Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Summer Road Trip

We got the invitation for my niece's baptism for June and we really wanted to be there to support her.  We hadn't been down to Houston for several years and I knew it would be more fun to be able to take our time.  When I presented the idea to Ken we decided that he would stay home and earn the money while I would go and spend it.  Seemed like a good idea to me. :)

The welcoming committee when we arrived in Oklahoma.

The kids and I took off for Lawton to spend the night with mom and dad.  13 hours later we got to their house really late, unloaded some sleeping bags, and tried to get some sleep before leaving the next morning for Houston.  It was fun to be able to caravan with my folks down to Codi's house.  My mom drove with me and we brainstormed about the upcoming family reunion.  Morgan and Trevor kept my dad company as we traveled across Texas.

We were so excited to get to the Long's beautiful home!  Codi and Coby chose an awesome floor plan and have decorated it beautifully.  There was enough space that we all had room to spread out.  the next morning my gorgeous niece, Aedan, was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It was so special to be there as she committed to follow Jesus Christ.  I was proud of her decision and she was beautiful in her white dress.

After the baptism, Codi and Coby hosted a luncheon in honor of Adean for many of their friends.  It was a really nice time and it was so fun to meet their friends.  The (many, many) kids ran around and played while the adults visited.  It was great to put names to faces as Codi had mentioned many of them to me before.

On Sunday we attended church with Codi and Coby's family.  Afterward, we had a nice lunch and then decided to explore some of the model homes in the area -- and there are a TON!  Coby drove us to an area that was like "model home row".  Seriously, it has dozens of model homes all in a row.  there were some amazing houses and I fell in love with some of the floor plans.  On the way home, Coby was trying the hard sell to get us to move down to Houston.  When we got back to the house we took the opportunity to go through Codi's closet.

In the last 6 months she has worked really hard and has lost 30 pounds! 30 pounds!!!  She wanted some help going through her closet.  Codi is a t-shirt and sweats kind of gal and she wanted some help with what to wear.  We went through her closet and got rid of over 5 big garbage bags.  Most of her clothes were way too big or way out of style.  I am nothing of a fashionista, but even I could see that we needed a big shopping trip.  Coby was so excited that she was willing to go clothes shopping and gave her a generous budget.

Mom and dad had real life so they left Monday morning to get home, but the kids and I got to stay a few more days.  So we let the kids play at home (and have a Phineas and Ferb marathon) while Codi and I went shopping to find cute clothes for her cute, new figure.  We headed to Kohls where we did some serious damage!  We both went through the store filling carts and then headed to the dressing room.  More than once she tried something on and I would have to go get her the smaller size.  She also had to rethink what styles she should wear.  I chose a few things for her where she thought she couldn't wear it.  After I talked her into trying it on, she would realize that it looked really cute!  I was super excited for her!  She ended up getting 3 dresses, 12 tops, and 6 bottoms -- a whole new wardrobe!!!  That evening she did a fashion show for Coby and he was so happy that she had found things she liked.  I thought she looked like a million!

The next day we promised would be the kids day.  Of course they wanted to go to the pool.  We put on our suits, made some lunches, grabbed the pool toys and headed out to the pool.  Sadly, we were only there an hour or two before a big thunderstorm rolled in and the lifeguards sent us home.  We returned home, got everyone showered and dressed, and then headed out to Bass Pro Shop for their kids craft activities.  All the kids had a blast with painting fish, shooting with bows and arrows, and casting a fishing line into a bucket.  The rain continued to fall while we headed to Jason's Deli for dinner.  Everyone was a fan of the all you can eat soft serve. :)

Cooper loved seeing the fish in the giant aquarium at Bass Pro.

It was with sad hearts the next morning when we left Houston and traveled back up to Oklahoma via a short visit to Cyle and Athena's home in Killeen.  We meandered up through the back roads of Texas.  Of course, we stopped at the Blue Bell ice cream factory for a tour.  What a great break from the car. :)  In late afternoon we got to Cyle and Athena's house.  I was so excited to snuggle with my new nephew, Kingston, and hear all about Athena's birth experience.  Kingston was not quite 2 weeks old.

Spending time at Cyle and Athena's home did my heart good.  I love them so much!  It was a treat to talk with them late into the night.  In the morning, Cyle brought Kingston into my room  so that Athena could sleep.  Kingston had kept her up much of the night.  Cyle and I talked and talked while I got to snuggle with that super, sweet baby.  That time together, in the quiet of the morning, was a highlight of my entire trip.  It seemed all too soon when it was time to pack up the car, take a couple pictures, say our goodbyes, and continue on to my parent's home.

We all scream for ice cream!!!

Love this picture of the Cyle Coopers!

We were all so excited to meet baby Kingston!

Love this super cute Kingston boy!!!
 It was nice to have a couple of days together with my parents in Oklahoma.  I know it is not my actual home, but being with my parents there always makes me feel like I have come home.  I love watching my parents with my children.  We went to the pool, fed the ducks and catfish in Medicine Park,  went to town to see the new movie Brave, and the kids got plenty of time up at the tree swings.  I was grateful that mom watched my kiddos for me for awhile so I could go to lunch with my friend, Veronica.  I love that girl!!!  We talked and talked and it was hard to finally say goodbye.

That evening we headed to Medicine Park for ice cream.  It was a beautiful evening and we walked along the river.  A restaurant sold some crumbs for duck food so we bought some and the kids had a great time feeding the ducks, geese, and even some huge catfish.  It was crazy watching these huge fish jumping out of the water and fighting the geese for the food.  We all had a wonderful time!

Something about getting away from home makes life slow down a bit.  I was able to totally focus and my kids and family that I was visiting for close to two weeks.  I love road trips!!!

The Colorado Springs fire on our way home. :(

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