Since Chris discovered South Mountains State Park a couple of months ago, he has been inviting me to go every weekend. But pregnancy discomforts have kept me from wanting to go until today, when I thought I could manage it.
On the drive, we pass this tree growing out of an old, broken silo. Chris said it was even more impressive to see when covered in leaves.
We crossed this bridge at the start of the hike and Mary's first words were, "I want to climb!" (Don't worry, we were right there and didn't let her climb higher than this.)
Mary spent the whole hike saying, "I want to do it myself!" So, typical ramblings went like this: "I want to walk myself. Look, Mama, I running! I want to walk on this edge, let me give it a try. Look, Mama, I walking on the edge! I want to jump on these leaves myself. Look, Mama, I jumping!"
This is what John calls the "grotto" and the kids dropping to their knees to pray (which is what they're doing) was spontaneous.
Even though little John has repeatedly made the full hike to the waterfall at the top, I looked up the rest of the trail (where Chris said "it stops being mild") and said my 21-week pregnant self had to turn back around. So, we all marched back down!
Because we Catholics celebrate the penitential, preparatory season of Advent, Chris and I really notice how Christmas decorations and activities show up even before Thanksgiving and certainly the day after Thanksgiving. The (religious) Christmas season actually doesn't start till December 25 . . . and we're going to be decorating our tree right as all our neighbors are throwing theirs out to the curbs!