To Go On Vacation

 

      Good morning! We are back from vacation and have once again become homebodies! I missed my little things that make me happy at home, and I think Bailey was especially happy to have her own bathroom again (we all shared one bathroom at the lake, and Bailey's potty seat had to be moved quite a bit). Back to the trip though, it was a blast! I got to play tennis for the first time in awhile, and it felt good to still be able to play decent-ish. 

      I also bought my new favorite hat! It's from Pacsun, and I originally bought it to share with Bailey because she loved it so much, but she's basically forgotten about it (toddlers) and I've been wearing it non-stop. 

     We visited the Tan-Tar-A arcade again, and you better believe Bailey left with another Minion prize!

      I kept the skincare simple for this trip, mostly due to the fact that lake weather never agrees with my skin anyways. I did bring a fun collagen gold sheet mask though, and it kept my skin from getting too dull in all of the humidity/wind/sun exposure. 

        One of my favorite parts of the trip was driving over to the Ha Ha Tonka State Park! It's a forest situated on bluffs at the most northern part of the Lake of the Ozarks, where a natural spring feeds into the man-made lake. Not only are the views gorgeous, and the trail kid-friendly, but the park holds the ruins of a 20th century castle style mansion that burned down in the 1940's. It was built by a billionare from Kansas City in the 1900's, and was bought by the state after the fire to turn into a park. I can see why, because it's one of the coolest things you can see in Missouri!

      We mostly just explored the ruins for a bit, and then a few lookout spots. Bailey could not stop running around the castle! I think it probably reminded her of playgrounds a little bit. She also had her first experience of having to use the bathroom in the woods, and while she was slightly confused, it went as well as it could have! 

       I know this is probably an insult to Rome, but the ruins really reminded me of the Colosseum, just smaller and not circular! The stone archways, the overgrown interior, it was all so cool. Everyone else on the trip had been there before because they're from here, but I never even knew this place existed before moving here, and I think it's something any outsider would love! 

      That's all, folks! It was such a relaxing and refreshing trip, and was the perfect way to start the summer. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday!

To Adventure / Cosmo Park

 

     Hi there! We had a blast a couple of weekends back at Cosmo Park in Columbia, so I just wanted to share some snaps from that day! 

     Bailey was very into throwing all of the pebbles she could into the water, as most toddlers are. 

     Everything was just starting to bloom around town, so I had to stop and pick the tiniest bouquet! 

      They have the coolest playground equipment here, and this little set is probably my favorite. I can't resist the cabin vibe! 

     Bailey can't not look cute playing on a slide. You can see the look of quiet excitement on her face! 

     Thanks for reading and have a fun Monday! 

To Adventure / Winter Park Time

 

     Hi there! A couple of weekends back, it was 60 degrees in the dead of winter (and we've had and are due for more days like this since!), and we couldn't not take advantage of this rarity. We bolted to the park with Bailey, had a picnic, and just enjoyed getting outside when everyone is usually hunkered down in their homes. I snapped some pics, of course, and wanted to share those today!

     Bailey had a blast, as per usual, and loved soaking in some sun. Slides are her favorite, although we are constantly working on the fact that you can't go up the slide, only down.

     See what I mean? LOL

      The park wasn't too packed, as it's kind of an off the radar one, compared to the other well-known and trafficked parks around town. Bailey doesn't seem to mind when it's busy though, as she's always interested in what other people are doing. 

     She always tries this rock-wall, and has finally semi-grasped the concept of it. She doesn't quite have the fine motor skills yet to get very high, but she just loves trying!

     Since it's supposed to be even warmer this upcoming weekend, you can bet we will head out at least once to a park. Letting Bailey scramble around for an hour is the best break from doing laps around our house.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

For an Adventure / Christmas Tree Shopping

 

      Good morning! Just wanted to share our photos from picking out the Christmas tree today! Kristen took a few of these, like the one above, and I just love them. We didn't send out a Christmas Card this year, but if we did, the one above would be perfect!

     The tree farm is always so pretty. Sometimes, I wish it would snow when we go, because there's nothing prettier than a tree farm blanketed in snow. However, I'm aware of the driving difficulties of snow, so I'm only half sad it didn't happen.

      Bailey's quite the little rascal when we go to places like this. I think she gets the sense that it's a fairly safe place for her to run around, so she tries, but there are tree stumps everywhere. She gets wary of those darn things pretty quickly!

     The barn here is just too cool! If I had to live in a barn or on a farm with one, this would be ideal.

     Seeing stacks of logs everywhere during the winter is the best. It reminds me of ours at my home in Arkansas, where my sisters and I used to spot frogs, lizards, and even a baby bunny one rare time.

      This is probably my favorite picture. Bailey only sat here for about five seconds, but it was long enough for Kristen to snap Mommy and Me photo gold.

     I may or may not have taken a few souvenirs from the farm. Small pine branches make the cutest decorations around the house, and happen to smell amazing too!

     Brett's parents picked out a huge 8ft. tree for their house, and Bailey was pretty entertained watching her grandpa and dada cut it down and haul it to the truck.

      It's their tradition to have Brett do a lot of the work, but at this point, I don't think he minds so much. He's always the person who likes having a job to do.

