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

Saturday, July 25, 2009


In July we went on our own for a family vacation for the first time to Destin, FL. We did originally plan to meet friends or family there, but it ended up falling through with everyone. While it would’ve been tons of fun to be with other people, it was nice to get to make these memories just between the four of us. The last time we were at the beach was when Brooke was 6 months old. We went with all of my family and Brooke cried the entire way there and back. And then she cried even more if I wasn’t holding her. My arms and my hips were so sore. I did not care to go anywhere remotely long distance for a very long time after that.

We left at 4:30 am and it rained on us almost the whole 8 hour drive. It did actually stop for a while as soon as we got in Destin. You have to go across this long bridge just to enter in to Destin…The toll was $2.50. We lucked out and the resort let us check in 2 hours early. I was shocked to see the baggage guy walking to our car with a cool cart. He took everything and had it all in our room by the time we parked and got up there…That was awesome! We could not believe how nice this place was…Just beautiful everywhere you looked.
The skies were dark but we managed to make a quick trip to the beach before it came down. We were right across the street from Henderson State Park and chose to go there every day instead of the other free beaches. It was very private and quiet and well worth the $6 per day. Even with the cloudy skies it was absolutely beautiful. You forget what joy the soft sand on your feet and the sound of the wind crashing on the waves brings. We went to South Padre Island about 5 years ago but that brown sand, seaweed laced beach is drab compared to the white sand beaches of Florida. The kids were so cute with their amazement. They went in the water right away but seemed to be completely shocked at the water creeping up on them with every wave. They loved it...Especially Brooke. Cole did like it a lot but could've spent all day at the pool, too. Brooke kept wanting to go back to the beach. She loved the sand and her imagination seemed to be as endless as the ocean. We thoroughly enjoyed being able to spend hours splashing in the pools and then a few more hours relaxing on the beach each day. You just feel like you're in a whole different world and are amazingly able to feel stress free the moment your feet touch the sand... If only get aways like this were possible several times a year.

As you probably already figured, I took tons and tons of pictures. I tried to put them together on a slideshow, but I'm not sure how good the quality of them will be here on the blog. Weeding out the bad and ones and editing the good ones takes a long time, especially when my computer keeps malfunctioning. I swear, every time it does a crash dump, a white hair pops up on my head...Which is way more often than you would think. Not cool, not cool at all.

It would take entirely too long to load all the pictures individually on the blog but, you can click the link below to see all of them...You'll be glad you did!

Click here and then click on the first photo to see a larger view:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Since we don't have an accessible pool, we've been doing the next best thing and putting the water sprinkler under the trampoline. The ground gets so muddy underneath where there isn't any grass, so we do it every other day if it doesn't rain. The kids absolutely love it.

This may have ended badly. Brooke looks like she's about to get two lumps right in the head.

Dixie would lay in all the puddles and drink the muddy water....Mmmmm refreshing.

Then watch what happens later that evening.

I can't believe my little girl has lost her first tooth. It made me cry when it came out. She was such a big girl and didn't even get scared when Nathan tried over and over and over again to get it out. He tried several times throughout the day and she was getting really frustrated that it wasn't working. She just about had tears in her eyes when it actually popped out. I think it was because it finally happened and was something a little more grown up just like her brother. She was so excited the next morning when she found the dollar under her pillow...She held on to it for hours. Oh my goodness, what am I going to do when she goes to Kindergarten?


Nathan's work gave all the emoloyees tickets to the Diamond Jaxx game for July 3rd. The team generally does a fireworks show every Saturday that they are in town, but they had to do it on Friday this time since they were not playing on July 4th. It's a good thing we went because that was the only fireworks show done within hours. Strange, but true.
The visiting team had their mascot do all these hilarious dances and stuff. He was the best part of the night since the game was really boring until the last couple of innings. I caught just a tiny bit of it on video. The kids started grooving along with the songs, too.
The fireworks seemed to be a lot shorter than the last game we were at, but I still managed to get some mighty fine pictures.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


We have been contemplating getting the kids a trampoline since we moved here. They have been asking for a while and we were going to wait until Brooke’s birthday, but we needed something else for entertainment. It was starting to get hot and we don’t have any family here with a pool. Also, we have no trees or any form of shade outside and the dog really needed something to help keep her cool. We already have the perfect spot in the yard where a huge section of grass doesn’t grow anyway. So, we surprised the kids a few days after we got back from Texas with it. They were so excited and have loved it every day. One less present for “Santa” to bring now!


