Impromptu Nature Walk

When you get thrown gorgeous weather in September, you take advantage of it, so even though we were going to spend last Saturday cleaning and organizing, I talked everyone into going on some walks at a nearby Reserve!  It was one of my best ideas and despite some bug bites, I think everyone had a really good time.

We went to the nature center first to check in and get an idea of what was in the area, which led us to their outdoor play area.  We told the kids they could play for a while, but then we’d have lunch and do some exploring!

We were even joined by a little slug at one point!  It was fun just watching him creep along and then Enzo gave him some of his apple.

Have I mentioned that the day was beautiful?  Because the weather was amazing!  It was so nice to just leisurely stroll and see what kinds of fun things we could spot.  Enzo even saw a fish pop up to eat a bug when we stopped at one of the lake docks!

With so many different potential trails to go on, we chose one that had a boardwalk through a wetland area.  Considering we forgot bug spray, it probably wasn’t our greatest decision, but thankfully the mosquitoes haven’t been as bad this year as they usually are. We survived to tell the tale!

I was the one lagging behind for most of the day.  I am at my happiest in the woods, though, and I was soaking it in.  Plus, there were a lot of things to see!  Spider webs stretching across the trail over our heads, fungi and so many pretty flowers.

Now, this flower I thought for sure was a fungi, but it turns out it isn’t!  It seems to be most commonly known as Ghost Plant or Indian Pipe and is part of the blueberry family!  It looks so white because it has no chlorophyll and is a non-photosynthetic plant. Because it doesn’t photosynthesize, it’s basically a parasite that lives off of other plants like trees.  Anyway, it was the first time I had ever seen them and they really are kind of eerie growing in the darker shaded parts of wooded areas.

Just as we were headed on our way back to the nature center, we (or rather Josh) spotted a fantastic prairie area that we naturally just had to go explore. There was a breeze, and better yet, no mosquitoes, but it was nice to just see the prairie grasses wave in the wind and watch bees flit from blossom to blossom.

I’m pretty sure we’ll back.

Find Joy

There is a whole lot of Yuck happening right now around the world, and while I know it’s important to know what is going on, there are times when I need to just take a few steps back and just focus on what is immediately around me.  Focus on my family and all of the things I am grateful for, but always conscious of the things that I can do to hopefully make the world better in some way.  Sometimes simply deciding to smile when all you want to do is cry can make a difference.  I can’t personally focus too much on everything that is wrong in the world, so I choose to focus on what is right. I choose to remain an optimist.

Walnut Grove 40th Pageant

So, for our anniversary, Josh decided to surprise me with a random nerdy outing. Unfortunately for him, I talked him into giving me a hint and I accidentally figured out what the surprise was. Whoops! Due to my bookwormish tendencies since I was a child, we were heading to Walnut Grove, MN to see the annual pageant that is performed in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It’s a bit of a drive, and made for a late night as it is performed outside and doesn’t start until 9pm, but it ended up being a really fun day since we both appreciate a bit of cheese, but also history, and we of course both took plenty of pictures to share with everyone.

So, the first place on our list was at someone’s house. It was quiet and we weren’t sure if parking there would lead to us being tied up and hidden in a barn or an actual sod house. Turns out they actually have recreated sod houses (very few if any original sod houses remain).

It was extremely hot out, but we made the most of it.  It was actually not that hot inside the sod houses, and the main one was surprisingly nice.  Apparently at one point the owners actually let people sleep overnight as a fun B&B.

Lap of luxury.

 

Cozy, but not awful… it stays nicely cool in the summer and I imagine it warms up well in the winter months much as I imagined when reading the books.  Granted, we got a more realistic look at what most sod houses started out as with dirt floors and without plastered walls.

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Photo Dump – Tea Parties, Dragons and More!

I have so many random photos from the past few weeks/months, so it feels like the perfect time to do another photo dump and figure out just where all my time has been going and because I wanted to save the pictures for reasons, but then they somehow never made it into a blog post, so here we go!

Can’t say that a book makes a very good pillow, but you know…

Not gonna lie, we’ve had a LOT of ice cream so far this summer.

Finally Josh joined us at the zoo!  Haha!

Playground break during carnival fun!

Phoebe had a picnic for her stuffed animals, and I included their names so no one is confused as to who is who.

Can’t have too many Bowser pictures, right?  He’s slowly growing!

The first and last time he held Bowser.  They get a little freaked out by his tiny claws.

Feed me, Hooman!

Best kitty ever.

Sleepy boy.

Before our pancakes were cooked.

Love when they bring me home colorful art!

He really is the best cat…

This one, however, is very naughty. 😉

The other reason for this photo dump is because I’ve just been really busy and distracted by other things.  Time to settle down and create a schedule for myself again, methinks!

7 Year Anniversary

Technically our 7 year wedding anniversary was yesterday, but I was away the from computer all day, which seemed like the better idea.  Where does the time go?  It’s hard to believe that we’ve also been living in Minnesota for 9 years, and together for 10 years. I also never thought I’d still be living in Minnesota, but kids have a way of altering your entire life path, you know?  Suddenly you start to worry about which schools are good and where the safest neighborhoods are and what the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow is.

This post is mostly just a nostalgic look back as I reminisce about times gone by and look to the future with googly eyes, imagining future adventures and the journey to come.  You may think it’s easy and straight-forward to love someone, but it isn’t always and navigating parenting can be hard, and marriage in general can be a tricky beast to manage, but I really can’t imagine any other path.

Here’s to a lifetime of adventures together!