Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cooking for Two!! 1st-Edition

Homemade with Love Lasagna.
Grilled Chicken and Asparagus, Steamed Broccoli, side Salad and a little glass of Vino. 
Gilled Asparagus and Bison (Buffalo), baked Sweet Potato bites and a side Salad. 
Mexican Enchilada Quinoa Bake and a side Salad. 
Breakfast for Dinner Egg Scramble, Turkey Bacon and a little Biscuit Gravy Combo. 
Sautéed Turkey Sausage with Pepper. 
Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Block Leave- River Weekend Edition 2.

Friday, back to the River for our last few days in Texas. I wasn't sure if we where going to be able to make it up again before we left but I'm so glad we where able to make it work out. My little cousin Shae (little as in 16 lol) was able to come out with us as well. Its always fun when we get her together and bring her along with. That evening after we got to the house and unloaded the car, Shae and I went back into town for some grocery's. Later that evening we headed over to Chris' house, a friend of my brothers where the hubbs and a few other's had gotten together for drinks. It had been a long day so we called it a night shortly after midnight. 
Up early the next morning the hubbs and I went on a bike ride down 916 which leads to the boat ramp and old fish camp. Along the ride there's area's where you can see the river through the tree's and it looked so peaceful so early in the morning. I of course had to stop and snap a few pictures along the way. 5 miles in we turned around to head back, making for a good solid ride. The hill leading up the neighborhood is killer, I'm talking straight up, curvy and hilly. I just knew I was going to have to get off my bike half way up and walk it but I made it. I put it in the lowest gear and just dug down deep and went for it. My legs might have been dying when I got to the top but I was impressed with myself for making it. Rebecca had made a fabulously delicious breakfast for us before we headed out on the boat for the day. Sucks that she had to work today (thankfully she didn't have to be in till the afternoon) because she wasn't able to go out on the boat with us but I'm glad we where able to spend a little bit more time with her before we left. 
We loaded up the truck, headed to get the boat from the storage unit, and then to get gas and guess who pulls up at the same time as us...My Dad!! Yup, he was coming out to go on the boat with us again and they didn't tell me. I was so excited to get to spend a little bit more time with him. 
Since it was Saturday the water was a bit more busier than when we where there the weekend before on Sunday. We headed up the opposite direction towards the lake to meet up with some of Justin's friends. I'd been up into the lake before but never up that far before, all these years past and we just would always stay down in the river. We took turns skiing back up to the island and spent the day hanging out there in the water drinking a few cold ones.
Eventually dad was ready to go, so Justin hung back with his friends and the hubbs, Shae and Myself drove him back. I absolutely love driving the boat and miss it so much so when JT asked if I wanted to drive dad back I jumped at the chance. 
After getting back to the beach we hung out a bit more before slowly making our way back to the boat ramp. Skiing our way back in, making the most of our last day on the water. Shae went first, it took her a bit to get back up on the wakeboard. Poor kid would get up and fall, get up and fall. It went on for about 5 or 6 runs and then finally she road for a good bit then fell. We told her she had one more chance and then she was done. She was getting worn out and you could tell. She popped right up, road a while and then BAM!!!  Crashed right on her face. We turned around to go get her and as we where getting closer she was saying "I'm Bleeding, I'm Bleeding, I really am", "No your not, your fine" we replied. "No really I'm bleeding" she said. We got closer and sure enough her nose was bleeding and she had blood running down her face. She was laughing and making comments about how gross it was. Well of course its gross, its not going to taste good you crazy kid. We knew she was ok, and couldn't help but laugh because she was. It was one of those things where you kinda had to be there but it was hilarious. This went on for a good five minutes of so sitting in the water, her nose bleeding and us dying laughing at her.
After her escapade was over I slipped into the water and slalomed back to the boat ramp. It was a good long run to finish out our day. I miss it so much, and every time I'm always so worried I'm not going to get up or remember how to do it and I pop right up. Just like riding a bike, it all comes back so natural.
Be time we got back to the house it was going on 7pm and we still had to cook dinner. That evening we had plans to cook Kabobs and a Salad but thankfully some of Justin's friends invited us over for a little mexican fiesta. They had made ribs, all the fixings for fajita's, rice, beans, dessert. The whole nine yards. I was quite annoyed / bummed that we had bought all the food and didn't end up cooking it. But at least Justin and Rebecca would be eating good for the next few days.
Dinner with Kim and Doug was so good, they really out did themselves and we where so grateful they invited us all to come over.
The hubbs called it a early night around 9pm and I wasn't far behind him. We knew 3am would come quick, we had a early morning ahead of us followed by a long day driving back to TN.

