...at least with my family it is (wink wink).
So, in case you don't know, I am now a great aunt - I know, I know, I am WAY TOO YOUNG to be a great aunt - to the sweetest, most precious, most adorable little boy on the face of the earth!! And of course, we had to take a trip to The Promised Land of Texas to see him. We had a blast on our trip, and I thought I would share a few of the highlights with you :-)
We peeled - I mean - slowly pulled into the driveway of my brother and sister-in-law after a 10 hour cross country journey. Makes me VERY THANKFUL I didn't live in the pioneer days!! I drove the last 2 hours or so, so my wonderful husband could have a break. As we quickly, at speed limit, pulled into the drive way, I teased him with a line out of his favorite movie Courageous, and asked him if he wanted to try the "Sling-shot" move. He laughingly declined, so I parked, and the race to see who hugs who first ensued.
We talked and laughed and just generally "caught up" while we waited for a couple of my nephews and my brother to get home. We enjoyed a delicious taco dinner, and did more talking, laughing, and catching up. My brother gave me a "serious gift" (meaning a gift that wasn't a joke). It was a shirt, and I love it. It says, "Don't Mess with Texas Women". Seriously. That is. NO. JOKE.
After dinner, some of the cousins talented with musical abilities were playing the piano. All was going along wonderfully well, until. Until...HE ran through. Yes, that ugly little "green-eyed monster" now forever aka "the sandman" in our family. Some of us knew exactly what was happening, some of us...not so much, but now we all know. Yes. And we will recognize him the next time he runs through, no matter what name he goes by. Maybe next time Maggie will trip him...but then again, most likely not, because she IS the "green-eyed monster"...dogified.
Speaking of dogs, my niece is now the owner of THE most adorable cocker spaniel puppy in the history of EVER! Her name (the dog, not my niece - and I must specify, because she has a human name - I suggested Mocha - but I'm not bitter or anything because she chose a different name) is Abby. Abby is perfect in every way...except one. She has what I understand is a common cocker spaniel flaw. That is, that she has a hard time holding her bladder when she gets excited. Which, um, well, can be quite a problem. So we all had to practice using our "Abby" voices. Imagine a low, slow, monotone voice void of all feeling (kind of like Lurch on the Adam's Family). "Hello, Abby. We are home. Please come outside now, before you make a mess on the floor." Sometimes it worked, most times it didn't. But we still love her a lot. And every time we stepped in something wet, we wondered...
We learned how long it takes to go 80 miles when you are driving 80 mph. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with how fast you can run a mile on a good day, or how many times your tires turn in a single mile. If you haven't seen the YouTube video, and need a laugh today, go check it out.
We met someone's alter-ego, "Grandfather". He even broke out his pipe, and put his glasses on the end of his nose, and acted all "Grandfatherly". "Grandfather" scared Abby to death by blowing at her through a PVC pipe, and then we found out that Abby and I have something in common. Um...NO. Not THAT. We both get startled when someone blows at us unexpectedly through a PVC pipe.
The nephews had to leave, and we all retired for the night. We had big plans for the next day. I was going to get to meet my new great nephew, and give him enough lovin' to last until Christmas.
We got ready and made the one hour trip to their house. Did I mention that he is a wonderful, cuddly, snugly, tiny bundle of sweetness? Well, he is. All that, and much more. Oh, and he grunts and groans like a little old man. You just have to love it!! I had to let everyone else hold him, but I didn't want to. The guys went for pizza, and a special order for me. We don't have Jack-in-the-Box restaurants where we live...so I may or may not have eaten 6 Jack-in-the-Box tacos. And my nephew and his sweet wife are wonderful first time parents. I am very proud of them, and the great job they are doing!
We reluctantly left to go back to my brother's house. It was hard to leave that sweet baby.
Once there we strained our brains playing a game called Sporacle. Why we do that to ourselves that late at night, I'll never know. We finally turned in. We had big plans for the next day.
The next day we went to a water park, where my husband, the young prince, and nephew dominated on the surf machine - well...at least they tried to dominate it. The youngest princess was excellent at crossing the floating barrels and boxes, the oldest princess and my niece were great at catching rays, and my sister-in-law and I floated like queens in the lazy river. We also did some people watching, and let's just say that none of us will ever look at fanny packs the same again.
After the park, we had some delicious Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. I won't say who...but someone piled on the toppings like there was no tomorrow, and then ate everyone else's left overs. After Aunt T collected everyone's cool spoons, we headed to the car. On the trip home, I may or may not have had three more Jack-in-the-Box tacos.
We got home and scrambled for showers and then rushed to our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, El Tejano, in our old stomping grounds, Channelview. Where we all, with the exception of two, had the Jerry's special - rice with Fajita chicken on top smothered with queso. And enjoyed the best chips and salsa in the world.
We then drove through the old neighborhood. As i wast strolling down memory lane, the kids were ducking flying bullets and crying for their daddy to, "Just run that red light already!" Okay, not really, but it is sad how much it has all gone down. It really was a great place to grow up, and I have tons of great memories there. We drove through areas that I haven't been back to in at least ten years.
