Pattison State Park

I love hiking!  I love being in the woods.  I love being near water, whether a river, a lake or the ocean.  I love the smells and the sounds.  I love the peacefulness it brings to my soul.  Well, as much peacefulness as you can get while hiking with an energetic and loud 9 year old.

We made the best find yesterday at Pattison State Park.  It’s 20 minutes from our house.  We had hiked the High Manitou Falls a couple of times but had never checked out the other trails that the park has to offer. IMG_5063

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The trails are beautiful.  IMG_5089The trees are tall and cover you with a canopy of leaves providing the perfect amount of shade as you hike.  I can’t wait to go back in the autumn when the leaves are changing.  With all the oak and maple trees we spotted the colors are going to be amazing!

Almost the entire hike is right along the river.  I love the sounds of the river running as you walk through the trees!IMG_5140

 

We happened upon the most peaceful little beach.  It was the perfect place for my son to wade and throw rocks and for my husband and I to sit, talk and enjoy the quietness and beauty of the day.

We hiked to little Manitou Falls

IMG_5156and then back around the lake.  Yes, I said lake.  This park has EVERYTHING! Waterfalls, a river, great trails and a lake.  It even has a swimming beach on one side perfect for cooling off after an amazing hike!

The campground and the facilities at this state park are great too.  So, if you ever find yourself in Northern Wisconsin make sure you plan to spend a day or two at Pattison State Park!

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pattison/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raspberry Picking @ Farm LoLa

I have a really fond childhood memory of going berry picking and it’s something I have always wanted to do with  my family!  This year I missed the pick your own strawberry season.  I also missed buying a large box of already picked strawberries from the guy who sells them on the side of the road.  Thankfully I have some left over strawberry jam from last year.

I was not going to miss pick your own raspberries season! I love raspberries and so does my family.  When I bring them home from the store they are gone almost before they are out of the bag. We are serious about our raspberries. But I  had no idea where to go. Thanks to a couple of my awesome coworkers I was introduced to Farm LoLa.  A great place, run by an amazing group of people.  I was so excited to take my husband and son there!

The atmosphere is lovely.  We could not have asked for a better night.  The temperature was perfect and the bugs were minimal.  The raspberry field is surrounded by forest.  We were greeted by the super friendly staff and one of their many chickens! The field of raspberries was beautiful.  My kid loved it and when he was done picking there was plenty of room in our row for him to run and play while he waited for us to finish.  They probably should have weighed him before we went in because I think he may have snacked on a few while he was picking.  The berries were perfect and so tasty.  I was thinking how wonderful it was going to be to have jam in the middle of February and my husband couldn’t wait to get home and have a scoop or two over a dish of ice cream.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Farm LoLa and came home with a box full of raspberries and a dozen eggs!  We will definitely be visiting Farm LoLa again!  Check them out on Facebook for picking times!

This…

This picture…Our kid’s first baby picture. 10 days past conception.

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It’s a year for 10 year anniversaries. (A Tattoo and A Miscarriage) And there are many things going on right now that are driving my memories of this to the surface.

On July 23, 2007 I was in Brooklyn, NY having a frozen embryo transfer.  Our first cycle of IVF had ended in a pregnancy and then miscarriage.  Our second cycle had ended in no pregnancy.  How would this frozen embryo transfer end? Our chances were good.  My body was ready, the embryos were all 10 days old and doing great. As I remember back I can almost feel the the excitement, the cautious optimism, the fear and anxiety that I felt in my stomach the entire week before the transfer.

This lady…my son’s godmother and my dear friend who gave me shots multiple times a day.  Who took me to and from the hospital.  Who let me lay on her and her husband’s couch for my 3 days of bed rest after my transfer.  We had stopped at the Americana for breakfast on the way to the airport.  Coffee and pancakes.  Seems like yesterday.  Hard to believe it has been 10 years already.

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This pregnancy test (yes I saved it)…I actually knew I was pregnant before I took this test.  It was a little over a week after my transfer.  With both my pregnancies my mouth started to water uncontrollably for no reason.  Just randomly.  I know…weird. This time it was in church on Sunday.  I knew immediately, well I hoped immediately that I was pregnant.  I took this test on Wednesday even though I was due to have a blood test on Friday.  After 13 years of negative home tests I wasn’t going to be cheated out of a positive one.noah9.jpg

This ultrasound…7 weeks.  After I heard and saw the heart beat and the doctor left the room I dropped to my knees, bawled my eyes out and thanked God for answering my prayers.  Our baby had a strong heart beat. This might actually be happening for real.  I think we may have held our breath for my entire pregnancy. noah8

This boy…our heart, our miracle, our joy!  It’s crazy to think that in 9 months we will be celebrating his 10 year anniversary.

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This group…The Kofinas Fertility Group.  Amazing group of talented doctors, nurses, embryologists, lab and support staff.  Not all of them are pictured but they all have a special place in our hearts!

This song…Still by Hillary Scott

You’re parting waters
Making a way for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak
All You need for me to be is still!

This post…we got our miracle. It used to frustrate me so very much when women who had struggled with infertility but had babies or adopted babies would tell me not to give up. That some day it would be my turn.  How did they know what my future held?  I swore I would never be one of those women.   Yet here I am saying don’t give up. Why?  Because without those women’s encouraging words I would have lost hope.  Don’t lose your hope. Look outside the box.  Consider something new.  Take a chance.  Step out in faith.  You never know what God is doing behind the scenes, what mountains he might be moving or waters he is parting.