A Year of Adventure {10K Women Trail Project}

Hike More, Smile More! Register for the 10K Women Trail Project

I’m so excited to announce that I have been selected as a Trailblazer for the 10K Women Trail Project! The 10K Women Trail Project is an initiative through Hike it Baby and is made possible by a Force of Nature grant from REI. What is the 10K Women Trail Project all about? Our main goal is to get more women and girls out hiking all over the United States.

Sunset Hike at Hobbs State Park
We kicked off the project with a sunset hike at Hobbs State Park!
Hike More, Smile More

If you are in Northwest Arkansas or any of the surrounding areas, I would love for you to come hike with me! The project kicked off on November 1 and continues through September of 2018, so if you can’t come on a hike right away there’s plenty of time to get outdoors and join in on the project. I will be hosting at least one hike per month.

10K Women Trail Project Tulip Tree Trail Hike
Second hike of the project, exploring the grounds around Crystal Bridges

Look for all of my planned hikes on my Facebook page or in my new Facebook group, Ozark Women Blazing Trails. I look forward to meeting other hiking enthusiasts. While the project focuses on getting women out to hike, men and boys are welcome to come along!

The first *official* hike of the 10K Women Trail Project at Tanyard Creek Nature Trail
The first *official* hike of the project at Tanyard Creek Nature Trail
Not from Northwest Arkansas?

You can still register for the 10K Women Trail Project and start hiking with your girlfriends! Once you’ve registered you can start logging hikes in which at least one other woman or girl accompanies you. Register here. Be sure to use the following hashtags when you post to social media: #forceofnature #hikeitbaby #10kwomentrailproject #togetherwehike

Who will you inspire to get out on the trails? Tell me in the comments or share you favorite trail to hike!








6 Reasons Why My Birthday With the Flu Didn’t Suck

I will admit that when I started getting the first symptoms of the flu I was pretty grim about the whole thing. “How am I going to take care of a sick toddler when I’m sick myself?” “Great, now my birthday is going to suck.” And, of course, “Waahhhh, I’m sick.” Then, I joked with my sister that I was due for a birthday with the flu since my birthday last year was so epic. It’s really hard to top a birthday in Hawaii. After that I tried to change my whole perspective on the day and it really helped. So without further ado…

Reasons why my birthday didn’t suck even though I had the flu:

1. While my 2-year-old has more energy with the flu than I do on a normal day, we were still able to get a lot of extra snuggle time in. I hate that it’s because he is feeling bad, but I can’t be mad about snuggles!

So. Much. Energy.

2. My long-distance, we-met-on-the-internet-but-so-what-we-are-still-close friend had her baby boy yesterday and I was able to keep up to date on her labor and cheer her on via Facebook. Her oldest has the same birthday as Young Master Gray, so it’s pretty cool that this new sweet bundle shares my birthday now! Plus, what a way to put things in perspective. Having body aches and not being able to rest pales in comparison to trying to push a human baby out of you and not being able rest.

3. While refreshing and refreshing my browser to be sure and stay updated on the birth of that wee lil babe, I was inundated with sweet messages posted on my Facebook wall in real time. Each message, text, comment and call brought a smile to my face. They really and truly made my day.

4. I actually laid down during naptime. Now, I was not able to sleep because my brain wouldn’t stop going through to-do lists, but I also wasn’t running around trying to get everything done in that one small window of time as usual. I didn’t pick up the toys strewn across the floor. I didn’t clean. I didn’t cook. I didn’t work (okay, I did do some writing, but it didn’t feel like work). I didn’t worry about posting to any of my social media channels. I didn’t do much other than REST.

5. When Jeremy got home from work I was able to spend time with my little family. There wasn’t a big dinner or cake (I didn’t feel like eating anyway), but we had a quiet night in and we were together. I can’t really ask for more than that. As a bonus, Jeremy cleaned up while I took a hot epsom salt bath. He may or may not have suggested I go rest to get rid of the crazy lady who kept telling him he was putting everything away wrong.

6. While it wasn’t on my birthday (and thank goodness), I can’t leave out our little escape to Eureka Springs earlier this week. Jeremy surprised me with a plan to get away and camp for the night. He didn’t know it, but I had been hoping for a getaway. Of course, in my mind we were going to the beach, but I really love to camp so this was perfect. We talked about going to the Buffalo River, my favorite place to camp, but with limited time we decided to go somewhere close. After our anniversary trip to Eureka Springs in January, we were itching to get back and see some of the things that had been closed during that trip. There was a lot more to be seen, but unfortunately, a lot of places are still closed early in the week even during their travel season. I was so mad at myself for not remembering my camera, but Jeremy said that meant that I would just have to enjoy myself and not worry about my camera. Touche. However, I did take some photos with my phone. Here are a few highlights from our early birthday adventure.

Our lodgings for the night.
Our lodgings for the night.
In our haste we forgot matches, but we still managed to get a fire going.
The Overlook Trail at Lake Leatherwood
The Point at Lake Leatherwood
The Point at Lake Leatherwood
It was a great place to rest and take in all that beauty.

That trip was so necessary. Before our hike Wednesday morning, I got a message saying that Young Master Gray was not feeling so well. He had a fever and I immediately felt guilty for taking that time away. I wondered, “Should we skip our hike and just head home?” We decided to go on our hike and then head home, and I’m really glad that we did. I needed that time to be out in nature and think about heavy things. Of course, when I got home Young Master Gray only wanted mama, but I knew he was taken care of and fine with his grandparents until we made it back. The next day I took him to the doctor and, well, you know the rest.