Then we went to visit Mrs. B. We sat out back, and the magnetic pull of the pool was just too much for the youngest princess. We finally gave in, and let her swim. We love Mrs. B and totally enjoyed visiting with her and her hilarious neighbor. We enjoyed talking about totally normal topics like driving teens, tires, an eyeball popping out and rolling across the floor, peanut butter pies and weddings. Yes. Totally normal visit. Nothing out of the ordinary here.
On the way home, we enjoyed a friendly discussion about movies and their agendas. We pretty much came to the conclusion that every movie has some sort of agenda. I warned my children and niece and nephew to be aware of the agenda factor, because movie makers have several agendas, and one of their main agendas is banking on the fact that we are watching without being aware that there even IS an agenda, so that they can saturate our brains with their said agendas. I am pretty sure they got the point. Or maybe they just kept count of the fact that I used the word agenda eight times in one conversation. Oh yeah, they are sharp like that. They will pick up on things like how many times you use a word, but sit and watch a two hour movie without thinking at all, and totally miss the movie's agenda. (That's nine, for those of you now counting.)
We played some more Sporacle, a totally innocent game without an agenda (10), and strained our brains some more. I asked my brother if he had done a bumper inspection before he left for work that morning. He's been known to sport questionable bumper stickers/car magnets. I could tell by the worried look in his eyes, that he had not. I bet he snuck out and checked as soon as he got the chance though (whaaa, ha, ha, ha!).
Meanwhile, there was also some duct tape purse construction going on. I totally get the reason for all those basic instruction writing assignments we used to have to do in school. Some people should never do tutorial blogs. Never. But we finally figured it out, and had enough left over to make a bonus purse for the youngest princess. Progress came to an abrupt end, when we realized we didn't have all the supplies we needed. At which point Uncle R stated that Louie Vuitton didn't have anything on us...he knew how much had already been invested in said duct tape purses.
We called it a night and went to bed. We had big plans for the next day. We got up, and Aunt T had fixed bacon, the youngest prince's favorite. I asked J to go upstairs and wake up the young prince, and he said he would just as soon as he'd had HIS fill of bacon. So J ate his bacon, and THEN woke up the young prince. There was nothing to fear however, because Aunt T had cooked enough bacon for everyone to have their fill and even some to spare, and didn't even set off one smoke detector in the process.
Armed with YouTube knowledge and new struts, J and the prince went out to work on our car. Minutes later they were back in the house asking for the number to the Toyota repair shop. Thankfully, they were just picking on me. They had actually been really simple to fix, and they alraeady had the job finished.
We headed back across town to visit with my nephew, niece and new great nephew...Did I tell ya'll how great he really is? He is GREAT! It was the last day of loving on him, and cuddling with him until Christmas. He will probably be driving by then! I can't believe it will be that long before we get to see him again.
I may or may not have had my feelings hurt by being accused of being a baby hog. And, I may or may not have eaten four more Jack-in-the-Box tacos on the way there. So, taco hog, possibly...but baby hog. No.
We enjoyed our visit with them thoroughly. It thrilled my heart to know that my nephew has co-workers asking him about his Christian walk, simply because of his testimony. Exciting news! Our visit ended way too fast, but we had somewhere else to be.
We left there to go to my sister's to have dinner with her and two of my nephews. Her apartment is beautiful. She has every decorating gene that I never received. She is very talented and creative. We went out to the pool, so the kids could swim, and grilled hotdogs for dinner. We had a nice little picnic by the pool while fighting off mosquitos that were large enough to saddle and ride off into the sunset. Everything really is bigger in Texas. After we finished we went back to her apartment for a while, and of course before we knew it, our time was up and we headed back to my brother's house. Feels like we never have enough time.
We worked on finishing the duct tape purses, because Aunt T had picked up what we needed to complete them. I am sure with all the banging and barking going on at ten and eleven at night, the neighbors were ready to call the police on us for disturbing the peace. Maybe we should make them a duct tape purse as a peace offering? Only we'll make theirs during the day. With the purses finished, we finally crawled into bed. Cuddos to Aunt T for sewing the straps by hand.
We got up the next morning, and loaded up to head home. Talking at breakfast, I asked, "Were we even here?" It was a whirlwind trip to say the least, and it felt as though we spent most of the time in the car. Houston really is a big place. But you know that, 'cause everything really is biggger in Texas.
And that my friends, is why I say life is a trip. Oh, I almost
forgot. Do any of you know what Trucker Chick is...Anyone? Anyone?...I didn't think so. Okay then...how about Trucker Chic? Still no one? Seriously never thought I'd ask THAT queston in my lifetime. Still no takers huh? Well in that case, did you know that every seven minutes there is a lull in the conversation...
Oh, and before I go...I must apologize to T for messing with her by putting the trash under the globe on the kitchen island. What can I say...I'm kin to my brother. And, I must thank J for the awesome bluetooth keyboard (which I am using right now) and for teaching me how to make apps.
It was definitely a trip! And I didn't even touch on the trip home. I'm sure I will in the future. Or maybe, we will just try to forget that part. It won't be hard, because afterall, I AM old enough to be a grandmother, right L? And, I don't know if you were counting, but I may or may not have consumed 13 Jack-in-the-Box tacos in a three day span.
And yes, I did a bumper check at the end of the driveway to make sure WE were NOT sporting any questionable bumper stickers/car magnets for our trip home.