The feeling of mud under your fingernails, a worm in your hand, and grass stains on your knees. Caught up as I was in the joy, the realization came like a whisper to my heart: I had forgotten what it meant to wonder at the earth.

I spent the majority of my own childhood outside, but somewhere in the shuffle of growing up, I had forgotten how to love the outdoors. I tolerated nature, even enjoyed it at times, but within specific parameters: no annoying bugs or dangerous wildlife—especially ticks and snakes!

After having my daughters, I began to spend more time outside. Outdoor situations often made me uncomfortable, but I pushed through for my daughters’ sake.

So, this year, I decided to do something crazy. Inspired by an Instagram challenge,* I committed to spending 1,000 hours outside with my girls. And although it’s only a few months into 2021, the challenge has already changed us.