The past two weeks where much needed for both of us, and I was / am so grateful we where able to spend so much time with our families. I miss home both AZ and TX so much.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Wrapping up Texas

*Wednesday After finally getting back to the Lone Star State we grabbed lunch with NeNe at David's BBQ. Its only the best BBQ place around the area and since I sadly don't get it that often since the hubbs isn't a huge fan of red meat I make sure to indulge in my fair share of it when I go home. You just can't go wrong with David's. That afternoon we went to visit my mom and see her new house. The people she rents from have horse stables behind her so we where able to go out and feed the horses. We relaxed and hung out at NeNe's for the afternoon and enjoyed a tasty dinner that she made. 
*Thursday we woke up early and went back to Dallas for a ride around White Rock Lake. We saw it the first time we went over there when we went to get Donuts at Hypnotic Donuts. The hubbs though it would make for a great ride being a almost 10 mile loop. We started just as the sun started to peek out which made for a beautiful sunrise.
Of course we couldn't be that close to Hypnotic Donuts and not stop in for one more visit before closing out our trip. I when plan and simple on the donut this time and got a Glazed. It was pretty tasty. I also decided to try there Maribeth breakfast sandwich - Chicken in a biscuit with house made peppered gravy and tater tops. It was so good, I've never had anything like it before. Well worth the splurge even though it was crazy messy to eat. 
That afternoon we went to visit with my Aunt Vonda for a bit followed by a stop at my Mamaw's house. Gosh I miss my family so so much, living so far away has its up's and down's for sure. My Uncle Richard and Aunt Holly live in Mamaw's house now, we went by to visit them and it was the first time I'd seen the house since Mamaw passed away. Just pulling up to the house it looked the same yet SO SO different. Standing there at the door my heart sank and tears started to fill my eyes. My heart was beating so fast and all the pain and heart ache of her passing came rushing back. Never in a million dreams did I think she would have been gone so soon. 
Still today I have a hard time dealing with the loss of my most cherished family member. She was my best friend my rock. No one was home so we didn't go inside. Apart of my was a bit relieved because I wasn't sure I could handle any more. I knew the entire inside would be different and I wasn't sure I would be able to handle it. 
We decided to get lunch at a new place called Super Chix, it wasn't to bad. I still prefer Chicken Express but I was pleased with one of their side choice's Fresh Fruit. We ran a few earns before heading back to the house to relax for a bit. The hubbs originally had a shooting match scheduled for that evening but he decided to cancel so we could spend our last evening in town with NeNe. Dinner at Babe's, one last must have before leaving the great state of Texas. If you've never been to Babe's Chicken, your seriously missing out. The food, The Atmosphere, The Staff, The Music, did I mention THE FOOD its all perfect. Endless Mash Potatoes, Cream Corn, Smoked Green Beans, Buttermilk Biscuits and Salad all served family style. With your choice of meat from Fried Chicken, Chicken Tenders, Fried Catfish, Chicken Fried Steak, Hickory Smoked Chicken. Its all so good, one of my favorite places to eat when I go home. 
We ended our evening with a late night trip to Barnes and Nobles followed up with one last visit to Braums and of course I splurged on a double scoop - a scoop of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream topped with a scoop of Peppermint Ice Cream. I'd lost count at this point on how many double scoops I enjoyed while being home, but that's ok right. That's what vacation is for. 
*Friday morning we had plans to go for a bike ride but the hubbs wasn't feeling it. Instead we decided to ride up to a little local place for breakfast. It wasn't the sweaty ride I was expecting to have that morning, but we did enjoy it. Being able to ride our bikes to various places and not have to drive has been really nice. 
We took the morning to be lazy, relax and pack up all our crap from NeNe's house (literally, we brought so much with us, you would have though we where moving in.) and decided to be lazy for a bit before going to meet up with my brother for lunch at his work. I've heard so much about what he does and where he works but I've never been out there so it was nice to finally see where he spends his days. 
After lunch we headed home to load the car and go pick up my little not so little cousin Shae before heading to the river for the weekend. We where also able to visit with my Cousin Ant, my Aunt Holly and her parents a bit while we where there. Its always nice to see her parents, I've always considered them family. A quick stop at Mamaw's house so Shae could grab something forced me to go inside since my Uncle Richard was home. Walking through the door my heart was pounding, it took all I had to hold back the tears and try not to look around to much to noticed how everything was so different. Yet it was staring me in the face. The house I once spent so much time in and that held so many memories was so different and would never be the same. 
Before heading to the river we had one last stop, we where meeting up with two of my high school beat friends and their husbands for dinner. Sadly shortly after arriving at the restaurant they both had to cancel. I was so disappointed and hurt. I had been looking forward to seeing them both and catching up since we had planned our trip home. We didn't let it keep us from enjoying our dinner though, you can never go wrong with Mexican Food and even better when there's Sopaipilla's involved. 
We had a great time in Texas and I can't wait to go back. I miss home like crazy and being back just reminded me that a piece of me will always want to move back here some day. I'm already looking forward to and planning our next trip home. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our Week in the Valley.

