Depending on who you ask – you’ll get a few varied opinions on recent Oklahoma weather. There are those complaining they can’t wear their layers or drink their pumpkin spice lattes and there are the few of us summer fans who couldn’t be happier to see 80+ degree days in October.

I will soak every last bit of shorts and t-shirt weather up before I have to start wearing my walking sleeping bag every day. We took advantage of the beautiful weather this weekend to head to one of our favorite nature preserves –  Redbud Valley.
10-16redbudvalley-1I’ve posted pictures from Redbud Valley before, but this time I thought I would share a few more details for those interested in visiting.

Redbud Valley Nature Preserve is located a couple miles northeast of downtown Tulsa. The drive there is beautiful, but if it is your first visit you might wonder if you are getting lost. Google maps is very accurate, so just follow those directions.

The sign to enter the parking lot is a little hard to notice…keep an eye out for it.
10-16redbudvalley-2When you turn in, there is a small nature center to the left and the parking lot to the right. From the parking lot you can begin the Main Trail hike in two places. The entrance on the north side of the parking lot takes you to the bluffs first. The entrance on the west side of the parking lot takes you on the high road first and wraps around to the bluff. The trail is one big circle, so you can pick which way to start.

I recommend starting with the west entrance that heads to the Woodland Fork Trail (see the trail maps on the website or at the park). My kids are the least interested in this part of the trail, so it is great to start with while they are extra motivated. It is also more uphill. Starting here means you end going downhill and on a rugged trail.
10-16redbudvalley-310-16redbudvalley-4The trail leads into more rugged terrain and soon a beautiful bluff area.10-16redbudvalley-610-16redbudvalley-810-16redbudvalley-910-16redbudvalley-11When I was a kid, I took school field trips here. Back then you could explore a little into the rock caves. Those are gated off now, but it is still such a fun hike.10-16redbudvalley-1210-16redbudvalley-1310-16redbudvalley-1410-16redbudvalley-15The Main Trail is about 1.5 miles long. If your kids like rough climbing terrain, it is a perfect little hike. While we were hiking we passed two women exploring. They looked at me and said, “You are really brave to hike this with so many kids!” As I began sharing with her that we hike quite often, my eldest daughter piped in, “We hiked the Grand Canyon!” Made me smile…and laugh a little bit.

I was looking at few older posts with pictures from Redbud Valley….you guys…I had babies!! No wonder hiking those bluffs is easy now – 7 years ago I hiked it with a baby tied to me!

1109hike-8Redbud Valley was also one of the locations my oldest wanted to spend his Double Digit Getaway. Needless to say, we have a lot of memories on those trails!

A few things to consider if you visit:

  • After rain, the rocks can be slippery.
  • After rain, the lower trails can be muddy.
  • There are bathrooms near the Nature Center.
  • It is preserve, not a park…respect the environment.
  • With little ones I used to pack snacks, the trail is short enough now that we don’t have too.
  • The bluff area is a fun spot to sit and nature journal or just stop to soak it all in.
  • There are picnic tables near the Nature Center. Picnics are encouraged there and not off the trails.
  • The bluff trail has a few steep areas. If you are not comfortable with rocky terrain, you might want to stick with the lower trails.
  • The trail is pretty shaded.
  • You can’t get lost if you stay on the trails. They all lead back to each other and to the parking  lot.
  • The bluff trail is our favorite.

Admission is free. Hours are Wed-Sun 8am-5pm. It is closed on Monday & Tuesday.

For more information you can visit the Redbud Valley Nature Preserve website.

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  • Teresa Hodges - One time, when my family hiked there, we got very close to a copperhead snake among the rock walls, so be careful!

  • Marsha - Sweet memories there. Now I need to dig out old photos, of the OLD variety!

