Friday, July 30, 2010

This time last week...

...the man, the girl and I were tubing on the Guadalupe after having a nice lunch at the Gristmill...

...I was freezing in the water of the Guadalupe...

...I received a nice gash on my knee while trying to walk in water shoes...

...water shoes were not my friend...

...I was amazed by the beauty of God's creation...yet again...

...I was feeling very blessed...

...this was my view...

...and I L-O-V-E-D it...

...I was wondering if Houdini (aka Bo) was actually still in the room or if he had gone visiting yet again...

...I was enjoying one trip while dreaming of the next to come (8 days on the beach - woo hoo!)...

...I was wondering just how many calories one could burn while wading and paddling through the water...

...while also contemplating pizza and chocolate for dinner...

...I figured out that I'm now both limber enough and have lost enough weight to fold my legs inside of the tube...

...the activity of which convinced my man for a short period of time that I was simply going to fall out of my tube while attempting this feat...

...I was thinking "this time next week it will be Dave's birthday"...

So, today - July 30 - I'm celebrating my man. 

He is my rock, 
my protector, 
my partner in crime, 
my comic relief,
my Tonto,
my girl's "Davey,"
my partner in parenting,
one of my most amazing blessings,
my workout buddy,
my cowboy,
my practical voice in any situation,
and
my best friend.

I love you more than I thought possible, sugar plum (he just LOVES it when I call him that, y'all ;-), and I can't wait to see what kind of exciting year is in store.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Four Legged Fugitive

Last week we took a brief trip to New Braunfels to do some tubing and just rest. This summer has been really busy and, honestly, I'm loving it but it's nice to just get away once in a while. It's particularly nice to get away now that my man is able to do so without constant and unrelenting knee pain. Though his knee is still not fully healed, he is much better shape than he was this time last year and for that I am VERY grateful.

Moving on to the story at hand...because of some special issues that Bo has these days (bless their hearts - even canines suffer from these afflictions, too), we decided to take him along. Though he will be 8 years old in November and is truly one of our babies, this was the first time Bo had traveled with us on a vacation of any type. Though he and the girls were very confused at being separated, he was more than happy to continue on their journey after the girls were deposited at my brother-in-law's house.

After an uneventful drive (thank you, Lord, for giving someone the foresight to build a toll road around Austin), we arrived two hours before check-in but the hotel already had a room ready (on the first floor, right down the hall from the lobby) so we jumped on the chance to check in early so we could hit the river.

But first, because she was feeling generous and I'm not one to pass up a photo op, I snapped a pic of my girl...
...while the boys chilled on their bed (yes, I was asked to sleep with Tay so they could 
"have some space")...
We then changed and headed down to the Guadalupe and took in a medium float. We had the best time and one thing I never want to forget is the look on my girl's face when she first stepped foot into the river. She clearly did not realize how cold the water would be - can you say HILARIOUS?

She flipped in and out of her tube, got stuck on one of the dams, marveled at the ducks and just flat out entertained us for several hours in the water. The man and I had some time to visit and take in the beauty of the canyon (Side note: Lord, your work continues to amaze me. Wow!) without the every day distractions that seem never to end.

I truly felt that all was well with the world and was just flat out feeling blessed as we drove back to the hotel to get dressed for dinner. And then, in true Bowers family fashion, something both hysterical and most unexpected happened.

You see, as we rounded the corner to the hotel room, there was obviously something in front of the door. Turned out it was a laundry cart that was attached to the door  frame with bungee cords. A barricade, if you will. And there was a note on the door. As my husband read it, all of the color drained out of his face...
Apparently someone (whose name is Bo) opened the door and was sniffing the halls when he realized that he could go outside via the automatic doors in the lobby. And he did.

Subsequently, my understanding is that the entire housekeeping and front desk staff of the hotel united to lure the big guy back into the room. While they were then standing outside of the door trying to figure out how to best keep him inside, he opened the door again as if to say, "Are you talking about me?"

The staff was so very nice and we greatly appreciate their rescuing Bo from being run over in the parking lot. They were very helpful and pointed us to the nearest pet store where Davey made a special purchase while we got dressed for dinner...
I'd like you to know that the purchase not only helped us to avoid further escapes but also provided major entertainment for a certain 10-year-old who is mortified that I put this picture "on the internet."
After dinner at Chili's (it was right across the parking lot and, quite frankly, why go somewhere new to eat on vacation when you can enjoy an old standby), we enjoyed what may have been the best dessert ever in the history of mankind.

Why, you ask? Because it was Super Bowl Champion Saints candy. Oh yes, my friends, you did read that correctly...
Someone who could be alternatively deemed "too smart for his own good" did not escape for the remainder of the trip but he was deemed "Houdini" and "the magic man" by the staff. There were also a number of other pet owners who thought he could "possibly be the smartest dog ever."

