Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why I LOVE July

As much as I love football season and Christmas and all of the other great things that go on throughout the year...July is my FAVORITE month.  Even if it is hotter than blue blazes.  Why?  Because I have no school obligations and we have the kids.  I get to play with my favorite people and not worry about responsibility...what's not to love??

This year, July started out with our very first family road trip.  I put together fun binders for the kids with maps, car activities, journal pages, etc.  We also gave them a small gift (cds, disposable cameras, doodle books, etc.) each day we were on the road.  The first day we drove to Dallas to spend some time with my parents.  We were supposed to spend the majority of our time in the pool, but the weather decided that we would cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie instead.  The next day, we drove to Little Rock, Arkansas, stopping in Texarkana for lunch and to be in two states at the same time.  Once we reached Little Rock, it was made very clear that Monday was NOT the day to be there... EVERYTHING was closed!  We literally walked several miles, practically in circles, to find somewhere to eat dinner.  The next day, we got up early and headed to Memphis.  I gave the kids a tour of Rhodes, my alma mater, and then we headed off to Huey's for some of the best burgers in the country.  My BFF, Lauren, met us there.  Because of the extreme heat (and lack of free passes) we decided to forgo the zoo and spent the afternoon with Lauren and Will in their neighbor's pool.  Dinner was Corky's, the best "wet-rub" bbq in the country.  The next morning, we met my friend (aka my brother) Sammy and his lovely wife for breakfast at The Blue Plate, my favorite breakfast place.  Although it seems all we did was eat our way through Memphis, there were many restaurants I was sad to have missed...not enough hours in the day!  From Memphis, we drove to Biloxi...in the rain.  Biloxi was the only place we stayed for more than 24 hours, and we stayed at the Beau Rivage.  It was a blast!  We played in the arcade, went to the beach, lounged by the pool, watched fireworks over the ocean, and spent the spending money Grandma and Papa had sent.  From Biloxi, we headed home...in even heavier rain!  We took a driving tour of New Orleans, stopped in Baton Rouge for lunch and a quick trip past the LSU stadium, spent the night in Beaumont, and ate ice cream at the Blue Bell Creamery.  It was a GREAT trip! <3 p="p">
Texarkana, it's twice as nice!  But, you can clearly see which side we prefer!
Riding the trolley around town in Little Rock.
"Roll, roll, roll, roll, Lynx Cats roll on..."
The kids finally got to see Rhodes,  although they now refer to it as "Hogwarts."
I was lucky enough to spend one afternoon poolside with my bestie and future son-in-law.
He turned two the weekend after we were there...I hadn't seen him since he was four weeks.
The kids LOVED Biloxi!  They thought staying at a casino was super cool!
Kennedy playing at the beach in Biloxi.
Harrison playing at the beach in Biloxi. 
We enjoyed a luxurious steak dinner one evening at B.R. Prime at Beau Rivage.
Nothing beats a good old fashioned lunch counter at a 24 hour diner!
Stopping in Brenham for a $1 scoop of ice cream is a must.

The kids spend one long weekend with their mom and stepdad during our month.  This year, we went to Vegas during that weekend to celebrate my 30th birthday (and Scott's birthday too, since it was the week before our vacation...).  We invited a bunch of people who couldn't make it, but I was super excited that my friend S-K and her boyfriend Phil were able to join us.  We had a great time!  Our friends Steve and Julie took us to see the Jabbawockeez....what an amazing show!  We also made it to downtown Las Vegas for the first time ever.  It was super fun!  I think next time we go we might even stay there!  And, as always, we watched the Bellagio fountains.  <3 p="p">
Birthday dinner at The Golden Nugget
S-K and Me at the Golden Nugget
What a great show!
Bellagio Fountains - So Beautiful!

When we got back from Vegas, we had about a week to spend with the kids before they headed off to camp.  I worked a bit so that Scott could spend some quality "Daddy time" with the kids, and I took them to the Splash Pad with my teacher friends and their kids.  After a whirlwind few weeks, it was nice to finally slow down a little bit...but we still had tons of fun!

Bowling Fun with Daddy
The Splash Pad Crew

This year, the kids went to camp at the same time.  We hated having a week without either one, but timing-wise it just made the most sense.  We headed down to Kerrville to drop Kennedy off at Texas Lion's Diabetes Camp.  It is such an amazing place!  We know she is in excellent hands from the moment we drop her off to the moment we pick her up.  An hour or so past Kerrville, then eight miles down a dirt road, we arrive at Camp Eagle to drop off Harrison.  It is a Christian-based adventure camp where he spends the week on the lake, mountain biking, rock climbing, and worshipping God.  Both camps update their Facebook pages and websites with pictures and information, so we get to watch as the kids have the time of their lives! (I don't know how my parents managed without updates while I was at camp...)  Kennedy's closing ceremonies were Friday night, and she received the "Distinguished Camper Award".  Harrison's closing ceremonies were Saturday morning, and he received the "David: Man After God's Own Heart Award".  I'm so proud of both of my campers and am glad they have each found a camp that they love.

The hardest part about them being away at camp is they're gone the last week we have them.  Once they returned home, we did LOADS of laundry, went to church, and then it was back to the usual every other weekend routine...and back to work for me.  Can't wait until next July! <3 p="p">
Aren't these just the cutest faces you've ever seen?!?
I am SO blessed. <3 td="td">

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