6.09.2013

Memorial Day Weekend

So after my parents finished up in Houston, they headed back to our house for a quick overnight stay on Wednesday before hitting the road back to Arkansas.  The whole family would soon be on the Escarpment enjoying the holiday weekend together! That evening, we celebrated some good news by eating at one of my dads favorite restaurants...Truluck's in Southlake.  He loves their snow crab claws and it's something he can eat, and actually enjoy.  The good news was that the chemo is working on his cancer and his cancer marker has dropped significantly.  It's all about small victories, so we celebrated with smiles on our faces :)

Thursday morning, we got up and I hit the road with them.  My mom thought she could use my help to get the house ready for the other members of our families arrival in the next few days to come!  Sean and I were going to have to take separate cars anyway because I was staying behind after the weekend was over and he was going to come back home.  So off we went, me in the lead, and storms ahead!  We got so lucky and only hit a little rain.  We were tailing a massive storm our entire drive!

The Escarpment
Beautiful day!  Beautiful view!
Journey into Tranquility shining bright from the mountain on this wonderful afternoon! 

It did not take my dad long to get back doing what he loves best...planting plants! We weren't home 10 minutes before he was outside.  I left both my mom and dad at home to get organized from being away from so long, and I went and picked up dinner at a yummy thai restaurant.  It's a weekly staple in their house because my dad loves their vegetable soup!  


We went to bed that evening ready to hit the ground running on Friday!

My mom and I got busy that morning prepping food and getting all the guest rooms ready for company. That afternoon she took my dad to his doctor appointment to get his fluids drained and I picked up sticks in the yard and hit the grocery store with a list more massive than I care to talk about!


I spotted a cute little ladybug outside that day!


One heavy buggy!

By evening, I couldn't figure out where my mom was, but she kept talking to me while I was in the kitchen.  Finally, I walked around the corner into the downstairs bedroom and found this!....

BUSTED!  They just put this bed in the room (used to be just an office) so she saaaaays she was making sure it was comfortable.  I think she was hiding from more work ;)

SP got there by early evening, and Adam and Christy didn't make it until after midnight!  We all went to bed and decided to see them Saturday morning :)

By Saturday we had the whole crew!  I went and picked up Shawn, Anastasia, Yasha, and Natasha from the airport!  The buddy was so happy to see me :)  He ran and jumped into my arms, so sweet :)  When we got home, he did the same thing to Grammy!  He couldn't wait to get out of his car seat, then run around to the front porch to see Grammy and Grampa!


The rest of the weekend was spent laying low and eating lots!  We had fun playing outside with Yasha, cooking good meals, and catching visits with Grampa in between his resting upstairs.  

Yasha's slide
Father son chatting
Helping Grammy pick up sticks in the yard
Visiting the museum hotel to pick up Natasha (his other grandmother)
Oh Boy! 
Reading Dora with Grammy
Honcho time! 
This video is in a random place but for some reason it wouldn't let me put it anywhere else!

Proud to be an American!
The happy couple, Adam and Christy!
Hugs!
Glad to have you in the crew, Christy!
Adam!
Men and BBQ 
Building "houses" with Grammy 
Enjoying a bagel with PB and Honey!
Where's Waldo? - He liked these books!
Yes, he's eating an entire baguette.  Silly boy!
Chillin' on the front porch

We are so blessed to have such a fun family!  We treasure our time together so much, since we are all spread out by way of DC, LA, TX, and AR!  One by one, everyone went back home.  Everyone except me and the DC bunch!  On Tuesday, Shawn and Anastasia headed to Mexico!  What did they do with Yasha while they were in MX you ask?  

Stay tuned...Grammy, Grampa, and Aunt Catherine had fuuuuuun with our buddy for 4 days!

6.08.2013

Just Passing Through

The week before Memorial Day, my mom and dad were heading down to Houston for an appointment at MDA.  They stopped off at our house for the weekend and left for Houston on the following Monday.  The week before their arrival, I woke up early one morning to find an email from my dad.  He was letting me know when they are in town, he wanted to see lots of people.  This is just like my dad, he packs his time with lots of things to do, and lots of people to see!  His request was for us to host my moms side of the family at our house on Saturday (the ones that live in TX) for some BBQ, and then drive to Dallas on Sunday for brunch with his side of the family (again, the ones that live in TX).  Amazingly, we he accomplished all of these things, and even managed to work in a trip to his favorite store, Cabelas! Considering he had chemo 2 days before they left, I'd say he did pretty good! 

We love to entertain, so I was excited when my Friday night turned into cooking and getting ready for the company of 14 people!


My parents told me to go pick out some pretty flowers, their treat, to have at the house since this whole gathering was their idea.  We don't mind entertaining, and actually had been meaning to invite my cousins over anyway (Side note: Both cousins live in Flower Mound, have large houses, and beautiful pools.  It is hard to want to invite them to our small house, with no pool, when their houses are way more fun!  But they graciously come anyway, whenever we invite them and sing praises on our house when they do :) )  I never pass up an opportunity to buy fresh flowers though!  They make me happy and brighten up a space in just the right way!

Thanks mom and dad!  

I made all the sides, and my parents brought a pork butt that they smoked the night before they left.  

The main dining table - we had people eating everywhere!  
SP forgot to put the baked beans on his plate, but they were great!
Thanks for making them, mom!

For dessert I made my dad's favorite Lemon Icebox Pie.  And my mother-in-law made a yummy berry trifle!  

