Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week Two: Texas

It's amazing, I know. You thought I had forgotten all about my need to update about our family vacation. Well, I obviously had you fooled, because here it is. Please be grateful, because I will most likely wake up with the mother of all headaches. Too much screen time can really do a person in.

So. We left Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. I rode with Haley and Bennett, and it was truly something to remember :) Lots of talking, singing, story telling, laughing... and roaring. I loved it.
After what seemed like a very short trip, we got to Texas and were immediately given a tour of Haley's newly-beautified-completely-put-together-home that seriously looks like it came straight out of Better Homes and Gardens. We were all very impressed with her decorating skills. Well, impressed, and a little intimidated. Some people have it, some people don't. Anyway, along with an eye for decorating, Haley is also the most organized person I know. For example, one time I needed a paperclip. I opened all the drawers that, to me, seemed like a suitable place for a paperclip. But no. Haley quickly took me to the back room, opened a coat closet, reached to the highest shelf, grabbed the box labeled "paperclips" (silly me,) opened it, and lo and behold-- there they were! I don't know what I was thinking. I should've known that everything has a specific spot, and everything is actually in that spot. With its own label. :) Again, some people have it, some don't. 

On Sunday we went to church with Haley and it was really good. I mean, church is always good. But it turns out that it's just a little better when you get to eat fruit snacks during sacrament meeting (thanks, Bennett.) It's a shame children don't realize how lucky they are until it's too late. 
On this day, Mary and Wayne, and Bekah and Nathan also came to Haley's for dinner. It was lots of fun to see Bekah and Nathan again. We miss them in Rexburg!

To be honest, I don't remember what we did on what day after that. But I do know we did lots of fun things. I regret that I don't have very many pictures from this week, but I will share what I do have.

On one day, Haley took us to her gym. We thought it would be really fun to do Zumba together. If you have ever seen any of us dance, you can understand why we thought this would be fun. Lets just say that none of us took it too seriously. We couldn't, or we would end up completely humiliating ourselves. Despite our lack of dance skills, we were very excited about it. And let me tell you, it was sooo great. I seriously loved it and was excited for all of us to go back again for a round of yoga before the week was over...
However, a few days later when the time came for us to get in the car and head back to the gym, I was, for some reason, the only one ready and willing. So, obviously, I wasn't going to go. Who wants to go to a strange gym in Texas and do yoga for the first time all by themselves. Not me. I think I'll pass. 
Next thing I know, I'm in the car driving to the gym. 
I, of course, acted very confident as I walked in (late,) laid down my little mat thing and jumped right into the position everyone around me was holding. Then I realized I had shoes on. Crap. No one else has shoes on? I lost my image of confidence right in that moment-- I wanted to stand up and shake off the nerves with a confession that I was a new comer and I had no clue what I was doing. But instead, I sheepishly headed to the back of the dimly lit room and took my shoes off. After that minor setback, I was right back on my mat and holding the warrior 1 stance. In no time at all, I was very relaxed and actually enjoying myself. On top of that, I learned some great things--like how to kegel :) Needless to say, I loved the whole experience. I think it's something I could actually get into. 
If that gym wasn't all the way in Texas.

Another thing that we had the privilege of participating in was 3:00 ice cream. That's right. Everyday at 3:00 we would all head to the back patio and indulge in a delicious almond fudge ice cream cone. This tradition is one that Haley, Bennett, and Jace (Bennett's little friend) are all accustomed to. But for us new people, it seemed like we were living the dream. I loved 3:00 ice cream time, not only because it was a yummy treat, but also because it was a time where we would all sit around and just talk for a while. Here are Grandpa and Bennett enjoying each other's company.
The week that we were in Texas also happened to be the final week of The Bachelorette. I know, I know. You're thinking, "She watches The Bachelorette?! But that show is so stupid!" Yes. Yes it is. It's a guilty pleasure. Moving on. After watching the whole season, I was not about to miss the final episode only to find out who won by reading some random person's facebook status. And I was certainly not about to watch it alone. 
I gathered the family (even my dad) and we watched it together. As you can see, they were thrilled :)
(In all reality, they were thrilled. You should've heard my mom and dad rooting for JP. What you are seeing in this picture is nothing more than a few people trying to look cool so no one picks up on the fact that they could actually like such a stupid show.)

Ok. So, have you ever seen a sign with your name on it? Like a restaurant, or a store, or a street name? Because I feel like cool things like that always happen to people. But not me. That is, until this trip! As we were driving one day I saw a street called, "Courtney Lane!" I, not wanting to pass up any opportunities, made sure to get a picture with this sign. It took a few days to get everyone to go with me, but one night after a fantastic dinner at the Olive Garden, we decided it was the perfect time. Yes!
Can you just see the joy? Also, my mom's maiden name is Hill, so that was like an added bonus.
 Right next to Courtney Lane, there is a park that Haley and Bennett like to go to. We drove over there and ended up at a duck pond. We later realized that this particular duck pond was reserved for any crippled, handicapped, or truly ugly duckling that has ever lived. It was super funny, but we must've had some sympathy because we fed them our olive garden breadsticks. Pretty generous if you ask me. Here is everyone looking out at the ducks, labeling each one with some sort of disease or handicap. (Yes, I did get this picture off of facebook. And Allison Kay Hazard is in it.)
Bennett and I got very brave and walked right up to some of the ducks. They practically ate out of my hand! That is saying a lot, because some of those duck/goose/swans were as big as Bennett. I was scared they might go after him. Or me.
 This was my favorite little white duck. Look at the one in the background. Monstrous.
 Just like a puppy.

 When I asked Bennett where the ducks feathers were this is how he responded...
Such a smart boy. Nothing gets past him.

During the week, we also went to a really fun little water park. It was a struggle getting there (thanks a lot Gar) But once we made it we had a great time playing in the water, laying out, and, for the few and the brave, going down slides. At one point, I was sitting in the pool when a little girl came up to me and started talking about her dad and how he threw a bomb in her house. But "just a bug spray bomb." Oh.....ok. So that's fine then? No. Apparently she is now living with her aunt and uncle. I was horrified. (For some reason pictures from this outing are not on my computer.) 

We also went to Lowes. 
Unloaded the dishwasher :)
And played on a slip n' slide that Matt sent from Iraq for Bennett
 Well, played...
 And watched...
 And slept. Take your pick :)
On our last day in Texas, Haley took us on base and showed us where she will go to pick Matt up. She told us how it will work and we all imagined what a happy reunion it would be for all the families involved. At the time, she still had about three weeks to wait, now she has just a few hours before she will get to see Matt :) I'm glad I can imagine just how it might be.
Haley and Bennett 
 Allison and I were matching!
Our week in Texas was fantastic. Of course, my favorite parts were just the talking parts. Dinner conversations, car ride stories, having sleepovers and talking late into the night. It was the best.

However, I have to say, the week's highlight was listening to Haley explain Teen Wolf to all of us. She doesn't mess around :)

Until next time,
So long


  1. Thanks for helping me relive the fun memories, Court! I wish we could do it all over again. I loved being with all of you!