In the ten years that Stephen and I have been married, we have never really done anything more special than dinner out for our anniversary. To be fair, we were broke college students the first few years and dinner out was all we could afford. Then, along came kids, and unaccomodating work schedules, and of course there is the whole four days before Christmas thing (if you’re thinking of a holiday wedding, just don’t!). Family obligations usually keep us booked for several weekends in a row in December, leaving very little time to get away. But ten years? That’s something to be proud of; something to be celebrated, don’t you think?

We decided months ago that we would make it a priority to do something a bit more special this year, so we booked a cabin at Devil’s Den state park for a getaway that was close by, but just far enough away (and refreshingly out of cell phone/internet service). My sister in law, Melissa, was gracious enough to help with Miles and Zeke for a couple of evenings (the boys joined us for our last day at the cabin).

It was wonderful. So wonderful, I’m already trying to figure out how I can manage to make it a yearly (or at least more frequent than once in ten years) tradition. It was refreshing, restorative, fun… We really needed this.

there was knitting, of course, and music, and a cozy fire

the cabins were all built in the 30’s by the CCC, are each unique, and built of local stone and wood. They have, of course been rennovated to iclude modern ammenities like heat/AC, full kitchens, televisions, and jaccuzi tubs

one neat feature is the “cabin journal” that each guest can journal in while staying in the cabin. It was interesting to read about others’ experience at the park

the park is so quiet and peaceful in the winter, with only a few of the hardiest campers and a handful of folks in the cabins remaining. Winter is, partly for that reason, one of my favorite times to be outdoors in the Ozarks. The forest seems quieter and brighter, the skies bluer, the air more crisp and fresh. It felt so good to be out in the woods together again, just the two of us, with no babies or baby gear to carry, no three-year olds to keep a watchful eye on, no reason to hurry and get back for naptime, or suppertime, or bedtime for that matter(although, I do love those hikes with the littles too!)

as much as I loved our get away, it was my first time away from the boys overnight and I was really missing them by the second day. Stephen kept laughing at me when I would find a neat rock, or see something interesting and immediately say, “Miles would love this!” or “I wish Zeke could see this!” I was so ready for them to join us for our last day at the park!

Miles really got into some nature journaling (of course!) while we were at the park…

…even if his drawings weren’t always completely accurate. He calls this one “snake dreaming of doughnuts,” and he drew it after watching a Ranger feed mice to the snakes in the visitor center.

Here’s his “angry bird” face. I love my silly boy!

and my serious boy too!

Miles saw this picture upside down on my ipad and was completely weirded out by the perfect reflection!

I took about a gazillion nearly identical pictures of this lake. It seemed like it was getting more beautiful by the second

somebody has been busy!

did I mention that it was seriously gorgeous at the park?


I couldn’t think of a better way to wind down our visit than with snuggles and marshmallows by the fire

There will be a big fat, Christmas post coming up soon. Until then, happy Thursday!


One thought on “Getaway

  1. You have the most beautiful, captivating and peaceful way of telling a story with pictures. Absolutely stunning! What a wonderful blessing that you and your husband took time away (for just the two of you–as husband and wife) to celebrate your 10 year wedding anniversary. I hope that you will be able to continue the new tradition for many years to come. How fun that your little cuties joined you at the cabin on the last day. : )

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