*Thursday Finally settled in the Valley.
 With our luggage accounted for, we where off to do a little venturing around. My Brother - In - Law brought our two Nephews over to visit us and hang out for a bit. The In-Loves own a Appliance repair business and so we all headed up to the store to visit for a bit. Their employee's bought lunch for C for her birthday, which was so thoughtful. While there our youngest Nephew came up to me and asked "Do you like dead animals?" Umm excuse me, while I bust out laughing. We had been talking BassPro and Cabela's. Apparently the boys like to go there for a little afternoon outing. Hey whatever works for them right, cheap entertainment. So we took a trip up to Cabela's with the BIL and the boys. They had so much fun showing us around, as if we'd never been there before. We did a little random shopping after leaving before heading home. That evening we went with the In- Loves to dinner to Celebrate Cathy's birthday. We went to a local brewery pub and enjoyed a night out just the four of us. 
One of the nice things about coming to the Valley is that the hubbs family is pretty small, so there's not a ton of running around to see family, unlike when we go to Texas. We where able to just do our own thing knowing we would see his family on Sunday. We have a few friends in the Valley that we where getting together with on Sunday afternoon as well, so the rest of the time we where there was completely open. 
*Friday we did a little venturing I around town. 
I found a local Tamale shop online so we decided to go check it out and ended up getting a dozen tamale's to take home. 
There was a couple different gun stores in the area that the hubbs had found so of course we had to make a stop in each one. Thankfully we left with out the purchase of a new gun. We did stop off and pick up new tires and tubes for the bikes the 'Rents had so we could use them while we where home.
One of my must haves while we where home was Whataburger. Its simply delicious but clearly so unhealthy. But "When on Vacay"....I called the MIL to see if we could bring her lunch, and eat there at the store with her. I absolutely love spending time with my In-Loves. 
After lunch we headed out to check out another gun store, go figure. If there's one around he's bound and determined to find it. This one happened to be located just a couple blocks away from the family store. Conveniently located a couple doors down from not one but two bakery's. Kreative Kupcakes which was featured on Cupcake Wars and a Local Mexican Bakery. Neither of which we'd ever been to before. So of course that meant we had to store in at both on the same day. Why both on the same day you ask I mean we where going to be here for a whole week. Like I said "When on Vacay, right."
We did a little antique and car shopping to finish up our afternoon before heading home to relax and have dinner.

