I Love My Siblings

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It’s a really special thing that my brother, sister and I are as close as we are. Now that we are all married, it’s even more special that we all truly like and enjoy being around one another’s spouses. I love my brother Aaron’s wife Tracy. I love my sister Angela’s hubby John. Knowing that my brother and sister love my Ryan brings joy to my heart everyday.

One afternoon during the Beeson Family Staycation, my parents offered to care for all the children while we went for a hike. We laughed and told stories as we walked along the trails through the woods. 

Tracy is from Florida… she was loving the fact that we were hiking around the perimeter of a cornfield at one point. Ha! She kept saying, “LOOK AT ALL THIS CORN!” Love her.

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Family Hike at Dr. Lawless Park

Doesn’t this picture make you want to frolic down that trail of crunchy fallen leaves? Me too! My dad took this picture, which is one of the many reasons it is so wonderfully inviting.

 

I love hiking with my family! Ryan, Aaron and John carried babies on their backs and the whole fam hit the trail at Dr. Lawless Park on one beautiful fall day.

Ruby found a walking stick.

 

Beeson Family Staycation 2012 – InstaLife

This year the Beeson Family gathered for a week together at my parents house. Hooray for STAYCATION! We hiked, built fires, went to the pumpkin patch, enjoyed the fall weather, spent a day on the Dunes at Lake Michigan, took walks to the meadow, chopped wood, shot guns, and just had a great time being together without much of an agenda. I’m excited to post pictures this week – for today I’ll give you the Instagram version of our week together.

Here’s a look back at the last 5 years of Beeson Family Vacations.

Ft. Meyer’s Beach, FL – 2007
Glen Lake, MI – 2008
Aaron and Tracy’s Wedding, FL – 2009
Lake Tahoe, CA – 2010
Smoky Mountains, TN – 2011

First Trip to Hocking Hills

 

I say “first” trip to Hocking Hills because we are for sure going back a hundred more times. Hocking Hills is such an amazing place to hike and it’s much closer than we realized (a little over an hour away)! Next time we don’t need to stay in a hotel that smells like poo… we can just drive down in the morning! Don’t tell Ruby – she really loves hotel swimming pools.

Old Man’s Cave is one of the most popular hikes, and it was only a few miles from our hotel so we figured that would be a great place to begin our day. It was BEAUTIFUL to be down in the gorge, walking through the old forest and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of nature.

After hiking the Old Man’s Cave trail we were heading back to the parking lot when my right shoelace got caught in the shoelace hook on my left boot sending me crashing to the ground with Clara in the carrier on my back. In a clumsy effort to not let Clara hit the ground I skidded across the trail on my knees then rolled sideways with a thud. Wiping out while carrying 30 extra pounds on your back is not pleasant… I do not recommend it.

Here’s a picture of my knees and shins covered in a schmear of neosporin during our lunch break. Clara was fine… I’ll recover. Most unfortunately I might have to add leggings to my typical fall wardrobe of boots and skirts. Other than that, our picnic lunch was great! 

After lunch we hiked the Cedar Falls trail, then hiked Ash Cave. We saw all the waterfall places, but no water was flowing in any of the streams because the drought has been so bad. We loved seeing the cavernous rock walls and walking into the caves, but we are kinda excited to go back again when we can see the waterfalls.

 

There was a wedding happening in Ash Cave when we hiked through. If you know these people, tell them I have a great picture of their wedding to send to them.

The girls were happy riding along in the backpacks… who knows how long that will last! Ruby loves to be “the walking girl” if we give her the opportunity. For now, she’s still little enough to fit in the backpack. Clara cooed, squealed, blew raspberries all over my hair, and hummed many tunes as she rode. Ruby had a lot to say about everything and happily greeted everyone we passed. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and are so thankful Ryan had the weekend off so we could explore this fun new place together. Is next weekend too soon to go back?

Hiking at Highbanks Metro Park

Ryan spent all of Labor Day weekend working and on call – but he had this weekend off, so we lived it up! The weather could not be more gorgeous right now – literally PERFECT! 70 degrees, sunny, crispy, glorious in every way.

Sunday morning after church we drove to Highbanks to enjoy the perfect weather with some hiking. Highbanks Metro Park is one of our favorite in the area… we’ve been there quite a few times since we moved to Columbus. I can’t explain how amazing the weather is. When you look at this pic can you just smell how fresh it is outside?

Our friends Matt and Mary gave us their old backpack carriers, so Ruby got to ride too. She was so funny finding different places to stick her legs – even hanging straight down the back.

We made a lot of forward progress with both girls on our backs. Clara was very serious about hiking… and about most other things as well.

Ruby held onto Ryan’s neck. She thought it was hilarious.

Even though we only had a couple of hours between church and nap time, we just had to get out and do something with the girls. So thankful for time together. So thankful for fresh air, nature, and being healthy enough to take a hike.

