Indiana Round Two

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There’s nothing that keeps you coming back to a place as much as family does.

Indiana is not one of the places I think of when I’m daydreaming about trips I’d like to take and good places to have some fun. Although I rarely admit to this, it’s pretty much just like Ohio and I see a lot of Ohio. However, Indiana has something no other state currently holds for me: nephews! Along with their fantastic parents. They are more than enough to convince me to rattle through the 4.5 hour drive in my uneasily noisy car to spend several days wiping snotty noses and catching up with the only person I can call “older sister.” And it is absolutely worth it. When there is not adventure and excitement in a place, there is often adventure and excitement in people.

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Like this little guy with enough excitement to fill several people twice his size. One of his daily adventures is watching Daddy wait for the bus, standing on his special chair by the window.

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Not to mention the undeniable adventure of caring for a two month old baby. And the equally undeniable excitement from catching one of his grins.

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Well, I know I was excited for these fresh cinnamon rolls. Just me? Ok…

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And my sister. She’s a mommy now, she has two little boys that certainly are the cutest there ever were and every day she walks a road I’ve never set foot on.  But I’m grateful that on these long weekends I get to hear every detail and add some new stories to my own new adventure of being an aunt twice over.

Here’s to Indiana!

In the Bleak Midwinter

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Winter. Those dim, cold months of short days and long nights. We have kept inside so much from the snow and cold, building up our warm cocoon of blankets and frosty windows.
And we have been scheming.

Appalachian Trail 2015! Already two years in the making. It started with a handful of change Levi had collected from work. He jingled it into a giant empty pickle jar and plunked it on the counter.

“This is for the Appalachian Trail.”

And we’ve been doing it ever since. On slow shifts of serving when people leave piles of coins on the table there is the comforting knowledge that those noisy bits of change in my pocket get emptied into our jar of dreaming. It’s important having this plan, it’s something to talk about when we’re tired and feeling a little hopeless with life.

Or to write about when the thought of homework and another year and a half of school is frustrating and old. Which is also a good time for looking up the perfect lightweight backpack!

Granite Gear Crown VC 60

For a touch of technicality, but as quite an amateur, I like this pack because it looks to be a lovely blend of lightweight comfort and durability. I’m hoping to break it in with a wintery Spring Break hike in a few weeks.

What dreams keep you warm and hopeful through the short days of winter?