Friday, July 25, 2014

Traveling with the Twins

Here we go...
Here we go?

On Sunday, Samantha, Easton, and I are going to embark on a little road trip by ourselves.
(...and Aunt Kelsey for a leg of it.)

We will start off on Sunday, heading to Blake's mom and dad's house to drop off the dogs with PawPaw. We'll make a sharp turn right to head to Blake's sister, brother-in-law, and Lincoln's house to spend a quick night and have a quick visit before waking up to head to Oklahoma on Monday morning.

We'll spend Monday and Monday night with my brother, sister-in-law, and Baby Benjamin until we leave for Hardy, Arkansas on Tuesday morning with poor Aunt Kelsey in tow.

I'm sure Kelsey is super excited.
Who wouldn't be?!
She can't back out now.
You hear that, Kelsey!! You're coming, woman!

We'll drive the seven hours through eastern Oklahoma and the Ozark mountains before we reach my grandmother's house where we'll stay for Tuesday night, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 

At that point, we'll jump back into the truck, retrace the route we took a few days prior, and arrive back in Oklahoma on Friday just in time for everyone to come in town for Baby Benjamin's 2nd Birthday Extravaganza! 

We'll celebrate Benjamin's birthday with the traditional cake, ice cream, bounce house, Mexican food, Toy Story theme on Saturday before we head back home on Sunday. 

Are you getting tired just thinking about it?
I'm getting tired thinking about packing alone, much less the entire week-long trip.

Oh, and "Where is Blake?" you ask?

He says he'll be bringing in the cheese, working late and such, but I'm going to guess that he'll be doing a bit of the following:
  1. Rolling in the crisp white sheets of sleeping in a bed alone without the baby monitors turned on
  2. Eating Taco Bell every night for dinner
  3. Watching horrible man television like "Banshee" and crap like that
  4. Forgetting to put the toilet seat down
  5. Walking around the house naked (Neighbors, consider this a warning!)
  6. Leaving his dirty clothes piled up on the floor next to the foot of the bed
  7. Snuggling with the cat since no one is around witness
I would keep going, but I was beginning to realize that the more things I thought of the less you'd like to hear about them.

So, to recap... The kids (the two recently started using the potty and aren't currently wearing diapers during the day three-year-old twins) and I are heading out for a week-long trip... Alone.

Pray for us...
Pray for us?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Top Ten Things I Miss About Oklahoma

I should honestly be doing laundry right now.
Loads and loads are waiting on me to throw in the washer, move to the dryer, and fold in neat piles that I'll tuck away here and there.

Lucky for me... I can always do it tonight or tomorrow.

This weekend I took a quick, planned-it-last-Monday, trip to visit my brother, sister, sister-in-law, and nephew.

Blake and I travel to Oklahoma far more than we should.
Loading the kids and dogs and making the eight-hour drive to just north of OKC where we spent our teenage/high school years.
We just love to visit with my brother, his little family, and my sister, but we also just need an Oklahoma fix every now and again.

We miss the Sooner state.
There are aspects about it that just aren't found here in good ole' Texas.
(Don't get me wrong... We love our Texas life! Another post, another time.)

Below are the top ten things that I miss the most about Oklahoma:

1. My Family
I miss being within a few miles from everyone that means the world to me. Maybe that is just a perk of living at home with your parents, but I loved that I was never far from my immediate family.
Blake was with his mom and dad just three miles away. Erica, my brother's now wife and then girlfriend, just two miles south of us. Now everyone is all scattered. Even Mikey, Kelsey's boyfriend, is all the way over in Florida now. Regardless, when I go to Oklahoma now to visit, Kelsey and Jonathan only live four miles apart. And obviously Erica and Jonathan live in the same house, being married and all.

2. Braum's Ice Cream & Dairy Stores
When my family and I first moved to Oklahoma we had no idea what Braum's was... If you don't know, it is only the most amazing, easily accessible, and authentic ice cream/burger place. I never knew how much I would miss the chocolate malts and even the horrible crinkle fries! My mom used to always buy our milk from there because it just tasted so much better. It was totally worth the separate trip to just pick up milk!

3. The Driving Surprises
I remember always being so cautious when I first started driving because anything and everything could run out in front of your car. I saw giant, hairy spiders, road runners, coyotes, foxes, huge box turtles, snakes of all kinds, deer, cows, and so much more! Erica told me about her cousin having an owl fly into his windshield! Eventually, you just get used to it and you learn to drive with a keener eye that always watches the sides of the road. (I'm sure that I could see any of those things on a Texas road, but in Oklahoma it just seems so much more prevalent. Maybe because it is so flat and you can see an animal a mile away?)

4. The Night Sky
I used to lie on the top of my rusty yellow Jeep that I drove in high school to stare at the sky at night. You could see millions of stars. It was amazing to me that I could see so much from so far away. I used to try to take a picture of it so I would always have that image... Yea, that doesn't work especially with a cheap disposable camera.
I also remember one time where Blake and I sat outside my parents' house one night and watched a lightning storm dance around the sky for hours before the storm finally reached us and we had to go in. That was a completely normal experience in Oklahoma. Not so much here.

5. The Seasons
I would take the dry heat over the sticky humidity any day of the year. Oklahoma is hot when it is hot, but it has four seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring
It is hot during the day, but it is cool at night during the summer. You can actually walk outside without immediately breaking out in a sweat that leaves you needing a shower within minutes.
The leaves change colors and the air turns crisp with the scent of the oncoming cold fronts during the fall. Your uncarved pumpkins don't rot before Halloween because of the unrelenting heat that stays over Houston until mid-November.
In the winter, there is snow! I haven't seen snow in I don't know how long... I always miss it when I'm visiting. People may panic with the icy roads and heavy snow fall, but in Houston, we panic over barely-there flurries and the possibility that the temperature might drop below freezing. Might, people!
Spring is pretty much known as Tornado Season... That deserves a number of its own on my list.

