Saturday, September 12, 2009

Labor Day '09

I have miserably failed at sharing my Wyoming trip details, but I think I did say that we ended up flying rather than driving. I was really thankful that Curtis allowed us to do that. So thankful, in fact, that I've repeatedly tried to make it up to him.

For instance, he wanted to drive this one big loop in Yellowstone and see some sights he'd never seen before. It's impossible to cover all of Yellowstone without spending some nights in the park, but this route is feasible to do in one day and get back home to the cabin. It was going to take hours and hours and I didn't think it was going to be possible with two small kids, but we decided to go for it. We ended up having an awesome day and Jacks and Annabeth were amazingly content in the car. We had such a great adventure. At the end of our 13 hours of constantly getting in and out of the car, I was optimistic about our future road trips. Now, driving from Houston to Jackson Hole, in my mind, is still a very big stretch. (It's at least two full 12-hour days of driving.) But Curt is always wanting to drive to Missouri, which is about 12 hours. We'd done it without kids, but never with.

So last week we realized Labor Day was approaching and we didn't have any plans. We had been feeling stressed that we hadn't been to Missouri since Christmas. Curt's parents have been around Annabeth several times, but no one else had met her. I remembered how great my kids were on our big Yellowstone day and I got very brave. I called Curt and said, "Babe, I can't believe I'm about to say this, and I might change my mind if you don't answer me quickly, but I think we should drive to Missouri for the weekend." He was thrilled and immediately got off the phone to call his parents. It turned out that they didn't have any big plans and they were happy to have us come.

Less than 48 hours later, we set out for Missouri before dawn with our three-year-old, our seven-month-old, and a golden retriever who was recently shorn and now resembles a yellow lab. We deeply regretted not asking the groomer to keep his hair for locks of love for naked-backed Jess/Fweet Scruff. Bless his heart.

The drive to Springfield went pretty well. We stopped at the new Buc-ees in Madisonville and got some beaver nuggets (I just googled and found that link) and burnt peanuts. Curt had never had those spiny, red candy-covered peanuts before and he rejected them. He also rejected the nuggets. Have I ever mentioned that he only eats cheese? And salad, ironically.

We stopped half-way in Atoka, OK, at this place called Adam's Grill. The food was good, but it had only opened up a few days before and it took a while to get our food. The tables were very close together and in our one hour there, we heard everything there is to know about everyone in that town. My mom is the worst eavesdropper you've ever met and I know she would have loved it.

Why am I talking about this? I have no idea. I'll get to the point. We finally made it to Missouri and ended up having a fabulous time. We had three whole days with Curt's family before heading home on Monday. Curt's cousin Andy was home from Kansas City with his family and that made it even more fun. We had almost the whole clan! We were only lacking our nephew Gavin, who was out of town with his mom. We missed him very much and look forward to seeing him during the holidays.

Some highlights of the trip were:
-Introducing Annabeth to her great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles and second cousins.
-Seeing her and Cael play together on the floor.
-Watching Jackson and Curtis ride the lawn mower together.
-Riding horses with Cozy.
-All the Dixon extended family coming over to my in-laws' house for dinner one night. It was crazy and fun.
-Going to the church Curt grew up in. He had such a wonderful upbringing and I'm reminded of it every time we're there.
-Having dinner at Ebbets Field restaurant with Matt and Lindsay, Andy and Mindy, and Erin. Without kids!
-Watching my kids enjoy their Nana and Pappaw and vice versa.
-Texting back and forth with the Altics, our Missouri Road Trip Warrior Buds. We were about 2 hours away from each other on the road coming and going.

As for the ride home? Let's not talk about the fact that we all took turns having meltdowns and JD's Chippery in Dallas was CLOSED (the nerve!) in my time of need. Luckily, my once-a-year steak fingers basket from DQ helped me keep my sanity. And my baby weight.

PS - I accidentally deleted all of my pictures and captions right before I was ready to publish this. Ahhhhhhh! The captions will have to wait a while. It's 1 AM!


Allison Talamantez said...

DQ steak fingers...the best! At least the ride there was fun! And the trip looks perfect!

Desiree said...

Oh Amanda, I too have done that but with a WHOLE post. I just wanted to CRY. Especially since it was one of those times where the words were just flowing from my thoughts right out my finger tips.
Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures and so glad you had some wonderful trips.

Profbaugh said...

Wow! You guys are brave taking that long of a road trip. I'll never forget traveling with 3 kids 4 and under from St. Louis to Chicago and swearing I'd NEVER travel again! Glad it worked out and you got to spend time with the family. No pix of Beckham or Maximus?

Much love,

ForHisGlory said...

What a fun trip...I was one of those brave souls, and I guess i still am where I drive with my kids where ever we go...One reason is economic, but the other is just road tripping has turned into one of the sweetest momories of raising my kids!! All our family lives all over the country and this adventursome female gets stir crazy...LOL
Thank you for sharing with us all!