  • Lynda - Looks like a nice place, we got 9 acres in 2015 and our boys are about the same age as yours, we all had a ball building a little log cabin with a loft for them, its about 12 feet by 10 feet, they are so proud of what they made and learnt so much, we took heaps of photos of the building process and stored on our laptop, I was going to print them and give each son a keep sake album but our laptop got stolen. Lucky I sent a few photos to family and friends so I can get some back. I’ll be more careful with the bigger family cabin we build. Nothing better than the great out doors.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I’ve decided that you should absolutely move to Arizona for the weather :)

Just popping in quickly today. Vintage Market Days is this weekend in Tulsa (actually just outside of Tulsa). I have a handful of friends with booths and one friend that will be sharing on Facebook Live all weekend. I relish the chance to support my friends, so if you are headed to Vintage Market Days be sure to stop by Restore House, What She Shed, The Plaid Pineapple and Gray Monroe!

I’m guessing there are plenty more booths that I know the owners, so forgive me if I didn’t list yours! I’ll be there today and can’t wait to see the creativity of so many small business owners.

Restore House is the featured booth this year. You won’t miss it when you walk extra nice to Nick & Jaime – they are some of my favorite people! Tell them you are my friend and they’ll give us both 50% off. Just kidding. That would be awesome though!

vmdMy friend Lori Kroh will be roaming the venue sharing on Facebook Live all weekend for Vintage Market Days. If you like the camera, she’ll find you. If you don’t like the camera….run when you see her. That is what I plan to do.

loriSeriously though, she’s been posting videos all week and making me laugh with her antics and joy. She brightens my life and I’m grateful for her friendship. You can follow her videos on the Vintage Market Days of Tulsa Facebook page.


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  • Carol - Happy Birthday. Hope it is fabulous!!


10-16zoo-1I know I talk about this a lot lately, but I am constantly astounded by how big my kids are now. To those of you with teenage and adult kids, my kids are still babies. However, I am in awe daily of the young people filling my home. They are so stinkin’ fun and SO EASY TO GO PLACES with now. It is a glorious season. When did this happen?

10-16zoo-2I think maybe in the previous season, it was more of a survival mode. I loved having tiny ones, but honestly a lot of the last 10 years is pretty fuzzy. Thankfully, I have a lot of pictures!

My nephew turns 1 today. In honor of his “last day of being zero” (according to my eldest daughter), we joined my sister and mom at the zoo yesterday. I watched my sister push her big ole’ stroller, which is basically like trying to drive a boat on land, and thought about all the years I pushed a stroller around the zoo.

Years and years. Kid upon kid piled onto a stroller meant for two. Timing the trip just right before meltdowns. Catching sippy cups thrown overboard. Leaving a trail of crackers behind us. Teaching animal names. Mimicking animal sounds. I loved trips to the zoo, but they were not a casual stroll.

As we walked around with my niece and nephew I watched my kids – the older cousins. I’m so thankful my sister has little ones. I’m relishing this season of casual strolls through the zoo with my kids, who are fully embracing their role as the big kids.

10-16zoo-310-16zoo-410-16zoo-5Lesley looks like she is one of my kids!10-16zoo-610-16zoo-7One prefers dresses and ‘fancy’. The other prefers her brothers’ old basketball shorts and ‘sporty.’
10-16zoo-810-16zoo-1010-16zoo-1210-16zoo-1310-16zoo-1510-16zoo-16Happy Birthday to the little 1 year old boy that has stolen his Aunt’s heart…and the hearts of all his big cousins.

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  • Jessie Dewey - Happy Birthday Sweet C! (he has a taco on his shirt…… thats the cutest/best thing I’ve ever seen)

  • Allison - I hear ya – i feel like I blinked and my kids are so BIG. My almost 14 year old is taller than me, my 9 year old seems to grow every night. BUT, I love it!! Cherished those little ones – but my BIG kids are more awesome than I ever thought they would be! Enjoy!

  • Angie - Are you aware of a sponsored post that shows up at the bottom of some of your posts? They refer to “Divorce HBO” Just seemed out of place for your blog….

  • AshleyAnn - Angie – YES! I keep seeing that pop up randomly and I can’t figure out the cause. I am trying to figure it out too. It is very frustrating.

  • Dana - Thanks for not freaking out when I introduced myself to you at the zoo playground! It felt like a cross between meeting a celebrity and seeing an old friend. Thanks again for being such an inspiration!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - They are so precious! I’m so thankful to watch as your beautiful family grows and thrives!