Friday, September 28, 2012

Longview vs North Little Rock and 3 weekends of some family fun

I have been trying to think of what to blog about..because all of this just seems normal. Then again, the entire blog is about our normal! So this post is not super exciting...but it is what we have been doing the past three weeks.  A whole lot of runs, wagon rides, short hikes, grilling, fort making, and playing. Kind of like a permanent camping vacation in the "country." I know what you are thinking..but you live your life on a permanent camping vacation... well the past few weeks have felt even more this way!

We went to the football game I mentioned in my last post. Let me just say it was HOT! The cool front had not made its way here yet. I think wrestling a 13 month old adds a whole new level to the sweating aspect of sitting in the stands watching a sporting event. It really raises the level of sweat! HA! No really, thank goodness we were able to move over a seat  because the person beside me was out of control.... Wyatt did really well during the game after we stripped him down to a onesie. He will actually pay attention to the commotion on the field and flirt with anyone around us. We decided after half time to move up to the top so he could sleep in the stroller. He never went to sleep, but it was nice to have a little airflow. We had a lot of fun at the game and had plans to go to a different towns homecoming football game next week. 
Sunday we spent some time at the park..even went down the slide for the first time! Daniel is all about letting his boy go for it!
The next Friday, the football game didn't happen. The sky opened up and we decided while on our way to duck out of the game. Wyatt also had (to this day) his best meltdown ever! HA! He will love me for that someday! Part of the meltdown could have been because we discovered that night that his feet had grown in a week and none of his shoes fit. So on Saturday we set out to find him a few pairs of shoes. This was the first time we had actually been shoe shopping for him. Um.. yeah that wasn't easy at all. Boy shoes are soooo hard to get on! In the past I had just picked up a pair here and there,  roughly knew what size he wore, and we always got lucky! Lesson learned on not letting him run out of shoes! HA!

This was also Daniel's birthday weekend. I had tentatively planned a camping trip but, with all the rain we decided against it. We grilled a nice dinner at home, hiked on Sunday, made and played with homemade play-dough for the first time, and camped in the living room. FYI**I will stick to buying the Play-Dough unless the kind you cook is easier than I think. I made the no cook kind and it was a little sticky. Wyatt had fun regardless. Daniel liked his birthday presents and was a happy camper with a few new Houndstooth shirts and a Hogs and Horns canvas! Happy Birthday Daniel! I love you!

The kiddo has also developed a love for playing with his cars. He loves to sit on the floor, push them around, and make a va-room noise. We think it is adorable! We celebrated another month passed on the 21st.  14 months! Can't believe it! He loves to feed himself and is talking all the time. He is also copying us in almost everything we do and tries to on what we say. We better be careful now! HA!
14 months!

 Last weekend, Wyatt wasn't feeling well.  We ended up at the doctors office on Monday. (After the fun task of finding a new doctor from the move.) We waited entirely to long (as in hours) and ultimately left with a virus and possible ear infection. He is feeling much better...but this week was a little tough on mama! I have said it before and I will say it again...I am not sure how all you other mama's do it with more than one sick kiddo. Bless you and your hard work!

Daniel has been hard at work trying to finish this class ahead of schedule. So far so good and I think he will be done this weekend. I am so proud of him in regards to his last class. Ahead of the game and great feedback from his mentor!!! Go Daniel Go! I truly admire him for going back after all these years..married, kiddo, working. He has inspired several of his friends to seriously think about going back to school regardless of the degree.  A few have even made the jump! I know this makes him proud and determined!   

We have a busy weekend! Can't wait to blog all about it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Movin' on down the road or should I say northeast..

So this post sort of details what goes on into a move to a new location. I know many of you probably don't understand how all this possibly this will help a little! :) This way I also won't forget what fun we had when I read this in 20 years and wonder how we did it!

