Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Our first baby is going to kindergarten in the fall.  These moments are passing, fleeing at a rapid pace.  It has been a bit too fast paced for this momma's heart.  In an effort to stop time (time, please stop!), we ventured to Decorah, Iowa for the long weekend.  I have long heard that Decorah is a very family friendly town full of quirks and adventure.  After spending a few days, I would have to say that that is true.  Townspeople are friendly and seem to be connected to nature in ways that we crave.  There are waterfalls and valleys and a handful of good restaurants.  We stayed in a cabin built in 1853 with little running water and a composting outhouse.  The town is about twelve miles south of one of the stops on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway.  We started listening to the volumes of Little House on the Prairie and our daughter soon became enamored with the story.  She can tell you every little detail of the stories.  Needless to say, she was ecstatic to go to her first "Laura stop." 
There is something about finding a child's passion and chasing after it with all you've got.  That idea has been reverberating through me since the visit.  I saw it in her eyes.  She learned some new things about Laura's life, yes.  And she surprised the tour guide with the small details that she can't seem to forget.  "CHARLOTTE!," as she ran to pick up the doll on display.  But her eyes, though.  They just looked loved.  Like, really loved.  As parents, I think that is our highest hope and our hardest feat.  It doesn't always look this dressed up and often it is messy and hard, but boy, these are the moments.
It was a fun weekend and I think what God taught/reiterated/slammed into the doors of my heart is this.  Love fiercely.  Fight for it.  Stick your head through a Ma shaped stand-in because it will bless your kid.  And for the love of all things, slow down.  Here are a few of my favorites from the weekend.
If you are ever in Decorah, these were our top three favorite sites.
Dunning's Springs and Malanaphy Springs
Seed Saver's Exchange
The Master's Hotel

p.s. Did you spot the deer in the second to last photo?  The wildlife was outrageous!


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