Sunday, January 15, 2017

Christmas Fun in Texas


I heard a leftover Christmas commercial on Pandora today and was very confused as to why it was on in January. Christmas seems like it was a million years ago, but it was only a few weeks ago! Within a snap of the fingers the magic is gone and we are in a new year!

We flew to Midland first on our magical Christmas vacation. Wishing for snow, we were in for some sunny days most of the holiday in Texas.


Walker is very entertained with any sort of car. The parents took all the ornaments off the tree, but he was truly more interested in the lights. He didn't seem to bother the tree too much. He did steal their sleep number bed remote and a cordless phone. He likes to walk around and talk on them, then he forgets and throws it down wherever.

Dad and Brenda set us up a surprise - a carriage ride to look at lights! These horses were huge! It was such a neat experience! Walker fell asleep so he is no fun, but we truly enjoyed it. There were some really fun houses all lit up. The workers told me the horses come down from Amish country so they are real working horses!




When we got home we sang a few Christmas songs before opening gifts. We always sang while Mom played the piano growing up. Brenda has been taking lessons so she wanted us to all sing while she played this year! This piano is my Great Aunt Kitty's from the early 1900s.


It's no secret we love gifts in my family! I love to watch others open what I give them much more than I do to receive them! This year I did a fun gift for Dad and Brenda, a book that chronicled the last 1.5 year of their life via Facebook, every status sort of thing. I thought it was a really neat gift. I think Dad's favorite gift I gave him was a basic t-shirt! We all loved to watch Walker open his gifts. His mind must explode as he gets new toys! His big gift was a a blow up house thing with bouncy balls. Yep, he loves it and those balls do go everywhere, but he thinks it's so much fun! We all had fun playing with our new toys. Never too old for toys!








We made the trek to Dallas on the 23rd. We love to drive around and look at lights in the areas where we used to live in Plano and parts of Nick's parents' neighborhood. We found a really neat house where the owners snapped a pic of all of us!


On Christmas Eve we got everyone dressed and hit church! Then we came back to celebrate with the Bennett clan. It was crazy and loud, just the way we like it. They are such a wonderful group of people and I can only hope to raise Walker to be like all of the young men in that family. After they all left we were able to open gifts with both the parents. We had a really great time, I love having both families in the same room!





Nick's mom has been making fun little gifts to sell out of old life vests from Southwest airplanes. They were just going to throw away the vests so Dianne said she could use them to make things. Walkie had a blast playing in this!




Christmas morning we got up and my folks came over for breakfast. We enjoyed our time together then they drove to Oklahoma. We then opened gifts with Nick's parents and Justin. Walker got so many crazy, loud gifts! He was in Heaven!


It's always good to get home, yet we yearn for our time not to end with family. We got back and were ready to celebrate the New Year!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Rewind


 It's the holiday season so naturally you can find me dancing around and singing Christmas tunes because it's just my favorite time of year. At one time Dad said it is also a time of a bit of sadness as you feel nostalgia. I watched some old home videos of Christmas growing up yesterday and sure did feel that. I love every memory with my family then and now of the holidays. I miss loved ones that have passed on and I remember such wonderful Christmas times with them. Anyway.. let's get on to lately because I am a bad blogger....





Rewind to Thanksgiving... We spent the day with our amazing neighbors. We had a chance to run home to Texas for a day, but after analyzing it, it seemed so crazy to fly in and out so quickly. I think looking back I could have made it work and just slept on the weekend so I'm feeling a bit regretful, but it all worked out. I cooked two pies as well as a sweet potato casserole and took it down to JP and Gail's. They made a crazy, yummy spread. We ate and watched football. It's hard spending any holiday away from family as you watch people enjoy the times with their loved ones, but it was a good day all in all.

After Thanksgiving it is time for Christmas. I mean, ya don't even give it a day! I hit the shopping right then and there!!! Walker totally loves decorations and lights. Who needs toys when you have lights?! So we decided to make a quick trip to San Francisco. Nick needed to visit the office and I had never been so I tagged along. It's a very neat city. We started with a trip to Union Square to just hang out. I had no idea how many hills there were in this city. I also didn't realize it is truly a concrete jungle. One of our friends showed us the ropes then she took us to Chinatown where she grew up. Kelly and another friend, Sarah, met us for dinner at a locals place. Kelly knew all the best things to order. She even got Nick to eat some garlic vegetable thing. We went to get boba tea for dessert. Then she took us to her apartment roof where you could see the entire city. It was so neat to hear the ins and outs from someone who knew the place so well.

