Mostly just picture posts for the unforeseeable future. Blah but it'll have to do. Sorry, Texas.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


We headed out in the darkness for our first trip back to Texas after 3 months in Tennessee. I originally thought of going home around Father's Day because we also have 2 family birthdays around that time. We will miss out on so many holidays and birthdays and this way we would get to be there for 2 dads, 1 mom, and 1 nephew all in 1 week. I started to feel like it was a little too soon for us to be making the 9.5 hour drive, but I knew that our parents were dead set on us coming and I couldn't bear disappointing them.

Nathan originally wanted to leave around 2 am and wake the kids up just to put them in the car to go back to sleep. I liked the idea of the kids sleeping, but not the idea of the parents staying awake. He wanted me to sleep but, besides the fact that it’s so uncomfortable, I feel like I need to keep one eye on him and one eye on the road. We ended up leaving at 11:3o pm on Thursday night and arrived in big Grand Prairie around 9:45 am on Friday. It was a very uncomfortable drive being so tired. The kids started off watching Mama Mia and then only slept about 3 hours. That was shocking.

We planned to stay the first couple of nights at Nathan's parents' house and immediately the kids wanted to hit the pool. We held them off long enough to eat lunch, but after that they jumped in as soon as possible.
They had so much fun in the pool. Cole went straight to the video games, and Brooke said she was going to "rest" on the couch for just a minute. Pretty girl couldn't keep her eyes open any longer and "rested" for a few hours.
That Saturday we celebrated our nephew's 14th birthday by the pool. How can he actually be 14 years old? Unbelievable. He was just about 4 months old when Nathan and I started dating. Now he already has his braces off and is going to be in high school. That sure doesn't make me feel any younger.

Harley wanted Nathan to throw her over and over and over again...That girl has absolutely no fear.

Cole just doesn't fly quite as high anymore.

Gotta love the diva sunglasses.Cole is just the coolest.
Christopher is sunburned, Cole looks creepy, and Brooke looks like a doll.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Nathan was feeling a little stir crazy here with our Texas vacation trip still being a week away so, he decided that we needed to go to Memphis. I didn’t really care to drive an hour or so to get there since we were going to be driving many, many hours the very next weekend but, he cleverly won me over by saying we could eat at On the Border while we were there. I’m a sucker for that place and have repeatedly mentioned how I miss living 5 minutes from it. We couldn’t really figure out what else to do besides go to the mall. I wanted to go to the botanical gardens but purely to take pictures of the kids surrounded by the beautiful scenery. That would have been a bore for everyone else though. Museums…ehhh. The zoo was our next option. I think we go once every 2 years or so. The kids like going and there usually are flowers and pretty landscaping all around so, we surprised them and showed up in the parking lot much to their amazement.

The local folk here insisted that we go to the Memphis Zoo because it was so amazing and far better than the Nashville Zoo. For some reason I just can’t stand going to the zoo. Maybe it’s because you wander around for miles, breathe the stench of numerous animals’ bodily projectiles, look your hardest for the best animals that are no where in sight, and sweat so badly that you begin to think that stench may actually be coming from your own body. They are just dirty animals trapped in captivity…What’s the big deal? Maybe it's just me, but I don't get the appeal. Even though the kids only care to look at each exhibit for 5-10 seconds, they really do enjoy it. And, afterall, that’s what it’s all about.

I pretty much spent the whole time a few steps behind everyone so I could play paparazzi. I think I took about 250 pictures. Maybe that’s why my camera battery that I fully charged the night before was halfway gone in just a couple of hours. I think I may have been bordering on obsessive. I guess I just really enjoy it and want to capture the best photos I can so, I try to take plenty of extras just in case. Sorry for the large amount of photos here, but this was minimal compared to how many I took. As boring as it may be to me, there are actually many pretty things to see at the zoo.
This was nothing compared to the Fort Worth Zoo. We walked through the whole place in maybe 45 minutes. I was getting really mad that we paid $40 for nothing special. No lions, no bears, no “oh my”. While the kids were playing on the playground we realized that we skipped a couple of sections. We jaunted another 45 minutes backtracking on what we didn’t see before. We found the lions…At least the female ones hiding under a rock. No impressive Mufasa Lion King like you expect to see. We found the bears…One polar bear and one black bear far in a corner. The hippo tank…Empty. Nearly every outdoor animal pond…Floating trash everywhere. They had this fountain area with water surrounding it that a handful of kids were swimming in with their clothes on…Disgusting and slightly disturbing at the same time. I will say that it was only about 80 degrees and Nathan and I were both wearing jeans with no complaints…And that was a pleasant surprise.

We hit my beloved On the Border, a couple of stores at the mall, and the carousel that we so conveniently parked right in front of, and left on our merry way back to Jackson. We are having to constantly remind ourselves that the entertainment, shopping, dining, etc. that we are use to in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and what the people here are use to are on much different levels…And always will be. Granted, we have not made it to Nashville or the Smokey Mountains yet, but so far, everything is definitely bigger and better in Texas.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Every year Nathan’s company does something big for the employees come summertime. In Texas, they normally do a huge Six Flags group day and offer family passes for about half price. They also do a picnic at a park with a couple of bounce houses on the hottest day possible. Not very many people come to it and tons of food gets wasted. Well, this year’s Save A Lot picnic far surpassed last year’s. Of course, the reason is because we are in a different warehouse in a different state, but I have to say we were very impressed. They rented out the entire Family Fun Center for 3 hours and had it catered with lots of different food. It was great that Nathan didn’t have to cook food the whole time. We were all given a bracelet that allowed us to do everything for free…roller skating, bowling, batting cages, go karts, mini golf, laser tag, and arcade games. The place was packed and people were even there early to get in. I couldn’t believe it. In Texas, it was like pulling teeth to get even management to be involved in anything outside of their required hourly duties. I think maybe 30 people showed up last year.

This year close to 300 people came. It probably helped that most of them already know everyone and their families since the majority of them grew up in the area. We pretty much hung out by ourselves but the kids had lots of fun. The time went by so fast that we didn’t even get to do everything. Nathan had to go back and forth mingling and doing some bossly things, but he got to spend far more time with us than usual.

Cole is a hot shot "pro" on the Wii bowling game so, he was not happy that he kept throwing gutter balls on the real thing.
We hit the mini golf while everyone was eating to avoid a wait. That was a good idea until we realized that there wasn't much food left.
I took this picture when he wasn't paying attention. Funny how he appears to be bragging even when he thinks no one is looking. We like to call him Sir Bragsalot.
Brooke would manually place the ball right next to the hole and simultaneously raise her hand and yell "woo" every time she knocked it in. It was really cute.
Cole is all business. Eyes on the prize.
I'm not kidding, we waited an hour in line to ride the go karts because so many people had small kids that couldn't ride alone. So not worth it...At least to the parents. Turns out it is kind of painful when you're close to the age of 30.
Nathan and a couple of others made up 250 goodie bags filled with balls and tatoos and other toys for the kids to take home when they left. And for all of the employees they stuffed 152 backpacks with a questionable 1980’s replica tie-dye shirt along with a few other things. Nathan was supposed to wear his brightly colored purple/yellow/orange tie-dye shirt to the picnic, but he flat out refused. He wouldn’t let me take a picture of him in it for the blog either. What a poor sport. He said the committee actually picked them out and thought they were quite nice. As Jeff Foxworthy would say, “You might be a redneck if....”