Guess I forgot to take a picture of the actual pie, whoops!

It was a late night (and by late, I mean 10!), but we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with everyone.  

On Sunday, I think I was the first person up.  When my parents are here, I usually always wake to the smell of their coffee brewing.  When I don't smell it, I know that means our dark, cozy, guest room has provided the perfect spot for a little extra r & r for them :)  

Around 11 we all headed to Dallas, and SP stayed behind so he could work in the yard some before having to go show a few houses.  We were joined by my dad's 2 cousins and 1 of his second cousins.  We ate at Woodlands American Grill.  It was a nice brunch, and I enjoyed hearing stories of my grandparents and their siblings.  

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict & bottomless mimosas!
Roby, my dad, Steven - cousins
My dad and his 2nd cousin, Randy

When we got back to Fort Worth, we sat around being lazy and then we took my dad to Cabelas.  He loves that store so much!  For dinner, we ordered take-out and watched the finale of Celebrity Apprentice.  Earlier in the day, my mom ran into Walgreens to pick up the competing ice cream flavors (that was the final challenge on the show!) so we ate that for dessert while watching the show!  

On Monday, they headed to Houston for their appointments on Tuesday.  Sean and I went to the Rangers game Monday night with his work crew.  We had all you can eat seats.  YUCK! is all I have to say!  There is only so many hot dogs and nachos one can eat!  We had a good time though.  The weather was humid but we are just glad we missed the rain because it was sure all around us that evening!

The sky

Tailgating

We were waaaaay up there!
See my head poking through?  Above the women in stripes.  No, SP isn't in the picture b/c he was on a BEER RUN!

6.07.2013

Colorado Day 5 - 5/13/2013

Today was the day we traveled home!  We had the best time ever, and Shelby was an amazing hostess. We were definitely ready to be back home in our own bed, though :)

Our flight didn't leave until 3 in the afternoon, so we had the morning to do whatever we wanted.  SP got up early and drove Shelby to work while I stayed at home and slept a little longer.  He was back in less than an hour and somehow couldn't get Shelby's garage door opener to work, so we he came back into the house through the front door.  During the time he was gone, Boss (her very large part Rot dog who is just a big lover) had come to sleep in the room with me.  When he heard that front door open, he went in bark attack mode, which just about sent me into cardiac arrest!  It scared the you know what out of me.  I seriously thought an intruder was in the house.  I apparently had fallen back to sleep very quickly and very hard.  I was very relieved when I realized it was just Sean, and I think Boss was as well!

Sean had a little bit of work to catch up on, so I jumped on the iPad to find somewhere yummy for us to go grab some breakfast!  I stumbled upon a place called Snooze, an A.M. eatery, and let me just say, I am glad I found it.  This food was heavenly!  We had a little bit of a wait, but the weather was so nice, we didn't mind sitting outside.  This just proved to me how good it must be.  A wait, at 11am on a Monday?!

It was actually HOT!  I had to take my sweater off!
I ordered the Rocky Mountain Mule.
Odwalla OJ, yum!!

I ordered the OMG! French Toast, which I read about online from several Yelp reviewers.  It sounded too good to pass up.  Let me describe it for you...


Now I know what you're thinking.  WOAH, too sweet!  I must say, it was not too sweet and not too rich.  Seriously!  It was just perfect :)  I always have to go with something salty as well, so I ordered a side of hash-browns, too :)


Sean always orders one-of-a-kind type dishes on any menu, especially when he's out of town.  This is what he went with...


YUMM!

After this large breakfast, we headed back to Shelby's to finish getting packed up. We went back to her work to pick her up so she could take us to the airport.

This trip was one for the record books.  We had such an amazing time and already are looking forward to going back.  But, next time, I'd like to have my concert tickets already in hand, ha!  We love you Shelby, thanks again for all that you did for us!  Now, come home to TX!

6.04.2013

Colorado Day 4 - 5/12/2013

On Sunday afternoon, we drove out to Estes Park.  This day was spent sightseeing and not drinking.  Shocking, I know!  We drove to Colorado Springs and picked up our new friend Dan, who drove down from Wyoming to spend the day with us.  The drive was beautiful!


We went on a tour of the Stanley Hotel.  This is the hotel where The Shining was filmed.  It is supposedly haunted, but I still have my doubts!  It was a beautiful day and the hotel was definitely something to see.

The view from the hotel
One of the most haunted rooms at the hotel. 
RED RUM - Murder spelled backwards
Where the hotel has the most energy, The Vortex.  Apparently if you stay there long enough your cell phone
battery will  drain.  There was definitely electricity through there.  We kept getting shocked!
The famous hallway from The Shining
The tour guide trying to get a spirit of one of the little girls from the movie to
grab this girls sucker.  Never happened!

Regardless, the tour was fun and interesting.  After it was over, we decided we just had to have one drink at the Stanley.  


A few more shots of the scenery from the Stanley...





We left the Stanley and drove to downtown Estes Park for lunch, then took a drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We didn't get to enter the park because it was too late in the day and we needed to get back to Denver.  

I had yummy fish tacos!
The elk was so close to the car, we could have reached out and touched him!


The day was beautiful, as was the scenery.  It was a nice, relaxing day, that we were all in need of!  It was late by the time we got back to Shelby's house.  We popped a frozen pizza in the oven, watched some TV, and were all asleep by 10pm :) Tomorrow, we head home.