We left for Tennesse a little later than planned, but since Nathan's parents let us use some hotel points for a much appreciated layover in Little Rock, the drive wasn't near as bad as we originally anticipated. We rocked out to some Hannah Montana tunes and then had an encore presentation of Mama Mia. Below is a bit of our travelling entertainment.

Finally, they went to sleep. They had to be exhausted after all the jumping they did in the pool. I wish I could sleep that easily and comfortably in the car.

I wish I could sleep that easily, too. The lights were still on while Cole and I were watching TV...And they were having a snooze fest.


We spent Father's Day driving the last few hours back to Tennessee. I'm sure that's not how Nathan really wanted to spend his day, but he had already played golf 3 times so I didn't feel too bad for him.

We finally saw the Crittenden County sign in time to take a picture. I first noticed it in February when we came up to look at houses, but was never prepared enough to get a picture the other times we passed it. Nathan knew that it was the last county in Arkansas before you enter Tennessee, but wasn't exactly sure when it would pop up. I sat there with my camera for about 30 minutes ready to do a drive by shot. I probably looked like a private investigator or something to people driving by us since there was nothing out there worthy of pictures. We barely spotted it and Nathan whipped in between some truckers giving me seconds to try to focus the camera on the sign and not the bug guts on the windshield. I think it turned out pretty good considering how fast we were going. Given that it was Father's Day, I was quite proud to capture my daddy's last name on a big green sign.

Crossing the border from Arkansas into Tennessee on the bridge that goes over the Mississippi River.
Nathan didn't want to go home and then have to go back and pick up the dog, so we just stacked everything higher and crammed her in the back. She was a little freaked out to be riding back there without the kennel. Oh well.

While we didn't get officially spend the day with our own dads, we did get to spend the day together, even if it was mostly in a car. Nathan usually works Sundays so that was a special treat for us.


Thursday we went to Doogoland with Julie and Alyssa while Nathan met his Ft. Worth work friends for lunch. It was actually a pretty neat place with several different pretend stations for the kids. Cole would have been a little bored if he hadn't found an older boy to play with...Of course, they tried to boss around the girls. There were only a handful of kids there the whole time and that made it so much nicer. The summer prices weren't that bad and the pizza was far better than Chuck E Cheese.

Tim and Leslie gave us their season tickets to the Air Hogs game. It was a nice night and the game was good...At least what I got to see of it. I was able to keep Carley, Cole, and Brooke in their seats long enough for the sun to go down. I was still trying to stay out of the sun as much as possible. They bugged me every few minutes to go to the playground until I finally gave in.




Evidently Cole and Ginger were more worn out than we thought.

Friday we spent the day with cousins and then loaded everything up for the looooong drive back. Saturday we stopped back by Nathan's parents' house for the kids to get in one last swim and visit with their great grandparents.
Four generations of McCallums.
A rare but very precious picture (even though I had to force them to take it). We drove by the Dallas Cowboys new stadium real quick on our way out of town. Just seeing it from the outside was amazing. Maybe one day we will actually get to see the inside.

We made some plans and tried to split time between our friends and families the best we could without upsetting anyone, but it proved to be a much harder a task than we thought. You have to realize that driving very far and trying to please everyone is not fun or relaxing, but it is necessary. Until you have been in a position like ours, you will not fully understand. So, this was our first shot at it, and we did get most everything accomplished that we set out to do on this trip. We had fun, we melted in the sun, and suddenly it was all done. Be back at Christmas, y'all!