Monday, June 23, 2014


Last week was unusually quiet in our house because Taylor was with her youth group in West on a mission trip. She spent the week painting again like she did last year. Which I'm thinking means she can totally help next time I get the urge to repaint a room. She should be a pro by now, right? :)

Because they couldn't take their phones to the work sites, she was incommunicado for most of the week. Where I was concerned anyway. I understand the boyfriend (yes, there is a boyfriend) got a bit more attention than mom. Which is, I suppose, par for the course at this point.

I had to laugh one night when I saw this pic posted on FB. Because not only does she look WORN FLAT OUT but I had been waiting for a return text for hours. And her phone is in her hand. I did finally get a response the next day. Baby steps...

She had an amazing week doing some much needed work for the folks in West. Could not be more proud of her and her heart for others. Was also so happy to have her home on Saturday morning. While I had expected her to immediately come in and fall asleep - in a foul mood - I was pleasantly surprised with a super chatty girl who didn't crash until 4pm. 

A lot of time has also been spent lately (and more this week) with Dottie the heifer. She makes her show debut next week. We are really just trying to get both Dottie and Taylor feeling more comfortable in the show ring and get a little experience under their belts...but it's still a big deal. :)

Yesterday was full of anticipation because Maw Maw was on her way from Louisiana to meet Tiny. As you can see, they decided they loved each other immediately. A couple hours of laughing around my mom's dining table with my sweet fam was just what this girl needed. And more of the same is coming in the next few days. Cannot. Wait.

This morning as I was packing the diaper bag, I looked over and saw Tiny doing some early morning exercise moves. She did this for about 10 minutes (concentrating on the core, from all appearances) and then passed out spread eagle. Which is how I feel after workouts a lot of the time. I'm not gonna lie. 

Here's to happy Monday and a good (I hope) week to come. :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Remember the Alamo...and such...

So we all know by now that I'm not a Texan. Granted, I've been here long enough that most people would consider me one but this girl still has Louisiana roots. And always will. But I have also learned through the years that all good Texans MUST visit the Alamo when in San Antonio. It does not matter that it looks the same every single time or even - as Taylor pointed out - that "y'all lost that battle anyway." 

It's still a MUST.

Also, I guess Taylor doesn't find being born in this state reason enough to put herself into that group. It causes Tonto great angst, I can assure you.

But, all those things aside, there were Alamo pics...

...and river walk pics...

...and some Alamo selfies...

...and more riverwalk pics...

...and then we finally realized the sky was turning dark - like pitch black - all around us. Which we only realized when it started raining and we looked up. After two days at theme parks we were clearly fried. :)

So, instead of a morning spend perusing shops for random souvenirs (which is kind of a special kind of hell for me, personally), the girls grabbed cute t-shirts from Joe's Crab Shack and we headed home. In a downpour. Also, the interstate in San Antonio DOES NOT drain, y'all. We drove through standing water for a looooong time. 

But the rain didn't change anything about our weekend being super fun. And these two - along with the  tiny one not pictured - gave us some amazing kickoff to summer memories. :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Putting the Fiesta in Texas

After our day long adventure at Sea World (and yummy dinner at Genghis Grill...somewhere I'd never been), we basically all passed out. And then got up relatively early the next morning to head to Fiesta Texas. Because we're certainly not ones to be in a city with more than one theme park and not hit at least two.

Seriously. We might need help.

Unfortunately, when we got to Fiesta Texas, it started storming. So we sat in the car for a while and hoped it would stop. It finally let up so we headed inside. And we rode, like, four rides before realizing a GINORMOUS cell was headed our way. Not willing to be miserable and wet all day for the cause of rollercoasters, we did what most sane people do - grabbed McDonald's and headed to the hotel pool. :)

It was Tiny's first time and, y'all, she LOOOOVED it. This girl loves the water. In fact, bath time might be her favorite part of the day. So this was right up her alley.

And Tonto's...

...and Taylor's...

...and sweet E's as well.

And, because the San Antonio allergens were working overtime, sweet girl not only spent some time having to inhale steam from the hot tub but also getting breathing treatments. It's tough living with a respiratory dude sometimes. You can't get away with not treating snotty issues. Which is a good thing. :)

After a nap and some R&R, we decided to head back to the park. And apparently 5pm after a rainstorm is THE TIME to ride, friends. There were NO lines.

I'm a total adrenaline junkie. And so was T's friend. T? Not so much.

But she is good for amusing photo ops.

Seriously...the duck lips?

One of the funniest things ever happened on this here ride. Y'all. I've been riding this with my girl for a couple of years. She's always hesitant to get on it but generally loves the outcome. But this was a different experience. For instance, she got strapped in and immediately said "guy, I don't want to do this anymore." Well, it was too late.

Between her screaming "just go ahead and kill me now, y'all" at the top and later DEMANDING the worker below (who was laughing hysterically) PUT HER DOWN, I could not stop laughing. And before you think I'm a terrible mother, she was laughing at herself as well. She's also decided any and all rides involving a tower are dead to her. Well...alrighty then.

Superman was, as always, a crowd favorite.

