WE WENT TO TEXAS!!! Finally…
You might ask, what is in Texas?
Our best friends! They have been gone for about three years now and we figured enough was enough. We packed up and headed their way. :)
I was a little nervous about taking all my kiddos through crowded airports, so I dressed them all in super bright orange, including hats. Yes I'm that sort of mom. ;) It worked really well though and definitely made me feel less anxious about the whole thing. Although we got so many comments that I sort of regretted it at one point, ha ha! Apparently these are Broncos colors, so we got scolded in Seattle. That didn't cross my mind at all since I DON'T CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL! Shesh.
I have to say that before we got there check in and security had me the most freaked out, but when we got there it was a piece of pie! We were fast tracked through and everyone was really helpful in the Seattle airport. In fact we ended up being super early because everyone told us to have a few hours cushion just in case, but it was a breeze! So there was a lot of sitting around waiting. Which in the end is better than freaking out about missing your flight, ha ha!
It's always good to read the emergency manual before take off. ;)
First flight ever! And they were soooooo excited!
I promise he was as well, he just likes to mess with me now when it comes to taking his picture… :/
Leiella and Teressa are both buckled and ready!
I was not a fan of take off, but came to find out I'm even more not a fan of landing. :/
My daughter was so sweet. She held my hand at both take off and landing because she knew how nervous I was. I had already told my kids they had my permission to push/pull me onto the plane if need be. ;) She kept telling me she would help me be brave since I always help her to be brave. Melted my heart! And I of course had to put on a brave face for that!!!
Window pictures! Ha ha! It was a beautiful clear day for the most part so that gave the kids plenty of distractions. :)
They were soooooo good on the plane! Each of them had a backpack to carry on and a bag filled with stuff to do. We only did carry on so we wouldn't have to worry about baggage claims. I also printed our boarding passes out on line, and I highly suggest that! Made things so easy! :) They kept themselves entertained with coloring, pipe cleaners, and travel games, and of course lots and lots of snacks. ;) The boys were all in one row together so they rotated seats every half hour or so. That way they all got time at the window. :) Lucky Leiella was sitting with mom and dad so she got a window seat the whole time. :)
Oh and we did non-stop flights, no way I wanted to figure out switching planes with all my kiddos!
I was so ready for drinks by the time we landed safely on the ground and made it to the rental. ;)
We left our house at 7:30 am and got to our rental around 6 pm, it was a long day. But my dearest friend had food for us, ready to make (she did the menus for the whole week, taking into account all of our food sensitivities, that is no small task! I can not even fully express how wonderful it was not to have to plan the menus!!!) and we all settled in. The time difference is about two hours later than ours, so that was interesting. Plus the time change was the day before, spring forward, so we were totally thrown for a loop! The kids stayed up late, but in reality they were going to bed at there usual bedtime, 7:30. That worked out well. ;) Of course that did not translate into them sleeping in in the morning, but it never does, so no surprises there!
Story time with Auntie Iva!
This beautiful man finally gets a week to lounge and relax. :) He was working non-stop weeks and weekends up until we left.
I thought the ceiling in our rental was pretty cool! :) We rented a house for the week, because with all our food sensitivities eating out is rarely an option. So we needed a full kitchen. Plus hotels with kids just aren't much fun, it nice to have a yard for them to run around in. This place had a pool, hot tub and a play yard with play equipment, super kid friendly. And for how many of us there were it ended up being way cheaper than a hotel anyways. :)
We chose not to get a rental car, because we wanted to mostly just hang out and let the kids play and relax. At one point we walked to a skating rink with the kiddos and they had a blast. :) None of the pictures in the rink turned out though, oh well.
Girls! Leiella was in sister heaven. All that sisterly love!!!
I was fascinated by these spiky looking puff balls on the branches, some sort of moss.
