March Create Date

We knew that March was going to be crazy busy and we were going to have to be creative when we tried to carve out time for dates. So, we scheduled a glass shamrock sculpting class for Sunday morning. At the time, we were not thinking about Daylight Savings Time being that same weekend. So, we ended up getting home late Saturday night and losing an hour before going on our date. We were sleepy, but we were happy to be together and creating!

Read for our instructions

We went to a place called Glass Axis here in Columbus. Our daughter took an ornament blowing class from them in January, so we were already a little familiar with the workshop. We did not get to blow glass, but we got to sculpt it into shamrocks in two different ways. Our instructor, Emma, gave us a quick demo and then it was our turn. In a wonderful turn of events, we were the only two people in the class, so it was super fun and we got great attention.

I went first to make my shamrock. I decided to do the more rounded shamrock with color inside between the two glass gathers. I used Dark Green, Light Green, and Yellow to color my piece. Emma gathered the glass for me, but I got to roll it in the color sprinkles and heat them into it. Then I helped with tools while she kept it moving at the right speed and heated to the right temperature. It was fun to sculpt the glass and I was really excited with how it was turning out. And then, in a freak accident, my shamrock was cracked completely in two. I decided to mourn for a bit while Keith made his and then try again.

Keith made a shamrock with two glass gathers and then the color on top. He used the Dark Green and White sprinkles to color his. He also decided to do some of the shaping with scissors for a more square looking leaf. I thought he did a great job coloring and shaping his shamrock, and his arrived to the cooling oven safely the first time.

It was time for me to redo my shamrock, and I have to tell you, it was actually a blessing to get to try again once I knew a little bit what I was doing. I think my second turned out really well, and it ended up safely in the cooling oven with Keith’s.

I was able to pick up our cooled and bagged shamrocks today, and let me tell you, I adore them!! We will definitely be displaying these for years to come, and I love that they remind me of our Honeymoon in Ireland. We would definitely like to go back to Glass Axis for more classes in the future, and we will highly recommend them to all of our friends

January Adventure Date

For our January Adventure Date, our whole family stayed in the Maple Treehouse at Hocking Hills Treehouse Cabins. Keith and I really debated about whether to get away on our own or whether to take the kids, but in the end we decided we all needed to get away. The past few months have been a little stressful as Keith’s company was bought and we were unsure whether he would have a job past the end of this month. Things have stabalized now, thankfully, so we really needed a family celebration of that.

Our treehouse cabin was cozy and had the perfect amount of space for us to spread out some but also hang out as a family. We loved all the little finishing touches and special nooks. Keith and I had a queen bed that was pretty comfy, and there was also a queen bed in the loft area and a pull out sofa. The kids alternated between their two options each night and seemed to like both okay. The kitchen was small but very workable – we definitely ate well while we were there. The bathroom was beautiful with the rain shower head and we loved the unlimited hot water supply. There was even a wood stove heated hot tub that the kids enjoyed on Saturday evening after a day of hiking. We took lots of photos of the cabin to show you, so lets start with the outside views.

The inside consisted of a kitchen/dining/lounge area with a loft, a master bedroom, and a bathroom. Every space was used really well for storage and decoration. Here are photos of the multipurpose room and loft.

Next are photos of the great bathroom. Really can’t overstate the awesomeness of the unlimited hot water. We were mindful to try not to waste water, but we loved that we did not have to keep turning it up and rush through our showers.

Finally, the master bedroom was cozy and bright with wonderful views. It was also right up the stairs from the hot tub, so it was easy to watch the fire and the kids but also stay warm and enjoy a glass of wine.

I really loved the way the cabin was decorated. The artwork and words really spoke to me, so I took lots of photos of that, too.

My very favorite part of the cabin, however, was that it was situated so there were waterfalls that you could see and hear from the deck. This weekend there were also some very impressive icicles to admire. We spent a bit of time exploring the property around the cabin on Saturday.