To make a long story short, I was very glad Dave was the one to take him out throughout our stay because, to put it mildly, he was famous. Everyone knew who he was and they all stopped to chat. Or so I heard...
We went tubing on Friday as well and, because we were worn out from the rapids on the horseshoe, we ordered pizza. At this point I'll just say that I may or may not have some cuts and scrapes on my knee due to a run in with a underwater rock that was less than friendly...
We enjoyed some cuddle time...
...and I admired this chair repeatedly because it would look fantastic in my bedroom at home...
No, it did not make the trip back with us. Of course, that could be because there was now a giant kennel box that took up most of the room in my ol' Trailblazer. I guess it is true about the good Lord taking card of us in every situation, huh? :-)

We took a little detour on the way home - Landa Park - so Bo could experience the river. There I actually took some photos that are more interesting. But, because I've never passed on the opportunity to draw a story out, I'll hold onto those until tomorrow, y'all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

G-Man

It's really such a shame....
...our recent houseguest was so shy...
...and really didn't feel comfortable enough...
...to make himself at home...
...every minute...
...of every hour...
...of every day...
...continuous motion, if you will...
...or lack thereof...
:-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gruene

Happy Monday, y'all!

Yes, we're back from our little tubing trip to New Braunfels. We had so much fun and had one unexpected experience with Bo that was wildly entertaining to everyone in the hotel, our friends and family, and the pet store owner from whom we had to buy a kennel late in the evening.

I'll save all of those stories for another time, though, as I'm a wee bit busy today.

On Friday afternoon we took a little detour over to Gruene where we had lunch at the Gristmill. It was absolutely delicious. My man had a burger and I had a grilled chicken sandwich (Tay had a turkey sandwich in case that's an important detail) and we decided to split them, each having half.

I tell you this only because as I bit into the burger and it dripped down my chin, I told my man that it was fantastic but a bit on the greasy side. To which he replied, in true cowboy fashion, "Baby, you're in Texas. That's what we call juicy."

Consider me schooled :-)

I also learned, a bit too late, that there is no air conditioning in Gruene. Not even in 100 degree July temps. I thought that particular type of torture had been outlawed but I stand corrected.

Below you'll find our trip in pictures - and I'll be back tomorrow with the story of the four legged fugitive. Until then, stay cool, my friends!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

KRT - Salvation

On our last night of Kingdom Road Trip we talked about salvation and visited the Waco Water Park. That just makes sense, right? Let me tell you now that these kiddos were excited with a capital "E" and were more than happy to let any and all within earshot know about their EXCITEMENT.

So after a quick lesson, we headed out on the buses and began our visit with a little chat from Brother Billy about what being baptized is all about. 

Then we got down to business because what's the point of being near a large body of water if you can't baptize someone, right? 
Of course, our fun was a bit short-lived because, well, I think the picture will tell the story...
A giant storm blew in right after the baptisms that dumped buckets - and I do mean BUCKETS - of water down on us in approximately .00001 seconds. I can attest to this because I was, in fact, running (go ahead and laugh at that mental image) to the bus to take cover.

In fact, I'd venture to guess you have never seen me move quite that quickly before. It poured and, if that wasn't exciting enough, about half of the kiddos had gone home with their parents while the others were on the bus with us. Can you spell C-O-N-F-U-S-I-N-G?

After a few roll calls, though, we headed back to the church. And it continued to pour the entire way.
Quite frankly, I thought it was testament to His goodness that the rain had held off up until that point. And, because of the weather, we were able to reschedule and the entire church enjoyed an evening at the water park on Sunday. I can't show you photographic evidence because my child spend the entire two hours going down one slide or another while I visited with my girlfriends. 

It was, in fact, heaven and it was so good to have a chance to catch up because this summer has been quite chaotic. Good times, for sure, but Momma needs a nap, y'all!

I would like to apologize for a lack of wit and sass in this post but, as my dogs can testify, I woke up this morning with a crazy sinus headache that caused crazy dizziness as soon as I stood up and tried to blow my nose. I did, in fact, have to brace myself on the bedpost. And I would venture to guess - from the interesting looks I got from the 4-legged folks - that the canines in my home have NEVER thought I was crazier.

Like I said, good times...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Birthday by Taylor

So today is my 32nd birthday. As someone who truly believes life didn't begin in earnest until 30 (or perhaps that's just when I finally grew up?), I feel like a mere toddler. :-)

Of course, sometimes I also look like one with my crazy curly hair.

But I digress.

Anyway, we actually celebrated my birthday last week before my parents headed to Louisiana to be with my grandmother. Miss Tay gave me an awesome vase with a heart on it (She insists that every present for me have a heart on it because "hearts mean I love you." Started this when she was 2 years old - isn't she awesome?) My parents gave me a great Fostoria vase (a birthday staple), a great new necklace and an awesome purse.