*Saturday The Guys did Guy things and The Girls did Girl Things.
The hubbs and his dad went to a shooting match in Prescott, AZ for the day while his mom and I went and had breakfast with Aunt Lisa at her school. She was wanting us to see her new classroom (she's a 5th grade language teacher) so it worked out perfect. Followed by a trip to the local Farmers Market and then way way across town to pick up a little something special we had ordered for her birthday celebration on Sunday. (who has their mother-in-law drive you to pick up her own b-day cake, yup this girl. to and I didn't let her see it till the next day either.)
Even though we didn't do much that day between the driving and being out in the heat we where exhausted. We picked up lunch at Schlotzsky's and took it back to the house to eat while we waited on our men to get home. It wasn't long after finishing our sandwiches that we where both sound asleep in the recliners. It's a ruff life living in the Valley I tell you.
That evening when the hubbs got home we took a little bike ride to the mountain behind his parents house and hiked up. It was such a beautiful view. I swear I could live here forever and never get tired of how pretty it is.
We finished off the evening with dinner and drinks before calling it a night.
*Sunday up and at it early that morning.
We where celebrating the MIL's birthday at Aunt Debbie's home that morning at 9am. Breakfast anyone?!?!? C is 1 of 5 and they all are very close, which I think is great. Everyone met up at Aunt D. house for a tasty breakfast casserole / burrito dish that Aunt Lisa made, followed by the fabulously delicious German Chocolate Cake that we picked up yesterday. Her Favorite.
After a little bit of catching up, lots of laughs, stories and hugs everyone parted way's to head on about their day.
We made our way across to the East Valley doing some random window shopping along the way before finding our way to the C's household. We had plans to hang out by the pool, grill and catch up with some of our great friends for the afternoon into the evening. Of course no gathering is complete with out dessert, we stumbled across another CupCake Bakery: which as well had been on CupCake Wars.
This was the first time the hubbs was able to meet their almost 2 year old twin girls that they adopted almost 2 years ago now. They are absolutely adorable and getting so big. We had the best time just hanging out and catching up. I saw P&N just this past December at Christmas but, It had been almost 4 years since the hubbs had seen them so it was a long much needed visit. Being a Sunday night (them having wrk the next day) I honestly didn't think we'd have a late night. Boy was I wrong, we didn't leave till almost midnight. I was exhausted and since the hubbs had quite a few Cold One's I was stuck driving the hour back across the valley to the 'Rent's house.
*Monday was a bit of a wash / randomness day.
The 'Rents had workers coming to the house that morning to do some work around the yard and so they asked us to stick around while they where there. Ok, no big deal we didn't have any big plans. Well other than the fact that it seriously took them forever to do the work. When I went out to ask the guy how much longer they where going to be, I got a blank stare because he spoke no English and didn't know a word of what I was saying. Finally after canceling our breakfast date we headed out across the Valley to the cemetery where Grandpa G is buried. Sunday was his birthday and since the hubbs wasn't able to come home for the funeral we wanted to make sure we made our way out for a visit.
We grabbed lunch at a place called Pita Monkey, OMG it was fabulously tasty. I so wish we had one in TN. A little random window shopping and a stop for YES MORE Cupcakes at Kreatives Kupcakes before heading home for the evening. We had a little Mexican themed dinner planned and cooked up the rest of the Tamales we had bought. Served nicely with a cold beverage.
 *Tuesday was go to work with your parent day.
We had been into the store off and on through out the week but just for short visit's here and there. Tuesday the hubbs was up well before the sun and out the door with his dad for the day. They had a packed schedule of service calls all across the Valley. While I slept in a bit and still managed to get my work out in I headed to the store shortly later but not before stopping at Whataburger for breakfast. I can't say that I did much work but I enjoyed getting to spend the day with my Mother - In - Love. The guys came back to check in and pick up parts a couple times and I managed to snag this picture of the two of us. He was less than thrilled that I was making him take a picture. (but hey, in my defense I didn't take many at all during our trip)
The four of us went to Arizona Fry Bread for lunch before splitting way's so the guys could finish out their work day. When your the Owner / Boss you can make you own schedule to a point, which means that the MIL and I had a early day and where off by 2pm. We picked up Papa Murphy's for dinner and headed home. (the hubbs favorite, really anything pizza related and surprisingly he hadn't had any since being home.)
A nice relaxing evening at home and a early trip to bed to get ready for our flight home the next day.
*Wednesday came all to quickly.
Before we knew it our time in the Valley had come to a end and we found ourselves at the airport saying our "See You Soon's" to the In Loves. I absolutely hate hate having to leave them. I wish we lived closer, even a few hours drive I wouldn't mind. Maybe one day we say.
Checking-In at PHX heading to DFW went much smoother than coming. They didn't weigh our bag, we didn't have to pay anything and the screening went smooth. We even had time to sit down for a nice little breakfast. A short hour delay after we got to our gate due to AC problems on the plane and we where quickly on our way. Only to wait at the baggage claim for half a hour for our bag. Seriously, what is it with DFW airport here lately. We really should have drove. Next time I can guarantee we will, I'm so over flying here lately. Thankfully the next few trips we have planned are all drivable.

