Guest Post by CARA: Gollywhopper adventurer

Hello! I'm Cara Davis, SAHM and avid Bushbaby fan!

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I was born and raised in a small rural town in Pennsylvania called Huntingdon. It's in the backyard of PSU’s Happy Valley and the home of Lake Raystown, the largest man-made lake in Pennsylvania. I've spent loads of time in the wild as a child roaming through creeks and fields and mud. My mother was a big advocate for children being outdoors as the phrase heard almost daily was "Will you kids just go outside!"

Fast forward a few years, quite a few, and I've found myself in Peoria, IL, married to an Indiana boy. We've done our best to raise a well-rounded, well-mannered English Bulldog, Gilda, but failed miserably on the well-mannered part. In an attempt to do better with our other babies, I've placed my nursing career on hold indefinitely to stay at home. We now have a seven year old, Jack and a five year old, Ava. In a recent interview of a local mother, her occupation was listed as “professional volunteer”. Ha! I’m going to add that to my resume, too!

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After some trial and error through the toddler years, I have learned that my mom was right! Just go outside! The most miserable days full of tears, arguments and frustration can be turned around in a matter of minutes with a little trip into the outdoors. There is something calming and centering about being in the midst of God's creation. It seems to reset our moods and put smiles back on our faces.

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With Spring in the air (supposedly) and Summer on the horizon we look forward to more adventures. Our Summers are kicked off at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway watching fast cars and cheering for the pink one. My husband loves sharing this part of his childhood with us and hopes that the kids will love watching the Indy 500 as much as he does. The track is such an exciting place! From here, we will make our annual trip back to Pennsylvania where the pace is much slower and the outdoors feel much closer. Mom, now nana, and pappy have kept the same philosophy from my childhood and many activities involve just being outside. Tending gardens, having cookouts and exploring pappy's "back 40" make for a great start to our Summer. We are also looking ahead to future plans of traveling through national parks with an RV! This has been on our bucket list for a long time and we cannot wait to explore even more of our country! But, for now, I will keep my fingers crossed that Spring will actually happen this year and count down the last few days of school until Summer Break!

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We enjoy looking for new places to explore but we also have some favorites. The kids love the "princess steps" at Forest Park. I have no idea why they call them that but all of those railroad ties must lead to a castle, right? Hiking the trails at Jubilee, splashing through the creek behind our house or just digging in the dirt are a welcomed change of pace. We've found that one place we can explore over and over is Wildlife Prairie Park. Adventures there are endless. We can go and wander through the trails or eat a packed lunch by the bison or spend the whole time just going down the Gollywhopper. The key to a successful trip outdoors is to have the right shoes, layers and to be prepared for getting dirty! Bushbaby has been amazing at helping us find the right tools to enjoy the great outdoors. Everyone's sense of adventure and toothy grin will quickly emerge, once you've headed outside!