Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Austin Trip, Six Years, Learning With Daddy

This past weekend, James and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. It seems impossible that six years have already passed. Six years since we said, "I do." Six years since our nephew was born. Six years of awesome, fabulous times. We have learned together, grown together, and fallen more in love.

In lieu of gifts this year, we decided to take a trip to Austin with some really awesome friends of ours. For a month, Megan and I made a list. A very long list. Places to go, foods to eat, things to  enjoy. In a forty eight hour period, I ate more than I normally do in a week. And it shows. Lord does it show.

We got up on Friday morning with the goal of an early lunch at Homeslice. We met up with Tera and Clint and ate too much pizza. As attached as I am to my regular slices of pie, I have to admit my new favorite is definitely eggplant. And who doesn't love leftovers wrapped in foil and shaped like a swan?
After lunch was a walk down South Congress, a little window shopping, and a dozen cupcakes at Hey Cupcake. They supposedly serve the best cupcakes in Austin, so I decided it was time for some research. To be honest, they weren't that great. I think the best part for me about that was when James told me that he liked my cupcakes better. Maybe he's biased, but I'll take it. 
Cullen loved his foil swan. And he loved his cold pizza at breakfast the next morning. 
I had no intention of buying random shirts at each place we went, but I did manage to make one purchase at our very first stop. I love Austin's sense of humor. 
 After SoCo was Toy Joy. It was Cullen's first trip there, and he fell in love. He played with toy rats and sharks and Ugly Dolls. And then he found Rody. And it was all over. Boingy boingy boingy. Bouncy bouncy bouncy.
I think I want this one, please... 
 I talked James into getting me an almond milkshake from Soy Joy while I was getting a ribbon put on Cullen's new toy. It was supposed to be an Easter surprise for him. I'm going to pretend my face looks so fat because of Rody's face. Because Rody's face looks fat. Yep. That's it.
 I kept myself Cullen entertained by taking self-portraits.
 Our next stop was campus. We didn't go to UT, but some of our favorite siblings did, and I would be ridiculously proud of Cullen if he decided to go to school there. Admittedly, I want Baylor to be his first choice, but Texas is a great school.
 Is he cute or what?
 Of course, no trip to Austin is complete without a stop at Moonshine. Cullen mostly ate popcorn for dinner, but he was happy to have his awesome Dr. Seuss backpack full of toys handy. Thanks Julie!
 Dinner on the patio on a warm spring day means an awful lot of food with a Harvest Moon Tea. It feels like home all over again.
After dinner, we headed over to Tera's daughter's school for their spring carnival. It was so great to see Tera's girls, and Cullen had a whole lot of fun.
 His favorite stop was for his balloon animal. Surprisingly, he was completely okay with the clown, and he carried his balloon airplane with pride.
 We finally made it back to the hotel well after Cullen's bedtime. In between some of our stops earlier in the evening, Cullen spotted Rody in the back of the car. Because I'm terrible at saying no sometimes, Easter came early. Cullen insisted on carrying Rody from the car to the hotel room. 
 After his shower, he bounced all over the hotel room.

 The next morning, we met up with my friend, John, for breakfast at Juan In A Million. There aren't any pictures, but that was because I was too busy eating. Again. It was so great to catch up with John. I got really teary-eyed when he shared with  me that he and Scott are going to be expanding their family through adoption. I am so ridiculously excited for them.

After breakfast, we made a quick pit stop to visit with friends and their newborn daughter and then it was off to lunch. Because breakfast just wasn't enough.

Salt Lick. What more is there to say? Since James started barbequeing, we always wind up behind the counter when we're there. Who wouldn't want a behind the scenes photo of all of this yumminess?

James talked for a bit with the manager, and he took us into the backroom to see the smokers. Apparently, we were told to not take pictures. I missed that memo.
For lunch, we met up with James' friend, Jason and his little boy, Parker. After lunch, the little boys played in the sand while the grown-ups sat around and complained about how we ate too much.
Parker and Cullen shared this teeny tiny tender moment after play time.
Of course, no stop at Salt Lick is complete for me without a couple of bottles of BBQ Red. I'm looking forward to enjoying those. Very soon. I really love this setup outside of the winery. Future backyard idea right there. 
From the Salt Lick, we went to the Oasis. French fries and milk for Cullen and some sunshine on the lake for the rest of us.
We met Laura and Marty for dinner at Maudie's to wrap up day two of ridiculous eating.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to watch some basketball and test out that four hundred pound weight limit on Rody. I only got a picture of Lee trying it out, but I'm pretty sure that won't be the last time the grown ups make use of Cullen's new toy. 
The next morning we headed to Tacodeli for a quick breakfast before hitting the road. After two days with no naps and a couple of bites of potato chips, Cullen was quickly out for the ride home. I don't know why I love pictures of him sleeping in his carseat. It's just so peaceful! 
 As soon as we unloaded the car, I was back on the road to Columbia Lakes for a baby shower. The shower happened to be right across the street from the house I grew up in. The house looks exactly the same, but the yard is so completely different. It's crazy how much has changed in the last twelve years. I didn't expect to be so nostalgic about it.
By Sunday night, I was exhausted. Unfortunately, I haven't been sleeping well lately. At least I'm getting a lot done around the house and clearing out the DVR.

Our weekend away was amazing. It was such a great time to spend as a family, and I am forever thankful for Megan and Lee's patience as we drove all over Austin indulging our random whims. They are some really amazing friends, and we're really blessed to have them in our lives.

Tonight, James and Cullen spent some time working on flashcards while watching the Baylor game. Once again, James has proven how much more entertaining it is to learn with him. For the letter J, I would come up with words like juice. James uses words like Jews and jock strap. When the boys got to F, we reminded each other that Daddy is funny and Mommy is not fun. Oh well. Better luck next time.

xoxo ashley

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