We had a absolute wonderful time being back home in the Valley, it was much needed get away for the both of us. I can't wait to go back, I just hope its not as long of a time between this next go around. I'm really thinking we need to make it a yearly summer trip!! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Let's Drive? Let's Fly? Disaster!!!

When planning our post block leave trip we where just going to do something simple, the two of us. Then the hubbs had the great idea to go back home to Texas and Arizona. I was 100% on board, going to see both of our families, ummm yes please. So the hubbs had the bright idea to drive from Tennessee to Texas and then from Texas to Arizona. Sounded like a great idea right. Then I started google mapping the route and the time it would take to drive. YIKES!!! 10 Hours from TN to TX and then 15 Hours from TX to AZ. Talk about crazy. I asked the hubbs why he wanted to drive, if there was a specific reason. He said "he figured it would just be cheaper". Makes sense. I was totally for driving from TN to TX but then to add another 15 hours to AZ after that, we'd loose 2 days just in traveling. I did a online search for plane tickets and found two round trip tickets for a week under $400.00. DONE!! I'm normally the one who is always trying to save money and take the easy way out but I was more than willing to cough up the extra dough for the tickets to allow us to have more time in each place. 

The hubbs mom had absolutely no idea we where coming, she didn't even know we where in Texas. His dad knew though and he was in on the plan the whole time. Her birthday was the day after we where going to arrive and that was a big reason for going to AZ when we did. I couldn't wait to surprise her. We'd been sitting on the secret for MONTHS. Finally with in a few short hours she would have the best birthday ever!!! 

After our dinner at OTB my NeNe drove us to the airport and dropped us off at the terminal I told her we where flying out of. We where already going to be about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs early but that was ok by us. We didn't want NeNe to be out driving late. That's when all H-E-Double Hockey Sticks broke out. 
We started to check in at the kiosk and our reservation was not able to be located. The sweet gate agent informed us we where at the wrong terminal. (If you know DFW airport, you know you can't just walk to the other terminals) So back outside we went to catch the shuttle to the correct terminal. Along the way my phone rings, it was our airline calling to tell us that our 9:20pm flight out had been delayed till 11:30pm. Oh My Gosh, talk about frustration. (I missed a call at dinner from a 1-800 # but there was no message, so I didn't think anything of it (it was the airline) and silly me I never check our flights before we leave, lesson learned for sure.) The hubbs was already in a funk because we went to the wrong terminal, now we where delayed and going to be at the airport for almost 3 1/2-4 hrs waiting. Finally at our correct terminal and checking in at the ticket counter. The problems just keep coming. The hubbs was checking a firearm so we had to go through that process, the gate agent had clearly never dealt with doing this before. Then he so kindly reminded her that she needed to weigh our bag. (we packed ONE GIANT roller duffle bag and I had a small roller board carry on) I knew it was going to be over but I didn't expect it to be 29 lbs over. Yes our bag weighted in at 79lbs. I had two 5lbs weights in there that I was able to take out and put in my carry on but the bottle of wine, my blender (yes I packed my own blender) and all my Shakeology fixings had to stay in there. It brought our bag down to 69lbs, which over course was still 19lbs over weight, there was nothing we could do. I hadn't my CC over and paid the $100.00 fee, complaining would do no good we knew it was our own fault. 

