Category Archives: Vacation

A Trip to the Big Apple

We recently surprised Matt with a long weekend in New York City.  It was a big birthday surprise and we had the BEST time.  We kept this secret for months.  I had scoured the internet finding the best rates on plane tickets and really cool hotels and we honestly hit the jackpot.  When it came time to give him his birthday presents, Milo gave him a book about a little boy that goes for a walk in NYC with his dad.  This didn’t throw Matt off too much because Milo is always talking about going to the Big City.  He loves cabs and subways and tall buildings.  He’s a funny kid.  Anyway, it was only when Cady gave Matt tickets to Wicked on Broadway that he seemed a little confused.


The tickets were for 2 days later so we were all “We are going to New York!”.  Haha – his face!

Milo studied the books and knew all the places he wanted to go.


And the next day we were off!



We wasted no time after arriving.  We caught an uber to Manhattan and then headed out to find something to eat.  We settled on a deli just up the road from our hotel.


Milo was thrilled about all the “taxi cabs”.  We ate our $80 spaghetti, pizza and Reuben and then Milo and Matt headed back to the hotel and Cady and I went ice skating.  I had done a ton of research on what to do while there.  We knew we didn’t want to do some of the more popular touristy things – we’ve done most of those.  So I picked some low key alternatives (aka inexpensive).  Instead of ice skating at Rockefeller center, we elected to head to Wollman Rink in Central Park.


It’s a smaller rink and we had tons of room and NO lines and the prices are way more affordable.  The NYC skyline is at your back and you walk through Central Park to get there.  Definitely a must do if you are there in the winter months.

Next morning we were up early for breakfast and LOTS of adventures.


Another tip is to stay somewhere that has complimentary breakfast.  Our hotel had a super trendy restaurant on the bottom floor.  Literally, people lined up down the block to eat there during the day.  But during breakfast hours the restaurant closed and was only open for hotel guests.  And if you wanted to eat there for a regular meal you got to go in the back door and immediately be seated.  It was crazy seeing the long lines of people waiting hours to get in and we could skip the line because we were staying at The Blakely.  The restaurant is called Black Tap if you are interested – it was YUMMY.  And the crazy shakes are in fact…crazy.  And the balcony on the top floor wasn’t bad either…  Our hotel was classic old school NYC.  We elected to get a suite so Cady could have her own room with a daybed – we loved it and it definitely made our trip better.


Next up was a walk to Grand Central Station.


And of course we had to try out the whispering walls


Grand Central Station is obviously free. It’s a beautiful landmark and Milo knew it from his New York City books.  Next up was the NYC Public Library!

They just don’t make buildings like this anymore.


Amazing marble floors and columns on every floor. We walked around a bit, bought vintage NYC maps in the gift shop, and even headed down to the children’s floor so we could rest our feet and Milo could play legos.


Next up was lunch in Times Square and maybe a visit to the M&M store…



Later that evening Milo and I headed out on a date to Central Park… We followed our map and watched people throw frisbees, play saxophones, and sing opera.  We played “pretend” checkers at the Chess & Checkers House in the park and we visited and chatted with almost every statue.  We headed to the boat house and marched around fountains.  I think Central Park may have been his favorite part of the trip.


The weather was amazing.  I was so scared when I booked the trip back in Nov/Dec that a blizzard would happen in February (which would have been pretty common).  However, we had temps in the 50s & 60s.  Perfect for walking around the city!


While Milo and I were at the park, Cady and Matt got ready to head out for Wicked.  Matt loves Wicked and he had been wanting to take Cady to see it so the opportunity to see it on Broadway was extra fun.


The next day all 4 of us spent some time walking through Central Park (we were staying only 2 blocks away).  Milo and I were Central Park pros at this point, so we gave Cady and Matt a good tour.



I love this boy… So happy he let us make his birthday a family vacation!


And we couldn’t go to NYC with the kiddos and NOT go to the Museum of Natural History.  We’ve all seen Night at the Museum so this is a must stop.




