Thanksgiving in Austin

We are home from Austin and our hearts {and bellies} are so full! I didn’t realize how much Cory and I needed a little break to escape the craziness of everyday life and couldn’t think of a better place to retreat than Austin with Caleb and Anna.

Even though we picked the worst possible time to visit, what with their busy work and school schedules, we are so thankful for the time we had.

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We headed to Atlanta Wednesday afternoon to catch a flight and what better way to pass the time  than with a little Elf, which is my favorite Christmas movie.

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We landed in Austin late that night and the airport was deserted! We couldn’t believe how empty it was the night before Thanksgiving.

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We didn’t check any luggage {Queen of Over-Packing over here} and somehow I got everything in my carry-on! I was extremely proud of myself and had to share my packing skills.

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We woke up Thursday morning and I Facetimed with my family while Cory and Anna started cooking.

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This picture just cracks me up. My Nana wanted to show me the new carpet in her bedroom and apparently Taylor was enjoying the softness. I promise it’s not a dead body!

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Cory and Anna did the majority of the cooking sooo…Caleb and I were just in the way a lot.

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Our poor ugly hard boiled eggs. None of us had ever made deviled eggs but apparently, we did something very wrong.

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But Cory did a great job on the ham…it was as tasty as it looked!

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Our impressive spread! Makes me want a plate just looking at it.

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The deviled eggs were actually really good, even though they look horrendous.

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Caleb, you had ONE job. Just slice the cranberry sauce. One job!

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But he totally redeemed himself with his awesome center piece.

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Caleb’s friend Josh joined us for dinner, since none of his family lived close. The guys had a good time discussing comic books and movies with him and he fit right in!

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I must say that I really enjoyed not going to five different places on Thanksgiving. We love all our family and hate not seeing them on holidays but as you can see, I didn’t even fix my hair because I knew we’d be hanging around their apartment all day.

I wouldn’t hate it if every Thanksgiving was as laid back as this one.

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After dinner, the boys went outside to play a little football City-Style–in an empty parking lot down the street.

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We ended the night with a little football watching until Cory and I decided to venture out for a little early Black Friday shopping. I was so excited for Cory to get to “experience” Black Friday but when we walked into Target at 10:30pm, there were no lines, no crowds and plenty of items still on sale.

What the heck?

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Friday morning Cory and I slept in while Caleb and Anna headed their separate ways for work and school projects {Anna’s in grad school at the University of Texas, in case I haven’t mentioned that}. Cory and I headed for lunch at Ross’ Old Austin Cafe for some chicken-fried steak on my Dad’s recommendation.

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Well thanks, Dad–it didn’t disappoint!

Funny story, Cory had filled up on leftovers before we left so he wasn’t that hungry and got a grilled cheese. When the server bought out our food, he said “I’m just gonna guess here” and set my plate in front of Cory.

Negative, Ghostrider–I’m the big eater today! It was as good as it looks and I finished the whole plate.

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We took a plate to Caleb for lunch then headed to downtown Austin to see the Capitol.

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I busted Cory taking a selfie.

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Said selfie.

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Paige the Pioneer woman. Ha!
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We spent the rest of the afternoon driving around and getting lost because Google maps did not want to work in Austin. I can’t tell you how many U-turns we made over the course of four days.

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After Caleb got off work on Friday night, we headed for mexican at Amaya’s.

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And I had the best tacos of my life.

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The next day, Cory got up early to hit some comic book shops around town that Caleb recommended. Apparently they turned out to be some kind of nerd Mecca like Cory had never seen. Also, please note the 27 selfies {not really} that my husband took. He said he wanted to “document” his part of the trip for the blog.

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Well done, Cory. Well done.

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Now we may not have bought season tickets this year, but that doesn’t mean we stopped bleeding orange. Clemson was playing their arch-rival and bitter enemy South Carolina on Saturday so no matter where we were, we had to find it on TV. Cory and Caleb had made plans to watch it online, but Cory couldn’t get the ESPN website to work.

Insert Panic Attack Here.

