As August comes to a close, I cannot even begin to describe the week I've had, but it's been a week. There's just something about a new month, a new week, or a new something that in my mind indicates a fresh start and new opportunities. I'm taking a moment this Thursday night to reflect not only on life, but on the month of August I've had!
A few weeks ago, Joe and I got the opportunity to crash my parents' anniversary weekend and hang out with them in deep Southern Illinois. Now, we live in Southern Illinois, but we're still an hour away from the gorgeous views that people come here for. Mom and dad rented a cabin through Willowbrook Cabins and they did not disappoint! While Joe slept, we took the afternoon to explore Garden of the Gods and a few trails in the Shawnee National Forest.
I'm still amazed that views like this are within my grasp from where I live. Southern Illinois truly is a different place than Central Illinois, where I grew up. Standing on these rocks made me feel like I was on top of the world, but also, how small I am. You stand up there, look out, and just say to yourself, wow.
Also, I feel like my parents are my children with how many pictures I took of them. Aren't they just the cutest?
As a super personal thing, I was so proud of myself after we were done with the trails. We somehow picked the more difficult way to do that trail, which included a whole lot of ascending stairs. I am not in shape. I know it. I need to work on it. But I did it. I climbed those stairs. I think it was the little confidence booster I needed to let me know that I could do it. That if I started actually working out, that I could do it. That's another post for another day, but it just made me feel good.
After we were done with our exploring, we hung out at the cabin, soaked in the hot tub, ate the most delicious meal, and sat around the camp fire. We talked and looked at the stars, and when we went to bed, I'm sure I snored quite loud from pure exhaustion.
Before mom and dad left on Sunday we grabbed a glass of wine at Orlandini Vineyard.
I'm so thankful for quality family time like this and I'm currently thinking of where I'm going to explore this weekend...