I honestly couldn’t tell you how it happened, but it’s Christmas in a few days.
What have we been up to since Labor Day weekend?
That was September.
Next up: Henry’s birthday month.
On to what’s left of December!
Merry Christmas Y’all.
Knowing we'd miss Labor Day weekend at the lake, the five of us sneaked over to PK in August for one last summer splash.
The big kids took lessons this summer and were a little sad to say goodbye to their barnyard friends right before school started. When I asked Henry if he wanted to take lessons next year he quickly replied, "NOPE." He does like hanging with Buttons the donkey, though.
Speaking of school starting...
For Labor Day Weekend, Wes and I took Ella up to Colorado while the boys enjoyed a sister-free weekend.
We wandered around downtown Denver on the first afternoon.
While Wes watched the rest of the Georgia game at the hotel, Ella and I struck out at the Unsinkable Molly Brown Museum, so we walked down to the Denver Museum of Art for a quick visit before dinner.
Dinner on Larimer Square...we highly recommend Osteria Marco!
Sunday, the Frays were nice enough to invite us out to their home in Boulder. What gorgeous views and wonderful company!
That afternoon, we headed to visit Justin and Cindi in Bailey. Another heavenly spot on a mountain! (Ella is already researching universities in Colorado so she can live there in a few years.)
Monday morning, the Pritchards were brave enough to take us three city slickers out to Arapahoe State Park to hike.
Monday evening, we headed to Red Rocks with tickets to see Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
Not a bad place to see a show. :) I think we'll be back.
This summer's family vacation started the same way many do.
With a tearful "see you soon" to Brisket and a speeding ticket in Louisiana.
The last 200 miles took about 6 hours so the kids burned off some energy as soon as we put the car in Park. (Fat lotta help they were with the luggage.)
We decided to break up the drive home so Saturday morning, we got up early to be among the first aboard the USS Alabama in Mobile.
After visiting the airplane hangar (and the gift shop), we hit the road toward New Orleans.
NOLA, we can't wait to go back.
It always takes so long to get here, and always goes by in a blink. The Cowgirls' annual Possum Kingdom lake weekend, was by all accounts, a bit more successful than last year's.
- I didn't wreck the boat into the dock.
- I didn't run the boat over a dock cable that got sucked up into the prop requiring substantial repairs.
- I didn't fling the girls out of the tube so quickly that one gave another a big bruise on her forehead.
- I put worms on hooks. And removed the remains of worms that the fish turned down.
- I took a crappie off the hook and only screamed a little while he flopped around.
- I learned what a kill switch is and why it's required for boat operation.
This list is beginning to feel like it's all about me.
But it's really all about these girls. They mean the world to me and I am so grateful we can find this time to spend together each summer -- relaxing, cooking, inventing cocktails, floating on the boat or off the dock, looking up at the stars together and solving all of the world's problems. We never seem to run out of conversation, laughs, hugs or good-natured eye rolls. I think it's rare to find such a group of friends that are always supportive, never judgemental, and ever-willing to tell it like it is when that's what you need to hear.
Without further ado, and in alphabetical order....
The 2018 Awesome Possum Kingdom Superlative Awards!
Ashlee** -- Most Likely To Kiss a (Stuffed) Possum's Bottom for the Sake of a Photo
Elizabeth -- Least Likely to Eat a Doritos Salad at Any Gathering
Jill** -- Most Likely to Soldier Through a Weekend with Inebriated Friends Like a Saint
Megan -- Most Likely to Spend the Night with the Rubber Dockie
Micki -- Most Likely to Discover Jewelry In Her Swimsuit
Vivian -- Most Likely To Haul @ss Out of the Lake After a Snake Sighting
**Runners Up for Most Likely to Win a Charcuterie and Cheese Spread Competition
Ella read this post and was incensed that I called the baby goats baby lambs. I am so so so sorry. She will be proofing all future posts.
New year, new goals! When I first started these posts, Ella was a toddler and they went up every week, or sometimes every two. This year, my goal is to get four posts completed. Which would be better than zero.
Hanging in there. That's my personal theme for 2018. :)
Like they say at Llama Productions: Trying Hard Every Day to Suck Less.
