Places We Love: The Wilderness Center

The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio, is the type of place you need to experience first hand to understand just how special it really is. Whether you are a nature lover looking to bird watch, a parent looking for a fun and educational option to engage your child, or someone who just wants to get out and enjoy a scenic walk,  The Wilderness Center has something sure to delight and inspire everyone. Continue reading “Places We Love: The Wilderness Center”

Places We Love: Secrest Arboretum

I remember going to Secrest Arboretum as a kid, where my mom would take me and my brother for picnics among the Crabapple Trees. I remember looking up at the pine trees that surrounded the property and thinking that surly I was in some sort of enchanted forest.

Fast forward a few years *cough, cough* and the Secrest Arboretum still holds the same sort of enchantment and continues to captivate my attention. Now with a family of my own, it is absolutely one of my favorite places to take the kids. We go there for picnics amongst the epic trees. We go there for strolls amidst the gorgeous flowers. We go there for the awesome slide that pops up out of nowhere and for the wonderful paths they can ride their bikes down. I’ve met friends there for coffee or a walk, or for picnic style snacks while the kids run around us and play.  Continue reading “Places We Love: Secrest Arboretum”

Thursday Things I love: Family Hikes, Amateur Haircuts, & Cake

This quote:


I’ve wasted a lot of time banging on doors that I was never meant to walk through. Over the past year or so, I’ve become better at not only identifying which doors aren’t for me, but then also, letting those doors go. I’ve stared at a lot of shut doors, knowing that they weren’t for me, but obsessing over why they are shut. I’m over all that. If I don’t need it/want it, then I’m also going to let it go and walk away from it. No more worrying about why closed doors are closed. It’s time to start walking through open ones. Ya feel me? Continue reading “Thursday Things I love: Family Hikes, Amateur Haircuts, & Cake”

The Story Behind Bea’s Name

So as much as I hate to admit it, my husband came up with our boys first names – Theodore and Oliver. I contributed to the middle naming process, but he was the originator of their first names. But when we found out we were having a girl, Mike had a harder time settling on a name he liked. That was fine by me, because I already knew who this girl was.

Beatrice Willow  Shipper, my baby girl.

Continue reading “The Story Behind Bea’s Name”

Summer Walks, Picnics, and Creek Exploration

In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.  -Aristotle

We got a late start to our summer here in Northeastern Ohio. Our winter was long and followed by an eternal spring. When “summer” finally arrived, it was rainy and chilly. Booooo. But the months of July and August have been hot and glorious and contained all the good summery feels.

Today, my husband (a teacher) welcomes in a new year of students just as most schools are reconvening for the year. And though it may feel like summer is waning, the boys and I are holding on to her with everything we’ve got. We’ve been soaking up every last bit of sunshine, leisurely strolls, playtime in the creek, and of course – picnics! Continue reading “Summer Walks, Picnics, and Creek Exploration”

5 More Days of Purpose

This post is part of an on-going series, #LifeOnPurpose, where I’ve challenged myself to do something each day for the next 40 days- no matter how small – to slow down, notice my surroundings, and be intentional. It is part of my effort to live less on accident and more on purpose. You can read other posts in this series here:

Day 1 & 2
Day 3 & 4
Day 5 & 6
Day 7 & 8 
Day 9 & 10 

Day 11

One of the best parts about this #LifeOnPurpose challenge is that I’m not giving myself major and life altering challenges. Instead, I’m simply trying to emphasize the good things in my life by training my focus on the people and things that God has blessed me with. So, for Day 11 of my challenge, all I wanted to do was make time to be outside.  Continue reading “5 More Days of Purpose”

Checking In, Before Heading Back Out

Guys, we seriously have a duck living in our yard!

The other day Theo and I were out playing in the rain and we decided to take a stroll around the yard. I started to walk through some tall grass and…out flew a duck! Theo was thrilled, and by thrilled, I mean he chased the poor thing through the yard yelling “quack quack” at the top of his lungs. Continue reading “Checking In, Before Heading Back Out”

Something to Give Up, and Something to Embrace

Could you use some refreshment in your life?

Something that lifts your spirit, propels you forward, and brings you a sense of peace and calm? I know I could!

I’ve recently been challenged to re-evaluate the things that are in my life but shouldn’t be…and the things that aren’t in my life, but should!

As many of you know, Lent started this week. My first challenge came to me during my yoga class this week. (More on how I ended up at yoga class later.) During the final relaxation pose, our instructor challenged us to consider giving up something other than food or drink for Lent. It is easy enough to give up chocolate or coffee, but what about anxiety? Fear? Critical words? Continue reading “Something to Give Up, and Something to Embrace”