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My Pregnancy Experience: First Trimester

I’ve had baby fever for quite some time, I come from a pretty large family, I’ve worked with kids most of my life, I’ve been around a lot of pregnant women, but you really have no idea about your own pregnancy until you’re actually pregnant. I mean it does make sense; pregnancy is so individualized. We are all different and unique right? No wonder you can’t be fully prepared for it. Even if you’ve had several kids, your body is different each time you get pregnant and the person growing inside you and their needs are different each time as well. First and foremost I was incredibly thankful and happy for this to happen the very moment it did. The timing was truly divine. I will say when I started my first draft of this blog it became me sharing my story of conception, so I plan on sharing that as well, but it needs it's own space. I know what a gift this little one is and I still give thanks every single day for this baby, this pregnancy and the wonderful birth experience we will h…


Hiking at Memorial Park - Houston

Living in such a huge city it's really easy to get swept away in the hustle and bustle. There's almost always something new, fun and exciting going on every day during the week. which is really nice because a lot of our adventures end up being pretty last minute. We have discovered through growth and reflection as a family that being outside in nature is really important to us. There are so many benefits that we as human beings receive from spending some time outside. Now I know that not everyone enjoys walking through the woods and being surrounded by insects in the hot Houston heat like we do, but you can't deny that even going for a quick walk around your neighborhood doesn't change your mood for the positive. Luckily, this city has several parks (52,912 acres of total park space to be exact) but one of the more larger parks with plenty of hiking trails is Memorial Park. We visit this park the most, and it has yet to disappoint us. This park is has tons of amenities for outdoor activities and is home to probably one of our top 5 favorite places in the city: the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. I mean we did have our wedding there after all!

My family played tennis here, and you can see the running loop from the road so I knew about this park before I even moved down here. The loop is really great for running/walking because it's just about 3 miles and it has work out stations along the trail. I will warn you, this part of the park gets very busy, but it's nice to see so many people getting outside and being active. Just be prepared if you go during peek hours that parking might be a bit more challenging. It wasn't until I started to search the city for places to hike, that I found the wonderful trails this park is filled with.  A good handful of them are in the arboretum, and some of them follow along Buffalo Bayou. Just like the rest of southeast Texas, the biodiversity in the landscaping is one of our favorite parts. Not only do we get to see different mushrooms & fungus, we also see lots of different creatures and plants. On a personal level, one of the things that really interests me as an artist and just as a co-exister on this planet is the human interaction with nature. Every underpass and train car that you see here has street art on it. It's interesting to see some sandy dirt, and then discover some raccoon prints right next to a tunnel for water flow. Take it or leave it this is city life and I don't mind it....with in reason.

The nice thing about revisiting parks and trails is that you are able to witness the environment during different seasons, and observing their changes. I laugh a little bit to myself when I say that because I grew up with much more drastic changes. It was very clear when one season was ending and another began; much different from south Texas. BUT the seasons still change here, much different than the north but still can be interesting if you get out to see it. Experiencing the change really keeps us connected. Nature is a great teacher when it comes to change. Endurance and resiliency can also be attained during your time outside as well. I will say the summer, of course is much more vibrant and active out in the wild. The down side is that it gets extremely hot and humid outside. The exploration is usually a lot earlier and a lot shorter of a time span. It only makes to plan water activities during summer adventures. There are some pretty descent swimming areas, splash parks, canoeing, kayaking, tubbing and trails along creeks that are either within the city, or only a few hours outside of it. This makes great day or weekend trips. We still get to explore the outdoors, but get to cool off as we wish and as needed. Although there isn't a splash pad or swimming at memorial park, there are still plenty all over the city. It doesn't keep us away, we just shift our time so we can still enjoy their beautiful trails before the heat gets unbearable. Just bring yourself some water and drink plenty of it to stay hydrated.

This past week we headed to the arboretum & nature center. They have been undergoing some major renovations - well all of memorial park really. This Master Plan is to expand not only their education programs but also really have been reworking the land to help preserve and regrow a lot of agriculture they have lost. "Implementation of the master plan will restore the acreage to resilient and sustainable native ecosystems. The property from the northeast corner shows the future large swaths of prairie and savanna habitat as well as the planned facilities and access expansions." They have tons information on their website about it so be sure the check it out. One thing that they completed was a the Ravine Trail. After hurricane harvey we were unable to access this part of the park. When I saw that it had opened back up, we were very excited to check it out. I was impressed, and had no idea that it took you all the way down to the ravine. I love the design of the new steps and platforms. You really feel submerged into it all. An experience that we truly adore. We look forward to watching the changes that happen along this trail and what type of creatures we will encounter. We also made our way through swamp and prairie area that included trails buttonbush, inner loop, and muscadine. I was delighted to still see that plenty of flowers are thriving. We haven't had much water this summer so it was a pleasant surprise considering how little water the swamp had. Just speaks to the lessons I was talking about earlier. 

There is so much that this park offers. It doesn't matter if it's been Autumn, Winter, Spring or Summer, we have made fantastic memories during every season here. It's truly one of our favorite places to escape to within in the city. We are very grateful for everyone who does their part to make Memorial Park what it is. I know that this will not be the last time we post about Memorial Park and Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, because we have so many great moments we want to share. If you haven't visited them yet we highly recommend do so! Be sure to check out them out. So many activities for every type of person, with any type of interest. Community events, summer camps, the list goes on. What's your favorite place in the city? Not from this area, tell us about your favorite park to escape to in the comments below. 


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