Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Monstrously Good Time

My sweet girl turned 15 in what seemed the blink of an eye. Unfortunately for her, she was in the process of coming down with a nasty throat infection (not strep but still a yucky infection) and couldn't even eat her cupcake on the big day. Although she did manage to halfway enjoy lunch at Red Lobster with the entire family - both my side and Dave's. :)

She spent the next day at home with me, getting antibiotics, eating soup and was finally able to enjoy said cupcake late afternoon the following day. Better late than never, right? Thankfully, she rebounded relatively quickly and was able to attend school the following day.

Which was a good thing because her big birthday trip was scheduled for the next weekend...

My girl has been wanting to attend Fright Fest at Six Flags for YEARS. Not even kidding. How I gave birth to a child who loves all things scary and even laughs through horror movies, I do not know, y'all. But this is what she wanted and after coordinating the schedules of four teenagers (no easy task at all), we headed out last Sunday. Which meant I was the only adult. :)

Taylor had promised me they would be really good and, honestly, I could not have asked for them to be better behaved. They are all great kids and I had the best time walking all over the park, waiting lines and riding every roller coaster (except Titan, which kept shutting down) even though - unbeknownst to me beforehand - it was World Youth Day.

The park was decked out and I honestly have no idea how many spider webs we saw throughout the day.

And my girl even took a pic with me! This was LATE in the day, y'all. So be kind about the worn out appearance. :)

This was also late...about the time I realized that my "hard core theme parker" baton needs to be passed. I'm just not as young as I used to be.

We never actually rode this but it's a cool pic, huh?

More decorations...the ones in the Spain and Mexico sections were much more festive. :)

Such a cute group pic.

Picturesque as the sun went down...

...and the zombies came out. This pic makes me laugh because these girls WON the confrontation. In fact, he finally walked away from them. You can't out talk Taylor and Em. :)

And just because this isn't a pic I thought would EVER conclude a birthday party post...

After a quick dinner at Whataburger, we set out for Waco. It turned out to be a much longer trip due to traffic. Some of the kiddos got hyper and others - like mine - was just DONE and wanted to sleep. That's. My. Girl. 

It was such fun day and Taylor got to check something off her bucket list. Which is what 15th birthdays are all about, right? :)

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Monday, October 20, 2014

McLane Stadium, Part Deux

Because we didn't attend the second home game of the season, our return trip to the Palace on the Brazos occurred when the Horned Frogs came to town. My stance on this particular school, its fans, coaches and players is not at all a secret so you can imagine how unhappy I was to see what I deemed way too much purple upon our arrival.

But the positives to the morning were that it was unseasonably cool, Tiny took a good nap throughout the tailgate and the rain even stopped by game time. Someone forgot their jacket but managed to commandeer one from a friend who works in the press box. This was his 'thank you' pic. :)

The closer we got to the stadium, the more I realized there truly was waaaaay too much purple in the stadium. And particularly where season ticket holders from BAYLOR usually sit. Not cool, fair weather fans. Not cool at all.

But we were determined to enjoy the game. Pregame was awesome...

...and we enjoyed the band...

...and it made me a little ill to see their team, I'm not gonna lie. They always play us hard and our little adventure to Ft. Worth last year was enough to turn me off to this team forever. But, still, I was optimistic.

The Baylor Line rushed the field...

...and welcomed the team - admits the new fire tunnel - to the field...

...and soon the game began.

That's about the point where two drunken frat boys from TCU showed up to sit in the seats in front of us. Which was even less enjoyable than last year's foray with the purple ones. I mean, I'm all for cheering for your team but constant profanity in front of my baby, flipping off the officials every time they make a call for Baylor, etc. was a little too much for me.

And to the guy sitting behind us who complained throughout the game but then told security the punk had done nothing are a coward, sir.

We ended up leaving shortly after halftime. Tiny was tired, the game was out of control and the punks were about to make me lose my mind. But we were able to meet up with several of my sorority sisters first, which was a super sweet surprise. :)

We watched the end of the game at home. While shielding our eyes. But we did get the win. And it was truly a comeback for the ages, y'all. Now...let's just hope the "season ticket holders" who sit in front of us won't sell their tickets for the next game. Since it's Homecoming, I'm hopeful. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Heart of Texas Fair

Last week was crazy, mind numbingly busy because it was time for the Heart of Texas Fair. We've always enjoyed the fair but now that Taylor is showing there and we've added a heifer to the mix, things got crazy. Between Tonto working six 12-hour shifts leading up to it, Taylor spending many hours at the barn getting ready and then putting in two 14-hour days on the grounds, it was just nuts. Fun. But nuts.

Thursday afternoon we got Sprocket settled and one of her sweet friends got Dottie in place (so thankful for him), got both of them checked in for the livestock show, picked up Tiny and Tonto and headed back to the fair for a bit of midway fun before the next day's craziness began.

See? Tiny was there...even if it's hard to tell. :)

We headed over to the nursing and birthing area while the older girls hit the rides. There were porcupines...

...lambs that were hours old...

...a zebra...

...and a camel, among all of the usual suspects.

Then we headed out and walked around the fair. Tiny loooooved the lights on the rides. Seriously, her eyes just LIT up.

And every time we left that part of the fair, she fell straight asleep. The girl knew what she wanted to see and was bored with the rest. 