As I previously mentioned we moved on Saturday. We knew this move wasn't anything long distance..but we did know it would take almost all day. I confirmed  our appointment with the RV repair company on Thursday afternoon, only to hear that the parts still were not "at the shop." I literally laughed because over the past 7 months I have heard many varying responses when I asked about said parts-
 " Mrs. B. they were supposed to be in several months ago so I will try and call the manufacture, oh they are on back order, they have been shipped, on back order again, oh we had to special order something for you and we are having to get approval from the manufacture of your 5th wheel, they have been shipped and should be here next week, Mrs B you never decided on a design for us to order, oh they are on back order,  Mrs. B I never heard back from you so we didn't order them yet, we had to have something special ordered because you have an odd size slide seals (what?!), they are shipped (however upon questioning) I will try and call the company to make sure they were manufactured...(you said they shipped!) , they are on back order, they shipped and should arrive in a week, and they should be delivered sometime on Thursday. "
I told them I would call back at our set appointment time on Friday. So I did.."the parts have not arrived but they should this afternoon and I will call you when they do and our guys will come out to install."  Well, they finally called me to say "the parts didn't arrive. Could we schedule something at your new location and we will come to you to install?"  I talked calmly and started laughing when I got off the phone. 35 minutes later they called back and said "they had tracked the package and it didn't make it on the truck out of Houston to be delivered. So that is why they had not received it today."  Really???? They said "we are willing to work a Saturday on a holiday weekend, drive all the way into Houston pick up the parts at UPS, and install them so we could be on the road by noon. We just want to make sure you are a happy customer since you have had to wait so long. We will be at the park at between 10 and 10:30 am." NO WORDS!  So, we couldn't do a lot until after they left in regards to packing up the final things as they were moving slides, etc. At 11:15 on Saturday I called them.."Yes Mrs B the guys are leaving my house and are on the way. It will take about 30 min for them to drive over." (D was furious!) An hour and a half later, they showed up and got started. They finished around 2:30 and actually did the list of things I made for them.  D said they did admit fault and apologized. ( kind.) We still don't know that the saga is over and won't  until we take the 5th wheel in for more work. Oh excitement (insert sarcasm!)
Lets go!
 By the time we finally got on the road it was 3:30 and we headed toward East TX. We had looked up several parks on-line as per our typical plan to have some tentative places in mind. It took us longer to drive the trip than normal because it was so hot and we were worried about tire blowouts. (Trailer tires are more likely to separate if the road  and air temperature are hot. Road friction and heat are not a good combo, thus why you see a lot of Tractor Trailers with blowouts in the summer months)  Your welcome for that lesson on tires! We drove past a few parks and pulled into our last hope of the ones we had looked at online. I was not a fan. It didn't look safe and I would have been bonkers by the end of this rotation. Daniel agreed however, we ran into the problem of no other park options. We pulled into the Kroger parking lot (we always seem to do this..parking lot looking) and I got on the laptop to start searching others around the area. We finally found one about15 miles outside of town that sounded decent and the people were very nice when we called. Of course we went completely wrong direction and had to turn around on a 2 lane closed road with drop offs on both sides. It was super fun! We found out quickly we have spotty (at best) cell reception in this area so we couldn't even talk about what to do while driving. We arrived here around 9:45 pm to one of the nicest families greeting us. We had to pick out a spot and park in the pitch black. A challenge. This park is also relatively new meaning we had to do a little extra as far as outside set up so we would not sink into the ground. It is super fun to do this when you are extra tired. Back up, no stop, ok go forward, you are almost on the boards, etc. Oh how much fun this always is! HA! We did have to set up that night as far as hooking up certain things (water, sewer, electric), open the slide outs, and the basics (straighten stuff that shifted in cabinets, hook up tv, move random stuff in sink, put things back on shelves in shower, move hanging clothes off of bed, etc). We are staying in a park across from the lake. It is definitely in the country, we were able to get a large spot in the back, and our view is a large pond and trees.

