A Visit from the Parents

My parents live in Atlanta, GA, about 14 hours or so away from us.  So, any visit from them is quite a treat.  Last week, they visited for the whole week, and it was wonderful.

We did several things together, but I didn’t get very many pictures because I was either juggling the baby or lost in the moment.  I don’t apologize for that, either.  But I did manage to get a few pictures from the Dallas World Aquarium, one of our major stops during the visit.

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We visited right around feeding time which was really fun.  There were divers in a lot of the tanks, either feeding or cleaning.  Sam was most interested in what they were doing.

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I thought the aquarium would be better than the zoo because of the heat but also I thought that for a four month old, this would be more his speed than big open pens of animals.  The Dallas World Aquarium is somewhat like a zoo, however, because it has a lot of animals in addition to the fish.  There is a huge enclosure with birds and crocodiles and another exhibit of penguins, so it was like a first step to the zoo.

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Also during their visit, I took my parents to IKEA because they have never been to this store.  When I found that out, it was a must for this visit.  IKEA is such an experience.  We had dessert in their restaurant and walked through the entire store.  I took several pictures for ideas for the house.  I’ve really enjoyed our couch from IKEA.  It’s so easy to clean and has held up pretty well over the years (and is so comfortable).  I’m making bucket lists for several rooms in our house, so IKEA trips may become more common in our future.

We also went several other places and did many other things (including a nice date night for Michael and me which was so appreciated).  But my favorite moments were just hanging out and watching my parents love on Sam.  They ooo’d and aww’d at all of Sam’s milestone abilities, laughed and played, even changed a diaper or two.  I’m so thankful for this visit and for my parents being a part of Sam’s life!

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Our Family Trip

Last week, we traveled for the first time with a baby.  The ride there was pretty uneventful.  He slept the entire way.  And throughout the visit, he was sleeping and eating at regular intervals, despite being completely off of his schedule.

The reason we traveled with Sam so early was that we wanted him to meet Michael’s dad.  His dad has Alzheimer’s disease which has progressed to the point that he can no longer travel and needs full-time care.  I didn’t really know what to expect.

Honestly, both he and Sam slept through their introductions.  But he seems to be happy and well taken care of where he is, which I am very thankful for the people who love on him on a daily basis.

The rest of the trip was spent with Michael’s mom, his brother and his wife and their daughter.  It was really a great time.  We walked around the local college campus.  We chatted about raising our kids and all the ups and downs.  We watched the two cousins interact (well, as much as a two-month-old and an almost one-year-old interact).

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Michael’s mom’s church threw a baby shower for Sam.  And there were lots of ladies there who cooed and snuggled Sam.  We are so thankful for the love and prayers from that church.  They have become a part of our amazing extended family these past several years.  I am so thankful for such a wonderful visit with family and friends!

Our 2017 Labor Day

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Since last week was a rough one for us, we intentionally decided to not make plans for Labor Day.  In holidays past, we would visit family or have friends over, but this year, we just wanted to have a day in.

One of the unique things (at least to me) of living in Texas is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are flags at the entrances of all the neighborhoods.  I took advantage of the beautiful day by walking around the neighborhoods and trails near our house.20170904_114215

And then, in the evening, Michael grilled out with hamburgers.  While I hung out with the pups in the backyard.

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So, we had a laid-back, chill evening just with our little family.  Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day!

Family Visit

This weekend, Michael and I visited his parents.  We usually visit during Memorial day, but we weren’t able to this year, so this was a make-up visit.  It was really good to see his mom and his dad.  I was a very bad blogger and didn’t take very many pictures, although there were times when I couldn’t take pictures either.

So, Saturday, my mother-in-law and I went out shopping, and she got a foundation match at Sephora.  It was neat to see her get pampered.  She totally deserves it!  Then, we did some more shopping, looking at thrift stores and various other stores.  It was wonderful to spend time with her, just doing life with her.

And on Sunday, we went to church and then the traditional lunch at Captain Ds with all her friends.  She has an incredible supporting group of people around her.  We talked about traveling to Italy and our favorite Italian cities.  It was wonderful to catch up with them as well.

I did manage to snap a picture of her and me before we left on Sunday.

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We were also there to visit Michael’s dad who is in a care facility due to the extent of his Alzheimer’s disease.  He is one of the reasons that we are so involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.  I participated in the Longest Day last week to spread awareness about the disease.  They didn’t allow us to bring cell phones into the facility so I couldn’t snap a picture with him, but here we are from a couple of years ago.

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We saw him on both Saturday and Sunday, and he was much more animated on Sunday. I’m glad he’s getting the care that he needs.  He can’t talk very well, but he was smiling and laughing.  When he makes eye contact with you and lights up, it’s the best thing ever.

It was a really good and relaxing visit.  I’m so glad we were able to go!

Five Things to Do at the McKinney Oktoberfest (that don’t include beer)

My husband’s family just went home yesterday.  They came up to walk in the annual Alzheimer’s Walk we have done every year for the past six years.  This was the first time all of our family has walked together.  I just want to thank those of you who helped us with donations this year.  We are truly blessed with amazing friends and family. You can read my sister-in-law’s post of the weekend here.

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After the Walk, we went that afternoon to the McKinney Oktoberfest.  Different parts of Dallas have Oktoberfest during different weekends, and McKinney happened to have one this past weekend.  I’ve always connected Oktoberfest with beer, but it’s so much more than that.  So here’s my top five things to do.

  1. Listen to some authentic music.  There were all kinds of music options throughout the day.  When we were there, we managed to grab some polka!

2. Eat a giant pretzel.  Something I always like to partake when we go to the festival.

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3. Watch some fun dancing.  I didn’t get any video, but here are the dancers in their authentic German outfits.

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4. Share some German doughnuts.  The apple dip was so yummy!

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5. Drink root beer from a big mug.  We bought a mug at a Wild Bill’s before, which meant we had a discount and free refills.  Very much worth the investment!

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Of course there are several other things there that we didn’t do, like ride the Ferris wheel or do a little shopping in the kiosks that line the streets.  Or you could just find a bench and people watch.  There is something to do for everyone.

And something special that we did at this particular Oktoberfest was drink Hawaiian coffee.  Now I realize that this doesn’t sound like a German thing to do, but it was so worth the visit.  Pacific Tradewinds Coffee was hosting a tasting of their Kona coffee at the festival.  They had three hot brews and one cold brew.  And they were so amazingly good.  My favorite was the Bombay Bluebonnet India coffee.  It had a chocolate aftertaste.  So good.

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We had a great time at the McKinney Oktoberfest.  I think we have been a few times before, but I hope we can make it an annual tradition to come back next year.  Or maybe we can visit some of the other festivals in the DFW area.   Either way, I know that we will be in for a treat!  Can’t wait!WP_20150926_044

Have you ever been to Oktoberfest?  What is your favorite part?

New Sunday Challenge Post!

There is a bad habit that we have fallen into lately.  That is eating in front of the TV.  First, it started when Michael got his wisdom tooth out.  We ate our meals in front of the TV so he didn’t have to move around too much those first few days.  Then, I got sick for most of this past week, where I spent most of my nights on the couch, so it was easier to eat there.  But now I’m afraid it’s becoming a habit. Continue reading