We had a bit of drama while we were there. Or at least my husband did. On his way walking home from the store he saw a little dog get hit. So sad. It was hurt pretty bad and couldn't move. The people that hit the dog stopped for a bit but ended up taking off. Another stranger stopped and she was a doggy angel. She was in the whole dog rescue loop so she started networking right away to see if someone would take on the responsibility of a hurt dog and foster it. She was on her way to work though and so she asked that we keep the dog until she got things figured out. We were just getting ready to head out but put our plans on hold. Ryder sat up front for about two hours waiting with the dog to see if this lady would indeed do as she promised. She did. :) She came back and picked him up and later reported that the dog got the surgery he needed, was recovering, and had a foster home set up. :) The dog had no collar/tags and was not microchipped so there wasn't anything else we could do to try and reunite it with the owners. We were told that a dog hurt that bad would probably just suffer for a while at the pound and then get put to sleep. :/ Didn't want that. Anyways I love my husbands caring heart. :)
These girls were absolutely adorable! The best of friends right off the bat. Like they had never been separated. It was the sweetest! They could hardly have remembered each other from before, but you wouldn't have been able to tell from the comfortable way they related with each other. Two peas in a pod. Her friend was their in the room when Leiella was born, that's a bond you just can't break. ;)
Waiting for the bus to take us to the river walk in San Antonio TX!
Checking out the river when we got there...
It was a long, fun, tiring walk. :) I of course ended up a wee bit sunburnt, even though it wasn't very hot outside. I couldn't tell how bad it was getting until it was too late, because there was a nice breeze cooling everything down. We ended up coming to Texas during a time when they were having uncharacteristically cool weather. Mid 60's for the most part, warmed up to low 70's the last couple of days we were there. I didn't mind it, but I know the kids were hoping for warmer weather because they wanted to live in the pool while we were there.
Riding the bus was also exciting according to the kids. ;)
Back to the house we go!
Finally some pool time!!!
Leiella was not having it the first time around, wouldn't even hardly put her toes in. But eventually her big sister friend talked her into the pool and walked around with her until she got use to it. Then she didn't want out, ha ha! Such a great big sister. ;)
This beautiful man. Enough said. ;) I took lots of pictures of his half naked self relaxing in the sunshine, but I won't be posting those on the interwebs. ;) Be still my heart!
These girls are the silliest. Sharing a floaty. :)
Warming up in the hot tub, because it really wasn't pool weather. Tell that to the kids, ha ha! In fairness to my little Washingtonians though it felt pretty dang warm. ;)
Last day at the rental, with the sadness of knowing that all too soon we would be on our way...
My sister from another mister… and mom… ha ha!
We went on a great walk to kill time in between check out at the rental and our late flight back.
There were some shops and a restaurant at the end of the trail. We did a little shopping and even ate fries and a fruit bowl at the restaurant. :) We ate outside and got to see a male and female cardinal. That made Atty's day. :) Wish I'd been able to get a picture of them!
This made me so happy, these two friends talking away, just enjoying each others company. They've been friends from the beginning, going on ten years now! Distance has not taken that away. :)
The Washingtonians marveling at the patch of cacti, ha ha!
Saying goodbye is hard to do.
Especially when you have to say good bye to your soul sisters.
It really was so hard to say goodbye, mostly because we don't know when we will be able to see them again. I'll admit I cried… a lot.
Ugly snotty tears on the airplane. Good thing my husband loves me any ol' way, because I'm sure I was a mess. ;)
I think he was worried for a minute that visiting them made things worse instead of better. But it wasn't that. I'm so thankful to have been able to visit them and to see my dearest friend. I treasured every moment of it. I just needed a moment to be sad. I've found it's better to let it out than hold it in.
We all felt like this on the way home. ;) We didn't get to our house until 11:30 pm, 1:30 am Texas time. We were exhausted!!!
So all in all it was an amazing trip. We hit no snags on the airplane ride there or back, everything was smooth sailing. :) In fact it went so well I don't think I'll ever ride in an airplane again, because it couldn't get any better than that. ;)
And if you think this was a lot of pictures you should see how many I actually have of the trip, ha ha!