a small stop on Highway 1 with a sign that read “When in doubt, always choose adventure”, I don’t think you can ever go wrong if you do.

  2. Long time reader, first time poster here!
    That was seriously one of the most beautiful stories I read on this blog!
    I pray to God I’ll have a happy wee adventuring family one day!

    Have a great Tuesday!


  3. You are so brave! I love adventures, but need sleep to enjoy them! Ha! I also agree with you that this kind of stuff is not a waste of money. You are building a family culture and philosophy for your girls from the start.

  4. Oh my goodness, I love this post! I don’t have kids yet but have kind of always been of the mindset “wait until they’re old enough to remember…” But you have totally changed my view of that. Big adventure or little adventure, you’re right – you instilling in them a sense of adventure. And it’s something I am so grateful that my parents did for me. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  5. pearlione •

    my aunt used to live in queensbury just down the road from this airfield. when i was in elementary school my mother sister & i would go up the night before and have a sleep over w my aunt & cousins. then in the wee hours of the morning we would all walk over & spend the day at the balloon festival. i was very young and often cannot recall many things from my childhood (one of the many reasons i am so thankful my mother was such an avid photographer), but i will always remember the hot air balloons and the fun we had. i am determined to do this next year w my son & sister & nephew. i loved the video. thank you.

  6. Jessica •

    Good for you! We are currently on our 2nd long trip out of the country with our Little ones (3 & almost 1) and loving it. Sure they might not remember, but we will and we have tons of pictures and videos to show them!

  7. this is so true i totally agree! that is why we take tons of pictures too right?
    what a magical experience!

  8. Beautiful post! What a wonderful memory you will all have! I love that in-spite or your frustration you were still able to see the joy & wonder on your child’s face – God is good!

  9. I just teared up reading this. I couldn’t agree with you more. Adventure is always the best way…big or small. The birth of my son added not just adventure in becoming a mama, but a new person to go on adventures with. In some ways, little ones can be the nudge you need to go experience something. I might not go alone, but since my little guy might dig it, I head off and do it. Love the reminder that they don’t know the difference. that each new experience is magical.

    Good luck on your vacay planning!

  10. That video made me tear up! My parents took my brother and I to a hot air balloon festival when I was about 8 (he was 2). I don’t remember all the specifics but I do remember getting to sleep in my clothes for the next day since we were getting up so early and being SO EXCITED I could barely stand it. Our festival rained too and my brother was scared to death of the balloons, but it was grand adventure.

    Thanks for reminding me of how important adventures are!

  11. That’s so cool! I would’ve done that, too. I’m a major supporter of going on adventures and taking the kids along for them 🙂 I agree with you — it’s shaping their minds and anyways, it’s just exciting to see them excited!

  12. I wholeheartedly agree with you!
    Isn’t the first few year’s children’s life when they soak up the most information?
    Let me tell you at 24, after 18 years, I finally got a Disneyland pass. I went for a whole year about 20 times almost maybe more and you want to know what I remember?
    When I went at the age of 2!!! After not being there for 18 years and then another 3 I still remember my first trip. The lights, the princesses, my Pinocchio toy doll. The snow white ride, it’s a small world.
    Almost everything!
    I remember peeling all my grama’s bananas and throwing them away because I thought them being bruised meant they were bad
    I remember that when I used to live with my grama for the week my mother would leave her like 100 pair of underwear just in case and one time I put them all on and when the time came to go potty I took them off one by one instead of just the top one. I was like 3 years old.
    I remember a cat scratching me up like there was no tomorrow in her backyard
    I remember my childhood more than what I did last year.
    Kids are never too young to experience new things and I applaud you Jen for instilling this mentality in them at such a young age.
    You have beautiful daughters and I’m sure they will grow up to love like just like their momma!

    Thank you for this post!

  13. I totally agree with you, that’s it’s more about developing a mindset rather than memories of a particular place. And I feel like kids will ultimately adapt when they find consistent expectations throughout childhood. We tried to take a bunch of fun road trips, and my son got to 21 states his first year, not bad! Although I’ve been known to talk about photoshopping my kids into Disneyland pictures since that’s so not on my wishlist. 🙂

  14. just lovely!

  15. This is lovely and I totally agree. I love last minute adventures, especially when I’m with my daughter. During the summer I was in the USA and I decided one night I wanted to go to Catalina Island, so in the morning I woke up early, packed a bag and put my daughter in the car and drove for hours in this foreign country to the harbour and got on the ferry (even though I suffer from awful sea sickness), then when we got off the boat I walked around until I found a hotel to stay in and we had the loveliest couple of days there. It was such a last minute fun adventure and I’ll never forget it 🙂

  16. I hope to keep this mindset when I have kids. They’ll always have the photos to look back on when they’re older and think – hey, our parents brought us everywhere. 🙂

  17. Thanks for this post! This was so inspiring. I really needed to read this and be reminded to make the most out of life. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with a schedule and be stuck in a rut.

  18. I love this post! How special that you did that with your girls. And I have definitely learned since becoming a parent that travel is all about managing expectations. My kids may not have the memories, but I love the memories (and photos) I have made traveling the world with them…from holding my 5 month old up in front of the Eiffel Tower to the smile on my son’s face when he met a “real” lego man at Legoland, from my kids running around fully clothed in a freezing ocean to us going on a family hike. Even if they don’t remember the specifics, they are learning along the way.