Union Square
Boba Tea
Kelly, W, J, Nick & Sarah
Wednesday Nick had to work all day so I thought we were going to play all day, but the weather told me no. It rained all morning so Walkie and I were able to get some Nutella coffee then chill in the room for a bit. After it cleared we hit this neat museum at Golden Gate Park. We roamed around it looking at the aquarium, the rainforest, the penguins and other things. I was still feeling cold as if we just couldn't shake the weather! We walked to the Rose Garden where Walker played with some puppies and we roamed around a bit. It was a very beautiful area on a gloomy day! Chrissy wanted to show me one of her favorite places so we met her for dinner. Chrissy has lived in the area for a few years so it was neat to hear all of her stories, too. She is always so much fun and just so kind. We met her and her boyfriend at Palmer's Tavern on some famous street called Fillmore. When we finally got back to the hotel we watched Rudolph with Nick who had just gotten in from his fun day at work.

Walker stole this stick from a puppy.
Chrissy is blurry, but that's her and us.


Alcatraz blew my mind. It is a really spooky, neat place. We enjoyed it as we roamed around trying to put ourselves in the actual time and place. The history is overwhelming and I just don't ever want to be in prison because it's a crazy life. We love living pieces of history so Nick and I were both very into it. Walker would rather have run around and played in the cells.





So back to Vegas we go! We took Walker for some professional pictures because I wanted a background. I have a good eye and a good camera, but no backdrop... Bad idea. He sure didn't want to be posed or to sit still... It was a disaster. We got one really good photo out of it because we stuffed him in a chimney. So I threw on his Santa suit and he posed in the backyard for me. Boom, good pictures. Brat. Atleast he's cute.






We take nightly walks and are enjoying all of the lights. We are excited to go to Texas in two weeks to see our family and friends!!! The busy days of holiday surround us with excitement!




Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The 45th President - Here We Roll


 I've seen so many fights via social media about the Presidential election. I've seen all out hate spewing from people's mouths and witnessed friendships crumbling due to opinions. This is why I steer away from sharing my opinions online. I was never good at debate anyway. That said, I want to put in writing this day in history for my future children. This is the first President Walker will know. I remember knowing of Ronald Reagan and learning about him. I remember being in first grade when Dukakis and Bush ran against one another. No matter who was elected this term, they made history. Hillary Clinton could be the first woman President or Donald Trump could be the first President without military or political experience.

Walker and I voted yesterday morning then we played at the dog park. Easy as pie. I was actually more interested on some things on the state ballot. I'm a Texan in my heart and in my mind, but on paper I am in Nevada so I had to care about some of these issues. In fact, I've never been very political and didn't even want to vote. I visited my folks last month and my stepmom insisted we have this right so we needed to vote. At first, Nick and I weren't too into election coverage, but it started to grab ahold of us. Truthfully I did not think Donald Trump had a chance against Clinton because it seemed the world already had her office ready to go. The numbers kept rolling in and Trump's numbers went higher and higher. We decided about 11 PM it was time for bed because this thing wasn't going to end. My phone alerts from news stations I follow kept pinging as we tried to sleep. Sometime in the night I awoke and saw it was official that Donald Trump was President.

I have friends from every walk of life. I have friends and family even with different viewpoints. Some are vocal, some are not. I was proud in a sense that as people we surround ourselves with many different personalities. To me this is America. The freedom to be who we are and the freedom to love each other as a whole. Putting all opinions aside, love has to be at the middle of us as a whole. I don't know the future and I can only pray the future is good for my family. I can only pray good people get good things in this life. We roll out four years to a new leader today. This person inherits millions of Americans. Our lives, our loves, our journeys. Here we roll.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Three Costumes. One Kid.

 

Halloween might be my favorite holiday... after Christmas, of course. It's just plain fun. Getting dressed, the music, the feeling, the air, the FUN. I was excited for Walker's Halloween this year because he could have more fun with it than being so small last year. The weeks leading up to the day he pointed at every decoration on our walk and was infatuated with scary rats and pumpkins.

