After 5 months of absolutely no traveling, I decided it was time to take a quick trip. Our destination? My hometown of New Braunfels, TX. Born and raised in this fabulous town, you come to appreciate all of its time honored traditions once you are older. One of those is our yearly county fair. I was so excited to share this experience with Bella (Zach will get his turn next year). As a kick-off to the fair events, there is a parade. I drove in Thursday afternoon so that I would be able to take Bella to the parade Friday morning. Once there, we shared a chocolate donut from the oldest bakery (and best) in Texas, Neaglin's (courtesy of Uncle Eddie, one of my childhood best friends) before the parade started. Alongside Aunt Ashlee and Kolton, we stood in the packed crowd surrounded by a community of families with children of all ages waiting for the American flag, military representatives, high school bands, state officials, local service clubs and many other groups to march through the middle of town to celebrate what we all love about where we live. This is small town America at its best. As the fire trucks, horses, and military personnel went by, I got to see the expression of amusement and joy spread across Bella’s face. She clapped, she pointed in wonder, and most importantly she smiled from ear to ear.
After the parade, my mom, Bella, Zach and I went up to visit my co-workers for cake and punch. They all thought Zach was handsome and Bella was amazing. I get so excited being able to have the kids spend time with them.[THANK YOU ALL FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY TO SPEND WITH US AND THE GREAT GIFT.]
Chris flew into Austin Friday afternoon to join us for the remainder of the weekend. We found out some time back that there is a Mellow Mushroom Pizzeria in Austin. While we were in Virginian for Bella’s NICU stay, we fell in love with Mellow Mushroom. This restaurant became a safe haven for Chris and me. On our half mile walk back to our apartment from the hospital we would sneak in for a pizza and beer to wind down from whatever bit of stress had elapsed for the day. So as a treat to ourselves, we got to share Mellow Mushroom pizza with Bella for the first time after picking Daddy up from the airport. (but it would have been better if we were in Virginia)
Saturday morning is what Chris and I had been looking forward to the most with Bella. At the fairgrounds Saturday morning there is always the children’s game area, animal petting area and the larger animals to observe. Bella has recently gotten into saying animal noises and pays the most attention to her books with animals in them. Her reaction was priceless even though she was slightly intimidated by the size of the animals, even the babies.
That afternoon we had a mini family reunion at my mom’s house to celebrate Zach’s arrival. We were surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and the dearest friends. We laughed, ate, watched football and enjoyed being a family. [THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT WAS THERE. OUR LIVES ARE THAT MUCH BETTER BECAUSE EACH OF YOU IS IN IT.]
It was wonderful being back home for a few days and getting to visit with so many people, even if it was short lived. I must say, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel blessed for all the many gifts God has given me in my life. And one of those gifts are all the amazing people in my life. I love you all and can't wait to see you again soon.