Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Texarkana Trip & Lake Day Fun

What a weekend, y'all!!  Seriously, this past weekend was a total whirlwind.  But so much fun!  I have so many pictures I want to share because these are memories I want to remember forever.  So this is your warning!

On Friday morning, we packed up and headed to Texarkana, where I was born and raised and where my parents still live.  Texarkana is located in the very Northeast corner of Texas and falls directly on the Texas/Arkansas state line.  So there is a Texarkana, TX and a Texarkana, AR.  I'm a Texas-side girl and super proud of it.

Craig stayed behind because he had to work (a little) and golf (a lot).  ;)  

My mom is off on Friday's so she always goes over to my granddad's house (her dad) and cooks lunch for him and whoever else wants to join.  My dad, my cousin, Kaci, and her kids usually join them and my mom makes some sort of delicious farm-to-table type meal.  Think cornbread, roast, purple hull peas and corn-on-the-cob straight from the garden, iced tea, etc.  Yummmm.

Unfortunately, my mom ended up getting a stomach bug this weekend and had to just send my dad with pizza.  I know it killed her that she couldn't make it!  And I'm not gonna lie.  I was disappointed to not have my mom cook for me!  But we totally understood.  

My mom is definitely our "cruise director" when we come into town and plans all the fun and all the entertainment.  So sitting anything out is super hard on her.  :(  She felt so bad that she had to keep her distance but since both my kids had just had a stomach bug, we knew what she was going through and it was rough.

Our drive to Texarkana isn't bad.  It takes about 2.5 hours to get there from Mckinney.  At a red light on the way there, I peeked into the backseat and saw Matthew like this.

He is 10 now.  He'll be in 5th grade this year.  And all I could think of was that his time with his stuffed animals is probably coming to an end.  I say it ALLLLL the time.  I know this.  But really.  It's going too fast.  And it is killing me.  I really worry that I might need some sort of therapy to deal with them growing up.  (No, seriously!)   I just want to rewind and do it all over again!  (And correct all those first-time mama mistakes!  Ha!)

We got to Texarkana around 11:45 and drove straight to my granddaddy's house.  Growing up, my grandparents' house was the best!  My great-grandmother lived in the house at the bottom of the hill (shown in the picture below) and my grandparents lived right up the hill (where I was taking the picture from).  So we were able to just run back and forth between the two houses and play on all of that land.  It was awesome.

When I was a kid, my granddad had the greatest tire swing ever hanging from a really tall tree.  There were 8 grandkids and we all were crazy about it.  With this next generation, he built his great-grandkids a zip line and it's kind of amazing.  And it's not just for kids.  Us "big kids" love it too!

This is Matthew going all the way down the hill on the zipline and my dad following to help pull him back to higher ground so he can jump off.

Mason waited patiently for his turn.

I even managed to snag a pic with him without any crazy faces!  #score

{FASHION PAUSE:  I talked about these cute new earrings from the Nordstrom Sale in my Favorites post on Friday and told you I'd snap a pic when I actually had makeup on.  ;)  This is the best I got but I ADORE them!  I also just got my silver/aqua ones in yesterday as well. I'll post a picture over in my FB group later today. Grab them from the sale at the discount while you can!  

And my polka dot ruffle sleeve top is a new favorite too and is on sale for just $26!  So many colors available.  I'm rarely an extra-small in anything but in this I am.  So size down one!}

Mason got his turn and was all smiles!


My cousin, Kaci, has two little boys too.  I'm several years older than her so growing up, she was just my cutie-pie little cousin.  But now that we are both grown women, I feel like she's the little sister I always wanted.  :)  And I love that she also has two little boys!  Jude and Maddox are just the cutest things ever and it's so fun that we have that in common. 

Maddox is getting so big!  I just love him.  And his silly faces.

After lunch, all the boys found the bowl of purple hull peas that Granddaddy had been shelling.  And they got to work!!

We seriously could not pull them away.  They were shelling machines.

Granddaddy sat down with them to get in on the action.  I know he loves having all these kids around.  My grandmother passed away a couple of years ago and they were actual soulmates.  So I know it's been hard on him and he probably gets a little lonely.  I would.  But these kids keep him busy and keep him young.  He is the youngest 83-year-old I've ever met.  We all hope our boys turn out just like him.

After we pulled the boys away from shelling peas, we drove over to Kaci's in-laws' house to go swimming.

Did I mention how cute Maddox is??  ;)

The boys LOVE any pool other than their own so this was a treat for them. 

After pool time, we went back to my parents' house and let the boys have some downtime in front of the TV.  I may or may not have gone to my room to take a nap while my parents were in charge.  ;)

But the whole reason I was coming to town this weekend was because one of my best friends was in from Louisiana.  Jessica and I grew up together.  We were elementary school classmates and played softball together and against each other for years and years, were high school cheerleaders and friends and then decided to go to college together at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, LA.  We became roommates, best friends, and sorority sisters and I couldn't love her more.  She just had her first baby and was in town to see her family so I took the opportunity to go meet her sweet Luke for the first time.

