Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Road Trip!

We made a short trip to Stockton, MO last weekend with Nick's family. It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive. Nick and I both took half a day off on Friday. Our master plan was to drive during the kids' nap time so they'd be sleeping for the whole drive.

We got off to a bad start......... I realized half way to Towanda (to pick up the kids) that I had forgotten to leave out a few props for my friend to borrow for pictures she was taking for a friend. I felt horrible, but was getting ready to text her and let her know when I started thinking about where MY camera was. I realized I had forgotten it. I begged Nick with my saddest sad face to go home to get it and VERY reluctantly, he did. Even though it added 30 minutes to our trip. But I'm SO glad we went back. I got lots of great pictures from the weekend AND I got to set out the photo props for my friend. Thanks honey!

The kids did good. Tessa fell asleep pretty quickly and slept almost the whole way there. However, this guy..............
.....stayed up for the whole drive and LITERALLY talked the whole way. Literally. Exhausting. I was so looking forward to a nice quiet drive, but that didn't happen. But at least he was happy!

We went out for dinner when we got to Stockton and then settled in for the night. The next day, I wanted to explore a little bit. Nick and Tommy had been there over the summer, but I missed out on that trip, so there was lots to see. We drove down to the dam. The kids loved it! But it was really chilly, so after I played with my camera a little, we headed back to the car.



After we left the dam, we drove around to see what else we could find. The scenery was awesome!




We found a little playground area and the kids were getting restless, so we stopped to let them play for awhile. The wind died down and we had the perfect weather!
I think the picture of Tessa above might be my favorite picture of all time!


Nick found a little ledge that had me scared to death admiring the beautiful lake. I've developed a fear of heights in the last 3 years and this drop off was at least 30 feet (probably more, but I'm horrible at estimating distance and time :). I felt nauseous the whole time, but it WAS gorgeous.

The whole ledge was covered in lady bugs. They kept flying and landing on me and Tommy. He was SO happy about that. I was a nervous wreck, imagining him plummeting down the cliff because he was trying to catch a stinking lady bug. We got off the ledge after the kids had both thrown a few acorns into the water (from the death grip safety of their parent's arms). The lady bugs followed us and Tommy was mesmerized.
We decided to head back to the house, but we passed one last AMAZINGLY beautiful tree that I HAD to take a picture of.
Go ahead and try to tell me there's not a God. Who else could have created THIS kind of beauty? LOVE the color, LOVE the size, LOVE it all. So refreshing to the soul. I hadn't gotten my camera out in awhile, so it felt really good to take some pictures of things that make me so happy!

We spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing with the family. Tommy got plenty of play time with his cousins.
They all had a blast together and it was fun watching them interacting. They're all finally (mostly) to the age where they can play together and have fun! We headed home late that night. It was a long drive, but the kids slept the whole way and Nick and I got to enjoy each other's company (in the moments I was actually able to stay awake!). It was the perfect ending to our mini road trip.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween 2013

Let's just start by saying I was SO hoping this year was going to be better than last. I vaguely remember Tommy having some massive meltdowns and their costumes being a ridiculous mess because I had waited until last minute (which is SO unlike me.......yeah). We started the morning in pumpkin shirts--can you tell Tessa was excited for her first REAL Halloween since she was so young last year? And can you tell she loves her brother juuuuuuuust a little bit?!
 


This year, Tommy INSISTED on being a chicken. Like, talked about it for 3 months until I finally broke down and bought one on E-bay because nobody in Wichita stocks a CHICKEN costume on the shelf (insert eye roll here). Tessa was a ladybug because that's what I happened to pick up at Goodwill a year ago with this year in mind! Both costumes turned out SO much better than last year!

We started out the evening at Brooke and Michael's. They were a zombie mechanic and a pirate :)



Tommy and Tessa were both in pretty good moods, so I was stoked to see what the evening held!

We went to Tom and Esther's and decided to start Trick or Treating around their neighborhood. As expected, Tommy was a little hesitant. And as expected, Tess was practically running from house to house to get her candy. 

 After we hit a few houses, we stopped for chili and macaroni at Grandma and Papa's. But only after we got some candy from them first!
 After dinner, we did Trick or Treating with the Kirkpatrick's for a little while. Poor little Tessa just couldn't keep up with her cousins and brother, so she spent most of the time with Aunt Christi just trying to get from one house to another as fast as she could!
Then we stopped by to see baby Chas (and in Tommy's words, he is "da dutest baby I ever, ever seen!) Tommy and Tessa LOVED baby Chas! And he was definitely the most handsome Mickey Mouse I've ever seen! Tessa kept "helping" aunt Kendra feed the baby.
We happened to run into Tommy's best buddy, Mal, while we were visiting Chas. I was so glad because I wanted a picture of them together! And she was the prettiest Minnie Mouse I've ever seen!
Nick had to work (why is he always on third shift at Halloween?!?), so we ended the night at Nana's house. She dressed up like a French maid. We stopped and Trick or Treated there and then Nana went to a few other houses with us.
After that, we headed home. With NO fits and NO incidents of any kind! It was amazingly fun and non-stressful. Tommy and Tessa both had great attitudes the whole time and I was so, SO happy about that. I LOVE holidays, but I love watching my kids enjoy them even more!

Happy Halloween from my two bucket-heads!