  19. Lindsay •

    I completely agree with you! We have taken our daughters everywhere from day one. We took our 2 year old and 2 month old on a 3 week European vacation and so many people were shocked and some dismayed! I will never forget the look of wonder on my daughters face as the Eiffel tower lit up for the first time that night or how excited we all were to take trains and canal cruises etc. I truly believe that although they will not remember it will shape who they are! Good for you for enriching your daughters lives! Love your blog!

  20. I love this post! Such a sweet memory for you & Rowan! And I love that you fought through the “it’s too much of a hassle” feeling!

  21. What a lovely post. We have a 6 month old beautiful baby boy and do struggle with trying to live our life and ensure that he is adaptable and easy going, not tied to the routine but at the same time, its hard as he really loves his routine. And his mama and dad really fight the ‘its too much hassle’ with an infant syndrome. But in the past 6 months we have managed a 10 day road trip through New England and a weekend in Charleston (from NY) with friends to name our major adventures.
    P xo

  22. Courtney •

    Amazing post Jen. Thank you so much for it. I have a 9 month old and find myself sometimes not doing things because of “her schedule.” This reminded me that life is short and making memories is what it’s all about!

  23. Yes, adventures are important. I am a firm believer that breaking out of routine often is good for the soul, regardless of whether you’re a toddler or adult.

  24. Really Beautiful Jen! You’re a great mom, you’re girls are blessed to have you.

  25. Lindsay •

    Hi Jen, I am a long time reader but this is my first time commenting! I don’t know if it’s your storytelling, or the song on the video or the sweet pictures but I am all choked up over here. Wait, maybe it’s that I’m 9 months pregnant and am due very soon with our second little girl – but either way, beautiful post. Your girls are going to be so so grateful that you wrote all of these stories down one day, wonderful mama!

  26. Beautiful!!!

  27. This post is so close to my heart!! This is constantly how we are raising my girls. People always ask why we bother taking our kids on vacation because they won’t remember it. They may not remember but we have a blast as a family!! And I treasure the memories we make and the adventures we have! I was just lectured today about takin my 2.5 year old and a 3 month old to Disney in December… They told me “they won’t remember”. Yes it’s true but the smile and joy it will bring my 2.5 year old I will remember and can tell her all about it one day in the future!

  28. Harmony •

    Love this post! As a mamma I am constantly in awe of what my little girl is observing and absorbing. They may not remember where you take them on vacation or when, but they will remember how they felt and how much fun they had as a family. We have been travelling and camping around Australia for vacations with our daughter since she was 15wks….never doubted what we were doing. She had her mama and papa, she was warm & comfortable & we’ll fed. Heck she even had the same type of ‘routine’ she did at home. I’ll never forget when I heard two ladies gossiping in a caravan park bathroom about the ‘crazy lady’ travelling with her baby… I told them I thought that lady was very brave in giving her child a sense of adventure & education of the world! 🙂
    Now as a almost two year old, when asked what she’d like to do for the day she’ll reply- ‘go adventure!’

  29. such a good perspective! sometimes things don’t go as planned and sometimes kids go crazy and don’t cooperate, but at the end of the day i don’t think you regret making memories, even if all they remember of it is from photos! thanks for writing this!!

  30. This is so lovely. I needed to read this, almost as a reminder to take adventures. I am so guilty of keeping to routines with my 2 year old and 11 month old, when really this is the time we should be making memories, however small our little ones may be. Thank you! Good for you for taking the leap at 4am! Your girls are so cute 🙂

  31. I agree with you 100% and I am so glad. I was starting to think I was crazy for a little while there. My son is one yrs old, and there was a parade planned in my city for a Saturday morning, an hour away. We decided we wanted to go, so of course we would get him up and get us out the door early that Sat morning. We were debating on whether to drive in or take the subway when my girlfriend asks ” what about his nap” Hmmm, In all our planning and my thought process of our day I never once thought, what about his nap. kind of took me by surprise, I just said, uhm, we’ll have to see, he will either nap in the stroller or in the car on the way home. idk, but i am not going to forgo my plans because of a nap, we will all adjust somehow. he, unlike me, can nap anywhere so I am not really worried about it. And nap he did, he loved it and we all had a good time. I have lots of friends with kids the same age as my son and I always want to plan playdates, but they never work out becuase this one naps at noon, and this one naps at 1 and this one naps at 10. I would never not go see a friend because of my childs schedule. He would sleep in the car, or sleep early that night. The one rule my family has is that our lives do not revolve around schedules. Sure we have a night time sleep routine, but not a schedule. Schedules take so much fun out of everything, don’t they?

  32. Nadine Neudorf-Thiessen •

    I enjoyed your post. It got me wanting to share. My husband and I are blessed with 4 amazing boys and an equally amazing daughter. We have had many holidays. We bring our kids to most things, my husband being an artist, they have enjoyed many art opening adventures.

    My oldest son remembers so many of our adventures, it amazes me. Go on your adventures, love every minute, your kids will remember the excitement, warmth and love with their family. My favorite times are spent with my family whether the adventures are crazy good or crazy bad. Let me just say…. our Disneyland trip equals that of Robin Williams movie “RV”. However, we have a really, really good story to tell even though I wasn’t sure if we would survive :-). Through all these times we have gotten closer as a family and even though some trips might seem overwhelming, ie all the packing etc… they are so worth it.

    Enjoy Hawaii!

  33. Made me cry. I want the same for my crew!!

  34. Thanks for the reminder to make special moments happen! The housework can wait, dishes can be done later. Don’t be afraid to get outside and experience things with your little ones. As a fellow mom – I need that reminder 🙂 To see you do it with two little ones gives me the power to know I can tackle that as well. Thanks.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev