Category Archives: outside we go

First Real Winter Snow + My Model of the Moment

I feel like this winter got a lot colder a lot faster than years past. We hada little bit of snow last week, but it wasn’t too impressive, and it was pretty cold outside. So, we passed on making a big deal about it with the boys, and decided to wait for something better.

Well, this morning we got it!


Marco is suddenly becoming much more difficult to get in a picture. Luckily, Ty is now sitting up, and always full of smiles. He’s officially my newest model. I think he’s doing quite well.



It wouldn’t be a complete set of snow photos without Frankie. She was made for the stuff.


Marco and Dad built a very tall snowman.





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Filed under baby, baby P, family, life with fur, outside we go

Since Today Felt Like September…

…I figured I might as well post about something I meant to write about this fall — the patch.

Many people have asked if we (well, Lucas) grew giant pumpkins again this year. Yes, he did. However, being the hottest summer on record, the pumpkins didn’t get to the 500+ lb range that last year’s did. But the main one was over 300 lbs. Rather than compare the growing pumpkin to my growing belly, like we did last year, we got to model it with our growing boy.

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I think he’s hired.

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We tried to take him to other pumpkin patches, but…

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…they just put him to sleep.

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Filed under DIY, our growing garden, outside we go, pumpkin patch, pumpkins

New House Sneak Peek…

Isn’t it adorable? :)

So, this isn’t THE house. It’s the little shed/playhouse in the wooded backyard. For now it will probably just be Lucas’ tool shed, but since the previous owners actually put electricity out there, it’s full of possibilities! It’s so sweet, and just adds to the charm of what will soon be our new home!

I love the weathervane on top, too.



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Filed under cottage, happiness, outside we go

How to Enjoy Fishing and Camping (when you’re not really into fishing and camping)

The many ways I’ve survived embraced marriage to an outdoorsman.

Within the first year of dating Lucas, I had about 16 camping trips under my belt. Both family and friends were quite amused by this fact. And still are to this day. It’s not that I’m high-maintenance. I did, in fact, once accompany my brother, his wife and her brother on a 4-day hike through the Idaho Sawtooth Mountains.
And what did I have to show for it?
Two bone-revealing blisters, a deep appreciation for plumbing and a cross-my-heart promise that I would never, ever, partake in such an activity again.
It was painful. And at one point, my brother was rehearsing how he was going to tell my mom that I didn’t survive. And you really could see my bones through the blisters on heels. Eek.

I will admit, it was it was some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. And something I’ll never forget. But next time, I’m taking a horse.

So how can you enjoy camping, even if you’re convinced it’s not your thing?
It’s simple…

1. Bring Your Best Buds.
When Lucas heads to the river (tackle box-in-hand), there are two pals who never fail to keep me company.
And provide entertainment.

 2. Catch up on your reading.
I have difficulty finding enough time for my magazines and my books. But when we’re out in the wilderness, and Lucas is focusing on his small mouth bass, I have absolutely no problem relaxing from cover-to-cover. 

3. Explore

Typically, we camp at Meramec Springs State Park. I learned very quickly that the trail around the springs offers beautiful scenery, 


and tranquility.

4. Look closely.
Enjoy the things you’d never see in your own backyard.

(which isn’t always a bad thing…)

5. Play.
I almost beat him this time…
 6. Bring a cook
(or at least someone who’s excited to throw the charcoal on the grill)

7. Remember why you came.
Yes, I have to admit, half the reason he’s gotten me to go so many times is because I know how happy it makes him to be out here. Which makes me happy, too. :)

8. Make sure he appreciates you’re there.
Hey, he’s not always a romantic…but his little etch (in our picnic table) makes me smile. ;P

9. R E L A X
Notice the screw top? There has been more than one occasion that the corkscrew was nowhere to be found.  No worries here.

And a crackling fire helps, too. 

10. Remember Home Is Just A Dirt Road Away.
So, even if your camping experience wasn’t the best, just keep in mind that that’s what it is. An experience. And, if you do it my way, you’ll be back on the road and headed back to a clean home and cozy shower in no time.

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Filed under camping, outside we go, travels

Craving Mexico

Lucas and I are kind of like those retired people who go on a cruise like every 4 months. Only, for us (who are both in our 30’s, mind you), our “cruise” is Mexico.

That clear blue Caribbean water, those white sandy beaches, the quick and affordable flights direct to Cancun, and of course, those all-inclusive prices. It’s been enough to lure us to Mexico 5 times since we’ve been together (including our honeymoon). Lucas is a creature of habit, and in his eyes — “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

And when it comes to the Riviera Maya, it’s hard to disagree.

