Our Family’s Stay at Home Activities Week 8 in Pictures

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Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.”
—Janice Anderson

Week 8

Two months. It’d be disingenuous to pretend we’re doing okay.

Most of us? Yes. We’re into a routine and things aren’t too bad.

Step2 Naturally Playful Neat & Tidy Cottage

Others? It’s not good at all.

So, this week we decided to escape. To get a breath of fresh air with a change of scenery.

Kiamichi Cabins in Broken Bow Oklahoma

We needed to go somewhere we could easily drive to without having to stop for bathroom breaks. So, we booked a cabin in Broken Bow, Oklahoma; three hours from our home.

Colby and Joeli playing foosball

And, it was perfect!

Nic and Riley walking in the woods

A cabin in the woods away from other people, close to the lake, and near my grandparents‘ mountain cabin.

toddler rain boot fashion

We spent four days simply enjoying nature and each other.

hot tub in the woods

The cabin had everything we needed to stay entertained: hot tub, fire pit, ladder toss, ping pong, and foosball.

Jaden caught a sun perch

Not to mention, the Beavers Bend State Park was 2 minutes up the road, so we even spent a couple of days fishing.

grandparents mountain cabin in Oklahoma

One the third day, we made the 45 minute drive north to my grandparents’ cabin. I spent most of my childhood summers there and it felt good to be back.

me and four of my kids

Considering both of my grandparents, and my mom, are gone, it was a great way to feel connected to them once more. To relive those memories and share them with my kids.

mom and toddler by the river

Not to mention, the drive through the mountains is always beautiful and gave us a view beyond the suburban rooftops we’ve been staring at for two months.

grandma and toddler smores

It ended up being exactly what we needed. A place to get away and talk about our mental health, mostly.

aunt and niece in Oklahoma cabin

How we can support each other and what we need to continue doing in the weeks ahead to help us stay connected and emotionally well.

fire pit s'mores in Oklahoma

It’s been a tough road, but we’re doing it.

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have another summer project waiting at home for Colby and I when we returned.

new sidewalk chalk arrived

Oh! And the sidewalk chalk I ordered around week 2! Riley was so excited to see SO MUCH sidewalk chalk! Okay… back to my story

The thing about suburban living that is not my favorite? Neighbors. In close proximity.

And although we have one set of neighbors who are the absolute BEST, you typically have to counteract that with the opposite, right?

So, since we now have the above-ground pool, I decided it was past time to put up the privacy wall I’ve been wanting for years.

2020 summer project 2 going up

The neighbors back patio is on the side of their house closest to ours. Our patio is on the side, also, closest to theirs.

When he steps out to grill, which he does often, we can turn and often find him lurking over the fence into our yard. With the pool, I definitely don’t need him watching my girls in their swimsuits.

Fortunately, we ordered everything we needed prior to leaving for Oklahoma, so we picked it up and started working right away. I’m sure Colby probably wasn’t as excited as I was about that though!

I’ll share more on what we made and how we did it in another post.

Oh, but the most exciting part was finding a bit of nature waiting for us on our back patio!

Riley loves to be outside. As soon as they arrive, she heads straight to the back door exclaiming, “Outside! Outside!

Cole sitting outside

Chey took her straight back this particular morning and sat on a the patio furniture while Riley explored. Our dog, Cole, was also nearby.

Cole has an affinity for frogs. We can tell when he spots one because his tail starts wagging and he looks under the furniture with some interest. They stay under the shade there to keep cool.

Riley also loves frogs, and knows where they hang out as well. So, when Cole began looking under the patio bench, Riley went to where she often watches the frogs to look too.

Chey got up and asked Riley if she saw a frog, taking a peek herself behind the furniture.

Only, it wasn’t a frog. It was a snake.

Texas plain-bellied water snake

Cheyenne, in the most calm way we’ve ever seen her react, slowly picked up Riley, called Cole inside, and loudly whispered to Colby that there was a snake outside.

When Colby got out there to start the relocation process, he moved the patio furniture out of the way and quickly realized there were two snakes.

They were mating, actually.

We waited for them to finish and then simply had to break up the party. It wasn’t easy, but we did ease both of them out of the backyard and underneath the back fence.

They were plain-bellied water snakes and we’re sure they call the pond behind our house their home. Hopefully they stay there.

Don’t forget, there was a garter snake in our front yard last week. Oh, the joys of Texas living!

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