Deirdre said...

so that's three long road trips (1 in JH and 2 going to MS and back) with only one meltdown trip. That's pretty good.

jennyhope said...

girl that thumb sucking just melts my heart since i was a thumb sucker. It is the cutest thing ever. You have the cutest kids!!!

Leah said...

AnnaBeth is such a dainty little thing. She is adorable. I love the picture of Jackson and Curtis on the mower. Brings back memories of my Daddy riding my nephews on his Kubota tractor. Daddy was a Kubota man all the way and had one just like the one your guys are on.

I know Curtis' family LOVED having you there.

Angie said...

Ohhh, I saw some "Let's Go Fishing." I've decided that's a game only 3-year-olds are good at.

Lauren Kelly said...

Awww, what a fun trip!!! :)

k and c's mom said...

How very precious the pictures of your daughter with her great-relatives are! Priceless.

Jessica said...

I always love hearing about your trips to MO since I'm a native SW Missourian. Isn't Ebbet's Field the greatest?? Love it! So glad you had a happy time. :)

Shannon said...

I need to k now wehre you got the outfit that is pictured in the last picture. The brown, pink and green dots. I love that.

Uncanny Colleen said...

What a fun trip!

RE: Madisonville Buc-ee's
My husband's parents live in Centerville, but can't stand being bored, so they refuse to retire. They drive everyday from Centerville to Spring to run their company. They have each gained about 5 pounds since Buc-ee's opened. He found the Beaver Nuggets and she found the Cherry Sours. (They each have secretly blamed the other for always "needing" to use the restrooms, which are in fact the cleanest in the world!)

Jessie said...

Oh my goodness Amanda, Curtis has family in Dixon?? Dixon MO? My mom grew up in and around there (technically in Hancock) what a small world.

Looks like a good trip!

The Barfuss Family said...

Did you get a blizzard with the steak fingers? The baby weight is so worth keeping around for that!

Ashley said...

Okay, I cannot find the Yellowstone post (I know I read it on one of these blogs!). Anyway...what fun! It made me miss our trip out there BADLY. It was so fun to see the kids out there - that is something we plan to do...take the kids to the national parks. Such beautiful parts of God's creations! You guys are surely blessed to get to be out there somewhat regularly! Thanks for sharing those wonderful memories!!!

Marla Taviano said...

Immensely proud of you!! You should aim for Ohio next! ;)

Clay said...

Your babies are getting so big...and they are so beautiful! Quick questions...where did you get Annabeth's bows? I'm always in a constant search for the best bow on a baby head! -Kat

Kristen said...

What a fun, spontaneous road trip! Hope to see y'all soon!

Rikki said...

I could just eat that baby up!!! She is PRECIOUS!!!!

Moose Mama said...

It's just too bad you don't see the love in those family pictures, huh? :)

You are truly blessed and I'm glad you made the trip. Family is worth the effort.

Melana in Wyoming

Kelli said...

I am so glad that y'all decided to make the trip to see the fam! It looks like you had such a great time!

DQ is constantly coming to the rescue. What a blessing.. :)

bethany said...

Wow! you are brave! I absolutely HATE to drive anywhere (over 15 minutes) with my children, especially after making 7 10 hour trips to and from Phoenix/UT this summer! Glad they did so well and you guys had a fabulous time! Annabeth is so adorable!

Leyla said...

Way to be brave Amanda! I have learned that road trips are a lot like gambling...I never know which Audrey is going to come along with us! haha!

Annabeth's little pink flower outfit is so cute! I love it!

Bobbie said...

You're an awesome wife--I know it meant a lot to Curt and his family. It looks like you made lots of memories for everyone. And...I think your reward was 'only one meltdown'!!

Our kids were great travelers and still are to this 35 & 33! Our theory was if you start them young they have a greater tendency to make the best of it.

Erin said...

1. It is killing me how big Jackson is getting, so handsome too! 2. Is Annabeth's hair a little red? I hate that I have to ask this because I haven't met her yet...I'll inspect it in November :) 3. DQ steak fingers remind me of school that stuff.

Finally an Abrigg..... said...

Steak Finger Basket....ewww...I got the stomach flu back in elementary after eating that. Don't ASK me why I rememeber that. Only you would appreciate my need to remember every single time I've thrown up. :)
Annabeth is such a little lady. I can't believe how big she is!!!!

Lindsee said...

1) First of all, Annabeth and her thumb sucking is just too much. I was a thumb sucker as well! I know her love of a thumb. HA!

2) So, how did you like the beaver nuggets? Please tell me you thouroughly enjoyed them, especially after our conversation!

P.S. When I wrote my blog post about the Simulcast, I too googled beaver nuggets, yet got the whole buc-ees website which included some fabulous fan photos of beaver nuggets. It was hilarious!

Erin said...

That baby girl sure does love to suck on her toes. :) It was so good to see all of you! We miss you already. Love you!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Hi Little Momma, I like reading about your adventures with your fam and seeing your pics:) How cute are your kiddles??:)