Thursday, April 22, 2010

Texas Visit Recap

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 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, will surely be at The Plaza.

Cute packaging.

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 cake.

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 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 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 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!


The Soladay Family said...

Loved this post. Such sweet pics of you, the kids and Caroline. Her Ryan is precious...must be something about that name. You can tell how much he adores Caroline.

That Lainey....heartbreaker in the making =)

Glad you made it home safely, and I am super impressd with your wreath making skills!

donatelli98 said...

Love all of your pics and of course the narration! Glad you were able to spend lots of quality time with Caroline!! Loved seeing the dress on Lainey!!

Dee Stephens said...

great pictures and cute wreaths!! Can't believe the overnight drive. I just can't do that anymore. :(

Sara said...

Oh my goodness, Case...I love these pictures. Every last one of them. So awesome!
For some reason, I always end up taking the 1am driving shift too! Glad y'all are home safe and sound.

Missed you!

Pam Bowers said...

Awesome trip. Congrats on the addition to your family. The bonds between cousins can be so sweet.

I wish we had a book store like that here. I would move in and just pay rent. lol

merrilee said...

Congrats on the new addition-pure sweetness! Love all the pics--especially the ones of Caroline with the punks. I love that you and Blake are such brave parents--just driving through the night, like it is no big're awesome!

Shannon said...

When I am jobless this summer and spending time with my voracious reader kids, we'll be going to that bookstore. Cheap and fun, like me! Oops, I mean, like a good field trip!

So many good pics. You tell a lovely story. And drink a lot of caffeine.

The Lenzers said...

great visit, wonderful pics, and a beauiful new baby

Becca Jane said...

CUTE CUTE header! Love the little life preservers.

Cute little baby...sounds like a great trip!

If I end up somewhere in the midwest, I'll come visit, ok??

Kristen said...

I know you've posted pics of your sis before... but I never realized how gorgeous she is!! Love all the shots of the kids and her together... and the fact that Lainey loves to eat just makes me love her even more. And Carter's little Lacoste polo is fabulous! My favorite brand :)
And welcome Kellan!! What a wonderful post Casey!

starnes family said...

Thanks, everyone. And, yes, KS, I must agree that Caroline is gorgeous!

Becca Jane, you can visit anytime. We'd have so much fun!

Allyson and Dave said...

Sounds like a great trip. I love the long dress look too....on little girls and grown up girls.

The Rand's said...

Glad you all got home safely! Love all the pics!

If the shoe FITZ said...

sounds like a great visit...
not has busy as your usual visits.
sounds like good quality family time!

Merry Mack said...

You are a brave woman to drive in the middle of the night while everyone else sleeps. I am having anxiety just thinking about it.

Looks like it was a great visit. Nothing like welcoming a new baby into this world. So sweet and looks like he is surrounded by love.

Looks like a great week!

Jodee said...

What a fun trip! It looks like you had a blast hanging out with Caroline. Great pictures!

The Luis Family said...

I'm so glad you got to spend time with your sister! I can tell you had a great time! Loved all the pictures. I do have to say you ROCK for driving from 1 AM until you got home in a quiet car! That is amazing. I have been out of the loop lately and missed you. Hopefully things will be back to normal for us soon and I can check in daily again!

SASS said...

Oh I love this whole dang thing!
Look how much time you got with your sister! Love it. Love the picture of you and your Carolines. Those are 2 beautiful ladies, you have. I think I pulled a Coco and pretended that I was there the whole time. I laughed about Ryan dorking out in the record section, pretended I ordered a chocolate cupcake to fill the empty spot in your sprinkles box, laughed at Jackery's NOOOOOOOO, and even gave newborn baby Kellan a welcome squeal! Are you scared? I am a little, too.
My favorite part? The fact Jack calls a harmonica a zoomby and how you're still trying to find a way to thank Caroline for it. Please keep me posted on that.
Loved this whole thing! Glad you're back!
(I'm checking on Sprinkles on The Plaza right now and will let you know. This is big.)

Rebekah Williams said...

Your sister has the most delightful countenance. Almost like she glows from within. I love your posts about her.

Shannon said...

20 points to Rebekah for use of the word "countenance" which I've looked up and will use now.

Anonymous said...

What a great trip!!! I seriously miss Dallas in a BIG way. Sprinkles sounds right up my alley!

Your family/pictures are amazing!

Life in Beverly Hills said...

Ok, that last comment from J was actually me. Guess our gmail account is logged in!

Coco said...

The picture of Lainey and Caroline together is just priceless.

And those wreaths! Darling.

Monica said...

I love all three of your kids in this post. I LOVE the video of Jack screaming NO! I LOVE the photo of Carter that says WHY? And I LOVE the picture of Lainey showing Kellen Meow Meow. All are priceless. I am so glad you capture these great moments to share with the rest of us!

aunt caroline said...

Best post EVER! This needs to be on your favs so I can check it out frequently!

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