Pieces of Me

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The rest of our trip

Our trip home was loads of fun.  I still cannot believe how well behaved a 5 and 2 year old can be in a car for 10+ hours a day.  Call me crazy, but my kids did better than me. 

On our way to Memphis we ran into a dinosaur.


Cayden was so tired, he snoozed for part of the drive.

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The sign I missed on the way to PA -


They were so well behaved on the trip to Memphis, we decided to enjoy our time there.  After checking into our fabulous hotel - the Hyatt Place (and after my 30 minute run on the Elliptical Trainer), we headed over to the mall - something everyone I ran into told me to do.  I was very curious since I know the Mall of America is in MN, but this mall turned out to be pretty fun. 

Our first stop was Build-A-Bear.  One of the main reasons for our trip was to get my Pap to say into a voice box, "PapPap loves you," that we could in turn put inside our family, PapPap Bear.  We took the kids into the store, selected a bear, and began creating this very special memento that I hope we will all cherish for many years to come.

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Here's the final product. . . soo cute. . . so PapPap, and yes, I'm tired.


The kids also got to create their own special animal, thanks to their daddy.  What a sucker.  Hehehehe.  Actually, we had planned on treating them after the entire drive home, but he moved up the surprise to on our way home.  Made for a LONG drive one the final day.

After Build-A-Bear, we discovered a Carousel and Train in the mall.  Same train that is in every mall, but not every mall has a Carousel.  They had a blast!

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Then it was off to dinner (after discovering some awesome deals at the Disney Store - need to make a trip to the one in Cedar Park to get a few things for Cayden and Will).  We dined at On the Border with our new friends in tow - Princess and EeeEeeAhhAhh.


And then we returned to our hotel room for a much deserved bath and bedtime.  We did not get to enjoy our sleep this evening as much as we would have liked as well as our breakfast the hotel offered because there were 5 different sets of teenagers running around the hotel.  I am now one of those cranky adults who do not appreciate loud teenagers running the halls - or taking over our breakfast!  We stopped at Starbucks (of course) and hit the road to head to Grace Land.  We did not tour this place since it was $30 a person, but we did peruse the gift shops and bought plenty of gifts.  And we headed home.

It was really neat to see this hospital.  And of course, the pyramid, which we still don't know what it's all about (and not the Hokey Pokey).

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And we were greeted by the Arkansas sign (since I missed it on the way up).


The rest of the trip involved lots of sleeping and driving -with me driving from Texarkanas through Dallas - a crazy drive if you ask me.  Oh and there is NO Texas sign coming into the state - as there is tons of constructions, but THIS greeted me as we crossed the state line -  Welcome Home!!



We stopped at Chili's south of Dallas only for Hannah to find a hair in her meal - eew.  Got that taken care of and headed home.  We arrived home really late - children were sleeping and were surprisingly greeted by this awesome new organization shelf in the playroom and a sparkling clean home (thanks to Mom and Daddy - I <3 y'all). 


And that sums up our travels!  Xoxo - R

Sunday, March 22, 2009


As you all know, our Spring Break was spent up north with extended family.  I'm so thankful we made the trip, even though the drive was long and tiresome.  Here are just some highlights of our trip. 

These flowers were some of the few from PapPap's yard that actually bloomed this year.  PapPap usually takes wonderful care of his yard and garden.  I know the Lord allowed these flowers to bloom for me as a gentle reminder that no matter what happened, He is with us.

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PapPap's sister, Aunt Carol came up for a visit from Florida.  She arrived the day after we did.  It was great to see her.  She had not met my kiddos before this trip.  She and Hannah really hit it off.  Cayden was not interested in meeting more people. 

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Mimi and Uncle Eddie came up for a visit as well.  Our trips overlapped for a few days.  I think we saw more of them this trip than we have in months. 

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We got to spend some time with our cousins, Susie and Greg, while we were visiting.  We even got to attend one of Greg's indoor soccer games - and embarrass him just a little bit.  :)  He's pretty awesome!



Here are a few photos we got with GG (Grandma).  PapPap was just too ill for photos this trip, which makes me really sad.  But I totally understand.  And I just want him to feel better.  I know he's not going to get better, but I do pray he starts to feel better. 

Our trip was much too short, but by Thursday, it was time to head home.  We left around lunchtime and stopped in Beavercreek to visit with Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Rita.  They were wonderful hosts - a wonderful meal, tasty wine, great conversation, and a yard for the kids to run around in before bedtime, not to mention the fun the kids had with Scout and Ollie!


And Julia and Matthew (more cousins) stopped by for a short chat.  It was great to see everyone.  Our family is certainly blessed and does not lack in the love department.






Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our First Family Vacation

We are on our first family vacation together since Cayden arrived.  We've not gone anywhere other than San Antonio.  We have no plans for the trip except for me to spend as much time with PapPap as possible.  And I'm so thankful we've made the trip.  I've been in denial in regards to how sick Pap really is.  He's sick.  Really sick.  There's no denying it, and I want to make the most out of the trip.  I sat down this evening and played the piano for him.  He's always played the piano, and since getting sick, he hasn't been able to play.  The chemo has really knocked him down.  I'm thankful to be here and have this time with him.  Heather and Eddie arrive tomorrow.  Although our trip will be shorter than theirs, it will be time well spent.

But before we were able to leave for our trip, we had a wedding to attend.  James and Jennifer were married on Saturday.  The wedding was beautiful; the reception was loads of fun; and Hannah was a trip.


With mommy's help, Hannah led the guests in the Cupid Shuffle.  It was so much fun.  Even Grandma joined in the fun.

The next morning, we got up bright and early and headed towards Nashville.  Cayden and Hannah were not very happy once the sun came up. 


But we kept trucking along.  Here are a few notes I took during the trip -

1.  There are NO Starbucks between Dallas and Memphis if you fall asleep before TexArkana.  This is NOT a good thing for someone who enjoys her Skinny Vanilla Lattes a little too much.  The GPS would map out the locations and they would be closed.  We did find one when we got into Memphis.

I put my purse in the backseat for part of the trip.  I don't know how long it was back there before I turned around to find this:

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I'm a big track your trip girl - I love to take photos of us crossing the state lines - but I missed the Tennessee sign.  I did get the Welcome to Memphis sign. And a big pyramid??

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Our trip ended in Nashville.  We stayed at the Hyatt Place Opryland.  It was wonderful and just a few blocks from the Gaylord so we unloaded the children and took a walk to the Gaylord Opryland.  Boy was Hannah impressed.  First she said, "Mommy, I think OUR hotel is where princesses must stay."  And then, once we were at the Gaylord, she said, "Oh mommy, this hotel is WAY fancier than ours."  Here are some photos I took from our visit to Nashville.

And this is Hannah's "Elvis face"  She said, "Thank you, thank you very much little Momma"


I also tried my hand at some photos of the flowers at the Gaylord.

The second leg of our journey felt so much longer.  Maybe it was because we got up later.  I don't know, but by the end of the trip, I was ready to be here. 

I missed the sign into Ohio - we just didn't see one.  I was pretty depressed. :( We ate at White Castle for lunch.  Someone please explain to me the appeal of this place?  It was disgusting.  Ugh.

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I will try to get more photos during our trip.  I really want one of the kids with PapPap, but we'll just have to see how he's feeling.  Have a great Spring Break!