we spent some time with the rivers and the creeks this past week. darla enjoyed throwing things into said bodies of water. it was very nice of mother nature to give us those temperature spikes that allowed for some outdoor exploration. this is pretty fantastic time of year for getting a last little communion with nature.

although, i am hoping for some winter hikes this year :)

duck whispererriver tosshikewilderness

i think you all should know that she was trying to teach the ducks to fetch in that second photo. she’s special.


birthday buddies

i’m sure everyone remembers that we love to hit up pumpkin patches with these folks. we got to spend yesterday celebrating the birthday of our very best buddy and my favorite little guy at schacht’s family farm. can you believe how big these kids have grown?


birthday party


trunk party


these last two are my favorites. they were hissing like snakes and then laughing at how they amused themselves. these kiddos have their own inside jokes now. we’re slowly approaching the age when parents will be outsiders. i’m ok with that. especially if it means their bond will grow stronger. they’ve acted a bit more like twins in the past, but lately there’s been a whole lot of love.

happy 4th birthday burkeybuns! we love you.

first field trip

our first field trip with darla’s school was more like a patch trip, pumpkin patch that is.

on monday, darla’s school arranged a visit to nearby Circle S Farm. i was pretty impressed by their set up. lots for the kiddos to enjoy and learn from. and they enjoyed it for sure. and how. let’s have a looksie, shall we?

the first thing that made the day special was getting to hang with darla’s friend kaden and the second thing was the pumpkin donuts. yum. YUM!


and then it was on to playing in the hay barn



and then it was on to hayrides through sunflowers


to pick our pumpkins


and spy on woolly caterpillars


then it was back to the farmyard for animals, hay maze and more jumping in the hay



haydoris headhaydoris

and my favorite two moments of the day



we had a really great time. more than that, we had two tired kids who wore themselves out having a great time. score.

a wonder wander




i much prefer a nice stroll in the woods over any other activity with my girl. after a picnic lunch at their pondside wildlife observation deck we took our apples and went for a walk in sodalis nature park.

i love the way her imagination has the freedom to expand when there are few parameters. we walked along the trail, singing various songs, clearing sticks off the trail and using the sticks to build various projects darla dreamed up. i loved watching her excitement as she found red leaves and exclaimed “i found the first leaf of autumn!” or when she found large rocks to climb and jump off.

i’m looking forward to a whole season of these nature walks.

it’s a family affair

our first day back together. i gotta say it felt pretty damn good. i cried. a lot…only in the morning, though.

first, lunching at the big happy greek

then onto visiting our creature friends at the ohio wildlife center open house

one is fantastic and one is my spirit animal. can you guess which is which?

guess what? i get to be in pictures again. yippee!!!! i’m happy that these photos highlight my highlights. i got my hair did hours before mike returned. thanks again to jenna and cole for making this magical hair day a possibility. oh yeah back to my family…

the wildlife center was a pretty rad place. now i’m happy that the middle aged volunteer we ran into at mozart’s bakery talked our ear off about the place a few months back. my personal favorite was meeting wendell, the narcoleptic woodchuck. oh and seeing darla and mike together in the woods. that made me feel shades of laura ingalls wilder. we’ll be returning again in futures near and distant.

dear salty sailor,

ohhh man we did some STUFF this week. check it.

we zoo-ed it.

she likes to wear you clothes just as much as i do.

new artings at the library. she said she was inspired to draw so she did.

discovered some gnarly, antique doors in our hood. i told her they were secret doors.

she noticed this root system at the schiller park playground grown in a circle. decided this is where gnomes and faeries have dinner together.

in which she discovers a spider’s web, touches it then freaks out b/c it’s on her hand

nom nom at the north market + our treats for being good. she had the little girl and i had the dog dressed as a pig. japan, you so crazy!

you just go ahead and run it out, you crazy lunatic

these last two are at highbanks metropark in the natural play area. this is the best sycamore tree i’ve ever seen, said sycamore featured on the right. i asked darla to pose in front of it and she laid down on the ground and rolled around like a dog. she’s special.

a word on highbanks metropark: they have these little shelter houses that have fireplaces in them. i don’t care how cold it gets, when you get home you will take me there and darla too. you will build me a fire in one and you will like it. you will woo me with your manly survival skills and we will sit in front of that fire whilst darla goes buck wild at the nearby playground. i will probably have some yarn and a darning needle in my hand but i won’t be using them. they are just props b/c that is what a lady is supposed to hold in front of a fire.

that is all.

i can’t even keep track of all the funny stuff she says anymore and i’m getting lazy b/c you’re almost here so i don’t wanna. i feel that way about chores around the house. it’s like i think you’re already here so i don’t want to do it on my own but ‘taint the case.

i do remember that she has figured out how to be three people at one time instead of just two: toddler approaches. tugs on my shirt to signal that my attention is needed. says “mom, i’m mai pretending to be gumby” and then bounds off. i am very frightened for the future at this point.

you missed a pretty magical first for darla’s life – her first viewing of the wizard of oz. i would give anything to have captured the look on her face when dorothy opened the front door to reveal oz and all its vivid splendor. darla’s eyes grew saucerlike and she gasped. she then sat enraptured. if i had known it was going to be that spectacular i would have waited for you to be home before we watched it. also, I FREAKING LOVE JUDY GARLAND.

well i better sign off so i can write you a honey-do email so you know what you’re going to do when you get home.

i love you more than cheese.

wife former fwife

sunday funday

i meant to post this picture update earlier in the day but we were busy with adventures.  the motto for this s’ennight could have been attention to detail. we made lots of new discoveries- secret old doors in the neighborhood, odd trees, new parks and playgrounds. learning is getting more comprehensive. such as when i show her the veins running through the leaves and then compare them to the veins in our wrists. she understands they serve the same purpose in both beings – the transfer of oxygen and nutrients. at least she understood for 2 minutes. it has probably floated away, out of her brain by now but FOUNDATIONS ARE BEING LAID! i am an educating force to be reckoned with. cackle cackle cackle!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anyway here are some of my favorite pictures from our outings.



when i was a little girl my dad had an old knit hat he called his “weekender” that he would wear around the yard while working and doing chores.  i would tag along “helping” with some chores which pretty much consisted of me picking up all the tiny sticks all over the yard. well, now it’s darla’s turn to be the stick-picker-upper. this past one was definitely a “weekender” weekend, reminding me of saturdays and sundays long gone.

here’s our indiana-ing.

feeding the birdies with grandpa

our marshmallow ghosts. can you tell which ones darla did?

chasing bubbles with grandma

repurposing an old toilet paper roll as a peanut butter bird feeder

and oooohhhhh the leaf piles!

i didn’t take any pics of our wilderness trek but that was kinda the point. to just get back to investigating nature. we found a huge beaver dam! i haven’t seen one since i was a little girl. i love having those moments with my little girl. grandpa came too and he was able to pass on more information than mommy. he’s the real wilderness expert. i’m just a fake. other than that trek my favorite part of the weekend was right here:

i love sitting next to a fire, indoor or outdoor. especially with a cup of coffee with chocolate milk, bailey’s and whipped cream. or with a hocher schorr weiss.

i’ll try to get pics of our trick or treating up later today or early tomorrow. i know you are looking for them, hubster.