Saturday we headed 20 miles into town to go to Sam's and the store. I always try to use up the refrigerated food before we move. Here is my theory- it cuts down on weight,  I personally don't think the refrigerator is as cold when it uses propane, and we typically don't cook the night before we leave and the days we move so it is less work (dishes, cleaning the kitchen, etc.) Daniel's cousin also lives in the area and had us over for dinner that night. We met his girlfriend and kiddo. They super nice and I am sure we will be seeing them often. Glen was so kind to let us do our laundry while we visited. THANK YOU! I know the guys had a great time catching up. We really had not had a chance to visit with Glen since he stopped by on his way through  3 years ago. Wyatt explored all over his house and went back and forth between the living room and kitchen.

We got home around midnight after finishing up our laundry. Sunday we were all three exhausted. Daniel worked on a school project and Wyatt and I unpacked a little (cooking items, laptop, toys). We are planning on taking the 5th wheel in to the dealership in the next month so unpacking is only the essentials. We have this process down to an art!

Daniel finished his first class this week and a huge weight was lifted off of his shoulders. I think getting a first class under his belt has really helped.
I got a small pool for Wyatt since it has been in the 100's this week. By the late afternoon he needs something new to do, mama and daddy are sweating so much we need a break outside, and something to occupy him. HA! I have been busting this out after our walk when we are all three sweaty. Of course he is the only one in the pool, but he splashes like a champ and it feels good!

 Wyatt and I haven't done much this week besides play. Daniel and I had actually visited here before when we lived in the area 3 years ago however, I don't really remember it. It is a one blinking light town with a Family Dollar, Dollar General, Sonic, Gas station, and I think I saw a DQ. It also has a few local restaurants! Daniel and I are both content with this rotation as we are thankful to have a job!  We found the local park with a jogging trail and play scape. Wyatt is already a huge fan and I am sure we will go often. They have a just hatched area with little kid stuff! He was actually able to do more than just swing and I could tell he loved it!


Tonight we are going to a Longview vs North Little Rock football game. High school football is huge in this area, so I am sure we are in for some fun! (Well it is everywhere but we were warned it was a BIG deal!) Watch out AR is in the house! We don't know what the rest of the weekend holds...but I can bet it will include hiking! :) Cooler temps are on the way!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Austin Bats, KD Reunion, Trip to AR, and What's Happening

I probably should have worked on this post much earlier in the evening.....(clearly because I didn't post it until Saturday morning! HA!)

Daniel and I often say most people do not take advantage of what a city really has to offer when they live in it. We are guilty of this especially when we lived in Austin...however, if traveling full time has taught us anything, take advantage of your time and explore. Going to see the bats in downtown Austin was something I always wanted to do. But with grad school, Daniel's school, our work schedules, wedding planning, and moving it just never happened. I have always kinda been a little sad about it, so much that every time we are in Austin I mention that we should try and go. Well after Wyatt's party we were talking to Victoria and Luther and telling them about the we decided to go! I was even more excited because I had been wanting to take Wyatt to Town Lake. We spent a lot of time on the trails (almost daily) running, taking Chance to play in the water, and going to Zilker Park for concerts. It is a place I have always loved in Austin as it really has the Keep in Weird feel! It is a gem in downtown that doesn't feel like downtown!
We got to the trails a few minutes early so we were able to walk around a bit and show them the area and it what it has to offer. They thought it was so neat..amazing walking trails in the city that are actually used! We sat among the masses and watched the bats come out from under the bridge. "One of the most amazing sights in Austin takes place every evening from March to early November, when 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from their roosts under the Congress Avenue Bridge." I could not believe how many people were downtown to watch and apparently it is like that every night. We told my parents the next time we are all in town..we are going to see the bats! 
We had a fun Sunday visiting with the Shellenberger's, my parents, and Ben's family. I am so glad we had a little time before we had to head home so the boys could see each other. Mostly both boys took naps...but we had the best of intentions. I got to hold Matthew for the first time and he is a cutie!  My mom came back to Willis with us, so she could keep Wyatt while I went to a reunion. Thank you so much mama!!