Time flies when you're...well, whatever, time just flies. Here we are in mid-January and I thought it might be a good time to finish up posting some of our favorites from October, November and December. So I can start stressing about keeping up on 2018 posts, of course. ;)
It took us 18 months to find a weekend that would work, but we made it to New Orleans.
Well worth the wait!
But for now, it's July on the blog. Of course, it hit 96 degrees in Texas this week, so maybe it's not such a mental stretch.
The first stop on our trip back in time is to Puerto Rico. The kids were either at camp or the farm (having the time of their lives and not missing us a bit) and we took off to use up some hotel points and escape responsibility for a couple of days.
Although we spent just a short time in Puerto Rico, we fell in love with it.
“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
As we watch the weather news, with Hurricane Maria set on the same path as HurricanesHarvey and Irma which passed over Puerto Rico a few short weeks ago, we picture the places we visited and the people we met, enduring yet another catastrophic storm. Our hearts go out to them and we are reminded of the power of travel and understanding people and places that are unfamiliar to your own.
For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you'll know that we have been matching donations made to JDRF with donations for hurricane relief organizations.
We look forward to doing even more.
July 4 is always cause for celebration, but this year set the bar awfully high! The matriarch of my father's family turned 90 fabulous years old on Independence Day and we all high-tailed it to Fort Wayne to celebrate in person with the birthday girl herself.
She goes by many names--Mom, Grandma, Granny, Ella Lue--but is loved equally and deeply by everyone who is blessed to know her.
With all of our extended family in town, we did our best to get together a few times over the holiday weekend. Saturday night, everyone came by the house Rocket rented downtown so that all of the Texas crew could be together. It was wonderful to catch up with cousins, aunts and uncles and meet many little ones who joined the family since the last time we all saw each other!
Sunday, we headed to the greatest zoo in the U.S.A.
Monday! Party day!
Happy 90th Birthday Granny Lue! We love you!
We're all about adding family traditions -- especially if they involve getting to spend some down time with our most favorite people. We're already starting a countdown to next June.
What is happily turning into a long-time tradition (we won't talk about how long, exactly), a group of us ladies like to gather in Texas for a little girl-time. This was back in June, but I can't bring myself to skip ahead to August.
Who wants to pretend it's the beginning of summer again?
On the final day of our trip, we explored a bit more of Bath, including Bath's Abbey and the Roman Baths, then headed back to London for our flight home the next day with a quick stop along the way.
Day Seven: Bath Abbey, Roman Baths and Avebury
A few final iPhone memories are all that's left! Our luggage may have taken a week to find us at home, but I suppose the universe has to balance things out somehow.
Day Five: Charlestown, Mousehole, Bottalack's Tin Mines and St. Ives
Day Six: Tintagel Castle and Wells Cathedral
If you missed Part One, you can find it here.
Where I left off, we were in Wareham for the night. The following morning, we hit the road bright and early.
Day Three: Durdle Door and Dartmoor National Park
Day Four: St. Michael's Mount, The Minack Theater and Another Village or Two I Can't Name
That's it for days three and four! With a few more iPhone shots, I'll close out this post and get started on the next.
This trip was an amazing trip. Inspired by the Poldark books, authored by Winston Graham, and the 1975 BBC mini-series that followed, Mom has been talking about seeing Cornwall, England for as long as Molly and I can remember. The books are currently being filmed again as a miniseries on PBS (Season 3 coming soon to the U.S. and now airing in the U.K.) If you're a fan, you might recognize some of the places we visited later in the trip.
Due to a little Vacation Research Scope Creep, we ended up seeing much more than just Cornwall, packing a heck of a lot into eight days. This first post covers days one and two...so maybe there will be four parts in all? Can you stand the suspense?
Rather than try to remember all that we learned and surely get something (eh, most things) wrong along the way, I'll link to all of the historical site websites throughout each post for anyone interested in knowing more.
Thank you, Mom, for dreaming up this adventure and bringing me and Molly along for the ride. xoxo
DAY ONE: DFW>LGW, Westminster Abbey, The River Thames and the Tower of London
DAY TWO: Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Old Wardour Castle and Wareham
With a few goofy iPhone photos from days one and two, I'm going to call it quits on Part One.
While I've clearly given up on monthly posts -- and laugh at myself remembering I used to manage weekly ones -- I'm fully committed to seasonal posts. And hey, this is number two for Spring alone! I'm winning.