And after getting too hot, someone needed a multitasking break, which included Powerade and her phone. This one's allllll teenager at this point. Obviously.

We ended our day with a few more rides but none could hold a candle to the newly redone Rattler. Y'all. I swore this one off YEARS ago after an unfortunate incident with my dad and a fractured elbow. Mine, not his. But he had some fault there, let me assure you. :)

And when we went a few years ago, I write it off again because it was so rough that it was unrideable. But now it's an iron coaster. With a dry ice tunnel. And it's the best ride in the park. So much so that we rode it twice. 

Hardcore, huh?

And what I thought was going to be a washed out waste of a day turned into one of the most fun I've had in a long time. Isn't that always the way? :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dia Del Sea World

So weekend before last - as soon as the girl finished up her 8th grade finals - we hit the road for a mini vacay to San Antonio. Kicking off the summer this way has kind of become a tradition and the timing was perfect because Baylor was hosting Diadeloso at Sea World that weekend, which meant a super good deal on tickets. :)

And it also means that we made a 3-hour drive with a baby who abhors the carseat. She was really pretty good, though, until the last 30 minutes. Stop and go traffic did NOT help in case anyone was wondering. I sort of wanted to tear up myself. 

But I didn't. And we eventually made it to our hotel and headed to happy hour in the lobby for some refreshments with friends who were meeting us in SA. And then we all went to dinner at Texas Land and Cattle. Which is where grilled asparagus and I fell head over heels in love. We've seen each other again since. And the second time was just as amazing.

But I digress...

Anyway...the next morning we headed to Sea World and, after some annoying issues getting info about tickets and a tour we had purchased, we set about the business of seeing some animals. Starting with the dolphins and the aquarium. We then hit the backside of the park (before it got crowded) for the rollercoasters and penguins. Which led us right into the Baylor picnic lunch time.

Clearly Baby S was thrilled. She just wanted to eat and sleep.

Ok, mostly sleep...

...but we finally headed to our first show - our favorite is the sea lion/walrus/otter performance - and...

...after suffering through the pre-show...

...they had technical difficulties and had to cancel the show. This would be the extent we saw Seymour.

Aren't they cute?

Anyway, the good news is that the tour we had secured was for the sea lions so we got to hear about them from the trainers...

...take a pic with ol' Seymour (what you can't see is that he's smiling - it was hilarious)...

...and feed the little (big) rascals...

...or at least the ones who weren't catching some rays.

On a related note, I wanna be this guy. Cruising around holding onto a sea lion.

Once we wrapped up the tour, we met our friends over at Azul where the baby decided, "hey, this looks FUN!" Seriously. She was mesmerized by the bright colors and the dolphins.

I'm still a sucker for a good beluga, though.

And, of course, we had to see the star of the show - Shamu! And his six best friends who look just like him! Hands down the best orca show I've seen at Sea World. No kidding.

And this guy was GINORMOUS, friends. Watching him do flips in the pool was like watching the law of gravity just disintegrate before our very eyes.

And to say someone was mesmerized by Shamu and all the lights would be the understatement of the century, friends. She LOOOOOOVED it!!! 

And so did the big girls. Such. Sweet. Memories. :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

End of an Era

Y'all. I don't even know how to begin this post because I honestly cannot believe that the school year is coming to a close tomorrow. Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased as punch about it because, well, Mama needs a BREAK. (Why didn't anyone tell me being the parent of a teen is EXHAUSTING?) But, still, it sort of feels like I just sent my girl off to begin the 8th grade (with a tiny bit of leftover summer sunburn) and here she is about to cross over a threshold of which there is no return - HIGH SCHOOL.

And I've got to admit, as much as I loathed 7th grade (it really almost did me in, friends), this year was one that was (mostly) fun and fascinating. I've caught myself more than a few times looking at Taylor and wondering when in the heck she became almost grown. And how in the world (with all the major mistakes I made as a parent) she became such a thoughtful, bright, compassionate and - this was surprises me most because I remember myself at 14 - LOGICAL human being.

She and her friends (both girl and boy) bring us such JOY and the way she has adjusted to a baby being thrown into the mix on a moment's notice has made me more proud that I can possibly express. She is not like her Type A, everything must have a place mother. Not even a little bit. She rolls with the punches, could care less if her laundry ever gets put up, and lives to have fun and just soak up life. With as little drama as possible. In fact, the girl really doesn't tolerate drama. She just removes those folks from her life.

Oh, to have had that type of perspective at her age, y'all. It would have saved me a million tears and a whole lot of heartache.

This girl is my beautiful baby. And always will be. She amazes and challenges me. Daily. And have we discussed how funny she is? Because she's HILARIOUS.

There are a lot of stories about her that I keep off the interwebz these days because they are hers to tell. And I try, for the most part, to respect that growing up process. While it makes me sad on one hand to see her join the ranks of the high schoolers because it means her time at home is way too quickly coming to an end, I also love who she is and cannot wait to see what's in store for my bright eyed beauty.

Right after we have a summer full of camps, swimming pools, theme parks, beaches and FUN. :-)