After the whole bag or-deal we head down to the TSA Over Baggage Office (which we had the hardest time finding) to have our bag and the Firearm searched and Declared (airline / airport policy). The guy sitting at the desk in the room was on his head phones in his own little world. "Excuse Me, we need to have our bag checked bc we have a Firearm" I said. He slams his phone down and throws his head phones off, as if we where interrupting his precious time. Excuse me, but isn't this your job. "Where's the gate agent that checked you in" he asked. "She didn't come down with us, she just told us where to come" I responded. Oh heavens that opened up another can of worms. "She's suppose to come with you, ugh." He takes our bag with this disgusted look on his face. Pardon me sire, we are just doing what she told us to do, I though. He tosses our bag on the table and opens it up, and again has this awful face when he opens it up as though our belongings smelled or was a complete disaster when he opened it. But it was anything but that. He did the search and went to put the test paper in the machine and as he did it the machine went down. Oh gosh this guys day was just getting worse and worse. So we waited while  the machine rebooted. OMG, what else could go wrong. Finally that was done, I waited to make sure our bag was all closed up before walking away since we had to leave it with him. Off through security and to our gate to get settled in for our long awaited delay. 
At this point we where both frustrated and annoyed with everything and where just exhausted from the back and forth. 
Since we had a good bit of time to waste and had to get ahold of the FIL who was picking us up to let him know what was going on, We went back and forth on what we wanted to do. Do we rent a car and drive the hour out to the house at midnight when we land? Do we get a hotel and stay the night in PHX? Do we contact his cousin and stay there with them for the night? Do we still have his dad come pick us up? Do we tell his mom, and give into the surprise? We where finally able to get in contact with his dad to let him know what was going on. Even though we where getting in so late he still didn't mind picking us up. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my In-Loves, they are amazing. 
While the hubbs was on the phone with his dad I heard something about a standby earlier flight. I jumped up and ran to the ticket counter. Only two wait in line forever to be told we couldn't get on because we had checked baggage. UGH!!!!
I was so mad. When I sat back down I said to the hubbs "I really wished I had that bottle of wine that is in the checked bag right now because I NEED A DRINK!!!!" He didn't realize I had pack it, because before we left I told him I wasn't going to take it to try and save on weight. Yay, when I knew we where going to be over I said what the heck and packed it any how. 
There was a restaurant / bar right down from our terminal so we headed down for drinks and a slice of cheese cake. He finally convinced me that we needed to tell his mom because we where getting in so late and he felt bad having to have his dad come get us. I really didn't want to I wanted to surprise her. But I guess it was still a great surprise because her reaction when I told her was priceless. 

Skip ahead a few hours, we finally boarded, gate checked my carry on roller (which had ALL my clothes in it just not shoes), landed in AZ, met up with the in-loves (best welcoming reaction from his mom ever!!!), got the carry on roller off the luggage conveyer-belt but no duffel. You know the one with the Firearm in it. We waited and waited and waited and nothing. We though maybe we have to get it at the luggage service counter for the airline because it has a firearm, or maybe they took it there because it was so big it couldn't go on the conveyer-belt. The line was insanely long with people trying to locate their bag or file a claim. I sat down the the folks while the hubbs waited in line. After what seemed like forever he was finally able to speak to a agent at the counter. I see her walk back to the back to check for our bag and shortly later she comes back empty handed. The hubbs head drops and I threw my jacket down and ran over there. You've got to be kidding me. Its not here. Hello freakout moment. Not only did we had the Firearm in there but collectively with both our new shoes, my BB stuff, clothes and birthday gifts there was over $3000 worth of stuff in that bag. The airline had no recored of the bag even being checked in and leave DFW. All that time we where waiting where the heck was our bag? The hubbs had nothing, no clothes, no shoes, no toiletries, No GUN. You could see the frustration coming, I was furious and stressed to the max, tired from such a long day and hungry. All they where able to do was file a claim for a missing / lost bag. 
On the drive home I was googling and trying to call any one I could to figure out what we needed to do. Apart of me wanted to turn around and go back to DFW to get the bag. Simply because his gun was in there. Its one out of 100 (I believe) made, so replacing it would be quite hard. 

