• Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, NC

    One of my life goals is to visit every state park in North Carolina. Our beautiful state has 42 state parks stretching from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks.  I’ve visited several parks in the coastal plains region where we live but still have so many more to go! My favorite thing about visiting state parks is that it is free!  That’s huge when you’re a family of seven.  I also love that there are park rangers available to help or to answer questions and there are always activities and events going on.   I recently took my kids to a local state park that we had not visited…

  • lake lure

    Lake Lure, NC Weekend Visit

    Our family loves to visit Lake Lure.  Aaron and I often say that if we ever had to move and could choose anywhere to live that Lake Lure would be on our short list.  It’s such a beautiful, quaint little town. We happen to have some really good friends who live there so getting to visit them is just the icing on the cake! We hadn’t been to the area in several years–in fact, our friends had not even met our boys yet–so we were all excited about visiting the last weekend of April.  Sometimes I forget just how much longer road trips can be when you have kids.  We stopped…

  • Hiking With Kids: 10 Tips for Staying Safe and Sane

    I love hiking and I am trying to share that love with my kids as much as possible.  Having kids along definitely adds a new level of difficulty to hiking but it is doable and even enjoyable. Here are few tips on hiking with your kids.  Please remember that I am no expert.  Always be smart and be cautious, obey the rules of the trail, tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return, and hike at your own risk. 1.  Choose an easy trail for your first hike (and/or for kids under 8). The goal is to have fun and if you choose a difficult or long…

  • Running Your First Race: A How-To Guide

    So you’ve been walking/jogging/running for awhile and you’re ready to take the next step: a race! Don’t be scared. Races are fun (and addictive) and are a great motivator to keep on training. I’m no expert–just a former fat(ter) and sedentary girl who has ran a lot of 5Ks and two half marathons (and counting). Here is a how-to guide on running your first race. 1.  What are some typical race distances? A 5K is a pretty standard and common race distance and it is 3.1 miles.  A 10K is 6.2 miles.  A half marathon is 13.1 miles and a full mary is 26.2 miles.  Then there are those crazy…

  • Five Tips for New Runners

    I’ve been running for several years now but I remember those days of being a running newbie. I didn’t know the lingo, it felt uncomfortable and I just knew I looked ridiculous. I learned a lot and have some advice to share! Here are five new runner tips.   I started running in Spring 2011.  It started innocently enough.  I had been going to the gym and walking on the treadmill and one day I figured I’d speed up a little bit and see how it felt.  The first time I ran I could only run at 4.5 mph for about a minute. I felt like I was going to die. I felt…