On the way back we stopped and Wyatt thought it was so funny that he could stand in his seat!
Wyatt had his one year appointment on Monday morning. I was excited because I always feel good when we leave the doctor with a good bill of health, a pat on the back, and a keep doing what you are doing. Essentially I have concluded many parents are faking it until they make it! HA! Just kidding..kinda! I always feel reconfirmed on the milestones, growth charts, etc. He had to get a shot and his Nannie cried. I felt bad for her as I don't think she expected for him to get upset. I have taken him to every appointment so I knew what to expect. Crying for about 10 seconds and hurt feelings after.  What I wasn't expecting was for the shot reaction happen immediately. We didn't have the 10 day wait. He was teething, a rash developed, and he was CRANKY! It was probably best we were with my mom..he was a cuddle bug for her! Anyway, the doctor gave us a good report and he is right on track. 

Playing with his Clicky Clack from Ben and Ann
We drove to Dallas on Tuesday to stay with my grandmother and Uncle for a few days. She had so much fun playing with Wyatt and her sweet neighbors even got in some play time. He learned..well mastered her steps and hasn't stopped climbing ours since. She has a sunken living room and he thought it was fantastic to crawl up through the dining room, around through the kitchen, back down the entryway, down the steps into the dining room, and the back up the other steps to repeat. I swear he may have worn a path into her carpet! :)  The kiddo is a crawling explorer when we go visit someone. He doesn't have the space at "home" so it keeps him occupied when we go somewhere. He is so close to walking, will let go and stand, has taken one or two small tiny steps while standing, but hasn't just let go and taken off solo yet! It is only a matter of time! (I am sure it has something to do with our small space..everything is in reach.) HA!
My mom and I did a  little shopping, ran errands, I had a neurologist appointment, and we attended the Chiluly Festival at the Dallas Arboretum. We went at night based on the fact I had an appointment that day, we could go to dinner, and we had the best of both world seeing the exhibit in the daylight and illuminated.  We had a blast..but it was H.O.T! My poor uncle wasn't feeling well from his treatment earlier in the day however, he was a trooper.  The festival is of amazing huge blown glass sculptures that are stunning and full of color! I definitely recommend this exhibit if you are in the area! It runs until Nov and I want to go back and take Daniel. The Arboretum is beautiful on its own but this added a whole new appeal and I know we will be back!

We ended up staying an extra night in Dallas and left on Friday morning. My dad drove up from Austin as he didn't want to be left out of Wyatt's first weekend at Nannie and PaPa's house without parents. (This day was something we had talked about even before we had kids. My parents had so many fun things planned, seeing all the animals, playing with bubbles, going on walks, etc)  We switched Wyatt over in Van Buren and they headed on to my parents and I hurried up to Fayetteville! This was a weekend I had been looking forward to for over a year! We were living in Oregon when the committee started planning the reunion and I remember thinking I can't believe I will have a kid (much less a one year old) when it rolls around!  I remember Daniel saying regardless of where we were living I would be going. He said "this was a much needed and well deserved girls weekend!" He was so right! :) It just worked out that most of us have kiddos around the same age, are all in the same season of life, and it was just nice to hear others stories, thoughts, and ideas.

I got to town just in time to meet the girls at the KD house. Cassie, Shannon and I shared a room Friday night and Christie came up on Saturday. It was just like old times. Cassie and I always roomed together and really Shannon should have lived with we just did what seemed natural. Roomies! Staying in the house, using communal bathrooms, dining, living quarters, etc...kinda didn't seem that far removed from my current style of life. We use all of those depending upon the park we are staying. I do not however, miss the beds in the house...not so much then and really not so much now! I was going be on the top bunk so we pulled my mattress onto the floor. Actually I don't' even remember seeing a ladder in the room we stayed in.   Anyway, the weekend was fantastic and I loved getting to have some time with my girls. Obviously I don't see my friends often and really cherish our time together when I do. I loved seeing everyone and catching up with some people for the first time since graduation! It did come up a few times even though some of us that don't see each other often, we feel like we do because of blogs and Facebook. I certainly agree!
404 West Maple

 The house looks fantastic!

