Clear Creek Metro Park by COrtney North

Our anniversary dessert and a hazardous hike

My husband and I took a few days off this week to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We are well out of the newly-married phase and next year will join the ranks of people who are in the double-digit club. One of my co-workers asked how long we’ve been married and when I told her nine years her eyes grew big with surprise. At the moment I was thinking, “I know, I don’t look old enough to have been married that long, do I? Why thank you for the compliment, dear coworker.”

But she knows my age so I know that wasn’t it. Darn it…

Oddly enough, until she pointed it out, our marriage hasn’t felt that long. The road seems short when I look in the rear view mirror, but when I took stock of all that has happened I realized, Wow, yes, it has been a long time! It’s always a good thing when people help give you some wide-eyed perspective. It brought some reverence to an event that would have otherwise been somewhat ordinary.

Lemon Custard Pie

Despite my new-found reverence, our anniversary was still low-key because that is the nature of me and my husband. For the dessert/celebratory part of our anniversary, we wanted something a little different from the traditional cake. We both enjoy pies, so we tried Mom’s Lemon Custard Pie Recipe from Taste of Home.


Lemon Pie by Cortney North

I styled this as much as my patience would allow. It was a very sweet, creamy lemon pie and it was good. It was very simple to make especially if you use store-bought pie crust. I detest meringue, as does my husband, so we finished ours with whipped cream.

Sometimes I make my own whipped cream, but my whim told me to relax for our anniversary and I listened.


Lemon Pie by Cortney North

Initially I thought the top was going to be more crunchy like a sugar pie, but it was soft consistency. If you’re wanting a creamier lemon pie versus a thicker, gelatin pie, this would be a good pie for you.

Clear Creek Metro Park

On Monday we hiked around Clear Creek Metro Park located a half hour or so outside of southern Columbus. We hiked 10 miles and climbed the equivalent of 175 flights of stairs. That is not a mis-type. 175 flights of stairs!! My poor knees! My poor quads!!

Fitbit status


That was my Fitbit’s tally at the end of the day. My Fitbit told me “That’s a lot of green!” I agreed.

Good things: we saw a lot of animals (which I will post in a later edition) and my muscles got an amazing workout. Not so great things: we were in the dark about how rugged those trails would be and didn’t want to leave the couch the next day. It was like a couples bootcamp that we were bamboozled into doing! I did get some reading done the following day, so that was a silver lining.

I hope my Fitbit enjoyed all of the activity – that level of torture…I mean working out… won’t be happening again any time soon!

At Clear Creek State Park in Ohio

Here we are at the start of the morning – 8:30am when all was still happy and easy hiking.

It’s like the honeymoon phase of marriage when everything is hearts and flowers and no hills. It can only last for so long, dear ones…


Forest of Ferns by Cortney North

When we descended into this part of the forest, it looked and felt like a rainforest. The Forest of Ferns was so beautiful! Ferns are my favorite plant and it was pure bliss to be surrounded by this many of them!


Hill top photo at Clear Creek Metro Park in Ohio

This was at mile 9.5 and I had to will myself to stop on top of the hill and snap this photo. It was in the nineties with some heavy humidity, but there were breezes. It was likely around this point that I was hallucinating (kidding, I think!?), but at least I had the sense to take record of this gorgeous view!

In summary, if you live in Ohio, if you like heavy, rugged hiking and if you have a backpack that can store more than 20oz. of water, this might be a great place for you! If you’re prepping for the Appalachian trail, this also might be a good place for you. If you would like an easy hiking trail that involves no sweating and a sweet picnic at the end, this is not for you.

Side note: I mention the water because at one point my husband put us on water rations (I can’t make this up). Simply put, we weren’t prepared with enough water for the temperatures and taxing terrain. He identified on the map where we could take sips of water – “No more than 2 sips each” – to allow the water to last. Though I knew he was wise to do this, the thought crossed my mind that if he was a character in an end-of-days show, he’d be the first character killed off. I told him my thoughts. His response was, “Probably” with a smirk and kept on hiking. At least he didn’t take away a ration of my water.

As I re-read that last paragraph I considered: Isn’t this a good image for marriage? At times, you both look at each other and wonder how the person you married comes up with their crazy-obsessive ideas, but sometimes it is those crazy ideas that keep you from passing out in a forest. Or something like that…It’s a team effort and worth putting in the hard work because of the picturesque surprises you stumble upon along the way.