We had lunch at Black Tap and here’s a pic of one of their shakes for your enjoyment.  There is a poptart (I think we may have already removed it by the time I remembered to take this pic) and a rice krispie treat and candy stuck in it…  Some of the shakes have pieces of CAKE on top!


Not gonna lie, our final night there we grabbed the kids McDonalds and then Matt and I went and walked around Times Square.  We had such a great time.  I wish all of our family trips were this easy and fun!


Until next time – Thanks for reading!




Life Lately, July 2016 edition…



It was in the 70s while we were in Illinois! Perfect for walks and reading!

I started this post a couple weeks ago… Just when we returned from our trip to the Midwest for camping and family adventures and a celebration of America (Independence Day).  My heart was feeling kinda heavy though, even as we watched fireworks and everyone donned their red white and blue and we all whooped and hollered because the 4th is a reason to celebrate, right?!.  It’s just sad to see the politics of our country be so negative and well… gross.   Our own house is divided… it’s crazy.  I get on facebook and see people I really love and care for spouting  the most asinine things… yucky stuff that divides and attacks – and I’m talking about both sides.  So anyway, I haven’t felt super proud of our democracy lately – it seems a bit broken.  THEN… the police shootings happened.  And at first I tried not to watch or read about it because those things make me angry and confused and I just don’t get it.  I remember after the shooting in Minnesota I happened across the facebook video that had been posted.  It was sad and scary and absolutely avoidable.  I was laying in bed that night and I asked Matt, “why did that cop shoot that guy?  There was no reason?  This wasn’t one of those cases where there is some question about right and wrong, it was clearly wrong.”  I’m always one to support the police, I have family and friends that are police officers so I wasn’t choosing a side – I was saddened that something very wrong had taken place.   Sad, sad, sad…  Cady came in a while later and said, “what’s going on in Dallas?  a bunch of cops have been shot?”  And I just kept laying there.  I couldn’t bring myself to turn on the news or get online or anything (we live in the Dallas area, so it was especially close to home for us.).  I just laid there and prayed for this crazy, wicked, broken country of ours.  The next morning I watched along with everyone else as the media broke the news of the tragedy.  My heart broke.  And again I prayed throughout the day… what I didn’t do is listen.  I just kept repeating silently, “dear God, I don’t understand.  Please be with these people who have lost their love ones.  Please help our country.  I’m scared…”  And when I was finally willing to listen God gave me an answer I didn’t ask for.  He convicted me to stop with the frantic worry, intercede in prayer for these people (the innocent and the guilty) and to listen…to just be still.  I need to quit trying to figure everything out and stop convincing people of what I think is right and just let God handle it.  Politics, unlawful shootings, terrorist attacks, I need to remember that God is much, much bigger than these things.


So that’s why I haven’t been online much lately.  I try and keep away from the negative, divisive talk and focus on other things.

And with that, on to our recent adventures.


A coworker brought me a ton of purple hull peas from their farm.  We taught Milo to shell peas and he loved it.  Sometimes the simplest of things are entertaining to littles!  I have fond memories of front porch pea shelling as kid – if you don’t, get some.

Our 10 hour road trip went pretty well this time.


I created a map for Milo so he could get an idea of where we were and how long it would take.  I think it was beneficial… Also, when all else fails, the iPad is always a winner! ha!

Cady decided that while in Missouri she would film a movie…


Matt was one of the stars.  It’s a scary mockumentary about some kids that were murdered in a cornfield back in the 70s… Matt “knew” the people so he’s being interviewed.  He really played into it.  They planted evidence and everything.


Cady is still doing final edits, I’ll have to post a link when it’s done.  I’m sure it will be hilarious and anything but scary since she interviewed a ton of family about the “corn massacre of the 70s” and they were mostly like “what the h3ll are you talking about?!” City kids…

Next up was camping in Illinois!  Ninna came with us and Milo was thrilled.  I’m pretty sure Ninna will do anything Milo tells her to so she is pretty much his favorite person.