On Saturday we also ventured out to a couple places in Hocking Hills State Park. The cabin is less than 10 minutes from popular places in the park, so it is really convenient as a place to stay if you also want to hike and explore. We drove past John Glenn Astronomy Park, Whispering Cave, and Old Man’s Cave every time we left or returned to our cabin. Our first stop on Saturday was Ash Cave because we wanted to see how icy things were before we headed to any other parts of the park. Since Ash Cave is so flat and usually an easy hike, it seemed to be a logical choice. There was a man finishing an ice sculpture as we pulled into the parking lot, so that was an extra bonus. We found the hiking to be a bit treacherous, but if you just took your time and were mindful of where you were putting your feet, it really wasn’t too bad. The views were worth it!

Since Old Man’s Cave was on our way back to our cabin, we decided to see how well we could navigate the upper part of that hike. It was extremely slippery, but we managed pretty well. I *may* have crab crawled down some steps to make sure I didn’t slip. It probably wasn’t pretty, but it was very effective. The views on this hike were even better! The rain earlier in the week paired with the refreezing temperatures created quite a show for us.

On Sunday, we decided to stop at Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve on our way home. It is also less than 10 minutes from the cabin. It ended up being the worst hike in terms of ice, but that also made it breathtakingly beautiful. We are pretty sure that Charlotte had hiked there with us before, but it was Micah’s first time and he really loved it. I did actually fall on this hike, with lots of witnesses, but nothing was injured so it ended up being pretty funny.

All in all, we had an incredible weekend. We will definitely be back – Keith and I are already making plans to stay in the newest treehouse cabin, The Beech, which should be opening in the next few months. The kids have requested that we make it a family tradition, which is high praise from them. You should give it a try, too!

January Create Date

The weather really tried to mess things up, but Keith and I got to go on our first Create Date today! We decided to go to The Candle Lab in Worthington to create our own candles. It was so much fun! First we got to smell all of their candles to decide which scents we really liked. Then it was time to get to to work!

We had to wait about 90 minutes for our candles to cool enough to take home, so we went and had lunch at La Chatalaine French Bakery and Bistro. It was a really lovely little cafe! We got to enjoy our meals by a warm fireplace while we watched the rain outside. We enjoyed a very leisurely lunch and then walked over to Peace, Love, and Little Donuts to get a treat to take home to the kids. It is easily in my top 3 donut shops in Columbus, so it was wonderful that our date was so close!

I would definitely go back and pour more candles at The Candle Lab – they made it very easy and we are pleased with our finished products. Can’t wait to try them out while we are stuck inside because of the frigid temperatures tomorrow!

2019 Family Goals

At the beginning of this year, I sat down and worked on some vision board activities to try to have some focus for our family this year. I was given a list of words and had to narrow it down to just 10 words that really spoke to me. Next I narrowed the list down to 5 words, and finally down to just 3. After carefully working through my options, I was left with Adventure, Create, and Relate. For this winter and spring, we are going to be starting a couple of different things to start to bring more of those words into our lives.

Keith and I have really been a great team and have worked hard to do lots of extracurricular activities for and with our children. Along the way, it felt like our relationship was taking a backseat. One of the things we want to do this year is have one Adventure Date and one Create Date a month. It will force us to try new things and be creative, both things we love to do. Sometimes these dates will involve our kids because we love doing things with them and want to expose them to new opportunities. Most of the dates, however, will just be the two of us and I am really excited as we start to plan out what we will be doing the next couple of months.

At the Franklin Park Conservatory’s “Conservatory Aglow”

Another thing that we love to do as a family but have not been doing lately is family game nights. So, we also made the goal to have two family game nights a month. Additionally, one game night each quarter will include Keith’s parents and at least two during the course of the year will involve mine. We are so fortunate to have our parents still around and able to enjoy activities with us, and we really wanted to focus more on those relationships. Plus, we love some friendly family competition!

Games and snacks ready for a family game night!