On Halloween weekend the first place we took Walker was to a little shopping center with a farmer's market and all kinds of things for kids. He got to pet lots of fun animals in the petting zoo! Then he got to play some sports and just have a ball. Now, it was hot so I decided to throw him together as Dennis the Menace. He had this shirt in his drawer and I ordered red overalls. He acts like Dennis so he should be him. He was a little hot in his outfit, but so cute.


Saturday night began with a block party at the Fong's culdesac. We had a blast. Walker got to hang out with lots of kids, but he spent most of his time climbing the stairs to go look at someone's decorations. We stayed for a bit then decided to head to Container Park and old Vegas called Fremont Street. There's so much people watching! Walkie played on the really cool playground at Container Park with the other kids then we pushed him around downtown. The atmosphere was just amazing as everyone was in costume. I was a devil and Nick was Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber... should have gotten a picture, eh?! Walker was Mickey Mouse. He was so excited about this outfit and kept pointing to it, but I guess since it was dark that night he could care less. I think he was hot? He sure did look adorable!


 Halloween night was finally upon us! We were pretty exhausted by the weekend, which I didn't mention Nick's brother was in town so they were out until all hours of the morning, whole other story, but the guys napped until about 5:30! I threw Walkie in his costume and we were ready to hit the streets!!! GG bought him this dino outfit. It was cuddly and so comfy, too. We had a blast in the neighborhood. Some people go all out so it was amazing with all the colors, decorations and lights. We met some really neat people, too. I love having a neighborhood that does neat things like this because in some places it is just dead. So many people just turn out their lights. We got home and had way too much candy in our pumpkin! Oh man, Halloween is a strange thing, people give you their groceries! One house even gave a little bag of toys! Just small probably Dollar Store items. So neat!




Three costumes. One kid. Hey, it's all good. The day after Halloween I felt the pressure of Christmas creeping upon us. Guess that's just the way it is these days. My little monster's outfits are actually hanging back up because his Daddy thinks he can wear them on a rainy day. Sounds good to me. Anytime you get to dress up and just have fun is the perfect day.



Thursday, October 20, 2016

Weddings, Airplanes and Football, Oh My!


I'm behind. And I'm not one that is supposed to get behind in writing. Maybe it's because no one really reads blogs unless you're famous or maybe it's because I just let time slip by. We need to record memories so here I am. Fall has been a whirlwind time of travel. Not sure you can call it Fall because it's yet to be "cold," but I say once school begins Summer blows away in the hot wind.

We made another trip to Texas at the end of September for a dear friend's wedding. Tami and John were getting married out at their country house and they let us stay in the master bedroom of the city house! My high school pals Emily, Val and JJ all came by on Friday night so we got to catch up. Saturday we met Bryce and Natalie for brunch at a food truck. The wedding was more of a party, so neat. Tami is like a sister to me so it was special to see her getting married for the second time. I went to the first wedding when I was in 6th grade, Chandra and my parents went and Chan sprayed her hair with Raid before the wedding thinking it was bug spray. That's all I really recall. Now, I don't recommend taking my kid to a wedding... I also don't regret it because I knew it was a family thing and he would be just fine. Nick let me socialize while he chased after Walkie all night. He loved to play in the hay. I wanted a family photo, but slowing down just wasn't in the cards for him.

My cousin, Bryce & his wife, Natalie
 I sure am waiting for the professional pictures because this is a sad blurry photo of us. 


Growing up I had an Uncle Ron and an Aunt Marisue, they weren't family by blood, but they were/are family! It was so very special to get to share Walker with them. I stayed with them for a week when I was only a few weeks or months old so to share Walker with them after they knew me at that age is just really neat.  Marisue wanted Walker in the picture, but he was tired at this point and he loves to tug on my ears when he is sleepy.


 Walker did not want to be held still for a picture. There was hay to play in.


 The secret to keeping a child happy is putting them in the bed of a pickup truck. Endless entertainment.

Tami & her son, Ty


Guarding the kegs and Coke.
 The next day before we flew out we got to have breakfast with the happy couple and their family. It was just a really good time. Then, boom, back to Las Vegas.

We got the chance to go to Harvest Festival and see some of our favorites. We took Walkie with us so we didn't get to stay late for Brad Paisley or Luke Bryan, but we got to see Martina McBride, my favorite behind Dolly Parton. It was a neat festival with a lot of interesting people sightings. 

 I just included this picture because he's a thug.

 Walkie running wild at Harvest Festival in his jean shorts.