Even Milo and Ninna went on a few short hikes with us!

She also taught him some bad language so he has recently learned what ivory soap tastes like.  Just saying.

We chose to stay at a nice cabin that was close to a lodge this time.  We knew myself, Matt and Cady would be venturing out to do some hiking/rock climbing and Milo would not be able to go.  So we picked a cute place at Giant City State Park.  They even had two pools, one was a kid pool that Milo loved – just the right size…


Our cabin.  So cute!  We will definitely stay here again.  The lodge also had a restaurant so that was super convenient.  We brought some food and then had our dinners each evening at the lodge.


The hiking in the Shawnee National forest is fantastic!







There are tons of rock cliffs.  It was amazing.  It would be really cool to go cave hiking or rock rappelling, but this girl is too sensible for all that… (scaredy cat…)


The view from our back cabin… crazy pretty, huh?!

It was a good “camping” trip.  We all enjoyed it.

I have to post this pic too… This is on a road in Illinois.  Is this not the most creepy barn ever?!  See the weird stuffed people hanging in the barn opening?  *shiver*


While back at Ninna’s house we also did all of our normal things.  We thrift shopped…


We find the BEST stuff at an antique store one town over… We go there every time we visit.

We also hung out with family and of course Milo jammed with Uncle Ted.


I have so many pics of these two jammin’.  Uncle Ted was in a band with Matt’s dad so he has lots of great music stories.

It was another successful trip to MO.  I don’t think we’ll be going back until next summer though.  I love going, but it’s a LONG time in the car.  We are hoping Matt’s mom can come down here a couple times over the next year – I mean Milo doesn’t quite know all of the bad four letter words yet.  LOL!!  Until next time, I’ll leave you with this adorable guitarist on his grandmother’s porch.


Thanks for reading and may God bless America – we need it!


A quick trip to the shore…

Semesters are ending, temps are rising, and this family is easing into summer mode.  Big exhales.  I can’t wait to “open our pool” soon and spend hot afternoons lounging on my recently purchased pizza raft. ha!

The semester for the school where I was helping to teach English recently ended.  We celebrated our graduating students this past weekend.


Of course that means that Milo’s preschool time there ended as well.  It was truly a gift to be able to work with the refugees and also for Milo to have the chance to go to school with children from different parts of the world with varying cultures.


Preschool performance…

Our local preschools and even the elementary school he will attend are very Dallas suburb with very little diversity.  I loved the time we were able to spend there.

After the graduation, Matt, Milo, and myself loaded up for a quick weekend road trip.  The Bigs had other weekend plans so it was just the three of us.  We had two missions – 1. to see the giant sand box called the beach that I had been telling Milo about 2. Visit with one of our sweet friends and her new baby!  I’m happy to report we succeeded with both.

First night on the beach…


searching for seashells…


Big Boy talks…

We were up early the next morning for breakfast and headed back out for more exploring…and sand play…and burying Daddy…



Matt can sleep anywhere…even with a bucket pillow…

After we were adequately full of sand, we headed back to our room to shower and explore other parts of the island.  Milo loved the sand so much that he was literally rolling around in it.  His ears and hair and shorts were packed with sand and he loved it!  Meanwhile, I get just a little sand on me and I immediately feel sticky and want to rinse off!

We ate a seafood lunch at one of my fave restaurants and then headed to the pier.  I committed to riding the giant Ferris Wheel and super regretted it about 5 minutes in.  I know this pic looks like I’m having fun, but that’s a lie.


I was scared to death.  And also we totally saw SHARKS swimming around when we were way up there.  I mean come on!  Heights and ocean water are two of my biggest fears!  I don’t even go in the ocean because I’m afraid of what’s in there.  I was SO happy to get off that thing…


Next we let Milo ride a few rides on his own and he fell in love with the bumper cars.  The kid is obsessed with cars anyway and has talked about bumper cars nonstop since…


After finishing up an afternoon at the pier and then doing a little shopping we headed back to our room.  We napped and then headed back out to the beach for a final sunset that evening.


