Monday, November 25, 2013

Wedding Weekend

We just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Houston, celebrating the marriage of Michael's cousin Andrew and his bride Lauren. We enjoyed being part of their special day. Everything was beautiful and Gray pulled off his ring bearer duties wonderfully.

The adventure started with a plane ride. Despite a three-hour delay due to bad weather, Gray loved every minute of it.

This is Gray listening to every word at the rehearsal. He called himself the "ring burier" and took his job very seriously. 

Gray and Nana at the rehearsal 

Family pic!

Gray was glued to Andrew's (the groom's) side whenever possible. Here they are going to check out the reception venue after the rehearsal. 

Gray and his big cousin Blayne bonding over daddy's iPad at the rehearsal dinner. 

Cousin pic! Andrew (the groom), Lindy, Jennifer, Kristin and Michael

Here are the cousins with their spouses at the rehearsal dinner

The ring burier and the flower girl Rhyann

Not to be outdone in the cuteness department, Lincoln donned a bow tie and stole my heart.

Michael caught this picture of Gray as the wedding party was getting lined up moments before the ceremony. Such focus!

I love this picture of Gray and Lauren right before they came down the aisle. I can only imagine what he's telling her.

I guess I should also mention that Michael served as an usher. Check out my handsome fellas!

After a beautiful ceremony, Lincoln was ready to party down with some dinner!

Andrew and Lauren gave Gray an awesome knight Lego set as a thank you gift. He put the 200 pieces together during the reception with a little assistance from daddy.

Rhyann and Lincoln fueling up for some fun at the reception

Gray was all over the place at the reception after he was done with his legos. When he wasn't dancing with Lindy, he was pestering Andrew or the best man. I wish this shot hadn't come out so blurry. 

This one was also blurry, but I loved seeing Nana, Michael and Lindy line dancing. You can even see the bride Lauren kicking up her heels behind them. 

And after hours of partying...we all wanted to crash like Lincoln. 

As I type this, the bride and groom are probably walking on the beach in St. Lucia. Not a bad way to unwind after an epic wedding weekend!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cold weather camping

This weekend we decided to go on an impromptu camping trip to take in one last outdoor adventure before a cold snap hits on Tuesday. Amy and Holten joined us for an overnight campout at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, about an hour south of where we live.

The leaves were shades of yellow and red, with just enough coolness in the air to make you want to sit by the campfire. It was perfect.

Holten insisted on dressing like the Lone Ranger the entire two days, and Gray followed suit in his Park Ranger gear. They chased each other down trails, played with sticks and made up games in the tent which entertained them for hours.

I actually managed to capture lots of great pics and Michael did as well.

Gray stamping his National Parks passport at the nature center

The Park Ranger & the Lone Ranger

Best buds and too cute!

Suiting up for a hike

Tromping down the trails

Michael making a of his all-time favorite things

sticks = nature's swords

Roxy even joined in the fun

Amy found this huge leaf! It was bigger than Gray's entire face.

The boys completed exercises in a workbook to earn their junior park ranger badges. Here they are taking the pledge before accepting their badges and patches. 

They also received junior park ranger certificates.

Two wild boys in their native habitat

Roxy relaxing in the tent bag

Sulphur Springs, one of many natural mineral springs in the area

Breakfast burritos and camp coffee...doesn't get much better than this!

The trails were so nice and it was a gorgeous time of year for hiking

One of the lovely shots Michael captured

Another highlight of the trip for Michael was running into professional fisherman Jimmy Houston. We've had many celebrity sightings during our 13 years together, but this is the only time I've ever seen Michael become giddy over meeting someone. Jimmy was super friendly and immediately put his arm around Michael and chatted with him like they were old pals. 

And after two days of fun, the boys (and their parents) needed a nap!

We had such a great time and I hate to think about these two not living in the same place in a few months. I'm glad we're making the most of our time together. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween 2013

I'm a little late on posting about Halloween, so here's a belated update on the evening's festivities. We enjoyed a houseful of my parents, siblings, cousins and my aunt Cathy who happened to be driving through from Houston. It was an impromptu party and made for a really fun night.

Gray wanted to go as a Lego man knight, so Michael spent hours crafting yet another original creation out of cardboard. I swear, that man has mad skills when it comes to cardboard and an xacto knife. 

I tried convincing Michael to just do the top portion as a lego man and let Gray wear black pants for the bottom, but you know that went over like a lead balloon. Michael had a vision and there was no going back.

Here's the finished costume, complete with a clip hand and yellow painted face. 

The cardboard legs were a challenge to walk in and also had trouble staying on, so they got ditched shortly into trick-or-treating. 

Nora the ladybug and Holten the mummy also joined us for dinner and trick-or-treating. Aren't they the cutest little trio ever!

Holt was totally in character as we walked down the street. He walked stiff like a zombie mummy and made moaning sounds. It was priceless!

Pappa and Susu were also in town for the festivities. Here are the boys with Susu in her Conehead and light-up mask. They love seeing her costumes every year. 

Of course, once we were home the boys had to immediately dump out their candy stash and take inventory. They aren't quite at the point where they are trading each other for their favorites, but I'm sure that will come soon enough. They made a pretty nice haul considering we only went around our short block to visit the neighbors we know. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Red Rock Canyon

We have a tradition of going to Red Rock Canyon State Park every fall for a picnic and day of hiking. Saturday was a sunny, beautiful day that was perfect for tromping around with our cousins.

The boys have gone several times now and get just as excited as the adults, knowing there's a lot of fun about to be had. The leaves were changing and hotdogs on the grill never taste as good as they do when we are there.

Luke, Holt, Gray and Jack taking a brief moment to pause from their constant playing to say cheese.

Playing "King of the Mountain" on the playground...

Jack's turn to be King

Hiking the trails

Jack keeping up with the big kids

These boys love to explore and could have stayed up on the canyon walls for hours.

A stick and dirt...does life get much better for a boy?

A few nature pics

We have so much to be thankful for, and days like this are the perfect reminder.