When I left to go see Jessica, my dad took the boys back to my granddad's for more zipline fun (now that the sun was going down and the temperature had dropped below 100).  They ended up ziplining for awhile but also helped Granddaddy pick tomatoes from his garden.

Sweaty, happy little country boys!  I love that they have this man in their lives!

While they were doing that, I was doing this...

Look how sweet! I tried to get a picture with him but literally, the one time we tried, he started crying.  And it was the only time he cried the entire time I was there.  Go figure. haha.

But Jessica and I did manage to get our own picture together.  I am so proud of this girl.  She worked her butt off and paid her way through college to become a very successful chiropractor who also spent years in Africa working to help people before she moved back to the states.  Her story really is awesome and I'm going to ask her if I can share it on the blog.

The next morning, the boys were ready for more fun.  My dad has wanted to take them bowling for awhile now so we headed to the bowling alley right at 10am which meant we basically had it all to ourselves.

I'm not kidding when I say Mason is in NO WAY exaggerating his bowling style in this next picture.  He was hilarious to watch.  A 6 pound bowling ball is hard to roll when you're 8.

The first game went to my dad but barely!  I was so close!

We hit up the arcade after our game because boys and arcades go together like...me and Bravo?  ;)  #yep

After the arcade, the boys played a couple of games of laser tag and then we bowled one more game.  Not gonna lie.  My shoulder was hurting by the end of game 2.  #oldpeopleproblems

But I did manage to WIN!!  I've never won at bowling.  Ever. So this was fun.  And I'm not sure I've ever beaten my dad at anything before.

We left Texarkana around 2:30 that afternoon and as soon as we got to Mckinney, it was lake prep time.  Our friends and neighbors invited us to join them at Lake Murray in Ardmore, OK (an hour and a half from Mckinney) on Sunday and we were all leaving at 8am.  So as soon as we got the car unloaded Saturday evening, I left for the grocery store to get food for the boat and get ready for the next morning.

I can't believe we were all ready to go on time the next day!  Miracles do happen, people.  We had a fun drive up to the lake and played Car Bingo the whole way there.

We rented a pontoon boat and had 8 adults and 7 kids in total.

Mason saw a turtle pop it's head out of the water and then it immediately swam back down.  Mason looked up at me and said "Mom, I just saw a turtle but it went away.  And I was going to name him Jeff.".  I laughed so hard when he turned away.  So random.  Jeff??

The lake was GORGEOUS.  It was our first time at Lake Murray but we will absolutely be back.

We "parked" in a little cove and the kids wasted no time jumping off into the water.  It was approximately 1 million degrees, by the way.

(SIDENOTE:  This is the absolute greatest swimsuit.  It's my first one-piece in years but I am in LOVE.  The colors are gorgeous and the fit is perfection.  Full coverage in the booty, a halter to give you a little boost and ruching in the middle.  I mean. #perfect)

On another sidenote...I have no idea where Craig got this ridiculous hat from.  I'm sorry I can't link it for you.  ;)  Hahaha.

We had a great day on the lake.  The boys jumped off the top of the boat 1000 times.  And slid down the slide just as much.  We had lots of jet ski time and I have no doubt that was the boys' favorite part of the day.

By 3pm we were all ready to go.  It was HOT.  Our skin would burn even flying across the lake on the jet ski when we were completely wet.  That kind of heat takes the fun out of things quick.  Our friends had to leave to get back in time for a prior commitment so we all just decided to call it a day.

I snapped this picture after we'd been in the car for at least half an hour on the way home.  Even in Texas, that is crazy hot.  I honestly can't ever remember a time it was this hot.  And I was born and raised in Texas.

So that was our weekend!  We're looking forward to the rest of our summer break!  We've got my in-laws coming to town next week with our niece, Scarlet, who is 9.  The boys can't wait!  They love their cousin.

We've got some fun things we hope to do while she's here.  After they leave, Craig is off to Wisconsin to play in Donald Driver's annual charity softball tournament.  (Donald Driver is a Packer's Hall of Famer and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.  Craig played with him in Green Bay.)  And as soon as he gets back from that, we head out to the beach!

When we get back, it will be time for back-to-school prep.  School starts August 20th. (So early!) We are headed to Green Bay for a game and alumni weekend for the 100th year anniversary celebration in September, I turn...another year older in October and then we're off to Disney in November. The rest of our year is going to fly by and we have so much to look forward to. But I'd be ok with life slowing down.  



  1. Laurie S11:58 AM

    What a wonderful weekend! I cannot imagine being out in 100+ weather. Anything over 75 and I'm dying. Hope your mom is feeling better. Stomach bugs are NO FUN.

  2. Anonymous12:57 PM

    Amanda your complexion is perfection! Any secrets or tips??

    1. A good Instagram filter?? Hahaha. You're so sweet. Thank you! It's definitely not perfection in real life but I do the best I can. :) I will say that I can probably count the number of times I've slept in my makeup on one hand. I ALWAYS take my makeup off before bed and wash my face in the morning no matter how sick or how tired I am. I think that helps. And I switch between basic Neutrogena and Clarisonic face washes. The rest of my skin care routine is always rotating! I'll do a post on all of that soon!


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