This last weekend we had zero plans, which I have been working to make a habit of in an effort to be able to really immerse myself in this stage of mothering. Coming out of a crazy busy, always having “something” to do season, has sort of forced me into this place of hiding, which is good on some levels, but not always healthy and not really like me at all. So as the weekend approached, and Kyle was in the middle of a 9 day work stretch, I decided the girls and I were going to get out and just exist together. Saturday came, we took advantage of the slow morning and then got ourselves together to chase some cooler temperatures.
If you know me, you know that I live for summer. LIVE. Lately though….and maybe this is a sign that I am aging or something, but I am just been so ready for cooler temps! I am ready to snuggle with my babies and play board games by the fire, I am ready for beanies and sweaters and just all the kinds of things that will basically suffocate you in California right now. lol So we decided to ditch the 100 degree weather and head to Oak Glen, which we are crazy blessed to only live about 15 minutes away from. I packed up a small ice chest with snacks and drinks for us – I am currently in the middle of Whole30, so I have to bring food everywhere with me anyway – we grabbed one of our favorite Falsa blankets on our way out the door, and climbed into the car.
If I could lay all of my mothering faults out on the table, it would be exhausting, for both of us. lol But in short, I never considered myself “mother material”, and a lot of you have heard me say that I prayed for sons, primarily because I was terrified of raising up women. Currently really grateful that God has a sense of humor and knows what I’m built for WAY more than I do. With all of that, every season with my girls is stretching for me – as I am learning is the story with 98% of mothers. In these more recent days, I am really working on being more light hearted, saying yes as often as I can, and slowing down with them as repeatedly as is allowed. This last weekend was a whole bunch of that.
We started off at Riley’s Stone Soup Farm in Oak Glen. We went there last year as a whole family and I remembered how much the kids loved it, so we made a point to venture back as soon as they opened this year! The little shop as you enter is absolutely adorable. The owner, who was working the register, was seriously the sweetest, kindest, most adorable woman. I wish I had taken a photo with her, because I wanted to be her real life friend. No kidding.
It took all my self control to not buy all the charcoal soap and strawberry butter!
Since we have plans to head back to this specific farm a few more times before the season ends, I decided that we would only do one activity this time around. The girls quickly chose to do “Gem Panning”, which was one of the more expensive activities, but really worth it. My girls are all super intrigued with gems, and we spent an hour panning! Each of the girls took their time, and really inspected each gem as they delicately plucked them out of the dirt. And to add to the whole experience, the staff was REALLY great, they were extremely helpful with the kids, incredibly patient, and always available to the girls for the silliest questions. It helped that the farm wasn’t crowded at all, which I was thankful for. We went the second weekend they were open, which I highly recommend. The weather was really nice and we didn’t feel rushed to do anything. We could’ve spent the entire day there doing each craft.
The farm has two panning options available. One with smaller gems and one with larger and smaller gems. We chose the one with both to accommodate all the girls in their different ages. Anabella would’ve been totally stoked on the smaller ones, where as Phoenix and Magnolia lit up over finding the larger ones and hardly noticed the smaller ones. As we left, we grabbed some honey sticks and headed over to Los Rios Rancho for a picnic and an opportunity to allow the girls to burn off some energy!
Again, the crowds were low, and I was pumped. We threw out our favorite blanket, unpacked the ice chest, and the girls ran wild while I observed – something I really need to make more of a habit of doing. Kyle commented on how proud of me he was for allowing them to just “be”, which speaks volumes to how my normal mothering style. haha. But I am thankful for his honesty!
When all was said and done, we spent 3 or so hours in Oak Glen, didn’t spend a ton of money, and this mama got a good lesson in really sitting in some special moments with my girls. Recently old baby photos of Anabella will make an appearance and I feel my heart jolt. I finally see what all the older, wiser mothers mean when they tell you to enjoy it. It’s hard to really hear them because it’s usually said in the seasons where we are wearing our children’s boogers and desperately wishing we could finish a cup of coffee without microwaving it 4 times. But nonetheless I am thankful they say it at all. Recently my mom said to me “I say these things now, because I wish I had done them then.” So here’s to more weekends filled with slower moments, and all the photos I can possibly take of these three sisters building their friendship.