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Friday, December 6, 2013

Everything is Bigger in Texas: Especially Love

Good Morning, People. 

This is when my blog falls into the category of "Jenn's Attempt at a Family Scrapbook" since stickers and scissors and funky glue dispensers and other such items found at your local craft store send me running for a prescription for anti-anxiety meds.  So for you, dear reader, if you are not a member of my family, it will likely prove to be incredibly boring.  Now, if you are one of my Dallas area readers, I understand that this is going on today:

Frankly, you people aren't going anywhere, so I think Aunt Edna is going to be really hurt if you don't sit down with your diet Coke and your chips and salsa and humor her.  She takes terribly fuzzy pictures of random places and sometimes Uncle Albert's or Cousin Fred's heads are cut off in the photos, but she can't see you roll your eyes, so this will all work out just fine.

First of all, let me say, that when I looked at the weather for my trip home there was much wailing and tearing of robes because HIGH OF 34 on my first day there.  WHAT THE @#$%?  I think this is the first time I have had to pack a coat for my trip home which really sent me into a state because I had to bring three different ones.  A girl never knows what outfit she will be wearing when she feels a chill.  Also, just so you know, I packed 3 pairs of boots, 3 pairs of flats and 1 pair of running shoes.  Thank God Fake Daughter was to be left at home.  I had no room for her wardrobe.

Here are some of the Highlights of our Thanksgiving Week.

This was one of our first stops because we are high-flalootin' and fancy like that.  The guys were supposed to play golf, but since it was freezing and messy, who needs a stuffy golf club when you can have a #1 with cheese and a giant Coke?   Kyle was bursting with joy as we walked in and he pointed out exactly where he and Pop sat last time and sighed, "That was the best day EVER."  My sweet middle man is a Texan at his core and is certain that there are orange and white striped fast food restaurants lining the golden streets of heaven where angels, who do not use the word soda, will ask him, "What kind of Coke do you want, sweetie? "  To which he will answer, "I'll take a Sprite, please. Thank you, Gracious Jesus and please don't tell my mom about the gallon of Sprite."

Bass Pro Shop
Now, I understand that Bass Pro Shops are not exclusive to Texas, but let me tell you what likely is only going to happen at a Texas BPS.  As we walked in I heard a mom, much like many of us who get frazzled in a giant store with a bunch of toddling boys, yell out, "Wrangler, where are you?  Get over here right now, Wrangler!  Stay with me, son."  Yes, sirree, that is a true story, y'all.


Vegas for Kids
Now my people do love to get all fancy during the holidays here and there.  We dress up and eat fine food and go shopping at all the high class Dallas stores and all, but we also love ourselves a bowling alley.  We (except for Sister) are not very good, as this is a once a year affair.  So one night we met my uncle, cousins and their hubbies and kids at this place called, Shenanigans, which my dad refers to as Vegas for Kids and which my husband refers to as, No, son, THERE IS SIMPLY NO MORE MONEY LEFT TO SPEND.  In addition to bowling lanes, this place has go carts, arcade games, laser tag, mini golf and oh yes, of course, a mechanical bull ride.  Sister may have won the bowling competition, but Kyle won the bull ride competition which was curious because he has never even seen Urban Cowboy and that is a downright tragedy, I'd say.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library
If you don't know yet, I am a Texan, a baseball fan, a Republican, a person of faith and a lover of history who appreciates a sense of humor and am also quite the big ol' red, white and blue bleeding fan of my country.  So, actually George W. Bush and I have lots in common and I gladly voted for the man twice and I even more gladly spent over two hours in his beautiful library on the campus of Southern Methodist University.  The library is stunning and I highly recommend a visit whether you share my political views or not.  The 9/11 exhibit, as my husband said, should be visited by every single presidential candidate and I would also say every single American.  It had me in the ugly cry, but it was very well done.  As soon as I got myself together there was a video of the President discussing his love of Texas and I cried again. I could go back and will go back countless times.  You will notice that the Skinner family went full-on Griswold with this photo of us in the "Oval Office".  You will also notice that even when pretending we're in the White House, my children still throw their coats on the floor.  Dear Lord, help us.


Thanksgiving Day at Stubbs BBQ and DKR Memorial Stadium
I know the Pilgrims enjoyed their feast back in the day, but I'm quite sure that if they had the choice they would have had BBQ at Stubb's in Austin, taken themselves to 16th and Congress for a tailgate party and then gone on to watch the Horns beat the heck outta Texas Tech.  I will say that Tech's  Ryan Goslingesque coach scared me a bit when the Red Raiders faked a punt on the first possession and went up 7-0 causing me to have to take some deep, cleansing breaths.  But then all worked out fine because I was able to sit 7 rows up from Coach Handsome and see his dreamy, yet quite frustrated face up close as my team took care of business.

(Note:  I did not partake.  Thank goodness)


The Hyatt Lost Pines in Bastrop, Texas
Whataburger might be heaven for Kyle, but this resort is heaven for me.  We have stayed here on and off for the past five or so Thanksgivings and it is a wonderful place to visit.  We are only 15-20 minutes from the greatest city on earth, Austin, Texas, but we always find it hard to leave this property.  The décor is purely Texan and gorgeous.  The weather blessedly turned warm when we arrived there in the middle of the week.  There were a gazillion activities for the kids, golf, a giant (HEATED!) pool with a lazy river and a slide, walking trails, horseback riding, skeet shooting and much to the cousins' delight,  s'mores by the fire every night with a real, live singing cowboy belting out "The Eyes of Texas are Upon You."

(Note:  We are not sure if Drew is ready for playing touch football or for robbing a bank)

(Note:  This is what happens when somebody throws the football up on someone else's balcony)

My People, My Blessings, My Loves
The best part of my week was being with my people.  All of them:  my children, my parents, sister, brother, brother-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and oh, that, love o' my life, hubby of mine.  I don't care if we are in a museum, at a country club, by the pool or at a bowling alley.  I would sit in a pile of mud with you, people.  I love you to pieces and am overwhelmed by the grace God has shown me.  No single photo, no written words, no uttered prayers could ever capture the enormity of my gratitude for you y'all.
 (Note:  Are they Barbie and Ken or what?)
(Note:  Mom, stop crying.  We'll all be back soon,)
(Note:  To you who lasted through the end.  Aunt Edna says you're dismissed.)

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