It's Trendy Tot time once again with Mrs In Training, Lindsay and Megan! Today Autumn is wearing a lovely hand me down that I got from my friend Janna, who I met on the May 2006 Babycenter board and we have met twice in real life (once in Colorado in 2010 and just this summer in St. Louis). Autumn is wearing an ice cream tie back shirt with matching ice cream skirt from Gymboree.
Nathan is wearing a shirt I scored from Target before our Disney trip, I love the neon yellow and the combination of gray on this shirt. It also matches the neon yellow in his New Balance shoes. Nathan wears a uniform during the school year, so it seems every summer I need to go out and buy him some inexpensive summer shirts.
I took off a few days from work and I am enjoying a little staycation with the kids and my love Brian. We always do a staycation sometime during the summer and it is so fun to come up with new (and old) things nearby to have fun exploring. Awhile back, Brian and I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast so we could visit Elephant Rocks and we decided it would be fun to go back and take the kids (see my old blog post on that trip here). Well, I decided it would be fun to take them for their first time during our staycation and we could also explore the natural water park called Johnson Shut-Ins, which is only 15 miles or so from Elephant Rocks. Oh my, it was a wonderful day full of laughter, memories and FUN. Of course, I knew Trendy Tot was coming up, so I dressed my kids up as I knew Elephant Rocks is the perfect back drop for some lovely photographs.
Since I knew I wanted to get some keepsake photos of the kids at Elephant Rocks and I also knew we'd be swimming later at Johnson Shut-Ins, I decided to bring a change of clothes for the kids... I didn't want to photograph Nathan with his swimming trunks on against the lovely Elephant Rocks. I could have hid Autumn's swim suit under her outfit, but it is such a pain to use the potty in a one piece, so I changed her into her swimsuit as well once we got to Elephant Rocks. Of course, I decided to wear my swimsuit under a comfy tube top and some shorts. No stylish shoes for me, tennis shoes are the way to go at Elephant Rocks!
Upon arrival, the kids went off the track and started climbing the huge Elephant Rocks. Nathan even got a little 'mad' at me (which he felt bad about later) for taking so many photos, he wanted to climb, not pause for photos! Doesn't he know that is my motherly right? ha!
I thought this was a really cute one of Autumn climbing...
Of course, Nathan had to climb up this...
AND this. He had no problem with me taking his photo on top of the BIG rocks, he wanted to show off!
Of course, Autumn was more into crawling under the rocks...
And, pulling out
Just a silly photo pose with Brian and the kids.
Names on the rocks, the names were everywhere
A far away shot of the kids, just to show how large the rocks are
Just me. Sometimes it is nice to get a solo shot. :) The kids always fight over who gets to take it, though.
There was a trail that took us to the ruins of an engine house. Nathan LOVED this and wanted to follow the railroad tracks that ran out of the house into the woods.
I love these two photos of me and Autumn, especially the second one where I am holding her in my arms. This girl is growing up way too fast and it makes me so sad to think one day she won't be little anymore. I wish I could stretch out time and make it slow down... especially when she's my baby.
I LOVE this photo of Brian and the kids, too. I really don't know how I lucked out on so many good shots in one day!
Such a pretty face. Such pretty brown eyes.
More shots of Autumn... I had a lot of time to photograph her while the boys climbed rocks. I did our hair the same, a braid down the back... except she had a blue bow at the bottom of her braid. :)
Then, after all of that walking, climbing and crawling... we had a nice little picnic table lunch, which Brian threw together for us. What a man! It was delicious, too!
After lunch, we headed over to Johnson Shut-Ins, which was a first for me and the kids. Brian had been there for a boyscout camp when he was younger. Brian took us on a little adventure to get us there... instead of taking Highway N, like we should have... Brian listened to his silly Garmin which lead us on Highway O. Ohh, it got us there, but we were on gravel roads and this concrete bridge with no rails! I am such a city girl, so I was a little out of my comfort zone! I wanted to turn around, but Brian said we'd get there... I thought we'd land up in nowhere land! But, eventually the gravel road turned back into a paved road and we landed up at Johnson Shut-Ins! Brian was a nice and took Highway N on the way back home... It was 100% paved the entire way. :)
The kids, excited to get into the water
Some photos of the kids swimming. The bigger rocks were REALLY slippery under the water and Brian and I both fell a few times! My tush has a huge bruise on it that will remind me of this place for at least a week. Ha! I guess I better invest in some water shoes next time we go! I was wearing flip flops! There was a nice little current, too and Autumn lost one of her water shoes and we almost lost it, because the current was taking it and you have to be really careful (and slow) going over the rocks... luckily, some people further down grabbed it for us... Autumn did lose a little princess doll she brought along, though... she let go of it and I just couldn't get it. Poor thing misses it.
Some scenic shots... some parts of it you could walk through, other parts were to your waist... there was some areas where you had to climb over rather large rocks, too. We didn't go over to the deep area, but there were people jumping off cliffs into the water. Uh, no thanks!
What a wonderful day we had... Nathan told me it was ALMOST as fun as Disney, but not quite. Ha! Guess Disney beats them all! ;)