Chasing birds

We were lucky to have the beach almost to ourselves the whole time we were there.  It was such a fun experience for Milo.  We have plans on heading to a beach much further from home in the future but we’ll just have to plan that when it’s possible.  For now, it was a short fun getaway for a couple of days.

And of course on the way home we stopped in and saw that new baby…and she was perfection…


In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be celebrating all three of the kids birthdays!  I can’t wait!  And also, Mother’s Day was a success as well.  We lunched at my favorite restaurant and ate loads of cheesecake and Matt waited on my all weekend (which translates to he let me take tons of naps which is my favorite hobby).


Hopefully your summer plans are shaping up and like us you are readying yourself for patio dinners and cold drinks!

Until next time – thanks for reading!



Adventures in Camping

This is the best time of year for camping.  I think I took the bigs at least twice a year every year when they were younger – it’s cheap and forces them to just play and get dirty and explore and be kids.  We took a break for a couple of years after Milo was born but now he’s old enough to enjoy the great outdoors as well.  Last year we did camp in a small cabin up in the Ozarks but it was a cabin that had…amenities…so it wasn’t quite roughing it.  I will say this, I learned several years ago that we are NOT tent campers.  I mean I’ll do it if necessary, but I enjoy the screened shelters.  You still get the same experience you just have a structure over your head.  This helps because if you have ever been camping in a tent and it rains, it is MISERABLE.  And it rains so often in the spring…

Gage has been in Kentucky for school so he wasn’t able to join us, but the rest of us packed up early on Friday afternoon last weekend and headed out.


After 10 minutes on the road…

We decided to camp at Bob Sandlin State Park this time.  It’s a nice park that isn’t too crowded.  There are several other parks in the area but this one is only about an hour and a half from our house.  It’s East and I love the piney woods of East Texas (feels like home).


We chose a cabin (screened shelter) right on the lake.  Such a great view!  Since we arrived in the evening on Friday we mostly spend time setting up camp, building a fire, grilling burgers and having smores.  I had brought dominos for us to play but Milo discovered them and they are now one of his favorite things to do.


Dominos in the dark.

The next morning we were up with the sun (thanks Milo).


I usually make a big breakfast one of the days we camp.  The rest of the days we have pop-tarts or cereal.  But the first day I knew we’d be doing lots of fishing and hiking so I made breakfast burritos.  There is something so yummy about breakfast burritos when you are camping!?  They taste extra good for some reason!  Next up… fishing.


Matt did not grow up fishing… It’s just not something he enjoys.  I, however, can remember fishing all the time as a kid.  We fished in lakes, ponds, rivers, even the ocean a few times.  We fished in bass boats, aluminum boats, from banks and from piers.  I’m not an expert, but it is definitely an activity that I am familiar with.  Matt was a champ though, and I think he may have even liked it a little.  I’ve taken the older kids fishing a few times, but not that much.  We have all the equipment but for some reason we just don’t go often.  Well, Milo has been begging to go fishing lately.  We frequent our local nature preserve and he always sees people fishing there, I think that’s where he got the idea.  This particular state park that we camped at is not only on a lake, but also has several stocked ponds along trails. We were told that we had pretty much 100% chance of catching something but…we mostly just fed the fish all the worms off our hooks! ha!

After our first attempt at fishing, we decided to hike for a bit.


We can’t go too far with a 3 year old, but he’s good for a couple of miles.  We stop for lots of snacks and to study every flower, rock and stick that seems interesting. 😉  We headed back to camp after our mini-hike for lunch.  I am always hungry when I go camping?  Maybe it’s all the fresh air…  We made sandwiches and worked on a scavenger hunt.


These two decided to hang out in the hammock and Cady and I decided to embark on a longer more difficult hiking trail…


in our cute camp socks…


We hiked for several miles and saw some beautiful parts of the forest.


pic on left…there was a huge section of the trail that weaved thru all that beautiful foliage, Cady kept saying, “it’s like being in a fairy tale movie!”


