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Family traditions~ our little cabin in the woods

For the third year in a row, our family took a little 2 day trip to a cabin in the woods. The last two times, we went the week after Christmas and the kids opened the package with all the details as a Christmas present.  Since it was no longer a surprise that we were going, and an expected outing during the winter break, we decided to take advantge of the full week the kids had off before Christmas and escape then.

We do so much of our vacations with extended family and friends, that 2 years ago I wanted just a few day getaway for our own little family to bond away from it all.  When we first went, I just searched “cabin in the woods” within about 2 hours of our home. We’ve gone to a different spot each year, and it is truly time and money well spent.  They end up being about $150-200 a night, and we stay 2 night.

We bring in most of our own food with plans to “eat local” one night.  They have been super small towns that we’ve gone to, and it’s fun to get a feel of the local flavor as well. This time spent is so precious to me.  Time bonding and playing games and laughing and exploring the woods…no distractions…just our family of 6.  I find myself brimming with joy over and over, gazing at my children, with a prickle in my eye.

I am less distracted, and my hubby said he is able to just relax, too.  Because it is just 2 days, it isn’t quite time for the kids to get cabin fever (no pun intended;) or annoyed with each other because its still so novel and fun. The one squabel they got into was on our 3 mile drive into “town” for dinner  when the boys wanted to sit by their younger sister and my other daughter got her feelings hurt.  Not bad. I haven’t ever planned ahead, and have mostly booked at the beginning of December.  This one, I booked just a week and a half before.  We went to a little town called Smithville, it’s the town where Hope Floats & The Tree of Life were filmed.  And they are quite proud of that there. We stayed at a place called The Treehouse because it was up above the trees.

The food:

Here are a bunch of pics I took on this little excursion.


We played a whole lotta dominoes….


This giant gingerbread man is the size of the large gingerbread cookie that the town of Smithville made to get into the Guiness Book of World record. They beat the record in 2006 (I think) then Ikea beat them out in 2009.

The park had trains to climb on…

There were all sorts of fun textured walls around main street….oh how I’d love to photograph a family….or a teen…our a couple around here.

my family patiently waiting while I checked out a few antique stores…

It was a fun adventure, you should try it!

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  1. It sounds dreamy and fun and relaxing. What a great tradition!

  2. Hey Kristen! Smithville is my home town! Small world. I was home with my family for a small break and we took pictures in the same place some of your pictures were taken!

    It’s a fun, slow town.

  3. What a lovely get away. Like your family, most of our vacations are trips to see family— which is great! however, a few days with just our kids is so awesome, we try for it as often as possible. I love your photos. (and your choice of groceries!)

  4. So much fun to be had. I love the trains. I want to climb there too!

  5. Kristine,

    So I just got a 50 mm canon lens for christmas. I was super excited to get one! I’ve been wanting one now for awhile. My question is, Should I keep that on my camera for everyday life or should I keep my 18-200 Tamron lens on. I have been using it now for all of 6 days, but find it hard to get use to the fix lens. Do I just need to keep practicing to get a feel for it more? Thanks oh and I got your SAY NO TO AUTO BOOKLET!!! LOVE IT!!!

  6. Kristen!
    This looks like so much fun!! What a great tradition full of wonderful memories.