Did I mention Fall means Football??? Texas Tech is having an okay season because we have an amazing quarterback, but we have lost a few... Oh well, we taught Walker to throw one hand up for "Go Rangers" and two hands for "Touchdown," but he doesn't always follow directions and loves to just throw one hand up for all of them.

 
 NeNe made W a really cool glow in the dark shirt for Halloween. Frankie = Walkie.  

So we headed out to West Texas next. My favorite time is Fall in West Texas, just wonderful and calm. We were ready to spend some quality time with Papa Mark and NeNe. Chewy was excited to see us, too! We just hung out and ate too much because when we get food we never have here, we go a little crazy. Yep, no workout could fix what we did to our bodies! Heddy brought over her three girls so we got to spend some time her so that was a lot of fun. I enjoyed sitting and talking with my parents. Brenda was busy working on some neat sewing projects so those were neat to see as well. Walker takes a bit to warm up to men so by the end of the trip he was starting to think Dad was pretty cool. I want them to have a fun relationship and for Dubs to like to watch Dad work with wood in his shop and watch old westerns with him. Dad plays with him and gives him his space so as he grows they will be the best of pals. I hear Brenda lures one of her grandsons, Rex, that just loves Papa Mark, away with candy, so maybe Dad will lure him away from NeNe with chocolate!

I know boys get lots of injuries because they sure are rough. Walker fell flat on the front of his forehead for the first time at the dog park. I tried to catch him with my leg because he always falls and sometimes I catch him, but this time my leg propelled him in the air. So that's why he's got scratches on his head in his first pic of the Fall with jeans on!

  

We made our way to Lubbock to see Texas Tech play West Virginia. We went through Welch to visit Bill and Donna. Welch is one of my favorite places in the world because it is just simple peace. It's in the middle of nowhere and the presence of family is priceless. I think cotton is beautiful so we had to stop on the side of the road to snap a few pictures. I don't care if people wondered if we were crazy. Dad says I should have taken some to grow it in a pot for fun, but I forgot!

 

 We got to Lubbock mid afternoon and Nick and I decided to hit up Chimy's. The magic of Chimy's is something only Red Raiders can understand! We sat at a table by these college kids and I had to roll my eyes a little and how young they seemed and their conversations. Um was that me in 2000? We decided to take a stroll around a bit of campus and show Walker the ropes.

 


We stayed with Nick's roomate from college, Brandon and his wife, Sara. They have two adorable girls.. Kendall and Piper are about 2 and 4 years old. They were so much fun! Walker had a great time playing with them! Piper was very confused as to why Walker doesn't talk in sentences. We took the kids to the parade at campus and they loved the music. Then we went to Orlandos where I worked in college. The owner was there and I got to talk to her and see her daughter! Brandon and Sara live so far out in this land that was not there when I went to college. I always say it, Lubbock is growing like crazy!

Kendall feeding Walkie
The boys went to the game which was early at 11 AM so Sara and I took the kids to the corn maze. Walker had so much fun riding the hayride and the little train. He wasn't really having pictures. He was too busy checking out all of the pumpkins and the hay. Well, Tech lost so the boys came home early and we grilled a bit. We had to get back that night so we could catch an early flight on Sunday so we headed back to Midland. We stopped in Lamesa and got to see Jodi and the boys. Walkie was done at this point and was very tired so he wasn't exactly friendly. I felt so bad, but atleast we got to visit with them.

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In other news, I guess going on in the world we must touch on the Presidential election so when Walker reads this when he is 50 he can remember. I'm pretty far from political, but I also know I need to vote. Lesser of two evils in Clinton and Trump. That's about all I can say publicly without getting attacked. This is the first time a woman really may be our leader and it is also the first time someone without political experience can really be our leader. It's quite interesting and it's actually entertaining. Not sure if politics should be entertaining, but it really is. It is crazy to us this is the President Walker will know. I got Ronald Reagan and I'm pretty proud of that. I just pray Walker's future as well as our future is paved with good intentions from our next leader. The world is a scary place, maybe it always has been. There has always been violence and insanity. I want Walker to walk in the world with love and not be faced with the scary times that we can truly face. Even today at my age I do not know the sort of hardship my grandparents faced and I do not want that for my child or children. So I know our true leader is God even if that sounds cliche and our future will be okay in whomever's hands, I pray. 

Next up is Halloween and then Thanksgiving! Such a fun time of year!