6. Tornado Season
Okay, so tornadoes are deadly and destructive. They are scary and make your throat tight with panic. Tornadoes cost crazy sums of money and can make you replace the roof of your house over and over, get your car body repainted time and time again, but... Tornadoes are majestic and impressive.
I remember when the sky would turn green and the air would become still. I remember the time I turned into my parents' neighborhood after having to be waved through by a police officer and not seeing the house across the street. I remember listening to hail hammering onto the door of the storm shelter. I remembering crying when we drove through Moore last May when I saw the billboard stating "We are Moore Strong" and watching the news with people banded together to rebuild.
There is unbelievable devastation and heartache that walks hand-in-hand with the power and beauty of a tornado. They are AWESOME in the most literal sense of that word.

7. Football Season
Texas football is serious. Crazy serious. Oklahoma football just means so much more to me. I could care less about University of Texas, A&M, Baylor, Rice, U of H... I care about the Sooners. When it is football season I think about those fall days on campus. There was an energy so thick that it buzzed on gamedays. Even if you cared nothing about the game, you couldn't help but get caught up in the excitement. Maybe it is like that on every college campus, but I care only about my college campus. Boomer!

8. The Sonic on Every Corner
Sonic's are literally Every.Where. I feel like a Diet Coke with Extra Cherry? Not the Diet Cherry... Regular Cherry? No problem. Spit and you'll hit a Sonic.
Plus, the Sonic's in Houston don't have cheddar bites. How can they not have cheddar bites?! Gaw.

9. The State Fair
Houston may have the Rodeo, but blah, the Oklahoma State Fair is so much better when it comes to rides, food, and most importantly, people-watching.
One time Blake and I sat on a bench eating roasted corn and fried cheesecake, all the while watching hundreds (literally hundreds) of people ohhing and ahhing over the Charmin Bathroom Trailer. I mean, it was a nice porter potty set-up, but people were acting like it was a prized attraction, lining up in never-ending throngs of people to use the bathroom. It was nuts and oh-so entertaining to watch the excitment these people had over a porter potty. He!
(If you were/are one of those people who got/gets super excited at the Oklahoma State Fair by the Charmin Trailer don't be offended. We think you are great... er, great-ly entertaining!)

10. The Warm, Safe, Fuzzy Feeling
I understand that in Oklahoma there are crimes, violence, gangs, etc. but it is just so much less than here in Houston. I remembering wandering around downtown OKC and not being all that terrified in high school. (I wasn't in a particularly dangerous part of downtown, but I was a 17-year-old girl who wasn't on high guard. That says a lot.)
When I moved to Houston I immediately began to realize that Houston is not the same as Oklahoma City, and what I used to be intimidated by in Oklahoma is nothing compared to what I have seen here. For example, I went to pick Blake up from the airport and saw a man get shot in his car, run off the road, and then the other passergers in that car were dragged by gunpoint into another car. (I didn't realize what I was seeing until I spoke face-to-face with a police officer later after calling 911. No one died, btw.)
There is violence everywhere... I just feel safer in Oklahoma.

Even though I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, I consider Oklahoma my home more than any other place. I miss Oklahoma almost as much as a I love my home Blake and I have made here in Texas. Not quite as much, but almost.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Oh, the joys...

Here are a couple tidbits of the happenings within our lives with kids...

The Story about the Apples in Samantha's Nose

This past weekend during a fairly low-key lunch Samantha announced that she had apples up her nose.
Umm... Okay? 
We still aren't sure how she could have possibly gotten apples in her nose without her willingly putting them in there (why?), but she sure did have apples in her nose.
Again, why?!
After a few blow-your-nose attempts and careful removal with squeezing and such, most of the apples had successfully left the tight quarters that they are previously been packed into.
Wait, though, it gets worse...
Samantha began sneezing, her body's natural defense of ridding itself of foreign objects. After her fourth sneeze, the remaining apple flew out...      
...onto Blake's shirt. 
Samantha promptly popped the piece of apple into her mouth.
How am I supposed to move on with my life after this, acting as though everything is normal?

Easton Hurts His Toe

Easton is pretty clumsy. On Saturday morning he heads outside without shoes on only to come back inside with a skinned knee and half of his toenail missing on his second toe on his left foot. 
After a fairly dramatic period of time, he calms down. When I ask if he'd like a band-aide for his hurt toe, he says, "No. I wan ah new toe." He later tells his daddy, "I wan ah new gween toe."

I'm not going to lie. I debated with myself for awhile about coloring his toe with a green sharpie.

I didn't.

Blake Reads Easton a Story 

Samantha and Easton have recently discovered the books that are downstairs in our home office. The books aren't for kids, they are the books that Blake and I have read and stacked in the bookshelves for both decoration and the hope that maybe we will one day return to read that particular book once we've forgotten what it was about and how it ended. 
Anyway, at this particular time Easton grabbed a book from the bottom shelf and retreated to his Daddy's lap exclaiming, "Re dis book tu me, Dad-ee!" 
Opening Easton's selection, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, Blake reads a random sentence that he thoughtlessly flipped to within the 349 page book.

"I was daydreaming of killing myself, something I indulge in..."

I came flying around the corner... "Inappropriate Blake! Make up something! Don't read the actual book!!!"

Blake, "Oh. Um. So there was once a little boy named Easton..."


Parents of the year right here, people.
These are prime examples that prove we have no idea what we are doing. 

Just winging it.