I spent the next morning calling again and again trying to locate the bag. Finally mid-morning a recording update, our bag had landed in AZ. I checked the online website status and it to said it had arrived in AZ. It NEVER got on a plane last night. Seriously so where was the bag the entire time we where sitting on the DFW airport. I fully blame it on the TSA baggage office guy. He was such a jerk and probably left the bag sitting on the table after we walked away. 
We got a call about a hour later saying our bag was going to be out for delivery and should arrive by 1pm. It was about 9:30am at this point, so that meant we had to hang out at the house till it got there.  Sucks for them, because his parents live about a hour from the airport. Ya, sucks for us because the bag didn't end up getting delivered till 15 min after 1pm. 
Everything was there and accounted for though. Thank freaking goodness. 
We should have drove, but we flew. It will be quicker and less stressful I though, but it wasn't. 
It was nothing but a HOT MESS.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Walking Down Memory Lane

Up early again for a bike ride around Veterans Park before heading across town to visit with my step dad for a bit. I enjoy that even though him and my mom are not together any more that we have still kept in touch and make that we make a point to visit him when we are in town. 
After our visit we headed to downtown Dallas for breakfast at Hypnotic Donuts. I'd never eaten there before and some how came across their shop online a couple weeks back before our trip. Their donuts looked pretty amazing and let me tell you they did not disappoint. I only managed to get a picture of one or the two I got. Probably because they where so good I gobbled them up quickly.
 After breakfast we headed to the Dallas World Aquarium where we got married almost 8 years ago. (November 9th, 2007) Every time the hubbs and I go back to Texas together we always make a point to go revisit the Aquarium. Very little has changed which makes it that much more enjoyable. I think I'd be really disappointed if it ever went under a drastic change. I remember the day like it was yesterday. From the moment we arrived on the day of our wedding, getting ready, walking through the reception area and the wedding as a whole. Walking through talking about all the fun we had, reminiscing over our special day and looking at the different animals. We've been to several different aquariums (every where we go, we always try to visit the local one if they have one) and nothing ever seems to compare to the DWA. No, I'm not just saying that because we where married there yes I might be a little biased but it really is a neat open aquarium. I highly recommend it if your ever in the area. 
We took a picture in the exact spot where we said our "I Do's", even though its a little dark I love beginning able to compare the two. 

I can't wait till the day when and if we possibly have a little one that we can take her (because we all know it WILL be a girl lol) back to the DWA and show them where we got married. I always wanted to get married some where different, not in a church and this most definitely did it. The DWA will always hold a special place in my heart. 

After we where done we headed back into Arlington for lunch, and to pick up a few things we needed for our flight out that evening before going back to relax for a bit. I've completely given up fast food and really I don't miss it at all. However I did allow myself to splurge on our trip and enjoy a few of my favorites places. I introduced the hubbs to Chicken Express for the first time, I don't know if he enjoyed it as much as I do but that's ok. I got my fix and that's all that matters right.
 After a bit of relaxing the hubbs suggested we ride our bikes up to Braums for a little Ice Cream treat. Umm YES PLEASE. Don't mind if I do. My NeNe lives literally about half a mile from there so it was a perfect little outing. Brahms is my absolute favorite when it comes to Ice Cream. Probably simple because it's what I grew up on. My two favorite go to flavors are Peppermint Ice Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. Not even gonna lie each time we went while home on vacay, I got a double scoop waffle cone. One scoop of each flavor and it was fantastic. :) Hey its ok I still managed to work out in some form or fashion every day. When on Vacay right?!?!?!?! 
That evening the NeNe, the Hubbs and Myself met up with two other couples for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants On The Border, you can't go wrong with Mexican Food, like EVER. Ken and Linda and Eric and Stephanie have been such great role models for me growing up and even more so since I've been married. They are all my parents age but sometimes you'd never know that by the way they act. In a good way that is. They definitely know how to enjoy life and live it up. I look up to each and everyone of them as a parental figure in one way or another and I'm so grateful to have them in our life. I love even more that even though I've moved away and am only able to make it home every so often, that each time we get together its as if no time has passed. They love and care for the both of us just as we where their own children. Eric is the one who married us and has always been such a great supporter. I babysat his two boys for several years when I lived at home and now they are both in college. Crazy how time flies. 
I wish I would have gotten a picture of the six of us together but between the tasty Swirl Frozen Margarita, the Chips and Salsa and the not so great service we where just having to much fun. It was a much needed get together and catch up time with them. I'm so glad we where able to make it work out while we where home. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Just another Day

