Chasing Sunsets: My Maternity Photo Shoot with Baby Number Four

As I write this, I have the sweetest little baby boy snuggled – not in my belly – but on my chest, asleep in my ring sling. Our fourth baby joined our family exactly three weeks ago, and he has been pure joy. I’m tired, grateful, constantly hungry, and a bit out of sorts…but life is good, friends. So good.

I really started to slow down towards the end of this last pregnancy. I was feeling pretty good, but it all started to catch up with, me which meant slower days and much (much) earlier nights. I had to let go of some of the extras (like blogging) which means I never got to share my maternity photos with you! My sweet friend, Chrissy, recently started honing her photography skills and offered to “practice” on me. I put practice in quotes, because once you see these photos you’ll realize what I already know – she is an incredible photographer. (PS she ALSO made the gorgeous flower crowns I wore for the shoot. She is just one of those people who makes everything she touches look beautiful. 😉 ) Continue reading “Chasing Sunsets: My Maternity Photo Shoot with Baby Number Four”

How We Spent Spring Break 2018: Family Fun On A Budget In Northeast Ohio

My husband is a teacher and his school was on spring break last week. We weren’t in a position financially to do an actual get away, but I wasn’t going to let that stop us from having a week full of fun family adventures!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a great beach vacation. But there is something super fun and special about planning little day trips to see things in your area. I love taking advantage of our days off to explore some of the local fun and flavor that is in our own state.

I budgeted $100 for all of our spring break adventures, which meant I had to be very thoughtful about where we went. There is nothing I love more than researching for and planning fun trips, so being creative on a budget doesn’t scare me – it’s part of the fun! Continue reading “How We Spent Spring Break 2018: Family Fun On A Budget In Northeast Ohio”

An Impromptu Trip To Cleveland – What We Did & Where We Ate

This past weekend is one that I’ll be lingering in the residual good feels for a long, long time to come. My husband and I had made plans to spend some time together, but then my brother and sister-in-law ended up having her baby. Yay! I’m an aunt!!!! Everyone is healthy and doing well, and I was so excited for her to get to spend this Mothers’ Day as a full fledged momma.Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Saturday morning, after going in to the hospital for all of us to meet the new baby and check on mommy and daddy, we all got back in the van and headed to my favorite Ohio city – Cleveland!

We didn’t have much of a plan outside of our destination. I just needed to get out and travel a bit and even though I wasn’t getting my alone time with my husband, I was getting the next best thing – a road trip with my family.

I love traveling with the kids, and one of my all time favorite things to do is to explore new cities. It’s funny how we think we have to travel far or to a new state to really go on an adventure. We’ve found that all you need is an openness to explore, try new things, and go with the flow, and you can turn any trip into a road trip full of fun!

I had a few ideas for what we could do in Cleveland, but nothing set in stone – that is part of the fun for me. Sometimes it’s nice to have everything planned out for the sake of little ones, but I want to teach my  kids to be flexible and learn how to find the fun along the way. So I planned ahead in terms of packing diapers and extra layers of clothing and cash for parking, and I thought of a few places we could check out. But I didn’t make dinner reservations and our schedule was really wide open. We were out to see what all we could see! Continue reading “An Impromptu Trip To Cleveland – What We Did & Where We Ate”

The Fall Event That Has Us Most Excited!

If you’ve hung around His Girl Friday for awhile, then you know one place our family loves to go for outdoor family friendly fun is The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio.img_7236

One of TWC’s biggest annual events is The Enchanted Forest (and one we are SO excited to attend this year). Recently, my oldest son – Theo – and I were able to sit in on dress rehearsals to bring you a little preview of this special event which runs Friday, October 7 through Saturday, October 8! Continue reading “The Fall Event That Has Us Most Excited!”

The Best New Place For Kids In Northeastern Ohio: Jump n Shout

Families in the Northeastern Ohio area are in for a treat. Recently, Neil and Natasha Wood of Wooster, Ohio, opened the doors to their new business – Jump n Shout – a one stop fun and entertainment area for kids of all ages. I got the chance to sit down with the couple recently to hear more about their story and to check out their new facility. I left so excited to come back with my kids and my friend’s kids. This place, is awesome.

