Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Travels of the Wooden Spoon - Texas

Vacation is over as life seems to jump right back at us. Vacation is a funny thing. You want to stay forever, yet you yearn for a sense of normalcy. I learned a lot about different people's homes. We stayed with a few different families. Bouncing from Hawaii to Dallas to Oklahoma to Houston to Brenham to Austin to Midland. People eat differently. People have different nightly schedules. People sleep at different temperatures. One thing that remains the same (besides the loving arms of a hug and a nice chit chat, blah blah blah) is at each house everyone has a WOODEN utensil! Travels of the spatula began in Hawaii when Aunt Charlotte gave Walker a wooden spoon and some bowls to bang on... He loved it so much we decided to send back a bunch of his toys! On to each house we went, someone lent him a wooden utensil. He would often even fall asleep with one in his hands. Here we go as we travel with the spoon...

We've already talked about Hawaii in another blog. So let's talk about our next excursion...


Our first stop was in Dallas with Nick's parents. We decided to meet the boys and take W to the zoo! Nick's favorite animals are the otters and the penguins so we paid special attention to them... I liked getting to pet the goats with W.

Two of my bridesmaids in life, Jana and Stephanie wanted to get all of our kids together so we ran out to Keller for a play date. Abby is five and Ava is 1.5 so it was neat to get them together. Walker is very rough and also very loud! Needless to say he is quite social.


We took a little detour during our time in Dallas to run to see my stepbro's family.

We were really excited to go with my nieces and nephew to the Tulsa Zoo! We headed to Oklahoma and away we went! Rex is in a hilarious stage where he says "no" to everything. The kids had a blast with Walker, too. It meant the world for us to have him have some cousin love time! We called my cousin Gena on the way to the zoo so she brought her son, Dawson and his friends! It was so great to all get to hang out!!!

Gena, Dubs, Jules

We spent a lot of time outside enjoying the outdoors. We loved their swing and Nick loved bouncing the girls very high on the trampoline. I just enjoyed absorbing time with the kiddos. They are growing up so fast!


Saige playing Big Sister 
The girls gave me a makeover. It was quite scary, but I had a blast letting them turn me into a monster.


On we went down the road back to Dallas. Dallas was a whirlwind as always. Trying to see everyone we can while trying to stay sane at the same time. We spent as much time as we possibly could with our goddaughter, Guinevere and her parents. 


Walker hammed it up with lots of visitors. He is very wary of men. He has to be around a man for a day or so before he won't scream when held. We saw so many friends that we could not fit everyone in so we were quite sad about that! 


Walkie loved hanging out with his Big Jim and GG. GG made him neat food each day and took him on lots of walks, too! He loved Gunner and played with him as much as possible even pulling his tail a few times. GG and Nick got up with W early many mornings and let me sleep about an hour more making me very happy! It was beautiful many days outside so we took advantage of the back porch on many occasions.

Jana's Wedding

Nick left for the Masters on Wednesday so I was a single woman hitting the town... err the wedding... It was so wonderful to attend David and Jana's reception. It was great to see her old high school pals, our college friends and other friends all together. It was a lot of fun to just hang out... I left Dubs with the grandparents. 


Nick's parents, Justin and I left for Houston the next morning as he would meet us later that night. We stayed with Tony, Katie and Baby Aden. Aden and Walker have an arranged best friendship. Tony and Nick might as well be boyfriends so these kids better be friends! Aden was hilarious as he followed Walker around hugging him! They had a good time playing together and just interacting in general. Both boys are just beyond cute.

Nick and Tony were really excited about these matching Masters t-shirts! Who cares they were huge?! We worked really hard to get a good photo of the boys together in them. Maybe it's not exactly a frameworthy photo, but we sure had fun with them!

Aden has a really cool Gator. We just have to have one for Dubs!


It makes me feel very blessed Walker has a great grandmother in his life. Granny is feisty and full of entertainment. We had a nice, relaxing time in Brenham. Nick took us to the Blue Bell Factory where we introduced Dubs to the legendary ice cream.


Granny wanted to teach me to make her iconic rolls. She was worried the damp weather would make them taste funny, but they were amazing. Dad says he often saw people stand right beside Granny Gert and try to create her cookies and could never quite get the same taste. Maybe one day I'll get lucky?!

We set out to find some amazing bluebonnets for pictures, but most had already blossomed so we took what we could find!   

We truly enjoyed sitting in Granny's backyard and just talking to her. She has so many cool stories and is just full of vinegar when it comes to whatever is on her mind! She's simply amazing!!!


We left Granny's headed to see Joy, Tami and family. Tami was just elected Judge... well, okay, the world now knows her as Tamara Needles which is so formal, to me she is always Tami Jo Burnsed! AND she and John just got engaged so we had to celebrate. I've known them my entire life, very, very special to me.

First we had to make a stop at The Oasis.  It's just our tradition.

Then to Tami & her son, Ty's house. We had a great time just all hanging out on the patio. We hoped to be able to chill by the pool all day, but it was rainy. Fine with me, my heart smiled as a thunderstorm rolled in that night. Nick had a great time with the boys talking old pick up trucks and chilling out. Joy, Tami and I got out old annuals from the 80s for Tami and we looked through them. I love hearing stories of Mom so Joy always tells me things she remembers. They had a very special friendship. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we will be back in September for the wedding. Of course, Grandma Joy gave Dubs a wooden utensil.


Back to Dallas

This isn't really an exciting stop. We drove to Dallas for a night to ride with Nick's dad to Midland the next day! We decided to stop in Waco at Magnolia Market. It was a really neat place! We enjoyed just looking around and of course, taking some pictures...

Have A Willie Nice Day

Ahh for me Midland is all about going home and just breathing! It was great to get to see Dad and Brenda. Jim was with us so we all went to a really cool Japanese restaurant where they wowed Walker with fire! We got to walk Chewy and chill out! While Dad and Brenda attended a concert Saturday, my little family all went over to Big Spring. We got to see Stephanie, Vicki, Howard... old neighbors and I ran out to Keele's while Nick played at the Country Club. I wanted to stay longer to go hang out at Steph's house, but a bad storm was on the horizon and you don't mess with West Texas storms!

It was so fun to share all of Dubby's new tricks with Papa Mark and NeNe. We had a lot of fun giving him different foods and watching him try to crawl. I love to share those things with them. Grandparents are so very important to me. I have such great memories of mine and want Walker to get to share those types of blessings. The type of spoiling where they get to give him back when they are tired of him!

It was hard to leave it all knowing our vacation was over. We were ready to get back home to see all of the animals. We were ready for our own bed and ready to just be in a normal routine. Yet, as I said before, being on vacation forever is quite entertaining... not sure if living out of suitcases is entertaining... Did I even get into how much luggage and STUFF we took and how much MORE we brought home?! Every stop was amazing. Every hug made all the travel even more worth it. Each person's smile warmed our hearts as we traveled to the next place. Loved ones make the world go round. Having family and friends is so very important, keeping these people close to your heart is even more important.

The wooden spoons began to accumulate in Walker's bags. They now litter my house found in various locations. Sleeping, bathing, chilling... you can find him with a wooden utensil. Maybe it's Walker's way of keeping the vacation. They say we were crazy to take an eight month old on a month long vacation. We say we made memories to last forever and stories to tell him as he grows. You cannot measure love. You cannot measure memories. One day he will look at the pictures of himself smiling with those wooden sticks and grin knowing the love behind each hand that placed them between his fingers.