So, basically, score!

My girl also designed a birthday cake for me. It's from my absolute favorite bakery, Ye Olde English in Temple, and it was heavenly. I do wish, though, that the child was willing to incorporate a bit more color into her original designs...

She literally changed the entire order two or three times. There were a number of covert calls between Miss Thang and Nana in the days leading up to the big celebration. And I'm relatively certain I've never loved a baked good more.

We have, of course, eaten all of said baked good by now. Hey - that was almost a week ago, after all. So we're planning to hit up Bahama Bucks for birthday cake sno cones this evening. And then I'm going to have to be good again because we're heading on a little trip later this week that involves a swimsuit.

I know - it was hard for me to process as well. I've almost come to terms with the process, though. If you think about it, a prayer for onlookers might be in order. :-)

Over the weekend Tay and I checked out Despicable Me and it was really good. Great redemption and adoption story - K-Love was right on with the review of this movie. It got four thumbs up from us. 

We also added a new member to our family via Build-a-Bear. I'm not sure exactly what it means when you're such a good customer that they send you coupons for free bears. It could be that they audited our account and saw that we have quite a penchant for accessories. I can assure you that we did indeed spend more on outfitting Cuddles (who is pink I'll have you know - it's almost like I don't even know my child these days) in a dress, sandals and matching headband.

Best of all, the girl informed me that if I can find a fuschia headband with a big flower on it just like the one Cuddles in sporting, she will wear it. I repeat - THE CHILD HAS AGREED TO WEAR A HEADBAND. AND SHE ASKED THAT IT BE PINK.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to do a bit of shopping... :-)

Happy Monday, y'all!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kingdom Road Trip - Jesus

As we continue our adventures through Kingdom Road Trip, may I introduce you to one of my favorite images from my amateur series?

Not because I actually think this is Jesus, though the visual did have a big impact on the kiddos, but because that's just how I picture Him. Waiting. Totally unassuming. Just biding time until I figure out once again that I can't do it alone.
Clearly the class had an awesome lesson on our third evening of study. It was so much fun to hang out at Cameron Park because, honestly, I just forget it's there so we don't visit much as a family.
It is a beautiful setting, though, and has lots of places for kids of this age to run, jump and play while adults of my age reminisce about the time when such activity didn't have repercussions the next morning.

But I digress...
There was kickball...and where's there's a ball and a passel of third graders, there must be an injury, right? Thankfully it was a minor one and the game resumed with only a minor delay...
This was the BIG night, at least where VBS is concerned. Quite frankly, I can't imagine anything being more important than children hearing the Gospel. There are a number of frightening statistics I've recently read that only underscore the need for people to hear the Good News early in life. 

The focus our church - and staff - have on children is only one of the many reasons I love Brazos Meadows but let me assure you it is a BIG one. :-)
And because you'd still be wrong if you think I gave up on trying to capture images of my girl (I was literally sneaking around and hiding at this point - it was pitiful), I present you with the only one that captured her from the front. 

I will also admit that, at this point in the week, I was exhausted so I let her wear whatever she wanted that evening. Unfortunately, I didn't realize until we got to church that the child had obviously chosen comfort over fashion and was the poster kid for a ragamuffin.
Note to self: Ten year olds don't care - AT ALL - to be called ragamuffins.
We also had a fun craft/snack this evening as we fashioned tombs out of pink snowballs (can I just admit that I'd never tasted one of these before and my life has not been the same since - what was I 
waiting for?!?!?)

This one cracked me up :-)
There was, of course, some singing and dancing going on again. What struck me is that the further along we got in the week, the more moves our music minister, Paul, broke out. As you can tell from the three holdouts on the left, not all were comfortable expressing their inner chicken in such a public venue...
We once again barely missed the storm (and hitting a truck but that's a totally different story) as we were  leaving but, as only Jesus can, He timed it just right...

And on this note, I will bid farewell to what has been a very, very rough week on a number of fronts. I'm happy to report that my grandmother is now home and doing much better. My parents are with her so Gilbert is once again hanging at our house. Actually he's just hanging out in Tay's room as he apparently has an affinity for animated Disney movies. Who knew?

It's Dave's weekend to work so the girl and I are going to see Despicable Me in 3D tomorrow before heading to a church outing at the Waco Water Park on Sunday. In between I'm hoping to put the finishing touches on the repainted/redecorated hallway and begin painting the girl's bathroom.

I have lofty goals...some may or may not be fulfilled this weekend but I can assure you that a birthday cake sno cone from Bahama Bucks will fit in the picture at some point. They are highly addictive and, given that my actual birthday is on Monday, I think it's well deserved. :-)

Hope you have a fab weekend as well!