I'm back!!! What a wonderful trip that was! Thanks again to my dad for purchasing our airplane tickets...it made our travel time SO much shorter and more enjoyable!! Thanks also to Charlie for letting us use your spare vehicle while we were in town...doncha' just love family and friends who love and take care of you?!?! Well, once again, it was a whirlwind trip - packed with visits with old friends and family! I had a daily calendar to look at so that I knew who I was suppossed to be with each day - craziness! The best way I thought to show the trip was by the day...meaning this is going to take a LONG time to read and watch, so feel free to check my blog a few times over the course of a few days...I'd be shocked if anyone was able to read this in one sitting!! :) To get us started, I'll use Shep's fave "Bob the Builder" quote..."Are we ready?!...Yes we are!"
Saturday and Sunday:
On Saturday morning we arrived in Little Rock and spent the day with my mom and Mike. We were all pretty exhausted from getting up at the butt-crack of dawn...pardon my slang! We wound up taking a walk through their neighborhood and playing football in their back yard that afternoon - it was perfect weather and the company was great!
Sunday morning was spent at LRC (Little Rock Church). I grew up attending this congregation - I've shared a lot of good and painful memories with the members of this church - they are loyal, loving, devoted friends and family - I love them all so much and it was great to see so many familiar faces! Shep and Avery had a few moments together before we left and I caught it on camera! After church, my mom and I had lunch with some of her closest friends from over the years! Starla Goad, Sue Maune, Pam Reed and her daughter Meghan, Dawn Lowe (congrats again on your engagement!!)...and we even ran in to Retha Mathis. It was a wonderful lunch and we had SO much fun visiting! Thanks again ladies for your company - it was so nice to be with you all!!
After church on Sunday, me and the kiddo's headed out to my dad's new home out at Lake Conway. He has an acre lot near the water and it was a perfect place for the kiddo's to take off their shoes and run! Judy cooked us a delicious dinner while we visited and her son J.B. was sweet as can be! It was good to be with ya'll!!
Monday and Tuesday:
Monday evening was spent with The Siegel family...several of you reading this probably know Brandon and Hannah Siegel from Harding University. Chad and Brandon are 1st cousins (Chad's mom and Brandon's dad are siblings). It's SO crazy because I grew up with Brandon and Blane and NEVER knew about his family in FL that I would one day end up marrying in to! Larry and Teresa (Brandon's parents) had us in to their home for dinner and it was so nice to visit with them, as well as Blaine (Brandon's younger brother). Will was cute as can be - he's grown up so much since we saw him last! Will, Shep and Rauly had a great time playing with their toys and watching Thomas the Train!
Tuesday was spent with several of my old highschool friends! Some of you may have known Shauri - she was in JuGoJu and married her highschool sweetheart who also attended HU. I knew Shauri Tasky from CAC as well as HU but never knew her well! Lo and behold, we found eachother in the "blogger" world and have gotten SO much closer! She has a 3 year old named Jace and just had a baby girl named Ava. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of Ava that weren't fuzzy so you can go to Shauri's site to see her cute little girl! Jace and Shep played good together - Jace had some great toys that he shared!! Tuesday night was spent with a few of my best friends from highschool!! Lindsey N. (we were always called "Linds and Linz"), Hayley and Hollie met up with me at Chili's and we laughed harder than I've laughed in a long time!! I think our waitress was ready to kick us out but we stayed until it was dark and than headed over to Books-A-Million for some coffee and more visiting. What a great night!!
Wednesday and Thursday:
Wednesday I went down to Searcy to visit with a few friends. First I met up with Terri and Mi Ranchito. Unfortunately we didn't get any pics, but it was so good to meet up with her and visit. Kayden (her niece) was still in the hospital so it was a bit of a bittersweet meeting - we were so relieved when Kayden finally got to home!! Rauly was fascinated with Terri - she stared at her nearly the entire time we ate lunch!! After we left Terri, we went to Annette Parker's house. Annette and I met through her children - I worked at a church daycare while attending HU and ended up becoming very close to her two girls (Emily and Molly). After I quit working at the daycare I became their babysitter and grew to absolutely love those girls!! It's so funny because we think that Shepherd looks so much like Emily and Rauly looks so much like Molly! Annette has recently begun selling Arbonne on the side while she and her husband both work as Pharmacists! Such a beautiful family and it was so great to get to visit!!
Thursday was spent visiting with my dad at his new station. He and my uncle Larry recently purchased a nice gas station in Cabot - I'm really proud of them for accomplishing this goal!! Unfortunately I didn't get any pics...bummer!
Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
St.Patricks Day weekend was spent with family! I drove to Jasper,TX to be with my Papa and Dee. They live right along the river and it was absolutely gorgeous!! They had the perfect yard for the kids to run around and chase birds, squirrels, go fishing, canoing, and look at all the flowers in bloom! My Uncle Craig (my mom's brother) and his daughter Lauren came also from Shreveport to be with us that weekend it was great to have them there! Shepherd absolutely adored Lauren - she was so good with both the kids! Dee cooked great cajun food the whole weekend and of course we celebrated St. Patrick's Day by wearing green!
Sunday and Monday:
Sunday, Mike's daughter Kim came over with her husband John and their 3 daughters. They had grown a lot since I saw them last and are just beautiful!! Shep and Rauly had so much fun dancing, playing and just watching them interact with eachother! Afterwards we headed to the park!
On Monday, my mom and I went to Wye Mountain with the kids and got some pictures. It was overcast and chilly - thus, we didn't wear Easter clothes like we have the past 2 years. :( I was exhausted by this point in the trip...if you could've seen me, you'd agree that I looked pretty rough. My hair was in a pony tail and no make up. It was a good morning though - we ate at Larry's Pizza and then went home to crash and burn! Monday night, I took the kids to dad's store again. He was able to take a break for a while and we had a good visit! Shep and Rauly love Papa's store - they think he's so cool and always want to wear his hat!!
Tuesday was such a whilrwind!! Tuesday morning we were with Jennifer and Avery Baber. Hudson Gates (Rebekah and Juston's baby) was there, but he napped the whole time! The kids had so much fun playing with Avery and Jennifer and I had such a good visit!
That afternoon, my Nanan (Betty) came over to visit after work. She and my mom have been friends since long before I was born and I have so many childhood memories of her being there! She's been at every major event in my life including my marriage and birth of my first born. I'm so glad you made the trip Nanan - it was wonderful to see you!! That night, we went over to Laura (Maune) Sandlin's house...Laura and I grew up together. I have memories of us going to the pool in our ghetto neighborhood - haha!! We attended church together, highschool together and now she's a mommy too! Her little girl is SO cute - unfortunately in the pic I got she was very frustrated...poor thing! Sue (Laura's mom and one of my moms closest friend) came over too so we got to visit with her for a bit as well. Thanks for having us in to your home!!
Wednesday we headed home and we are now back in FL. It is SO great to be back with Chad. He's been busy working on our business and I'm truly SO very proud of him! Our business vehicle looks great and he made so many contacts while I was gone. Chad is an excellent provider for our family! While I was gone, Chad also helped John and Melissa Hicks with their business - check out Melissa's blog to see what they've been doing. Well, thanks for reading this. Sorry it was so long. I copy it to a scrapbook which was why I was so detailed. :) I'm looking forward to catching up on all of ya'lls blogs this week!!