Neil and Natasha have two kids of their own – an eight year old son and a four year old daughter. They noticed that it was difficult to find places that both their children enjoyed.

“All of the places we visited cater to children of the same age, which means someone is always missing out,” Neil noted.

The couple also struggled to find fun things to do with the kids in the winter. The couple is originally from South Africa where it is sunny all the time and as a result, most activities are outdoors.

“But then we moved to Ohio for work,” said Natasha, “and we needed to find something to do when the weather turned cold. Continue reading “The Best New Place For Kids In Northeastern Ohio: Jump n Shout”

Our Ohio Bucket List: Blue Hen Falls

My family and I hail from northeast Ohio, and we love getting out together to hike, explore, and have our little adventures. I love sharing these experiences with you! As we continue to get out and about, I’ll come back to His Girl Friday to share these spots that you should add to your Ohio Bucket List. I love hearing your suggestions on places we should visit, so keep them coming! But rest assured, I’ll only recommend Ohio Bucket List items that I’ve personally experienced and enjoyed. I’m also still compiling our family’s Fall Bucket List, so lots of good things are heading your way!

I’ve also had a reader request to share how my family goes hiking with three little ones. Be on the lookout for that post next week, which I’ll be partnering with Summit Metro Parks to bring you. In the mean time, take a look at our recent hiking trip to Blue Hen Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and add it to your Ohio Bucket List!

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Continue reading “Our Ohio Bucket List: Blue Hen Falls”

Life Lately: Getting Outside

My little family enjoyed some quality time outside the past few days. Here in Northeastern Ohio, the days still feel like summer but a little bit of fall is starting to creep into our evenings. It’s such a great blend of weather, perfect for daytime adventures and nights spent around a campfire.

While Theo was at school on Friday, I took Oliver and Bea for a drive in the country to see what we could find. We stopped at a garage sale. We bought red raspberries and peppers from a road side farmer’s stand. We picked up a few goodies from one of my favorite bakeries and had an impromptu picnic in the park.

The day was mild and beautiful, the food was yummy, and the kids and I had so much fun being out together without an agenda.  Continue reading “Life Lately: Getting Outside”

A Day With Grandpa

My brother and I spent the afternoon with my (maternal) grandfather the other day. We recently lost our grandmother, and wanted to get him away from the house for a bit to enjoy the pretty day, some good food, and a change of scenery.

My grandpa loves fish, and my favorite place for a great fish sandwich is TJ’s, a local Wooster restaurant. I told him where we were going when I picked him up.

“You mean Tom and Jack’s?” he said.

“I guess so,” I answered. “Is that what the initials stand for?”

He rolled his eyes. He can be sassy like that ;-). Continue reading “A Day With Grandpa”

Places We Love: Akron Rubber Ducks Baseball Games

For the most part, we aren’t “big crowd” kind of people, especially when it comes to our kids. My own idiosyncrasies aside, my boys are like energy sponges – the more energy in a place, the more they start to get amped up and out of control. Before you know it, Theo is off pretending he is a puppy and the only way I can locate him is by his barking, while Oliver is running laps around the place with a crazed and manic look in his eyes.

Like I said, we are not “big crowd” kind of people.

But, we make an exception for the Akron Ducks! The Akron Rubber Ducks, our Double A minor league baseball team, plays in Canal Park in downtown Akron, Ohio. The stadium is easy to access, and Akron has done a good job of providing plenty of free parking in their parking garages which is just a short walk to the ball park (you will pay for the parking that is closest to the park).

We arrived in town a little late the night of our game, so we had to park in a garage several blocks away. Never the less, the parking was still free and the walk wasn’t bad and access to the stadium was just as straight forward. Easy peasy.

There are so many reasons to love going to Akron Rubber Ducks games. The tickets are inexpensive. The food at the concession stand is much more reasonable than at major league games. The staff is super friendly and always willing to help you and your family get settled or find what you need. The entertainment is very family friendly. And the crowd is always packed with families and kids. You don’t have to worry about your kids feeling unwelcome at Canal Park, everything about the stadium says you, and your kids, are welcome. Continue reading “Places We Love: Akron Rubber Ducks Baseball Games”