Grab a cup of coffee (or stiff drink if it's time-appropriate) and get ready for some pictures! Lots to share from our visit.
As you know, I flew in on Friday to see Caroline and Ryan, help out a bit, etc. We mostly took it easy and lounged around her house, but did get out a few times.
First, to Half Price Books. Not the usual store........which you know I love anyway.......but the Half Price mecca instead in Dallas. Their corporate offices are located on site and the store is filled with really knowledgeable bookworms. I was in heaven.
Coco, the next time you're in Fort Worth, you must venture over here. I could have spent days browsing and picked up several books for future reading. It's definitely the place to stock up.
Ryan is a reader, but also an avid record collector. You know, the vinyl ones......so he dorked around in the music section while Caroline and I cruised the biographies.
I was specifically looking for the sequal to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo......asked an associate and they didn't have it. He did clue us into an indie movie about the Dragon Tattoo book......which we saw later at The Angelika. It was dead on with the book's plot. Pure awesomeness. If you're looking for a new series of books......check him out. Stieg Larrson is the author. He wrote 3 of the intended 10 book in this collection before he died in 2004. This is not my usual type of book......but I am hooked.
We also went to Sprinkles to taste what a single cupcake costing $3.25 tastes like. It was delish. Totally lived up to the hype. The store was super cute.....minimal decor......funky and modern......fabulous marketing.......great service.
Kansas City is getting one soon....see upcoming locations here....cannot wait! And, yes, Sass.....it will surely be at The Plaza.
We got Cinnamon Sugar for Ryan because after 3 minutes in the crowded store, he proclaimed, "I'm out!" and fled. Caroline got Coconut. I chose Vanilla. Overly sweet and decadent. Just the way I like it.
The punks + Blake arrived on Sunday. We had lunch waiting for them.......visited for a while......played our latest favorite family game......charades. Jack and Lainey add a lot to it, I assure you.
We gave Caroline her wreath.......added her and Ryan's initials......think it turned out even cuter and it looks good on her dark door.
Carter and Caroline.
The kids adore Ryan's music room. So much to look at. (and break!)
The little ones played the xylophone. Ryan is such a good uncle.
We took a short walk to the playground across the street. The kids needed to run around after their long car trip. Pa was there, too!
Always fun wearing Pa's glasses.
On Monday, we had a dual celebration for Caroline's birthday (the 21st) and Jack's (next week). Watch this video to determine if Jack liked sharing his big day with his sweet aunt.
The birthday gang.
Presents! "Nope. Too yittle, Mom."
Lainey didn't venture far from the Cheetos. The girl loves to eat.
Back to the playground for ice cream.
I LOVE long skirts on Lainey. Hard to find......I guess people don't love the hippie look I do for little girls.
Some photos of the group. I will cherish these for years to come.
My girls. Caroline and Lainey Caroline.
Caroline gave Jack a harmonica or "zoomby", as Jack sometimes refers to it, for his birthday. We're still thinking of ways to thank her.
Too much......sugary sweetness overload.
On Tuesday, the troops were in and out of the hospital all day trying to keep kids busy and wait on baby Kellen's arrival. Lara's mom started a game of Simon Says and it provided lots of entertainment. Brilliant.
Carter adores Maci......like all babies.......such a good kiddo.
Sweet cousins. I hope they'll always be buddies like they are now.
Most of the cousins......including Jennifer's children. Jennifer is one of Lara's sisters. Her entire family is awesome.
More Simon Says. Blake was a good sport as always.
First time seeing Brad after Kellen Thomas was born! Congratulatory hugs from Carter and Trysten.
At the nursery......everyone wants a peak!
Starnes brothers. We are so proud of Brad and Lara. They have such an awesome future ahead.......building a house right now.......taking their time with each step along the way......it won't be long until they're settled in their new home with punkin Kellen and lots of fun ahead!
Lainey showed Kellen Meow Meow. Poor, unknowing baby. That probably shouldn't be one of the first things he sees in life.
He has lots of hair and they combed it over before this picture. Sweet baby!
Cutie pie Bailey loves him already. She's such a sweet girl.
I made a wreath for Brad and Lara.....in case they didn't have one for their door at the hospital.......or to take home afterwards. I think they liked it.
We had planned on spending Tuesday night, too, in Dallas. I wanted to stay another evening with Caroline and Blake headed to dinner with the family. Afterwards, the plan was for he and the kids to go back to the hotel, re-check in (after checking out thinking we were not staying)......but they didn't hold the reservation he called in requesting. By the time we found another hotel, checked in again, and got kids settled for bed, it would have been midnight. So, I suggested we just start driving.
Left Dallas around 11pm and arrived in KC at 6:30am. We made great timing and only stopped once for me to load up on Red Bull since I took over around 1am and drove until we got home. The kids slept the entire time and Blake did, too! It was a smooth trip back. Lovely.
I think that's about it for now. I'll be catching up on everyone soon. Missed you guys!