This week I’ve found myself craving a trip south of the border yet again. But I don’t know how soon it’s going to happen, since we’ve already used up a lot of our vacation days for the year. So, for a quick fix, I started to browse through some of our old pictures.

Can’t decide if it’s helped…or just made me want to go back that much more.

Isla Mujeres

The view from our balcony in Isla Mujeres.

Pier at Avalon Reef Club in Isla Mujeres. We happened to travel here about 2 days after Hurricane Ike went through. From what we heard, the water is usually like a crystal clear sheet of glass. We saw a glimpse of that the day we were leaving, but even without the “perfect” water, the place was still beautiful.

Isla Mujeres is actually an island off the coast of Cancun. It’s about a 20 minute ferry ride. Our hotel was on an island off the island, accessible by a narrow, wooden bridge.

The whole island is about 5 miles long. So the main mode of transportation is golf carts. You can rent them for the day and experience the entire island via one, gorgeous road.

One of the main attractions on the island is the turtle farm. It’s part of a major effort to enforce a new Mexico law stating turtles can’t be killed for meat, shells or eggs. The turtles are raised at the farm, and then school children set them free once they’re big enough to go out on their own. Very cool.

Dinner view.

Amazing hurricane-induced sunset.


Puerto Aventuras (honeymoon)

We spent our honeymoon at the same hotel we stayed in the first time we went to Mexico. It was renovated when we went back, and had become Dreams Puerto Aventuras. The picture above is at our favorite bar, right on the beach.

Deep sea fishing. Caught a Trigger Fish.

And a scary barracuda.

And no matter what, we always meet new people and make new friends. This picture was the result of the full, top-shelf bar on our floor. Funny how you think you’re done for the night…and then, well, that happens.


Puerto Morelos (group trip)

We’ve had so much fun visiting Mexico, that we felt it was only right to share the pleasure with our good friends. So last May we took a group trip down there. We liked to call it Spring Break 2010. We plan to make this adventure an annual tradition.

We all took a cool little jet ski/snorkel trip.

And, yes, the swim-up bar is always a nice attraction, too.



…Okay. I’m convinced. Time to book another trip…


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Filed under outside we go, this 'n that, travels

Oh, What The Neighbors Will Say…

You know those people? The ones whose front porch displays the spirit of Christmas year-round? It begins innocently enough in the month of December. They pick a frigid Saturday afternoon, lean that 14-ft ladder against their roof, and then adorn their home with glowing lights that will soon spread holiday cheer throughout the neighborhood.

Then January rolls around.

Then February.

Then July.

Before you know it, it’s November and they’re the ones getting credit for being “the first in the neighborhood to ring in the holidays.”
And the cycle begins all over again.

Well, that’s kind of what it’s like at our house right now. Only for us, it’s not a string of lights – it’s a pumpkin patch.

Case in point, last week I sat down to watch TV… and had to look twice upon finding a new display on our mantle.

 (no need to check your calendar — it’s still August)

You see, one of the most remarkable things about my husband is his passion for mastering his next new hobby. When he gets his mind on something, you better believe he’s going to study, learn and practice that craft until reaching ungodly perfection. And this year, the hobby is growing pumpkins.

Let me rephrase that.

This year the hobby is growing the BIGGEST pumpkin he could create within the cozy, suburban corner of our Midwestern backyard.

He spends hours during the day researching the methods, then hours in the evening putting his research to work.

Many a neighbor has strolled by, politely inquiring about the greenery poking through our fence. “So, I noticed there’s something in your yard.” or “Now, ahh, what exactly is that you’re growing?”

And, with pride oozing from his grin, Lucas shows off the harvested goods.

With the hot St. Louis summer, some of the pumpkins have already been picked. So the festive yard has slowly made its way into our home.

(if you noticed in my previous post, the “after” shot was a little cropped…had I shown the whole room, this is what you would have found).

The pumpkin on top weighs nearly 100 lbs. That would be the Atlantic Giant (pretty impressive considering the seeds were bought at Lowes and our summer has been awfully hot).

The others were a mix of  Jack-o-Lanterns, pancake pumpkins, white pumpkins (which turned out to be orange with traces of green), gourds and miniature pumpkins.

And even the dogs are enjoying the summer crop.

I definitely see our pumpkin patch as a tradition in the making. And Lucas already has plans on how he’s going to triple the size of that giant for next year.

So watch out Charlie Brown (and the whole neighborhood), the Great Pumpkin is here to stay.

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Filed under life with fur, our growing garden, outside we go, pumpkin patch

My Favorite Camper

Just wanted to share a photo of the best camper there ever was.

We headed to Meramec Springs for the night, and as usual, Tito was one happy little man.

( those ears say it all…)

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Filed under life with fur, outside we go