After fighting it for what seemed like hours, we gave in a went to a sports bar around the corner from the apartment. It turned out well though, because we were able to watch three games at once with all the TVs around us. Plus I got some killer wings and Cory had what he called the “best chicken and waffles he’d ever had”.

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The best part was that Clemson FINALLY won after a five-year losing streak to USC {last time we beat them, I was on the field cheering}! Seeing a win like that made all the frustration worth it.

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Our “Clemson finally beat USC” faces.

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Cory got a call from Caleb saying that his boss was letting him leave work early, so we picked him up and went out to his favorite street in downtown Austin for the evening. Everywhere we went was so unique and fun! The environment was so relaxed with live bands and fire pits and we had a blast just walking around, enjoying the evening with Caleb. Poor Anna had to stay behind and work on a project she had due.

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Please excuse the grainy iPhone photos.

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I was with boys the majority of the weekend and they could care less what I had on. I had to take advantage of a full length mirror even if it is a bathroom selfie. #noshame

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I promised myself years ago that as long as Cory keeps making stupid faces in photos, I’ll keep posting them hoping he will stop with embarrassment. It hasn’t worked yet, obviously.

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One of the best things about Austin: FOOD TRUCKS. Everywhere you go, there are food trucks and the food is phenomenal. If you ever make it out there, be sure to try some.

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Caleb’s degree is in Film, so he always knows the best place to see a movie. He told us we had to catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, so on Sunday afternoon we went to the matinee to see the new Hunger Games movie. The Alamo Drafthouse is a really cool 50’s retro-styled place that shows current movies as well as older movies and independent films. While you watch, they serve food and drinks from a really professional menu. Definitely on the recommend list as well!

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This guy was selling ugly Christmas sweaters by the side of the road. Yes, please!

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We took the rest of the afternoon just strolling around and hanging out in Zilker Park, which is where the Austin City Limits Music Festival is held. It’s a beautiful park where people go to play frisbee, rugby, soccer, or just hang out and the dogs roam free!

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Don’t tell Einstein but Cory made a new friend named Petunia. And now I want a French bulldog.

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I’d never trust my crazy dogs to just run free without a fence. I’d be in constant fear that they would run into the street but all the dogs were so well behaved.

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We spent most of our time just people watching and saw some crazy yoga happening.

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I think they were showing off at this point.

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Pink ears- we’ve got to dye Einsteins ears sometime.

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We went out for our last dinner with Caleb and Anna at another cool place called The Punch Bowl in a shopping district called The Domain. Inside the restaurant/bar is an eight-lane bowling alley, arcade, pool tables, ping-pong tables, and a few other games.

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And of course I did some more extraordinary packing.

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So there you have our Thanksgiving trip to Austin! We had a fun time and it was great to get to see Caleb and Anna, but I’m glad to be home in my own bed with my pups!

Easter Weekend {2014}

Thinking back over Easter weekend, I can’t help but smile. It was a slam packed weekend but I got to spend it with so much of my wonderful family! And not to mention, Easter was a gorgeous day. Warning: this post will be picture heavy because it was such a great weekend, I want to document it all! #sorrynotsorry

Friday

After work on Thursday my mom, me and Gracie headed down to Conway to see my Grandma and two of my aunts. My grandma just recently moved to Conway to live with my Aunt Kathy, so we were excited to get to see her! It was late when we got down there and we were staying with my Aunt Barbie, so we got up Friday morning and headed over to pick Grandma up.

20140421-211814.jpgThere was a consignment store my aunts wanted to take us to and Gracie found this wig. Doesn’t she look like Joe Dirt??? After that we had lunch at American Heroes which has the biggest subs I’ve ever seen.

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It’s so hard to get everyone {especially this group} to look at the camera and not make a silly face.

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When we got home from lunch on Friday, we made cookies and had a little flour fight. Sisters are never too old for that are they?

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Later that night, Gracie and Tori went back to my Aunt Kathy’s house and Grandma stayed with me and mom at Barbie’s. We ate chips and salsa for supper and watched Frozen {finally} after the girls left!

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Jameson was my fill in puppy love for the weekend. He is my cousin Julia’s dog but he stays with her mom, my Aunt Barbie. She couldn’t take him with her when she started the nursing program at FMU. He was such a doll and I sure did enjoy him snuggling up beside Friday night.

