Choose Your Adventure

Boulder Colorado Family Hike {Choose Your Own Adventure Session}

My First Choose Your Own Adventure Session Blog Post

Photography of a Boulder Colorado Family Hike with Young Children

Parenthood and the Outdoors

Being a parent is hard. Duh. And maybe I’ve said it before, but I just didn’t expect that it would THIS. HARD. Maybe it is because I grew up an only child (for 17 years, 11 months, and 8 days), maybe it is because I was a pretty calm kid who feared getting in trouble and loved to sit and read all day long, maybe it is because I thrive off of down time…and now I have two incredibly fierce, bold, smart, fearless toddler boys who are 18 months  apart. (Of course parenthood is wonderful too, and I still melt EVERY SINGLE TIME my youngest grabs a hold of me with what have to be the softest hands in the entire universe.)

One thing that helps with the challenges is to get the boys outside. If we linger in our home for too long…everything starts to fall apart. Playing in the yard, pulling around the wagon, pushing around sand and rocks, helping do yard work, going for walks with our cat…these things are a must for the boys. Even better than staying close to home is heading out on an adventure, especially when my husband goes too.

We’ve taken the boys camping a few times. They’ve done a couple night float trip along the Colorado River. They’ve hiked among the Grand Tetons (where I  discovered the only cure for my fear of mountain lions is to hike in grizzly country). They’ve swam in the cold waters of a Montana lake. I also love our more local adventure hikes around the Front Range.

Sure, all of this requires tons of prep work. For a “little” hike, I spend at least an hour getting everyone dressed, packing additional layers, finding and filling up water bottles, prepping snacks, finding sunscreen, remembering diapers and a little bag in case there’s a poopie one, choosing photo gear, changing a diaper before we load into the car…for a hike that may not even last an hour.

But on those adventures, I get excited being out with my boys. Away from cell phones. Away from everything other than the present moment of rocks and dirt and sky and being together. I love listening to the boys chatter away, and trying to answer their questions about the world, and watching my oldest help his little brother over tricky parts. The craziness feels do-able out in nature.

Choose Your Adventure Photography Sessions

So part of the reason that I am excited to offer Choose Your Adventure Sessions is to capture these sort of scared outdoor adventures that families share. Times where the parents and kids can get away from whatever makes them cranky (and screens), and be together exploring the world. I can go on and on about these sort of philosophies, but my words do not carry the message behind them quite as much as I’d like.

But let me tell you about last weekend’s Boulder Colorado family hike. It was so much fun for me. Getting out on a beautiful spring day with these funny, awesome, laid-back parents and family friend was a joy. And the kids were incredible. The youngest, not even two, was such an enthusiastic trooper! The oldest was full of spunk and smiles and laughter. I was very impressed, and I think it just shows you a) what great parents they have and b) the magic of nature on kids. (Of course plenty of breaks for snacks also helps!)

So now to share with you photos from our hiking adventure…

All images © Susannah Allen 2017

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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.