Cady taking a few pics…

At the end of the hiking trail…


And a random pic of a dropped “goldfish” – not sure why we thought it was so funny – maybe we were delirious.


When Cady and I got back to camp, we found the boys were pretty bored and Matt admitted he was in need of some caffeine. hahahaha!  We decided to take a drive and grab him a coke and get more bait while we were out.  Bob Sandlin State Park is surrounded my some pretty country and several farms.  We drove down a few dirt roads and even found some polite horses to chat with.


That evening we made frito pies and more smores.  Cady and Matt lit everything they could find on fire because they are irresponsible and like to see things explode.  (lol)

Next day we were up and ready and determined to catch a fish… well, some of us were up…


“Some people” slept in a bit while Milo and I ate cereal and enjoyed the early morning.  Eventually, we all made it back to the pond though.


See that little bag that Milo is carrying?  It’s full of his matchbox cars.  I think he may have been over the whole “I love fishing thing”, so he brought alternate forms of entertainment.


We gave it a good try though and caught ZERO fish.  Again, we got tons of bites, but I think those fish must have been super smart.  They knew how to eat the bait right off our lines.  humph.

Once we decided we weren’t going to catch any fish this trip, we headed back to camp to pack up.  We stopped off one more time for a family hike…


And then headed back to the city.  And yes, we totally stopped at the nearest Sonic for fries and shakes!  I love getting away for quick weekends in the woods.  I also love coming home.

I just booked our next camping trip for the end of June.  We are actually road-tripping to Illinois to camp in the Shawnee National Forest.  We’ll have Matt’s mom with us so I chose a cottage type place that has access to a lodge for meals, etc.  The hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding is supposed to be crazy good though!  Can’t wait!

Thanks for reading,



Happy Sweet Twenty Sixteen

So a new year…  Freak!   Time goes by fast.  Matt and I decided a few weeks ago to head up to his hometown in Missouri for a few days after Christmas.  His mom was originally going to come here but due to some health issues was not able to make the trip.  So we loaded up and embarked on the 10 hour drive.  The big kids already had their own plans for New Year’s Eve so it was just Milo tagging along with us.  I will say that he is getting better at this road trip thing.  Movies and snacks are the key…


He doesn’t like to sleep in the car so that complicates things a bit.  What kid doesn’t sleep in the car?!  I still fall asleep on long road trips…but not this kid!

Once we arrived at Ninna’s, Milo was in heaven.  She had several gifts for him (this is a big deal when you’ve been told Christmas is over…) and he got lots of attention – his favorite thing.

play Collage

that plastic campfire must put off some serious heat…

We spent a lot of time going to the park and taking walks.  It was COLD while we were there but we were determined to get out and do things.  No snow, but some days it barely got out of the 20s.  (thermals are your friend in those kinds of temps!)


For New Year’s Eve, Matt and I headed to the local Legion Hall to see the Welter Four band.  The Welter Four is a band that has been performing together for 40+ years and also…they are all Matt’s uncles.  LOL!  I’ve been wanting to see them since Matt told me about them years ago, so NYE was the perfect opportunity.  It was actually a dinner/dance event.  And it was mostly people over 75.  And the dinner was a potluck with homemade dishes that all the little old ladies had brought in – think fried chicken, deviled eggs, casseroles, pecan pie.


It was super fun and great to see some of Matt’s fam.  The senior citizens were adorable and several came up to us and talked for a bit.  They danced every single song – I can’t believe the energy they had!  Not one time did they sit around at their table with their face in their iPhone…those people know how to have a good time!

One of the days we headed out to one of the local theaters to see Star Wars again.  This is the same theater that Matt saw the original Star Wars in when he was just a kid – almost 40 years ago!


I thought it would be fun to see it again in the same theater.  And apparently we were just in time because I guess it’s being torn down as a new one is going up just down the road.

It’s always a little sad to leave Ninna’s because Milo enjoys it so much.