 Burroughs, Shani, Me

Group Shot 94-98

 Me, Misty, Cass, Christie
Friday night we had dinner and dancing to Leah and the Mojo Doctors on Dickson. I am pretty sure everyone had a great time as we may have stayed out pretty late! Saturday we had a leisurely breakfast of donuts, lunch with our pledge class..although a few of us (Cass, Christie, and I) may have attended lunch with the class of 98, and did a little shopping before a much needed nap! Let me say that nap was fantastic! I started a new migraine medicine, felt a little off, and a nap did the trick. I woke up ready to have more fun. That night we had a dinner, slideshow and update on the house happenings. It was great! We may have blessed Dickson with our presence again that night..but certainly couldn't hang like the college days..No really we couldn't! I did however, find the bar Shotz with ice shot glasses to be an interesting concept and wondered how I was able to keep up with school, training, traveling, as well as, a social life in school.  It also became completely apparent and I hate to admit sadly that mama can't hang anymore..(at least at a certain pace)! :) I couldn't sleep that night and had a nice chat while watching the Olympics with we always somehow seem to do! (Rachel- As always had a nice time catching up with you!) 

Sunday we attempted to sleep in (not successfully) and then had a brunch by same cooks from when we lived in the house. It was so nice to see those ladies and hear about their lives.After brunch, we explored the house, all the changes, and I even discovered something I had completely forgotten!! HA! So much has changed in the appearance..yet my memories, the smells, creaks, etc are all still the same!   It is hard for me to believe I graduated in 2001 because it does not seem like that long ago! 

I learned a lot that weekend about some significant events in others lives. It really made me reflect on the fact that my life is really great.  Don't get me wrong...I was thankful before this weekend and people go through tough times, I know this however, if you really step back and look someone is almost always going through something much tougher than you. This is not to say I am going through just made me so much more appreciative . I also realized how much I love and hold these ladies close to my heart. I wish nothing but  pure happiness, joy, and success for them!  It felt like (as it always does with great friends) that it was just yesterday we were going from room to room, getting ready for a function, and up way to late studying in the dining room! Anyway it was great weekend and I was exhausted by the end! I enjoyed seeing each and every one of you! Love you ladies more than you know!!!

I drove out to Andrea's after I left the KD house to visit before I headed to Ozark. I felt so bad because by that point I was exhausted and not feeling great.  I know she thought I was crazy. Regardless she is an amazing friend and I enjoyed visiting with her. (You know one of those besties I just mentioned that you pick up from where you left of..yep that is her!) I didn't take a picture but she did, so lets just pretend its on the blog right here....................... (I feel it is kind of her fault I am bad blogger here!) HA!  Love you Andrea!

I was right..when I got home sick girl! I am pretty sure I got something from Wyatt. This wasn't the first time, but it certainly wasn't fun. I am so glad I was at my parents. I was able to see the McMillian family before I started feeling like death and again before I left. I adore them and they love my little guy. I kept my distance as Granny was in town and Connie just had a hip replacement. I didn't want either one of them to get sick at all! We had a fun pizza night and Wyatt enjoyed exploring, playing with the cats, and a new fun toy from Maye!Again bad pics

The same weekend I was at the reunion Daniel went to an Astros game with our nephews Gage and Chase. They went for Gage's 10th birthday! Daniel said they had a great time. We gave the boys Astros shirts for their birthday and they loved them. Daniel had a great time at the game and made some special memories. I know he is looking forward to times like these with Wyatt has he gets a little older.

Wyatt had a fantastic time at Nannie and PaPa's house ..pretty sure the pictures show it! He explored, they blew bubbles in the house, he had a Popsicle, took a bath in the sink, saw the chickens, played with the hunting dogs, met neighbor cows, went on lots of walks in the country, played with KoKo,  had lots of yummy food,  got several new outfits, watched tv with PaPa, and just played and played.

Wyatt and I left to drive back on a Saturday. He did great on the trip home. He slept, sang, danced, we talked, and we laughed when he was awake. Daniel started his Masters program while we were gone. We planned to stay away a few days so he could get back into the swing of school before bringing the kiddo back. Daniel was so excited to see.We were gone for almost 2 weeks and I am pretty sure he could not have missed us more if he tried. It worked out perfectly and we had a weekend of fun!
Reunion of two best friends!

