5 things I wish for my Tweens Growing up in Flagstaff


Many would agree that Flagstaff is a special place, and we’re lucky to live surrounded by so much natural beauty every day. As parents we have strong hopes that our children will grow up with not just a sense of self, but also a sense of pride in their community.

These are five of my desires for my children to experience while growing up in Flagstaff, AZ. 

1) Outdoor Adventure. I truly believe we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world! It is so easy to relax at home after school and on the weekends, although we make time for that too! We try to get out and explore whenever we can. We have so many beautiful trails, the duck pond, the Rio de Flag (when it’s running!), beautiful parks, Campbell Mesa, the Peaks, Mt. Elden and so much more near us. And you can hop in the car and get to Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Wupatki, Walnut Canyon, Zion, the list goes on and on! I love where we live and want to explore it all with my family!

2) A sense of community. I know that you can find a community wherever you live, but there is something really special about the community in Flagstaff! And there are so many communities here! Our school communities, our friend communities, mom groups, and so many more. Just get involved in something you love and you will find your community.

3) A peaceful home. It is hard being a Tween! Sometimes (ok not really) I wish I could step into their shoes. I know it must be way harder today! There are hormones, rules, schools, friends, devices, sports and so many activities pulling our kids in different directions. I want my boys to go out into the world, test themselves, be on their own, make mistakes, and always know that when they get home, their home is a safe, loving and accepting space!

4) To find their spark. I tell my kids all the time, as you go through your day, when there is anything that excites you, remember it! Come tell me all about it when you get home! And we will explore it more together. We take them exploring, introduce them to our hobbies, and whatever we can to help them find a spark of joy!

5) Our amazing town. We live in a really special place! I know it is hard to live here, it is not cheap and there are not a ton of jobs. People move to Flagstaff because it is Flagstaff! We all know how special it is here is and I want my kids to know that too. Of course I love the outdoor playground that Flagstaff is. I also love the local businesses, the downtown, the culture, the amazing non profits and so much more. It is my goal to make sure my kids see all of this too!

What do you wish for you Tweens? Do you have a favorite part of Flagstaff you love sharing with your family?

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Katie has lived in Flagstaff for 22 years and grew up in North Carolina. She has 10 and 12 year old boys who are certainly an adventure! Her family is by far the most rewarding part of her life. Katie loves hiking and running in our beautiful hills, skiing, river rafting, traveling, health and clean eating (thanks to a whacky thyroid). She is also always taking small steps to clean up our environment, and she is currently learning meditation and just loves learning in general! Katie and her college roommate drove to AZ from VA after college and Katie has only left briefly but Flagstaff is her home for sure! She met her wonderful husband while river guiding in the Grand Canyon. Katie is a family photographer at www.katiewoodardphotography.com, here in Flagstaff and loves capturing the natural love and beauty in families. Her newest fun adventure is co-founding Women Empowering Northern Arizona.