     That's all folks! I'm so happy I get to continue this tradition that my dad passed down to me with Bailey. She really loves it, hopefully just as much as I do. Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

For an Adventure

 

      Hello! On this slow Sunday, I wanted to share a few snaps from our little adventure out to Devils Ice Box, which is part of a cave and trail system called Rock Bridge State Park that sits right on the outskirts of Columbia. Unexpectedly, Columbia is surrounded by a lot of trails and hiking spots, so we've been trying to take advantage of those and show Bailey around!

      This is the main cavern that goes underneath the namesake "Rock Bridge", and it has a couple of small cave openings within. It's dark and chilly though, hence the name Devils Ice Box. It has a small creek that runs through the cavern, with the bed being made up of uneven rocks that were mostly dry. Bailey loved it, and you could tell she wanted to explore more, but I could barely navigate the rocks, so she got carried most of the way. Some parts of the year you can't even go into the cavern as to not disturb the bats that call it home.  

      It's just a pretty place to take in the scenery. The trails around the caves and rock bridge are all board- walked, which makes it really kid friendly. 

      This is the view looking up from underneath the rock bridge. We didn't venture up top, because anybody who knows Bailey knows once she sees stairs, she has to go up and down a million times. There are A LOT of stairs leading to the top, so we weren't looking for that kind of work out that afternoon. 

      The rocky bed from the cavern. Lots of loose and sharp rocks. I made sure to wear the appropriate shoes this time around, which I am typically not known for. 

       Walking through the woods with papa bear on the way out of the park. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend this nature spot! It's beloved by locals and out-of-towners alike, so don't miss it. Thank you for reading! Have a fun Sunday! 

For an Adventure

 

     Hi there! A few weeks ago, Brett and I took Bailey to Mizzou's South Research Farm for a little fall festival they were hosting. It was a perfectly overcast and cool day, and Bailey loved running around looking at cows, sunflower fields, fire trucks (random, I know), and a huge bubble machine. They had a wine tasting for the adults, courtesy of our local vineyards, and corn mazes galore. Bailey took her first hayride up to a barn to see more animals, and she definitely was curious as to what the tractors were. See below for more pics!

     At one point, Bailey just plopped down in a pile of gravel, refusing to walk any further for a moment. I took the opportunity to snap a picture of our shoes, since we were both wearing black boots and she wasn't moving her legs for once.

     Columbia is surrounded by a few vineyards, and they brought out their wine for a small tasting at the farm. I tried a new red from Les Bourgeois and it was quite tasty!

      Like I said, Bailey really enjoyed getting to run in open fields. We just walked along behind her, making sure she didn't run into anyone. She definitely tumbled a couple of times, but that never really phases her.

     They had some local food trucks there as well. We had some delicious pulled pork sandwiches and they hit the spot after running around all afternoon.

     Thanks for reading, and have a great Monday!

For an Ozarks Adventure

 

     Good Morning! Over the Weekend, by best friend Cat road-tripped with Bailey + I to Arkansas to visit home. Cat had never been to the state before, so she was super excited! I also talk up the area I'm from because it's so beautiful, so there was some hype to live up to. I grew up on the Ozark Plateau, and the view you see above was right in my back yard, almost literally (you have to drive to a look out point just outside of town for this specific view, but you get the point). A lot of people don't realize this exists in Arkansas, but it does and it should be appreciated!

     It was a gorgeous weekend, so my Dad (who's spent a lot of time visiting and living around this area) graciously gave us the driving tour of the best sites in the region. Some are hidden, and some are very touristy, but all are worth the trek. Harrison (my hometown) is located conveniently close to the first National River ever, the Buffalo River. The photo above features the towering bluffs formed by the river, which reach a couple of hundred feet in some spots. Just behind those trees is the Buffalo itself, which is mainly loved for floating in kayaks or canoes.

     After seeing the Buffalo, we drove around to a Boy Scout Camp that has one of my favorite spots in the Ozarks: Twin Falls. My Dad has been taking me and my sisters here for as long as I can remember, and it's always been a sight to see. There are two waterfalls, that are still visible even when the water is low, and they are nestled into a small cave-ish bluff wall (I'm sure there's a technical name for this LOL). At their feet is a small pond created by the fresh-spring fed waterfalls, where the wild flora and fauna seem to have taken over. There was and odd grouping of pretty butterflies on the rock pictured above, and I'm still curious as to why they were all just hanging out on a rock together.

     Bailey loved playing in the clear shallow rock beds surrounding the pond. She's taken to throwing whatever she can get her hands on, so the loads of rocks, tree bark, and sticks were probably heaven to her.

     This is where the bigger waterfall is usually flowing. The water was pretty low, so it was only trickling down a bit, but it was still cool to see the wear and tear from the usual falls ingrained into the cliff side. 

     There were already leaves falling from the color-changing tree's, so it added fall vibes to the whole scene. The Ozarks are really something when all of the leaves change, so you could definitely say I'm looking forward to my next trip down in about a month.

     Bailey had a blast, as she usually does with anything outside. She had been in the car for the drive down, and the drive around the sites that day, so I know she was ready for a little trail walk. She's cautious when she wants to be, but her curiosity usually wins out and she becomes a little explorer anytime she goes somewhere new. I can't wait to keep sharing these things with her as she grows up, and with my friends who haven't seen these places. Thanks for reading, and have a great Monday!