Oakes Quarry

We went on a little adventure recently and guys, this is a true hidden gem. I’ve always casually heard about an old quarry that was turned into a park. Never really thought anything of it even though it’s under 10 minutes from my house – That’s it!

So you know how long it took me to get there? 2 years since I heard about it. Well we headed out there the other night for an evening adventure… and fell in love.

Walking down the rocky path sends you into another existence. I did not feel like I was in Ohio at all. It was 89° and the sun was beating down on us and this rocky desert like scene.

Yes, this is an appreciation post just for an old quarry in Fairborn, Ohio. Pics below and if you live near here – GO! It’s got plenty to see and a nice 2 mile walk amongst the rocks. (There is a quick history below the photos)

I even headed back out there a few days later to do a photo shoot with the ever so lovely and dark Aniyahlationn

Back in 1929, it was surface mined for limestone. The Oakes family purchased it in the 90’s and eventually donated the land to the city of Fairborn in 2003.

The park has a 2 mile foot trail and 1 mile horse trail. It’s the 2nd largest park in Fairborn and it is a beauty. Keep a look out for wildlife and fossils! The last time I was there, we saw swarms of Buckeye Butterflies!

Caffeine Crushed

I quit drinking coffee.

Back in July, my anxiety was VERY high and caffeine was making that worse. I don’t drink soda, so coffee was my only source of liquid caffeine and I loved it.

But as my anxiety climbed, so did my coffee intake… or maybe it was the other way around. It actually began to physically affect me with acid reflux.

After lots of conversations with my doctor, we agreed that I should stop drinking coffee. Not just switch to decaf – I mean quit it for good.

So July 7th, I tossed my coffee and packed away my coffee maker. Day 2 was hard. Thinking back though, it may have been more of a habit than an addiction.

I actually don’t miss it. My anxiety has gotten better though never truly dissolving. I also want to point out that my acid reflux issues have dramatically dropped (I love acidic foods though – hey, tomatoes – so I imagine this will always be an issue for me.)

If you are thinking of quitting for any of these reasons, I totally recommend it. There is no trick though – you just have to decide to quit. Coffee is heavily advertised though as a mother’s savior, but really… water does the trick.

Hang in there, friends!

Toddler VS Tidy House

I’m just gonna say it…. toddlers are gross. You guys know that I adore my daughter and her curiosity for the world, but toddlers are gross and she is no exception.

I’ve always kept a tidy house. Becoming a mom didn’t change that for me. I like things picked up and in their place. It’s just how I function. I actually tend to get a bit of anxiety when things aren’t clean, so tidy just works for our family.

It is not for everyone and that’s okay.

Today I pulled the couch out after I tossed the cushion covers in the washer and I found a collection of toys beneath it – plus some dried shredded cheese and a couple of stale Cheerios. Oh and crumbs. Crumbs everywhere.

Should I be embarrassed to tell you that? Because I’m not. A toddler-sized traveling snack eater lives here and it’s probably not allllll her. I also like to eat popcorn on the couch while I catch up on my shows. And honestly, if the less than desirable couch treasures are the messiest things in my house than I feel like I’m doing a decent job.

I do want to briefly touch on the stigma of tidy vs less than tidy. I saw some comments on an article I read recently and the article talked about tidiness. The comments ranged from wholeheartedly agreeing to subtlety judging the author’s lifestyle. I just want to say that if your kids are happy, tidy or not, then you are doing a good job. There is no need to compare your home to anyone else’s. You don’t live there and you shouldn’t make anyone feel bad for their choices.

Back to tidying up, guys. I want to leave you with a quote and a couple of quick tidying up tips that can fit any parent’s lifestyle. I read this quote about a year ago and it still really shapes the way I do things on a daily basis.

“You have time for what you make time for.”

And with that, here are a couple of my favorite 5 minutes or less daily tidy-tips!

1. Fold the laundry. You’ve done the washing. You’ve done the drying. Now do the folding!

2. Put away the toys before bed. This one really only takes 2 minutes, if that. Each night before I whisk CJ off to bed, we put her books on the shelf. We toss the puzzle pieces on top of the puzzle boards. We line up her impressive collection of cars and everything else gets tossed into the toy box.

3. Make your bed! It might seem silly to make your bed when you are just going to climb into it later, but it’s worth it. Wouldn’t you rather easily climb into those pre-made sheets when you are tired rather than having to zombie your way through straightening out the pillows, sheets, and blankets in the moment that you really just want to lay down?

