ThankfulWhat an amazing November it has been. Hike it Baby has grown from 6 of us on the first hike (Robin Ray, Kris, Kristen, Leah, who else was on that first hike?) to 175 amazing Mama’s and a number of Papas. It’s so cool to see such a healthy group grow. I love the fact that our children are getting outside in rain, cold and sun without hesitation. Way to be strong people.

The last few weeks have been challenging for me as you all know. Mason suffered a hand injury, which meant lots of doctors appointments. It was the first time I ever sank down on the couch and cried with concern for my little bub. So far he has seemed like such a hearty strong baby, so seeing him in pain and injured was really hard as a first time Mom. I am sure it doesn’t get easier no matter how many kids you have. It’s a knock on the head though to remind me how our little babies, while they are strong, we also have to remember they are little and still not quite fully formed yet. I feel like all of this hiking is helping them and us get stronger in both the mind and body!

One thing that’s been awesome to see over this last month is that in spite of my backing off from leading hikes and getting back to work, the group has still blossomed and grown. This was my dream and it’s nice to see it coming true. New friendships have formed, an ASL playgroup has started happening, various movie and playdates! Yay. I love all of the new women I am meeting. Definitely my tribe.

Moving forward as we grow I would like to ask a few things of you all to help our growth continue.

1. Take note of the women on the hike and if you see a new mama or someone who might be struggling a little to keep up, help hold the group up a little or walk with that Mama. We don’t want her to get discouraged and not come back.

2. If the day is suuuuuppppper rainy and conditions are not safe for mama and baby, call it quits. Go get coffee or tea. Hang somewhere else. There are lots of alternatives all over town. Let’s remember that a safe hike it more important than a work out.

3. Invite as many people and you want to the group. This is an open forum. We don’t have any rules or regulations about who can be in the gang. The more the merrier.

4. If you are going out for a hike and you want company it’s ok to casually post it on the FB Group. Although as we get bigger make sure that if you are going somewhere remote don’t post the time, etc…unless you have company. While we all seem to know each other still. we are growing fast so it’s important that we hike safely.

5. Feel free to promote yourself and your business on Facebook. We should all support each others businesses. I am a mama baby poncho Together Gear.com pusher…and that’s ok! It’s something useful for the group so I want everyone to know about it. Even if it’s off topic, post it. Lean on us. We are here for you.

6. We would love more people to lead hikes! If you can volunteer even for one hike a month that will really help the whole group so no one burns out on leading hikes. A hikes doesn’t have to mean trails. It can be an urban stroller walk around your neighborhood!

7. Bring your partners, dogs and friends any time. They are always welcome. While we were started as a Mama Baby hike group, the idea is to get as many people out walking as possible!

8. Take pics of the hikes you are on and post them, but make sure to ask everyone in the group if they are ok with being photographed and appearing on FB. Some people are nervous about FB!

That’s about all I can think of. Thanks everyone for helping get the ball rolling with this incredible group! I feel so proud every time I see a hike posted! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope to see you all out with us FRIDAY 11 am at the Audubon Society Trail 5151 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR 97210

See you out on the trails

–Shanti and Mason Hodges

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