How are we three months into 2023 already?! We’ve had a great and busy start to our year! We had a mild winter and are patiently waiting for consistent warmer temps to enjoy spring and summer. Here is a recap of our last 3 months.
The ONE Snow Day
We were prepared to have multiple snow days (aka – online learning days) this winter, because that is just what usually happens, but surprisingly, we only had ONE! The kids got their work done as quickly as they could so they could play outside.
The kids loved sledding and making snow angels, and Brody found a new obsession with digging up snow with his trucks and diggers!
Disney on Ice
We used to love going to Disney on Ice before Covid hit. And of course Brody never got to do it since he was born in 2020, so I was excited to take the kids this year!
Kinsie’s Redstepper Clinic
Kinsie had a really neat opportunity to go to a dance clinic with the Indiana University Redsteppers. She spent a few hours in the morning doing fun activities and learning a dance routine, then they got to perform the routine at the Men’s basketball game at halftime! She even had a few surprise visitors come to see her dance!
Indiana weather is the most random thing. Sometimes it snows, and other times, it’s nice enough to have a picnic on campus, play outside and “sunbathe!”
Evie turned One!
Our sweet pup turned 1 year old this month! Kinsie made decorations, we bought her a few new toys and a new cozy bed, and we even made a cake for her! She LOVED it and the kids had a lot of fun celebrating with her!
Girl Scout Cookie Season
Kinsie had her first official season of selling Girl Scout cookies! She really enjoyed it and did so well!
IU Sweeps Purdue
It was an exciting and fun college basketball season this year! But the best part was that IU swept Purdue, and Ryan and I got to witness it! It was such a fun game!
We always love finding new parks and hiking areas, so we were excited to find a new place to hike in our town. The kids loved exploring nature and throwing rocks in the creek.
Brody is OBSESSED with trucks of all kind – so we knew we had to take him to Monster Jam this year! We even bought tickets to the pit party before the show so we could walk around and see the monster trucks up close. Brody was in heaven!!
We brought our nephew Briggs to the actual show while Kinsie hung out with the girl cousins. The boys had a great time watching all the monster trucks do races and tricks and scoring them. It was a really cool experience that we will for sure do again!
OG Family Vacay
February is a rough time for me mentally – mainly with the weather. When my sister invited me to fly out to Florida with her to visit my parents who were there for the month, I was going to do everything I could make it work! Luckily I have the best mother-in-law in the world and she was able to make it work to come help with the kids since Ryan would still be working. I am SO glad I was able to go. It was so relaxing and refreshing and I absolutely loved getting to spend some quality time with my parents and my sister. This was the first time we took a vacation – just us 4 – in probably 20 years!
We even took a day to drive to Orlando and spend the day at Epcot. I had to ask for forgiveness from my kids for this, but it was such an amazing day. We rode a few rides (mainly Guardians of the Galaxy over and over!) but we mainly spent our time eating and drinking around the world. It was such a perfect day and a perfect quick getaway!
Valentine’s Day Activities
We had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day this year! The kids enjoyed seeing a new heart on their door every morning with a reason why we love them!
They also LOVED doing a scavenger hunt to find their gifts. Brody talked about this for days afterwards, and even asked Kinsie to make more scavenger hunts for him to find prizes!
Brody’s Guest Day
Brody was so excited that he got to bring a guest to school, and he picked his Yaya! He loved showing her around his classroom, making a craft, and going to chapel with her. And after school, I enjoyed some lunch and shopping with my Mama 🙂
This was the first time we went on a spring break trip since 2019! We decided to drive down to Arkansas to visit our old home! We left in the late afternoon after Ryan slept off a night shift, and drove about halfway and stopped at St. Louis to spend the night. I knew Kinsie and Brax would do fine in the car, but I had lots of movies, snacks and activities ready for Brody. He did great on the drive!
We stopped in St. Louis and enjoyed seeing the Arch, having dinner, and hanging out in the hotel for the evening. In the morning we were back on the road to head to Northern Arkansas for some hiking!
Part 1 of Trip – Buffalo River National Park
We always wanted to go here when we lived in Arkansas, but never got around to it, so we were excited to spend some time here. We rented an awesome cabin to stay in during our visit. There were no restaurants or grocery stores nearby, so we stopped in the nearest town to get some groceries before we got to the cabin, and we made all our meals there.
Hike 1 – Hawksbill Crag
The big kids were absolute champs during the hikes. Brody, on the other hand, was good, but wanted to be carried everywhere! He wouldn’t get in the hiking backpack or the Ergo carrier, but just wanted Ryan to carry him. But he still really enjoyed the hikes!
The end result of this hike was an awesome overhang view! We spent some time enjoying the view, eating a snack and taking a breather. This was probably the hardest hike of the trip, but the kids did great! Afterwards, we headed back to the cabin to relax for a little while and eat lunch.
Hike 2 – King’s River Falls
After lunch, we did another hike. This ended up being the kids’ favorite hike, mainly because there was a creek all along the path. Brody was obsessed with throwing rocks in the water, so wherever there was water, he was happy!
Once we got to the falls, we hung out here for a while and played, enjoyed the view, relaxed, and threw rocks. We had a great day of hiking!
Hike 3 – Lost Valley Trail
The next day, we headed out for another hike. This hike had some waterfalls, caves, and more creeks to throw rocks in! Oh and I forgot to mention that Kinsie did handstands and cartwheels at every location as well. At one point, Brax walked on a slippery spot and fell right into the water. He sweatshirt and pants got all wet (and it was chilly!) but he carried on and still made the most of it and enjoyed the rest of the hike!
Hike 4 – Pam’s Grotto Falls
This was a really cool hidden gem. It took somewhat of a crazy path through the woods, but it brought us to a really cool waterfall area. The rock formations here were amazing and we all enjoyed exploring this neat area for a while. Our time in Buffalo National River was a lot of fun…we are so glad we did it. The kids really enjoyed it as well. The next day, we drove a couple more hours down to Little Rock for the next leg of the trip.
Part 2 of Visit – Little Rock
When we moved from Arkansas to Indiana, Covid had just hit so the world was shut down. We didn’t get to visit our favorite places or our friends before we left, so our time there ended somewhat abruptly, and with me being stuck in the hospital with Brody for the first week of his life, we just didn’t have the best memories of our last few weeks there, so it was a breath of fresh air to see our old home again!
We loved driving by our old house and the kids’ old schools, and visiting our favorite parks. We always loved downtown Little Rock, so we enjoyed visiting the “Rock Park” the nature center and the Junction Bridge.
Visit with Friends
We loved getting to spend an evening with some old friends from residency. The kids all played so well together and had a great time while Ryan and I loved catching up with our friends too.
Little Rock Zoo
We used to go to this zoo ALL the time, so we knew we wanted to revisit! It was a chilly morning, but it wasn’t crowded and the animals were very active!
St. Patrick’s Day
And of course we had to get a pic of the kids with their St. Patrick’s Day shirts!
While we revisited some of our old favorite places, we loved re-enacting some old pictures! Brody obviously wasn’t around during the first photos, so he threw himself in some of the new pictures this time around 🙂
We had a fantastic trip and we are so glad we were able to do it! The kids loved remembering old memories about our time there and making lots of new ones!
And that’s a wrap for January, February and March. We are anticipating a VERY busy spring and summer with lots of sports and activities, and hopefully some beautiful weather! Happy spring!