“Texas our Texas…”

Posted on August 12, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Contrary to what my husband firmly believes – this is our state song as opposed to “Deep in the Heart of Texas”.  This is our last night in The Lone Star State and I have been creating magic today as I repack our gear.

The boys and I left the cool temperatures of Canada and hit the wall of heat when we stepped off the plane in Houston about a month ago.  For my friends who have not been to Texas – this is not an exaggeration and I’m not being melodramatic – you literally hit a wall of heat and moisture.  The first week was spent in Sugar Land where we were able to visit with family.  I can’t believe how much my nephew has grown. Grandma took us to the new science museum in Sugar Land and both boys had a great time. Zachary was able to dig in the excavation pit and Jackson took his turn on the Gyroscope.

The next three weeks were in Marshall.  We were able to visit with even more family and friends.  The boys and I made the rounds and visited a lot of people.  We were able to visit Honey and Big Daddy, Aunt Vera Avis, Aunt Margie, along with everyone from church.  The boys were able to attend VBS while we were home.  Jackson especially enjoyed it because he was able to see some old friends.  We even caught the Mayor at home and Zachary was able to ride the donkeys.  I was so thankful that I was able to meet a couple of friends over in Tyler.  It was so much fun to catch up and visit.  The timing worked out perfectly since Elizabeth was already coming to town to meet with Jessica. Zachary had a blast out at the ranch.  He loved seeing the dogs, horses, and chickens.  Jackson spent his evening in the chicken coop testing his “chicken whisperer” skills.  Ann and Jay pulled out all the stops with our meal that evening.  We are still waiting to get the BBQ sauce recipe.  Dinner and an evening swim was on order one night with some friends that I regret not spending more time with while we lived in Marshall.  Thanks so much Tavia and Jeff!  It was so nice that Jackson was able to see Claudia again.  Zachary loved playing with Amber… he slept great that night. Even though I was in town for three weeks, I still didn’t get to see everyone that I had hoped.  The ones I did get to visit with I didn’t get to see as often as I would have liked. Funny how that always seems to happen.

Along with friends and family, there were several restaurants that were a “must go to”.  I got to go to Freebirds while in Houston so I took Jackson to Cafe Italia once we reached Marshall.  Mexican food was frequently consumed over the three weeks.  I took mom and dad to Tokyo in Shreveport.  It was Zachary’s first experience at a Hibachi place.  He got the hang of using chopsticks (after he realized they weren’t straws) and was mesmerized throughout the “show”.  He wasn’t scared of the flames shooting up to the ceiling – just had to squint his eyes.

Zachary learned how to crawl out of the crib on July 15th (the day he turned 18 mos old). Once this trick was mastered he would get up and go outside with dad in the mornings.  He was a big help making sure all the plants had enough soil and water.  He got in and out of the pool and just really enjoyed running around the yard.

I was able to brave the heat and take the boys to various places.  We had a blast at the zoo. Jackson and Zachary enjoyed seeing the animals.  Zachary was practicing all his signs as we made our way through the zoo.  Jackson’s favorite was the gigantic catfish that he was able to feed.  Zachary loved the building with the penguins.  He was amazed by the ones that were swimming, and then the next area was filled with fish and birds.  I was surprised that he didn’t want to have much to do with the goats in the petting zoo.  They also have a “Wild Bird Walkabout” where you can feed the parakeets.  Both boys enjoyed that.  Jackson even had one of the cockatiels land on his head.  Zachary tried so hard to get a bird on his stick, but he wouldn’t keep it still long enough.  I even got to go to one of my favorite places – Caddo Lake.  This is the only natural lake in Texas.  I took the boys on a steamboat tour – it was hot, but worth it.  Words can’t describe the feeling that overcomes you when you get the first glimpse of the lake.  The cypress trees, Spanish moss, and labyrinth of sloughs and channels all contribute to a supernatural atmosphere.  I feel like I’ve been transported back in time to the bayous of the deep south whenever I’m there.

My baby transformed into a little man while in Texas.  He got his first hair cut.  Syndy has been doing my hair since I was in middle school and I wanted her to cut Zachary’s for the first time.  He did really well.  Syndy’s granddaughter, Miranda, fed him Smarties to keep him still.  He also played with the water bottle and kept squirting himself in the face!  He handled the whole process better than I did.  Not only does he now look 5 – he looks like he grew 6″.

My time in Marshall wasn’t all fun and games… I took on the challenge of emptying the storage building so we wouldn’t have to pay $$ every month.  That was the easy part.  The hard part was going through everything and trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  It was hard parting with pieces of myself and my previous life – but I could only ship so much up North.

This last week has been back in Sugar Land.  I was so thankful that Aunt Mary and Mama were able to come and visit Sunday night.  Jackson loves spending time with Aunt Mary. They have a tight bond that started when they were looking for Santa when he was three. Last night (Tuesday) we went to the pool in Kimberly’s neighborhood.  It was a great family pool (especially for little ones) and the boys had a blast.  Zachary loved going down the slide.  He could see his brother waiting to catch him at the bottom.

It’s been so great visiting this past month, but I will be glad to get back to my own bed (and cooler temps) tomorrow.  I miss my new friends in Canada and my critters.  Oh yeah – I miss my husband, too.  He has had a very exciting bachelor life for a month – free tickets to the rodeo, folk festival, Lynyrd Skynryd concert, and even his first country concert.  I could go into more detail about his adventures but that’s best saved for another story at another time.

As I was going through the pictures of the past month I realized how hard it was going to be to pick a few for this post.  There are so many great shots (ok I might be biased) that I didn’t have room for.  If you have time to kill check them out on Flickr.  Enjoy the heat my fellow Texans – I’m back in cooler and drier weather where you don’t start sweating as soon as you walk outside.  To my friends and family:  I was so happy to get to visit, but the next time we decide to get together in July let’s do it up north.


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