Discovering Our New Backyard

There have only been about 8 years of my life (minus some time away in college) that I have not lived in West Chester. This statement is important because after moving back with my family a little over a year ago, we have discovered one of our new favorite places to have fun. KEEHNER PARK!

Honestly, I have not a clue if the actual playground is good or not, if the grounds of the actual park are kept up or not, nor do I know if the amphitheater is a good place to see local bands or not. What I do know is that the hiking trail and creek are awesome and The Herron Nest gives it 8 thumbs up. Hanging out on these trails and creeking is our new thang and I can’t wait to go back.


Standing up on a concrete/rock platform with ginormous water-hole behind us.


Said ginormous water-hole with a collection of rocks, including ours from that day.


The little Herron’s were all business with their rock-throwing skills.


After we hung out by the giant water-hole, we started to really explore what the woods and creek had to offer. I was so proud of the way Abbey went from, “these woods are creepy” to literally walking in the creek all by herself managing to go from rock to rock without falling or tripping. And if you know my daughter, a.k.a. NOT Grace, than you know that is a big deal.



On our way back out of the creek, through the woods, and heading up a pretty big hill, Abbey started singing and cheering on our family. She must have heard George and I out of breath hiking up the trail.


Enjoy this gem, Abbey trying to catch a frog!

OZO Play Cafe {The Herron Nest Review}

ozo play cafe logo I’ve heard nothing but great things about the indoor play cafe in Montgomery, OZO Play Cafe, so we had to try it out for ourselves. The location is extremely convenient, the play cafe is located on Montgomery Road in Montgomery across the street from Kroger. It is nestled in a plaza with Salon Lofts and Jet Pizza.

When you first walk in there are Ikea cubbies for the whole family to store shoes/purse/diaper bag so that you can enter the play area without tracking in dirt from your shoes. Mom’s you’ll want to make sure everyone is wearing socks (and maybe the socks with the rubber on the bottom for those that could easily fall) because part of the floor is concrete and cold this time of year. You then go to the back of the cafe to pay for your child to play, $8 for an all-day pass for the first child and $6 for the second child. Note – this is geared for children 6 and younger, they had a special area for 12 month and younger to play.

We arrived just before 11am and were there until about 12:30p and that was plenty of time for Ab to play but she of course wanted to stay longer. We first hung out playing with the train and wood track, but then we were off exploring the rest of the center. The slide and mini jungle gym, tumbling on the colorful mats, riding on a scooter, pushing the shopping cart full of food, playing with the animals (Ab was loving the lion and was yelling ROAR while chasing me), building with the blocks, more tumbling and then making everyone dinner in the kitchen area. Whew! I was a bit wore out but really there is so much for a toddler to do. We didn’t even get to the large chalkboard but I’m sure she would have loved that area too.

ozo tumbling_

ozo kitchen_TheHerronNest.comDefinitely a place I would recommend and a place I would bring Ab back to play. Actually, I did find out that they will be selling day pass gift cards as we get closer to the holidays. This is going to be a fun treat for both of my nephews for Christmas! *Side note, I really wanted to take half of these toys home especially the tumbling mats. So fun!

Another great idea is to host your kid’s birthday party at ozo. There are a few party packages and both seem reasonable enough plus you don’t have to clean your house or pick up when everyone leaves. You can go to the website for more information

The only cons from our experience is more a “me” problem but here it goes:

  • Parents that don’t follow the rules – arg! It says no shoes, so don’t come back in the play area with your shoes on. It says to put the toys that your child puts in their mouth in this separate bin, so DO IT!
  • Parents that don’t watch their kids – there was a little boy (probably around 5) that was riding the scooter at excessive speeds. One other parent that was standing near me actually said, “it is pretty funny to watch all of the other parents physically get tense when this little boy almost knocks down their own kid” PRETTY MUCH!
  • Self policing if your kid is sick – I made sure that we washed our hands right before we left and kept Ab from sticking her hands in her mouth just in case.

All-in-all I’m excited about the cafe as an indoor option during the winter months! And a MAJOR plus…. it really wore both her and George out!

ozo sleeping_TheHerronNest

Abbey and the Sunflowers at 20 Months

For the second year we have had the opportunity to get pictures taken in the Sunflower field at Cottell Park in Mason, OH. The setting is always breathtaking and for the second year in a row we have completely lucked out on the weather. I was almost giddy when I saw the first sign of bloom at the corner of Snider and Irwin-Simpson Road, had to take a few iPhone pics myself and let Gayle know that we were ready for the pictures in the sunflower field. There are several reasons why these are among my absolute favorite pictures of Abbey; we are in a field of sunflowers, my photography genius cousin (Gayle Rothmeeler) is the one taking the photos, Abbey gets to run around and play at the park after we are done capturing the perfect shots and we always seem to luck out with the weather.

Here are some of my personal favorites from the teaser shots that Gayle sent me through her photography Facebook page:

my pretty little girl family shot in the sunflowers sitting in the flowers field of sunflowers Sunflowers little miss giggle box future modeling Look at those baby blues 100% Abbey

Here are just a few shots that I put side-by-side to show the comparison from 9 months old (last years photo session) and 20 months old. SHOEY that girl was a healthy looking baby! I miss those puffy cheeks.
9mo to 20 mo AbbeyThe sunflowers are still in bloom and probably will be for the next week or so, I encourage you to at least check out the fields as they are gorgeous in person. And if you want your little one’s pictures taken or pictures for the family, you can reach out to Gayle at 513.258.7337.