First pic is Milo taking a serious nap after some serious play…He is not even on his blow-up mattress and his bottom half is under the other bed in the room!

And I always dread the drive home because the drive home from somewhere is never as easy as the drive there…


first pic is me telling Milo we still had 2 hours to go… second is when we turned into our neighborhood – woo-hoo!

Mostly I think about all the laundry and junk that will have to be done after spending a whole day trapped in the car.  At least this time I didn’t have to dread going back to work after being on vacation!  So that’s what we did to ring in the New Year.  I’m not really a resolution person but I’ve got a few things I’d like to accomplish this year – don’t we all?

One last thing, I’m taking part in a 52 week Photography challenge this year.  I’m so impressed with the others in the group – they are real artists.  Each week there is a theme.  Week one was “set your camera’s self timer and take a self portrait”.  I’m excited about the challenge and excited to be part of a group that has so much photog knowledge.  I’m hoping to learn some good tips on using the REAL camera.  I take 95% of our pics with an iPhone but would love to get better on the DLSR.  I have a feeling my pics this year will be a mixture of both.


Happy New Year and thanks for reading!


A trip to South Louisiana – Gage’s college graduation!

Remember last week when I said I’d have pics up of the makeover in the guest room to Gage’s room?  Well, we finished everything on Sunday and I planned to take pics on Monday.  But guess what?  Gage surprised us and drove up early!  With a car load of his stuff…  We had originally planned to just meet him in Baton Rouge before his graduation and then caravan back with a u-haul.  But he finished school more than a week before graduation and had nothing to do so he came home!

Trying on "the robe"

Trying on “the robe”

That’s great, but unfortunately I did not get any photos of the room all finished and pretty.  It’s full of his college stuff now and we are trying to find spots for everything.  Anyway – moving on to the point of this post.  Last week we headed down to South Louisiana for a few days to celebrate Gage and his latest accomplishment.  I lived in Louisiana for years, so I’m familiar with the area but Matt and Cady had never been!  We drove the 7 hours to Baton Rouge all packed in the car.


The drive wasn’t too bad.  We switched places a few times and stopped often.  We arrived in BR Thursday afternoon and checked into our hotel.  It was RIGHT on the Mississippi river and so nice (L’auberge).  Milo loved the window!


The price was reasonable (we were there during the week) and it had several nice amenities (rooftop pool/bar, TV’s in the mirror, huge walk in rain shower…).  We met a bunch of family for dinner and then the next morning headed to graduation!


I was SO proud!  Big name on the screen up there!




After all the graduation celebrating and lunch after, we got on the road to New Orleans.  It’s about 1.5 hours away… We checked into our hotel and then immediately headed out to explore.  Our hotel was right in the heart of the French Quarter so we were able to walk everywhere!


Riverfront… I love this pic because you can see Gage, Cady & Matt sitting on the wall in the background.

It was SO hot and humid!  In most of our pics we are a little sweaty…



Hanging on Magazine Street!


Alyssa drove down that night (she also graduated!) and we all headed out to dinner at a little restaurant called Liuzza’s.  It’s a total dive (like the kind of place that only takes cash) but the food was YUMMY and authentic!  We had gumbo and po’boys and shrimp and red beans and rice – the whole gamut of Cajun food.  And Matt taught Cady how to use a juke box.


The next morning we were up pretty early because…well…Milo gets up early.  Matt claimed our room didn’t have black out curtains (Milo always sleeps with blackout curtains or he’ll be up at dawn…).  The room DID have black out curtains but it was too late at that point.  Luckily the big kids were in their own room.


We got dressed and decided to forego the $15 hotel breakfast buffet and instead found a small local grocer where we could get breakfast bars and snacks.

fun artsy pic of us walking around early that morning.

fun artsy pic of us walking around early that morning.

Once the big kids were up – and I was adequately caffeinated – we grabbed a bus (the street cars were under construction) and headed to the Garden District.  I had really been looking forward to riding the streetcar, but it was ok.  Milo loved the bus, plus it had AC!