Early Tuesday morning we got up and took our bikes to Veteran's park which is just up the road from where my NeNe lives. The park is great for just about any outdoor activity running, biking, football, frisbee golf, feeding the ducks or just taking a stroll around along the beautiful trail's. I love this park because not only does it have so much history but it is family friendly and huge. The full trail around the park is about a mile and a half. The first time around the 5am sprinklers where on and we got sprayed. That wasn't very welcoming so early in the morning. We continued on and went around about 3-4 times at a good pace before heading home. NeNe had a eye doctor's appointment that morning so we decided we would take her and spend some more time with her as well. It was a good thing because they ended up dilating both eye's when they where only suppose to do one. I felt awful for her, but we where so grateful that we had drove. I was also able to visit and catch up with NeNe's good friend Memory. I honestly don't remember her to much but I she is just the sweetest lady ever. 
Lola finally warmed up to the hubbs and wouldn't leave his side.

Later that morning NeNe fixed a fully breakfast casserole for brunch while the hubbs and I went and gathered a few things for dinner. Dad and my brother where coming over and we where cooking a tasty meal for everyone. After brunch we went and did a little random window shopping at a few stores before heading over to visit with my friend Angela. I always love coming home and really getting to catch up with good friends. Sure there's Facebook, Instagram, Texting and Calling but there's just something about being about to really spent time with someone you care about and love so much. Each and every time Ang and I get together its as if no time has ever passed. We pick right up where we left off. Not a second has been missed and that's what I love so much about her. It's so easy. We can go weeks or months at a time with out talking and you'd never know. Although one afternoon was not nearly enough time. I wish we had so much more time in Texas but there's just always so much to do and so many people to see. It makes it hard to get around and please everyone. 

We had a great dinner and visit with my dad and brother at the house. We made Croissant Sammies with a Cucumber / Tomato Salad and Baked Sweet Potato Bites. Everyone really seemed to enjoy dinner. I absolutely love that I've been about to spend so much time with my dad this trip. Normal I don't get to see him all that much so this time around has really been a treat.
Speaking of treats, after dinner we went up to the mall to take a stroll around and see if we could find any good cycling books at Barnes and Nobles. No such luck there but I did score a couple of new Fiestaware pieces. A few weeks back I dropped one of my plates and it shattered. I had been looking for a replacement with out buying the whole set and hadn't had much luck. That was till we went to Macy's.
We'd talked about going to The Cheese Cake Factory for dessert afterwards but decided to make a little bit of a better choice. Frozen Yogurt. I think we chose just right.

I'd never been to Pinkberry before and let me tell you it was sooooo good. Different from the normal Frozen Yogurt places we had been to. They only had a couple different yogurt flavors to pick from, a small but tasty selection of toppings. The girls working made up your bowl for you. You told them which size cup, which yogurt flavor and which toppings up to 3 that you wanted. It was one set price and didn't go by weight like most other places I'd been to. Now if you wanted additional toppings you could have those added on as well. I went with Chocolate Yogurt, Strawberries, Granola and Cookie Dough bites. It was so good. Just thinking about it now makes me wish we had one back in Clarksville. I remember living in Hawaii and not being a huge fan of FroYo. My love for it started when we moved to Cola. Seriously the best afternoon or late night dessert. Really its good anytime of the day if you ask me.