Before Jeremy arrived, I took the boys to a trail that Jeremy and I used to hike all the time while we were dating. In fact, most of our dates revolved around hiking and being outdoors. That's probably why to this day, hiking is one of our favorite family activities.
Here are the boys at the trailhead.
Here are the boys sitting in the exact spot where Jeremy proposed to me on this trail. It was so special to take them there knowing how important that spot was to us. It was just as I remembered it.
This is kind of a goofy picture of the boys, but I liked it. This was on the same trail as above, but on the lower side by the creek.
One thing we like to do every time we go back to our hometown is to visit this little sandwich shop. It is definitely a landmark place in our town. They make maid-rites (loose meat sandwiches, in case you're not familiar with these). This little place has always thrived on a very small menu, a tiny little dining area, and a drive-thru that always has cars lined up into the street. They don't even take debit cards. Cash only. It's because their sandwiches are that good. When we went, we didn't even order anything else - just sandwiches. Three for Jeremy, 2 for me, and 1 for each of the boys. There wasn't a bite left.
Here is the real sight to see at the Maid-rite. It is gross, I know. But if you live here and go here all the time, you just know that it's part of the landscape. I present to you the Maid-rite gum wall.
Yep, that's right. As you pull into the drive-thru, or actually anywhere around the building, you are greeted with chewed gum plastered all over the wall. Rumor has it that the restaurant scraped all the gum off one time, but it quickly filled back up. Now it's just part of the building. I think you might be able to buy "gum wall" t-shirts inside, but I'm not sure.
Anyway, The big event that actually brought us to Ohio was the wedding of Jeremy's sister, Rachel. Lex and I were both in the wedding and we were so excited to be a part of it. Rachel and I both grew up as the only girl in our families (I have 3 brothers, she has 5!) and she really is like a little sister to me.We were so happy to see her so happy.
Here are Lex and Izzy (ring bearer and flower girl), killing time just minutes before the wedding. Here's a little piece of history. Jeremy's sister, Rachel (who was the one getting married), was the flower girl in our wedding 17 years ago. This was her flower girl dress in our wedding. I was so happy that it lasted for a second generation.
Here's my little man and me all dressed up for pictures after the wedding. He looked so handsome!
Now for an Eli story. We made it almost the entire trip without any major injuries. After the wedding, the wedding party went to the park to take some outdoor pictures. When the pictures were complete, we were walking back to the car and Eli decided to run ahead of us. Unfortunately, he was not used to his new (and completely adorable) khaki boat shoes, and tripped and fell, bouncing his head off the concrete. I was probably 20 feet behind him and heard his head hit. It was that bad. I thought for certain we would be heading to the hospital for stitches before the reception. Nope! Not for our little tank. We cleaned him up and gave him some tlc and just an hour later he was dancing away at the reception. He got a souvenir injury from Ohio.
The day after the wedding, we drove to Dayton to see some very dear friends of ours who we rarely get to see. I was pregnant with Eli the last time we saw them. While there, we went hiking (imagine that) at Yellow Springs, a place that Jeremy and I used to hike all the time. We had never been on this particular trail because we always went to the gorge (same town, different trail).
Here are the boys at the trail head. If they look a little wet, it's because they are! This picture was actually taken after our hike and as it turned out, we had quite the adventure. It was our mud-loving boys' dream hike!
Here the boys are on the trail. It sprinkled off and on in the beginning. Because of all the rain in the area, the woods were very lush and green. Sorry for the tip of my finger in the picture. I was taking pictures with my phone and trying to be quick as to not get the phone wet.
Here is Eli drinking out of the "yellow spring." Really, it should be called "orange springs" because that's what color it is. It has lots of iron running through it which is why it's that color.
Wow, these pictures are really blurry. Sorry.
Here's where things got a little crazy. As we reached the bottom of the trail by a little waterfall, and under a cliff, we got caught in a full blown thunderstorm. We were lucky to have shelter under the cliff where we could watch the rain, and be safe from the lightning. It was pretty loud at times.
It was a great trip and we were sad to leave our families. Lex kept saying "I'm so sad to leave my cousins," and "I'm so glad you brought me to Ohio." When we finally got back home, though, Lex ran straight to the back yard to his swing, and after just a few minutes he said, "Mom, I'm so glad you brought me back to Missouri." Home Sweet Home.