We walked the aisles of Lafayette Cemetery.  It’s an odd feeling being around all those above ground century old graves.  Creepy a bit…


We were pretty drenched in sweat by this time so we found a small café and grabbed lunch.  After lunch we did a little antiquing.  Again, enjoying some much needed AC.


After naps (Milo…ok, all of us…) we ventured over to Bourbon Street.



We saw/heard/smelled more than we ever needed to… LOTS of drunk people… Lots of stench… and maybe even some bewbs. hahahaha  I think Bourbon Street is something to be experienced but it is certainly not the pretty part of N.O.  We grabbed a few hurricanes and made our way to a few different streets.

This is more like the pretty N.O. that I like.

This is more like the pretty N.O. that I like.


Jackson Square

That evening Cady babysat Milo so that Matt, Gage, Alyssa and I could have a late dinner at a yummy restaurant called Domenica at the Roosevelt hotel.  The next morning we were up early to try and get a spot at Café Du Monde.  You HAVE to go when you are a tourist in the Big Easy.


I'm sure Cady appreciates me taking this pic of her with her mouth full!

I’m sure Cady appreciates me taking this pic of her with her mouth full!

After breakfast, we packed up, said good bye to Alyssa (she’s staying in S. Louisiana for her grad work and internship) and drove the long road home.  It was a great trip and we are so proud of Gage.  I’m looking forward to having him home for the next year!

Summer 2015 Road Trip Part 2 – Visit to Missouri

When I left off on my last post, we had finished camping and were headed to see Matt’s mom.  We always have a great time hanging out and laughing with Ninna (what Milo calls her).  Mostly we hung around the house…

I spy a tantrum... and it's not Matt this time.

I spy a tantrum… and it’s not Matt this time.



But we did head out a few times to visit family and have some fun.

Matt and I went antiquing one day…

I so wanted to buy this...

I so wanted to buy this…

I sent this pic to Cady because she loves going thrifting/antiquing and I asked if she wanted me to pick this creepy little guy up for her…

she said "no" btw...

she said “no” btw…

Friday night we headed out to have dinner with some family (at Boomland – a fireworks superstore that has a cafe inside) and then a mini class reunion for Matt (30 years…he’s old).

Dinner with Fam!  Look at all that healthy food! :)

Dinner with Fam! Look at all that healthy food! 🙂

After dinner with the fam (and purchasing a sh*t load of fireworks), we scooted over to the local bowling alley to meet up with Matt’s high school buds.  We found out AFTER we arrived that it was no longer a bowling alley and only a bar.  #ParentingFail

Matt's mc'ing at the front.

Matt’s mc’ing at the front.

Class of '85 - woot woot!

Class of ’85 – woot woot!

Milo also got to spend some quality time playing pool with uncle Ted…


When we had our fill of Budweiser and second hand smoke, we headed back home.  It was fun to meet a bunch of Matt’s old friends and listen to stories.  I think they had a great time with karaoke and dancing as well.

Saturday was Fourth of July and it was a blast of course (pun intended… those Welter boys seriously know how to put on a fireworks show).

Living in Dallas, we rarely get to see family.  It’s nice for us to be able catch up with everyone and Milo gets LOTS of cousin time.

Chasing goats…


Feeding goats… (the goats were a hit)


Chasing fireworks… (The uncles always get a bunch of pre-fireworks that the kids get to participate in.  Generally parachute things that blow up and float down.)


Blowing bubbles…


Riding on…I don’t know what this is called… a country golf cart? ha!

hanging with Uncle John!

hanging with Uncle John!

And of course sparklers…


And an amazing fireworks show!

Fireworks at Uncle Murphy's

Fireworks at Uncle Murphy’s

Of course we had a fantastic time and were sad to leave, but we were also feeling pretty tired by the end of our week long adventure.

We hit 7 states over the span of a week…

Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas and back home to Texas!

Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas and back home to Texas!

It was a great trip – can’t wait to do it again next summer!