4. Toss the junk mail. You don’t really need those food coupons that you probably won’t use before they expire anyway. Plus, in the world of technology, you can mostly likely get a better coupon directly on the website. Old bills that you’ve already paid? File or toss. Ads you think you’ll need? Take a picture and make a special file on your phone! Junk mail is called junk for a reason. Don’t let it clutter your coffee table or counters.

5. Vacuum! “What? That doesn’t take 5 minutes. Get outta here!” It does if you vacuum one room a night. Pick the room that needs it the most and go for it. It doesn’t have to be thorough, but it helps a ton when a busy parent finally does get to do a deep clean.

There it is! 5 things you can do in 5 minutes or less. That’s just 25 minutes if you choose to do it all in one night – that is a lot less time than most people spend clicking through social media or watching their shows. And a reminder! If tidying up isn’t your thing? That’s okay. If tidying up is your thing? That’s okay. If you want tidying up to be your thing? Then start with these tips!

It’s done. She’s two!

I’m sitting here on the couch with a heating pad shoved down my shirt because it is 16° degrees outside and with my daughter curled up on my lap under a blanket. All is right in the world. Why does this moment matter so much? Because she’s finally two and we conquered her birthday party on Sunday!

I’ve been planning her Bunny themed party since mid-January and my anxiety did not take a break. But alas, friends, it is done. She is two!

Some Bunny is Two was her theme! We had a garden of veggies, fruit salad, bunny t(r)ail mix, punch, and pizza. Oh, and those super cute cupcakes up above!

We had Peter Rabbit playing on the tv and coloring pages of bunnies and flowers out for the kids to color. I made a bunny bowling box will tissue paper. She and her little friends had a total blast running around. Her party was a success!

But I stressed about it hard. There were lots of 3am Pinterest searches because I couldn’t sleep. A lot of buying, returning, crafting, and creating games & decor that honestly…. two year olds don’t notice nor care about.

Moms, if you are like me when it comes to birthday parties, please stop, drop, and relax. It’s okay to want perfect and fun. It’s okay to do a little or a lot. Your kids will have a blast with their friends whether you nailed down those details or not.

Everything fell into place when her guests arrived. I immediately stopped worrying and joined in on the fun. I encourage you all to do the same! The moments that you are present for are all that matters.

Now does this mean I learned my lesson and won’t stress about future parties? Nope, not a chance. I do think I’ll be able to relax a little more though and make sure I’m present for the important stuff rather than stressing out.

Just remember to breathe and relax!

Here are a couple of cool things about my awesome toddler in celebration of her birthday:

  • She can count to 6
  • She loves to dance
  • She loves cars, trains, and planes
  • She can hear a candy wrapper 3 rooms away
  • She’s a professional tomato picker
  • She is obsessed with books.
  • Though she tried to blow out her candles, she wanted nothing to do with her cake.

It really is the little things. She is very loved by her friends and seeing the happiness on her face is something I’ll always remember – unlike the already fading memory of scrolling endless birthday themed searches.

Goal Setting

I want to talk to you about goal setting.

In 2017, I had set out to accomplish all of these personal & home related goals even though I had just had a baby that March – Followed by my husband leaving for work for several months in a row! At the time, it was just me, a 4 month old, a dog & a long list of To-Do’s. I accomplished none of it. I felt overwhelmed just thinking about buying paint and moving furniture with the two curious critters in tow.

Now it is 2019. I accomplished about half of my list in 2018 before adding to it for this year. I’m about to put the finishing touches on our laundry room (pictured below w/ fresh paint), which has been one of the bigger items on the list. I’m feeling super accomplished right now, even though it’s not quite finished.

So why did I give you insight to my total goal-flub? Because I want to remind you that you are a beautiful and talented human being and it’s okay if you don’t tackle your huge to do list right this second. You’ll get there. Some things take time. Maybe you weren’t absolutely ready to conquer those goals, but in a year or two, you will be. The important thing is to not give up, but at the same time… enjoy the now without stressing about the need to-do.

In the time that I didn’t accomplish my goals, I got to enjoy watching my daughter grow into the hilarious, but stubborn almost 2 year old that she is. I was there for my dog when she suddenly got sick and passed away. I learned more about gardening, nature, and an individuals impact on the environment. I rekindled my relationship with my husband when he finally returned and together we set new goals, while accomplishing some of the old ones.

My main message here is to set your goals, but live your life.