It was our year for Thanksgiving in Texas, so we hopped on a plane and headed south.
Jaylie was excited to be sitting by the window!
Jaylie was excited to be sitting by the window!
Her parents were excited when she asked for her blanket and fell fast asleep.
We got to Dallas late Monday night and spent the night in a hotel. Kids = PUMPED. Kanyon had a couple of appointments early the next morning so he and I got up and out the door to Children's in Dallas. He was happy to find cartoons on in the waiting room while he waited for his MRI. He LOVES getting MRI's. He calls them a "tunnel" and he was still talking about last year's "tunnel" when we were headed to this year's "tunnel". We were in a different facility this time, so the room wasn't quite as fancy with all the kid bells and whistles, but he was still pleased as punch. He always gets a little nervous when they start strapping him down, but he lays still and does awesome!
Though a little early, we decided we'd better pay Santa Claus a visit while we were close. We weren't super prepared (as in...Quinn's shirt was backwards) and they hadn't solidified their Christmas list, but they enjoyed the visit. Without hesitation, Kanyon asked for a race track that goes loopy loop. In a moment of nerves and pressure under the gun, Jaylie asked for a baby reindeer. She ended up sticking with that from then on, so The Big Guy had to pull through with a baby reindeer.
We drove to Paris after that and a had a little chance to rest before church that night. Note to self: you're setting yourself up for failure when your kids haven't seen their cousins in months and the first time they do is on the church pew after church has already started. It wasn't our smoothest church service ever. But its hard to be mad when these rugrats are just so happy to see each other!
We hit up Taco D as soon as church was over and I was SOOOO HAPPY. We take up half of the dining room and make all the noise!
Wednesday was our last day with a forecast of anything other than rain, so Dad and Kory kept the kids busy outside while Mom and I did Thanksgiving food prep.
Home Sweet Home
Late Wednesday night my cousin Chay got to the house with his wife, Claire and 2 kids. We had fun playing and getting ready for the big day. Hudson and Quinn were cheerful potato peelers in their PJ's.....'til they got sick of it and wanted to just play.
Finally cousins started to arrive. And kept arriving all day long.
Marion, Q, and Mallory
See what I mean by "kept arriving all day". This was most of the group that day. Its is always a blast and my mom is a total miracle worker to pull this off. This Thanksgiving happens every other year. It is the families of my mom's mom, Nanny Betty, and her siblings. None of them are alive now, but the generations after them still get together every other year! It is a blast and a blessing to be a part of this family. Its also a blessing when you think its going to rain all day and you wonder how in the world 85 people are going to fit in the house and then it doesn't rain until almost 5:00!!!!! WOHOOOO!
Me and Mom stirring the famous dressing in Nanny's old roaster.
Me and Paige in what has become our traditional dressing stirring picture!
Jaylie and cousin Natalie playing on the stairs.
Here is some photo proof of one of those moments in a mother's life when she wants to die/kill her kid/crawl under a rock/shove her kid under a rock. Here's the scene. My dear, sweet, hilarious, fun, loving, caring, thoughtful Aunt Nancye (Aunt Cookie as my kids call her) was so sweet to shop till she dropped finding each of my kids a special gift from her. She has always been so good to my kids and they truly love their Aunt Cookie (name given for the treats she always brings when they're around). She called the kids together Friday morning to give them their presents. They were SO excited. I knew what they were getting and had full confidence they would be excited. Quinn, never slow to rip into a preset, flew through the gift back and IMMEDIATELY began crying. Like CRYING. Saying "IT'S NOT WHAT I WANTED!" I was completely shocked and caught off guard. A) I thought he would love the gift...total jackpot!
B)HE IS ACTING LIKE THIS!
About that time, Jaylie got through her present and is whaling because it was clothes, not a toy. KILL ME NOW. KILL. THEM. NOW.
We got through it in the moment, then Quinn and I had a private encounter he won't soon forget.
As always, Aunt Nancye was gracious and generous and helped me not disappear for the next 10 years. Of course 10 minutes later and for the rest of the week, Quinn played with the toy non stop and Jaylie begged to wear the new vest everyday. Seriously kids. Ugh. Not a moment I want to ever relive, but I guess now that we're past it, it is kinda funny that my mom caught Quinn's face at one of the low points of his young life. ha.
We snapped a picture of the cousins that were there when Hudson and Cullen left. We had fun with Chay, Claire, and their sweet boys and hated to see them go, but glad they got to go spend some time with Aunt Cookie (their Mom/grandma) in Dallas.
I had lunch with my 2 girls before we were all in different places again. It was too short, but it was fun as always. My life has been spent with these 2 and none of us have sisters, but I've always felt like we were each others' sisters. We laughed till we cried and caught up on life. All while chowing down on Ta Molly's. Perfection.
Slumber party night at Paw Paw and Gay Gay's!!!! We let the 3 "little" girls sleep in a bed together. We put the kids to bed and the parents went to see the last Hunger Games movie. I finally got a text from mom at midnight saying the little ones were just now asleep. Haha. I guess they had fun.
So this must've been taken after midnight. They aren't in the same order either. Ha. Clearly it as a good party.
When you're at Gay Gay's house, she fills your mouth with whipped cream. Its a good, good life.
Kiddos watching a movie while Kanyon plays with Ro's hair, as usual.
Marion's birthday was back in October, but she waited until we were there to have her Rattlesnake party. Yes, she wanted a rattlesnake party. It was fantastic.
My dear friends, Todd and Erin were on their way back to Arkansas from Tyler and stopped in at Clint and Rachel's house. It was SO SO SO fun to see them even if it was just for an hour. It did my heart a lot of good to be with them. Lots of love.
June and Ellie girl found the dress up clothes pretty quick at Marion's party (and the cookies, it seems).
Colbie is almost too big to sit in Jaylie's lap, but Jaylie's sure gonna try.
Q the baby lover is always pleased when he gets to hold baby Colbie. And oh my goodness is she not THE CUTEST!???!!!?
My crew drove to Longview for a quick visit. We met up with some of our church friends up at the church. Kids played, parents talked, and it as like no time had passed. These people are once in a lifetime kind of friends and I LOVE THEM.
When we moved to Longview, ZERO of these kids existed. Wow.
Parents! Thanks to the oldest kids in the bunch we got semi-decent pictures of us!
And of course, the GIRLS!
These 3 best buddies were reunited.
Jaylie, Meg, and Beau.
Lizzy, Mabry, June, and Mackenzie! Yay for sweet girls!
Chandler and Quinn pretty much picked right up. I sure do love that.
Selfie with Rebekah!!!!!!!!
We spent a couple of nights with Steve and Mary Lynn and it always feels like all is right in the world when we are there. Sure is good. As you can tell because Kanyon is blurry. It was too good to sit still.
Back in Paris, we paid a visit to Brad and Gwen Ann's shop. Its always fun to sit on a motorcycles.
They like to sit on the bikes, I get a kick out of seeing them in giant helmets.
Ellie and J got a chance to play together all by themselves at Ellie's house. Its their own little paradise. And entertainment for anyone in ear shot.
This is one of mom's dress up dresses at her house and it is always being worn by someone. Even if its backwards.
Me, Quinn, and Mom, went to eat lunch with Nolan one day at school. That cafeteria was much bigger when I was in 2nd grade. Ha!
Good times, Good people, Good stuff.