Lately

The past few weeks have been on the busy side for us. The school year begins much earlier this year than in years past so we are filled with the slight anxiety of the summer coming to a quick end. The slow, peaceful days filled with relaxation will soon be replaced with getting to know new students, new classmates, and busy weeks of school and work schedules. For now, during my last weekend before it all begins, I am going to reflect.

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The weather will still be warm, days will still be full of wonder, just in a new and exciting way.

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The night before having our 20 week ultrasound we took the kids to one of our favorite parks for a swim, for Kennedy, and ice cream. The Belvedere Park is full of beautiful bridges and playgrounds. Our favorite activity is to visit the Kishwaukee River shore line and throw rocks while the dog takes a dip in the water. After is a trip to the Dairy Ripple for some delicious ice cream!

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She was so excited to see her new sibling and picked out the perfect outfit for the occasion. We decided to find out the gender so we could begin to wrap our minds around nursery decorating and picking out new outfits. Not to mention, there was a bet of sorts in my family on what the gender was going to be. Reese didn’t think he had a chance of having a boy.IMG_0789

It’s a boy! One day my son will have the knowledge that I put his private parts on the internet for all to see. 🙂

 

Instead of going for our usual hike on Wednesday, we decided to take Finn to the water park to celebrate! IMG_0791IMG_0800

More updates to come this weekend. For now, we are working through the busy time before school begins. I am currently caught somewhere between planning for the new baby, working with our daughter on activities, and getting the most out of the days before work begins. My Pinterest has been a busy place these days!

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Enjoy the weekend! Now to make our baby announcement.

Hiking in Mount Morris

 

 

On our latest hiking trip brought us to White Pines Forest State Park in Mount Morris, IL which is near Byron, IL. (If you are in the area and know where the Nuclear Power Plants are then you have a pretty good idea of where this is!) The park is very beautiful and covered with tall pines, wild flowers and a creek that winds its way through the park.

When you first drive into the park, the road forks into two different directions. One leads you to the cabin and restaurant area and the other leads to the parking and hiking area. I haven’t eaten at the restaurant, when we go hiking we pack snacks and a lunch (depending on how long we will be out) but I read really great reviews if you are into that sort of thing.

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Looking over the rail to the creek.

One of the neatest things about this park is the fords. The creek is a main focal point of this park and instead of making bridges or damming the creek, they created fords! The day we went, there was a storm the night before so the fords were closed, but thats okay because we were in an exploring mood and took the foot bridges. Don’t attempt to cross over the fords with you feet, they are very slippery and i wouldn’t imagine it to be a fun fall.

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One last bridge to the hiking trail. Born explorer.

The first hiking path that we came across after the two foot bridges was the Sleepy Hollow path. It was orange, marked hard, so we decided to try it! Below are some photos of our journey. To date, this is my favorite hiking path. Difficult inclines, stairs, tree roots, rocks, and crossing over the creek three times. Its beautiful, peaceful, and a must do for any hiker! It’s also worth noting that we didn’t have any problems with mosquitos while walking through this park. There were times where we were not moving and just taking in the beauty of our surroundings. We made it out bite free.

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Hike up to the trail.
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Tree roots and skinny walking path.
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One of the three stone bridges to cross over the creek.

Throughout the walk, you will see wonderful limestone and rock carved walls with moss and other foliage growing out from it.

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Steep and winding staircase down to the trail.

Pros

  • Challenging
  • Scenic
  • Wildlife
  • Creek
  • Multiple terrains

Cons

  • Narrow trails, difficult for others to pass
  • Can be hard for some hikers due to uneven trails