Winter is Coming

img_6883Today is the first day of fall, my favorite time of year! This time of year always flies by because we have one holiday after the next to look forward to. In Montgomery, the change of seasons didn’t mean all that much because the weather doesn’t get cold enough to keep you inside too long, but in Cleveland, fall weather means it’s almost winter. Winter in Cleveland means several feet of snow and a gray dome that sets over the city for several months until spring. It’s always this time of year that we get outside as much as possible to make the most of what little time we have left!

I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Even my indoor husband has wanted to get outside some the last couple of weeks. 🙂 I take advantage of the Cleveland Metroparks as much as I can, at least a couple of times a week, and recently I’ve been taking Ellie and Andrew along to show them my favorite spots and most scenic hikes. Ellie is an outside baby! She loves it as much as I do. I’m looking forward to taking her on longer and longer hikes as she gets older.

Last weekend, I took them to the Rocky River Reservation for a walk along the river. The water was lower than usual, but it was so peaceful. Ellie loved running through the leaves along the path. Watching her run is one of my most favorite things.

The weekend before last, we checked out the Lock 39 Trailhead in Independence, OH and discovered this bridge overlooking the Cuyahoga River.

And I’ve been taking Ellie to our city park as much as possible. I love that they have separate play areas for toddlers and older kids, and Ellie feels like such a big girl sliding down the slide by herself!

Goodbye Summer!

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Last weekend, we said goodbye to summer with a visit to the beautiful “Maria’s Field of Hope” in Avon, OH. The sunflower field was planted in memory of a young victim of brain cancer named Maria. Her family plants the field every summer and hosts events with proceeds going toward children’s cancer research. It seems like the field becomes more popular every year. Last weekend was the first weekend the flowers were in full bloom and there were a lot of visitors. I didn’t think I would be able to get pictures of Ellie by herself, but the field is so huge there was plenty of space for all of the mommy and daddy photographers I saw there.

Ellie had the time of her life running on the dirt paths through the field and picking up rocks. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the visit.

https://prayersfrommaria.org

Southern Holiday

Ellie and I just came back from the best holiday weekend visiting my family in Mississippi. Andrew decided to stay behind for this one and enjoyed some much needed R&R at home. I don’t blame him–the trip was a whirlwind of visiting family and friends we haven’t seen in several months. It. Was. Crazy.

…Crazy fun, I mean. 🙂 Ellie and I caught a direct flight from CLE to BNA after work Friday and she was so great on the trip. It helped that the flight was only an hour and a half. I kept The Boss Baby playing on the iPad and she was good to go!

Once we were in Iuka, we hit the ground running visiting family and friends, even if just for a few minutes. We even snuck in quick visits to the park and to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Ellie had a lot of firsts on this trip–she stepped in her first fire ant bed thinking it was a pile of dirt (and didn’t even cry), she rode a four-wheeler (a regular one and the toy version), she sat on a tractor seat, and she tried ribs for the first time. My city baby got a southern education last weekend.

She had so much fun playing with her cousins, now we can’t wait to go back for Christmas!

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