My family

My family

Thursday, April 28, 2016

MS Walk 2016

Texas – Day Four
The reason for my trip south of the Mason-Dixon Line had finally arrived…….MS Walk 2016!!

We all donned our yellow Team Bea t-shirts and headed to Addison, TX to celebrate another year of Charlene kicking MS to the curb. 


My sister is a warrior. 
There’s no other way to describe it. 
She has faced this debilitating disease head-on for almost twenty years and still finds a reason to smile every single day. 
It doesn’t matter how many fun things we have packed into this weekend, the MS Walk is the main event. 

See that picture???  That’s one of the toughest people I know. 


Garrett, Maci and Maci’s parents brought their dogs to the walk.  Just like in years past, the walk is incredibly emotional.  We walk at Charlene’s pace but she is always the first to cross the finish line. 


Charlene ordered balloons for us all to carry during the 5k.  She wanted to release them at the end so Mom could celebrate with us. 

By the time we all met up at Cotton Patch Café, Charlene was completely wiped out.  She ordered a cheeseburger and was fighting to stay awake long enough to eat it.  I sat there watching her fall asleep in her chair and thought to myself:  Mom would be so proud. 

Then I looked to my left and found my sweet baby boy watching the hockey game.  Hahaha!!  There is never a dull moment with this group. J


After lunch, Bill took Charlene home to crawl into bed while Garrett, Maci,  Lauren, Tracey and I went to the movies to see Melissa McCarthy in “The Boss”.  I love going to the movies.  Evidently I’ve passed that love down to Garrett too. 

I couldn’t believe it was already the last night of my trip!  It’s never long enough. 
Saturday night, we met Denise - my best friend since 2nd grade – and her mom for dinner at On The Border.  A trip to Texas would not be complete without a little lot of Tex-Mex.
It might be six months or a year since the last time Denise and I have seen each other but we always seem to settle back into the same routing.  There are always lots of chatting and laughing when we get together. 
The night ended with one last tight squeeze from my kiddo.  There’s nothing more bitter-sweet than that last hug from Garrett. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

T-shirts, tattoos & crabs

Texas – Day Three

I woke up Friday morning to the sight of Lauren’s sweet kitty checking me out.  Isn’t she adorable?

Charlene and I met Tracey at IHOP for breakfast before starting the day.  Words cannot even describe how much I love breakfast.  I could eat this carbaliciousness three times a day. 

After scarfing down enough calories to send us into a food coma, we headed to Fort Worth for……..wait for it………TATTOOS! 
Before I get into the nitty-gritty tattoo shop with an artist named Smitty  - see what I did there?! - let me give you a little of the back story. 
My word for 2017 is FEARLESS.  Sometimes it’s tough being 1000 miles away from your family.  OK, a lot of times it’s tough.  It’s hard to open yourself up to meeting new people….especially for me. 

After the first of the year, I came across these Giving Key necklaces at my hair salon.  Each key has a word stamped into it.  You pick the word and, when you wear the necklace it is a constant reminder for you.  Once you move on to another world the next year, you pass the necklace on to someone who might need it. 
I wear this key all the time!  I didn’t happen upon that necklace by chance.  I truly believe God was giving me a pep talk that day. 
So……what better way to show my fearlessness than to get a tattoo with my sisters?!

I’m laughing as I type this because I never in a million years thought I would get a tattoo. 
Friday found us, my sweet sisters and I, getting inked in downtown Fort Worth.  I still can’t believe we did it. 

Tracey got a beautiful water-colored rose on her wrist. 

Bea got a daisy (my mom’s favorite flower).

And I got the tiniest red heart possible.  Because I’m a wimp.  And because it hurt like a mother!  J
We thought we would have time to swing by the craft store Friday afternoon but no luck.  It was time to meet the rest of the family for our mandatory dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. 

The week before I headed South, I came across these shirts from Ruby's Rubbish.  Precious, right??
If you haven’t ordered from this Etsy shop, what are you waiting for?!  Seriously, they have the cutest designs and the softest t-shirts.  I ordered them on Monday, they shipped on Tuesday and we got them Wednesday. 

I thought it would be cute surprise for all the girls.  I had them shipped to Bea’s house so I didn’t have to make room in my suitcase.  Lauren was my accomplice and hit them from her mom like a BEAST!  I’m teaching her bad habits.  J

After all that planning, I forgot to bring Maci’s shirt to dinner!  Can you believe it?  Best laid plans……

Another great night on vacation.  Up next, the MS Walk!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Road trips, fixer uppers & junk in the trunk

Texas – Day Two

I woke up Thursday to this sweet text from Jim.  Sweet, right? 

My absolute favorite how on TV is Fixer Upper.  I mean, seriously.   As far as I’m concerned, Chip & Joanna Gaines can do no wrong. 
I love her farmhouse-style decorating and I literally crack up every time one of their shows come on.
Since they film in Waco, TX – about an hour and a half from Mansfield – I jumped at the chance to take a road trip!!

Garrett Todd had school and work on Thursday so Charlene, Lauren and I schlepped down to Waco to stalk visit the Magnolia Market. 

Chip & Joanna Gaines bought an old property in downtown Waco with grain silos and renovated it into their office/market/garden wonderland. 

We walked in and I had a total fan girl moment…….complete with nervous giggling and overwhelmed eyes full of wonder.  ç You’ll have to excuse the drama here.  I seriously love this show!!
It turns out that we weren’t the only out-of-towners.  The people in line behind us came all the way from North Carolina.  The man parked in front of us had a New Jersey license plate.

Here’s the thing… I wanted one of everything in that market!

The Magnolia compound includes a huge garden, bakery, garden shop, food trucks, dog park and a boatload of picnic tables that sit right next to a family play area complete with life-size dice and a giant Jenga game.

While we were in Waco, Bea wanted to visit a few antique stores.  We scoped out the best ones and ended up at Junque In The Trunk.  I fell in love before we even stepped inside. 

Charlene was being friendly and asked the clerk if they got a lot of traffic from the Fixer Upper visitors.  Evidently someone had peed in the clerk’s Cheerios that morning because she looked at Charlene and huffed, “Well….I think they come in because the love OUR stuff!”  No Bueno, missy!!  Poor Charlene, she was just trying to make small talk and the lady turned into the Devil’s spawn. 

I bought a super cute metal sign that says “Walk by faith, not by sight”.  I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of it.  I must have been too focused on protecting the idiot clerk lady from some serious Charlene-smack-down.  Hahaha!! J

This was the view sitting next to me before we even hit the highway headed home. 
What a fantastic day!!  We were exhausted by the time we got home but could not have been happier.  J