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Saturday

We woke up Saturday morning and again…did a whole lot of nothing! We had a delicious sausage casserole for breakfast and lounged around the house. Julia came over so her and I went to downtown Conway to explore a few of the shops. While we were gone, Gracie got a hold of Moms phone and filmed her very own tutorial. It’s really too cute not to watch!

After we got back to the house, we had lunch and were able to get some pictures of everyone.

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From left to right: My grandma, my Mom, Aunt Kathy and Aunt Barbie.

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From left to right: Aunty Kathy, Grandma, my Mom, Me, Aunt Barbie and Julia. That’s Gracie in front of my mom and Tori (Kathy’s granddaughter) in front of me.

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My grandma, my Mom, me and Gracie

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Me and Jules. I hate we live so far apart because I need more of her in my life!

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On the way home, I was thinking about how great of a time I had. I seriously can’t remember a time where we all just got to spend that much time together. We didn’t have to go 90 mph but just sat around the kitchen table and got caught up. I come from a bunch of goofballs and we all laughed a lot! It was so nice though and I was sad to leave Saturday afternoon.

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Too much driving for one weekend! Notice Gracie knocked out in the back seat??? Mom and I stopped in Columbia for a quick trip to the mall and it ended up being after 11pm when I got home Saturday night.

Sunday

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Some of my favorite Easter lovelies at church on Sunday. After church, we headed to my Aunt Leisa’s house for lunch. We had a joint celebration for Easter and John and Jordan, my brothers, 18th birthday.

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Birthday wishes are hard decisions, apparently.

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After lunch, Gracie and Taylor {my niece} modeled their Easter dresses for us while the boys hid Easter eggs.

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Easter Sunday

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Easter Sunday with Mom

My sweet Mama and me in our last minute find Easter dresses! You can’t see it in this picture but my dress had pockets. #winning

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Such good big cousins to hide the eggs!

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Even if there were eggs like this.

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As always, Cory got his nap in.

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Taylor showing off what she found in the prize egg.

Such a busy weekend with a lot of time in the car but it was all worth it to get to see so much of my family! I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing Easter weekend!

St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patty’s Day, y’all!

St. Patricks Day

As you can probably tell, we aren’t big on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day even though I’m pretty sure Sloan is a very Irish name. Last year, Cory {who loves all things Irish} played a show complete with the Irish songs and Irish accent. He was in Heaven.

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 Isn’t he a cutie?

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This past weekend was so busy that we really didn’t have the time or desire to even go to our favorite Irish pub, McGee’s. And since it’s a Monday and we are pretty much an old married couple, I doubt we will make it out anywhere tonight.

I’m not a completely party pooper though. I do have on green today. You better believe I wasn’t going to run the risk of getting pinched on a rainy Monday. And Jenni @ Frankly My Dear shared this lovely Irish blessing that I wanted to share too.

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Ringing in 2014!

Cory and I rang in 2014 with awesome friends, lots of good food, a warm bonfire, sparklers, horns & confetti and a toast at midnight. What better way to start a new year?

In case you missed it, you can see all my New Year’s Eve Party Decor here.

Jessica and I have a New Year tradition which simply is to spend it together. I can only remember two years we didn’t get to spend it together and one was because she was getting proposed to. We always have to get our New Year picture.

The dogs weren’t too crazy about all the excitement firecrackers and horns.

Love me some Forrester boys.

These beauties are a result of leaving my camera unattended.

Again, the dogs were freaking out just a little and Stein needed some love from his Mama.

Wait, is it right now?

Ha. Maybe the horns weren’t such a good idea.

My OCD husband wasn’t enjoying the floor covered in confetti.

Or maybe the adults enjoyed the horns more than the kids.

Those are some bossy ladies in the background.

You can’t fake these faces. I only wish I knew what they were looking at but at least I was ready. Typical.

Do you know how hard it is to get 5 ladies to all look at the same camera at the same time? I think I had 10 different shots and this was the best one and Tonya was still blowing on that horn. Love her!

One thing I learned this New Year’s Eve, Cale loves photo bombing.