 

Nothing quite like a weekend with Chris

Ryan’s brother Chris drove down to visit us last weekend and let me just say, it was really fun. First of all, Chris is hilarious. His life is like a movie – and the stories he tells about his life are unbelievable. We laughed so much and loved having him here.

Friday when he arrived we celebrated with a grill out followed by a trip to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Ruby and Clara love their Uncle Chris.

Saturday we explored the waterfalls and hiked around in the woods all morning. It was hotter than blazes, but I love Florida, so I just imagined I was there.

After hiking to Hayden Falls, we took Chris to Indian River to show him the falls there too. Once we got there, it was all dried up – literally not one drop of water going over the falls. Oh well. Maybe next time Chris visits we won’t be in the midst of a drought.

While the girls napped in the afternoon, Ryan and Chris took a bike ride in the heat of the day. It was literally 105 degrees. Here’s the “before” pic. They were geared up and had a lot of extra water. Le Tour de France has been on TV at our house pretty much 24/7 because Ryan records each stage. Someday I will take him to France to ride his bike through the countryside… until then Ohio’s countryside will have to do.

Sunday we took Chris with us to our church and then downtown to drive past the new Children’s Hospital and Ryan’s new office, then to eat at this cool deli in German Village called Katzingers. Chris and I were matchy matchy in our greens and blues.

We loved having you here Chris! Can’t wait to see you again soon!

Hiking in Florida

On Monday we hiked at the Little Big Econ State Forest. Hiking in Florida is much lovelier than hiking in Ohio… there are flowers and palm trees, live oaks with moss hanging off and lush greenery as far as the eye can see. The weather could not have been better for hiking – not too hot, a little overcast and warm breezes blowing through the trees.

Aaron and Tracy have a golden retriever named Bailey who came along on the hike. She loves hiking… such a good dog.

Being the good dog owner that he is, Aaron would scan the river for gators before he let Bailey jump in. GATORS! We don’t have those up north.

Later, Aaron found a big ol’ turtle in a hole along the trail – he tried to pull it out but that guy was not budging! One difference between Aaron and myself is that he willingly sticks his hands into animal burrows…

Hiking is the best. Hiking with people I love is more than the best!

Palm Sunday Hike

Continuing on our tour of all the Metro Parks in greater Columbus, after church yesterday morning we checked out Glacier Ridge. There is a paved pathway great for walking with our stroller. It inspired us to think seriously about getting some baby-carrier, kid-seat type apparatus to attach to our bikes so we could ride as a family. This will also be the place we come to help Ruby learn how to ride the bike we plan to get her for her 3rd birthday. Highbanks is better for actual “hiking” and is more in the woods. Glacier Ridge paths wind through the prairie and grasslands, past a really cool windmill and solar-energy area that provides energy for the park, and around a farm. We like exploring all our park options.

These girlies LOVE dandelions.

Happenings

Big news! Clara got a tooth! Just a teeny pointy one on the bottom. She’s so good at growing. She is 10 months old this week. Some of her favorite things these days are waking up (she goes absolutely berserk with excitement about being awake), black beans (she would eat an entire can in one sitting if I let her), clapping and bopping around to any music she hears, playing peek-a-boo with Ruby, and stealing pacifiers from any and every child who comes within arms reach of her. She’s been saying “mama” and “dada” for a while now and has added, uh-oh, ba, ka, ga, and incredibly high-pitched squeals to her extensive vocabulary. She couldn’t be less interested in crawling, but I love it that, for now, she stays where I put her. I’m kinda glad she’s taking her sweet time in the crawling department.

 

Last weekend Ryan had a day off, so we went to Highbanks for a hike with the girls. It’s always so great to spend time as a family outside. Ruby burns some energy, Clara gets to experience cold wind in her face and Ryan and I have time to talk while we walk. Yay hiking!

Ruby started a gym class at the Y for 1 and 2 year olds last week. Her first class was fun because I got to watch how she acts when she doesn’t know what is going on and all the other kids do. Most of the other kids had already been in this class for 7 weeks, so they knew all the games and songs already. Ruby did a lot of standing around looking amazed at the other kids while they danced, jumped, and sang songs. She started getting the hang of things and I’m sure by next week she’ll be participating a lot more and standing in awe a lot less. ha!

Highbanks Metro Park

Praise the Lord we discovered a pretty good place to hike near our house! Our previous attempt at hiking near Columbus was ok, but not great by any means. Today, however, we tried out another park with Aaron and Tracy and were pleasantly surprised by the trails as well as the February sunshine!

Highbanks has trees, trails, bluffs, ravines, bridges, a river and all sorts of things we like to encounter while hiking.

Ruby wanted to walk by herself the entire time… which is less like walking and more like standing by the side of the trail looking for rocks. Luckily Uncle Aaron was willing to carry her on his shoulders so we could actually make forward progress. We stopped by the nature center and Ruby did some light reading.

Discovering this park really made us so happy today. Ryan is THRILLED to have somewhere to be in nature on the weekends that he isn’t working. Hooray for Highbanks! Double hooray for Aaron and Tracy visiting us in Columbus!