There have been two moments in my life where I’ve felt a true shift in myself and my outlook on life. The first being when I first became a mother eight years ago. The second was when my three year old son passed away. During both of these significant times in my life I was forced to break myself down and rebuild into a stronger, more fearless woman. Though one moment was full of extreme happiness and the other extreme sadness, I wear them both on my sleeve with pride as they have shaped me into the person I am today. Today I am mother of two, my late son Ryan and my two year old daughter Mila. Both are bright curly redheads that rule my heart and help me see the true beauty in all aspects of life. You can typically find myself and my daughter making ourselves busy doing pretty normal things, with a twist. A twist I like to refer to as adventures.
You see, when I first became a mother I was waking up every two hours for feedings. I was desperately trying to figure out what exactly I was supposed to be doing. Taking tender care of my son was no simple feat. How did parents make it look so easy? I was about a week or two in and I remember vividly one night crying to my husband, “It has to get easier right? Sometimes he cries for no reason and I don’t know what to do!” I think my husband just shook his head yes, more scared and confused than I was. Soon I took to taking morning walks to no where really. I’d feed my son and then take these long walks outside. I started to pick my life back up and found myself in the kitchen and doing everyday tasks like grocery shopping, reading at the park or even the routine of house chores. I’d play music and dance with my infant son like we were at a concert. I took him to mom and me classes, swim classes but really we were most happy doing our regular day to day errands. Within a few months I wasn’t crying to my husband anymore. In fact, when our son was just months old my husband and I made a pact. We promised to try everyday, to make some part of our day an adventure with our son. We’d somehow make going on walks exciting and grocery shopping exhilarating. As my son grew older it became more and more fun. We’d grab smoothies after going to the park. I turned our daily walks into nature scavenger hunts. I’d create a fun craft to do at home. We had playdates were we cooked together a simple snack with his little friends. I some how made a bunch of nothings into somethings and it is still one of my most favorite things to do now with my daughter.
I’ve painstakingly learned that the magic of life lies within our reactions to what is dealt to us. Over time it has become abundantly clear that life is what you make it. I simply choose to make it magical no matter what. Most days you’ll find my daughter and I taking the same nature scavenger hunts as I did with her big brother. We do many crafts and play games to keep busy at home. We take a walk to Target and walk through nearly every aisle just to see something new and dream. We go grocery shopping where Mila takes her job of ‘food taster’ very important. I strive everyday to make a part of our day some type of an adventure. This pact my husband and I made with each other years ago is still going strong. The outcome has been a truly happy life despite the tragedy we’ve been faced with. I’m proud of us! I can only hope we inspire other families to live their life full of adventures big and small.
Parenthood I guess you can say has completely reshaped my perspective on life. It has opened my eyes to the possibility to have fun doing pretty much anything! Life now has taken on a more vibrant color and I’m fully immersed into my children and the magic they radiate. Taking something as simple as a walk to Target and making it a magical adventure has been my crown jewel in my ‘adventure bag of tricks’. You see, I’ve been taking these walks to Target with Mila since she was a baby, just happily riding in her stroller with her wide brown eyes taking in everything around her. (We live less than four blocks from our neighborhood Target) To be honest, I like to venture to Target to take in the sights myself. Though it is so fun to take Mila and see her interact with not just the items on the shelf but the other shoppers and employees. By now every time we check out an employee hands Mila a sticker with Bullseye the Target mascot on it. Before we walk to Target we like to make a list together of the things we need AND of the things we want to look at. Mila always asks to look at the toys and the pet aisle for some reason. (We don’t have a pet) She also loves looking at clothes most recently, which I think she is more into now that she goes to school. She loves wearing twirly dresses and graphic tees. At two years old she is more opinionated than ever. Which I’m learning to work with! Our favorite is visiting Target during Halloween and Christmas. I swear there were a few visits with the holiday months were we just went to look at the decor.
When Target recently reached out to partner together I was beyond thrilled. Mostly because it gave me a chance to really explain how our little family tries to find adventure in all that we do … even during our trips to Target. Recently I told Mila we’d walk to Target to get a few ingredients to make homemade play dough. Often times we walk to Target to grab one or two household items, but then I’ll follow Mila and see where she leads me. Seeing things through her eyes is so much more fun! I’m so proud to share our story alongside a brand that can honestly be considered our second home.
Now tell me, how will you make your everyday an adventure with your little ones?