I love my life-jacket!

12 month pictures!

Before we left Daniel and I made plans to take Wyatt to another Astros Friday night game.
 My mom just happened to find Wyatt an Astros jersey for the game! (Side note to say the Monkey pictured has become a favorite! He is typically kept in bed and anytime Wyatt lays down he is holding Monkey. If he stands up in bed he picks up monkey! So cute!) Daniel was supposed to have the day off however, while I was in AR we found out his contract was to be ended early. So..we just deiced to play all of it by ear and if he got off early we would go to the game and if not then oh well.  As a result, we didn't have tickets in advance and ended up finding amazing tickets when we got to the stadium. Daniel was a happy boy!

The game was great. The Astros won...a first in many games. Daniel was adorable and surprised Wyatt with a custom jersey with his name and birth month as the number (but he got a 6 instead of 7) HA! Regardless it is so cute and I can't wait to see him wear it.

That same weekend (Aug 12) we didn't do much else besides play outside and hang at the pool. We had plans to go to another outside event..but it was too hot for Wyatt. Daniel worked on a project and we met a few other couples vacationing at the lake. The next week was fun because it rained and rained and we still have a major leak inside. (Sarcasm??) I am completely over that drama and am so ready to be done with this RV repair company. We have been dealing with them for well over 7 months on a small leak..which they have made into something that makes it rain (I mean literally rain) inside! Yep it is fantastic!
We met another family Jeff and Gretchen in the park. They come up from Houston on the weekends to relax and play on the lake.  They are so incredibly nice and are the kind of people that you feel like you have known for a long time. They have four kids, so the lake is a perfect weekend destination. Jeff actually worked on Daniel's truck for us one night last week. So nice!! We went down to their house, ordered pizza, and just visited. Daniel has been busy working on a huge project for school and I have been spending a lot of time helping him gather pictures for a website. So far so good and he is almost done! We also can't believe our cutie turned 13 months! He is still absolutely in love with his wagon and kick his legs with excitement anytime we say "wagon ride!"

Last weekend Daniel's mom and sister made plans to visit and surprise Daniel on Saturday. I was  sure he knew as I kept things completely picked up and made sure he had his school stuff done. He was completely surprised. We visited, swam, and had a late lunch at Chuy's. We had a great time and am pretty sure they enjoyed time with us. I am so glad they came down to see us before left the area! The boys had a lot of fun playing together! Daniel's mom spent Saturday night and watched Wyatt so we could go out for a few hours with Gretchen and Jeff. It was so nice to get out, listen to local music, spend time together, and laugh about nothing!

Daniel and I thought it was our first date night since New Years. I was corrected though (by Andrea) that my parents came up and kept the kiddos when we were in NWA  in April so we could have a date night..HA! I know spoiled..get to have lots of dates! :) Just kidding Andrea...but I can't believe neither one of us thought about that night because we had a blast with you guys!

Pool time!
Wyatt definitely likes watching older kids! I was afraid at any moment he might try to take of swimming. He has before!

Gretchen and Jeff- We are going to miss you guys! You are a hoot!! Thank you Mary for staying with Wyatt! We really appreciated it and enjoyed seeing you! Melissa and was great to see you guys and are so glad finally got to see our "house."

As I previously mentioned, today was Daniel's last day at this rotation. He really enjoyed this assignment and everyone he worked with. I know they got attached to him and I think he was getting attached. :) They had a very nice lunch on Wednesday to say goodbye. Employees from both locations came and it is always nice to hear stories about how much the patients love working with him.  They all really want us to come back and who knows what the future holds. We aren't against it. (Andrea..I didn't say we were moving here permanently) Anyway, we are moving tomorrow and as of today have a contract!!!!  Whooo Hooo!  We were getting a little worried, but now all is good! We are off to East TX tomorrow.  Well..that is after the RV repairmen "fix" the issues!

Well that catches you up with us! How are things going with you?