Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas from Our Family

The time leading up to Christmas was nothing short of chaos for our little family. Between Scout orders, prepping to be out of town, and getting everything ready for Christmas itself, I was averaging less sleep than I needed for survival. Luckily, we all survived, and it was such a great time with family. 

After a particularly trying week, we found ourselves outside of Franklin's at 9:15 Saturday morning in Austin. Franklin's has some pretty famous BBQ, and we have been wanting to try it for awhile. With us finally getting some time in Austin, we decided that it was our perfect shot. 
This was the line at 9:15. It continued to steadily grow until after we were even in the restaurant, which was at 12:45. You see, Franklin's doesn't open their doors until 11am. They sell the BBQ until it's gone. They are sold out by 2pm, and the only reason it takes that long is because there's only one line. If they opened a second line, those guys would go home earlier. 
Cullen was a great sport about the whole thing. Especially considering the fact that he refused to eat the BBQ once we got it. We waited in the shade, in the cold for three and a half hours, and I would do it again tomorrow.
I'm lucky to have a husband and a brother who are both incredibly talented with BBQ. The brisket and turkey at Franklin's kind of put their work to shame. I don't even like brisket, but I love the brisket at Franklin's. I'm also in love with the vinegar-based sauce that I put on everything. Luckily, I love the ribs and pulled pork that I get at home best. You want proof of how much we loved the BBQ?


And an after lunch nap in the car for Cullen. 
James' parents rented a really neat house for us on Lake Travis so the seven of us could stay together in Austin for Christmas. It was nice to wake up and see the water outside our windows, spend time together as a family, and enjoy some down time. 

Cullen had such a great time hanging out with his Uncle Will. They shared a love of bananas and airplanes during this precious moment on the deck one morning. 
During one of Cullen's bouts of amazing patience, he sat at a sports bar with all of us while James and Wiley watched the Texans game. His only request? Big bacon. Done. 
We were also lucky to get to visit some good friends from our time in Round Rock. Jason and Stephanie have two little boys now. Parker is just a few months older than Cullen, and little Callan is just a month old. It was so sweet to hold such a new baby, and I loved watching Parker and Cullen play. If we lived closer, I am sure those boys would be the best of friends. 

Christmas Eve dinner was at Roaring Forks. It was nice to catch up with extended family, and Cullen was a mostly well-behaved three year old. For the first time in a long time, we also remembered to take a family photo of the three of us. 
After dinner, we drove home to Katy, so that Cullen could wake up to Santa at our house on Christmas morning. Cullen had a great time opening gifts, and he was blessed with plenty of new things. He is such a thankful little boy, and it was nice to have extra time with him over the past week to soak up extra hugs and cuddle time.  
This picture doesn't really do justice to the amount of tape James used to wrap my Christmas gifts. What is hilarious is that I started wrapping gifts more than a month before Christmas, but I still had a few to finish up maybe a week prior. As prepared as I am, I found it odd that I completely ran out of tape. Sorry to those of you who received gifts taped up with packing tape. It just isn't something I wouldn't normally notice. On Christmas morning, I finally figured out that I ran out of tape after James wrapped my gifts. No peeking!
Now that the bustle of the holiday season is winding down, we are focusing more on family time and relaxation. James' mom is in Texas waiting for the arrival of Corie's little girl, so she is staying with us for a bit. Cullen is loving having Grandma Lynn around!

xoxo ashley

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