 The next day began EARLY and had some bumps along the way but eventually Taylor and Dottie found themselves in the ring. With much older cows. I'm honestly not sure how or why the HOT Fair folks split the classes the way they did but sweet D looked like a runt. And she's a big girl. 

At the end of the day, it was good experience and isn't a big deal. Just slightly confusing. :)

They looked good in the ring, though.

And then there's Sprocket. He is a good goat and Taylor likes his personality better than any animal she's had, to be quite frank. He had a pretty good shape but needs to fill out before February's county show. He's a might bit skinny right now but hopefully will put on more muscle in the coming months.

The only (blurry) pic I got of her in the ring with him. It was late, y'all. As in she was in Class 13 out of 16.

All in all, it was a long but fun week. And now we have a year to recover and get ready to do it again. Of course, the friends involved and memories made are always the best part. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

And then she turned 15...

Sweet Taylor,

It's so hard for me to believe that you celebrated your 15th birthday three days ago. Even harder to believe are the many changes that have happened in our family since your last birthday and how well you've handled each of them.

This time last year we had absolutely no way of knowing that you would be a big sister in a few short months. Or that it would happen almost overnight. But it did. And you were so excited. You were the first one to hold Tiny and she has been in love with her big sister ever since.

Though you had longed for a sibling (a boy, specifically) for YEARS, I was worried the reality of it might be too different that the idea. But I, once again, underestimated your ability to adapt and rise to the occasion. You would think - at some point - I would learn. :)

In addition to continuing to show goats, you added a heifer to the mix this summer and are now practicing for your first LDE competition on the Ag Issues team. Not to mention being selected for Youth Council a few weeks ago. You've decided your career goal is to be a physical therapist and are thriving in your Principles of Health Sciences class. You've even gotten over your squeamish reaction to all things blood and gore. At this point, we may have to start sitting you at the dinner table with Davey and Nana (the science minded ones) while Boppy and I talk marketing strategy!

Your confidence in yourself and your abilities has grown so much in the last year and, though I was very nervous about it, high school seems to be where you're finding yourself. And figuring out how to handle all of your responsibilities while also getting your work done. You don't let upperclassmen intimidate you and seem to have friends any and everywhere we go. Not to mention that you continue to be head and shoulders more mature than I ever was at your age.

And, yes, I get onto you about things like laundry, the state of your bathroom and cleaning your room. That's because I'm your mom. And, at some point, you're going to move away and need to have the skills necessary to take care of yourself. It's my job. But, all in all, those are things are miniscule. They can be taught. What cannot is the amazing compassion you have for others and an innate ability to make people around you laugh every single day.

You, my dear, are AMAZING. You don't define your worth with boys, relationships or material things. Don't get me wrong - you like all of the above - but you don't let them run your life. And, for that, I am eternally grateful. To say you make me a better person is the understatement of a lifetime. I am so proud of you that there simply aren't words to convey the depth of that pride.

Stay true to yourself, my dear, and keep laughing. It covers and soothes a multitude of difficulties. There is no one I would rather call mine. Never forget that...even as I encourage you to not only do your laundry but to hang it up as well. :)

Your Continually Amazed Mom

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Inaugural McLane Game's been, like, a month and a half since the first game at McLane Stadium but - for various reasons - I haven't yet documented it. September always seems to be rough for us and we had an unexpected issue come up with Tiny (everything is fine now) and just back to school craziness as well. I'm hoping October will be bright and shining in comparison and, thus far, it has been. We're only seven days in but I'll take it.

Anyway...we did attend the first game and even tailgated. In the 100+ degree temps. It was sweaty and harder with a baby but we got it done. I don't really have any pics to show you because all the super cute ones include Tiny's face but she and Taylor looked adorable. 

We eventually headed over to the stadium...

...and took a few pics to document the occasion...

...before discovering that our seats were - for a 6:30pm game - in the BLISTERING sun. Which is not, you know, conducive to watching a game with an infant. After some back and forth, Dave ended up taking both girls home (it was unbearably hot) and I stayed at the game with my parents.

The pics I took at the beginning of the game aren't even usable because all you can see is the bright, GLARING sun. About an hour or so later, though, our conditions got much better. 

It was a blowout almost from the start, which is actually how I like it, and the halftime show was super fun.

RG3 was in the house, took selfies with the Baylor Line and even guest conducted. A very memorable evening. For the most part anyway.

My parents and I lasted until the end of the third quarter and just packed it in. That may sound like we're terrible fans but we'd been there for many hours and were exhausted.

We didn't even make it to the second game, unfortunately, because Dave's hospital switched software charting systems and he was required to work. Tiny and I actually met him up there with thoughts of heading to the game for a while but there was intermittent sprinkling/tornado like winds/flooding/storming so we decided that probably wasn't the best weather for her. And we watched from our comfy bed after stopping for Mexican food on the way home.

Just keeping it real. :)

This weekend, though, TCU comes to town. My dislike of this team and coach is well documented so I have high hopes for MY team this weekend. And I'm hoping cooler temps and actually knowing what to expect (plus it's an afternoon game so hopefully our seats won't be in full sunburn mode) will make it a much easier and more enjoyable experience.

So thankful we were able to attend the first game - no doubt - but it felt like we were rushed and out of sync all day. And if you know me at all, that's a feeling I hate. So...big hopes for this weekend. 

And Sic 'em, Bears!