Night away in the big D.

Ryan & I left the kids and escaped away to Dallas this weekend! My friend Loretta was getting married Saturday night, so we decided to go see her & enjoy a night away. We headed out and drove straight to Chuy’s for lunch. Obviously we couldn’t focus on getting anything else done in Dallas without going there first and consuming massive amounts of creamy jalapeno dip. YUM. I couldn’t be more excited that we are getting one here in Tyler!!! That rumor better be true or else I will be highly upset.

Anyways, after lunch we went to the Apple store to check out the new shuffles, which are very cool. Didn’t get one, don’t need one…just went to admire. Then, we headed over to Luke’s Locker. Such a cool place. There is something inspiring about going to running stores! Got some shoe recommendations and Ryan got a flashy light to wear when he runs in the dark. Next on the list…Central Market. The grocery store of all grocery stores. This place amazes me. The produce aisle is unbelievable. They also have a great wine selection. And a whole aisle dedicated to granola, are you kidding me? Are we weird that we love going to grocery stores while out of town? We are foodie dweebs.

Saturday night was the wedding and it was much fun. It was at the Biblical Museum of Art, which was interesting. Great to see Loretta and meet her man! We stayed the night with my cousin Danny & his wife Kelly at their new place in Las Colinas. Always good to see them…I love my cousins!

Then, Sunday morning, Ryan and I got up and ran at White Rock Lake. My Dad always tried to go run ten miles around White Rock every year for his birthday. Since his birthday is this coming Thursday, we decided we’d run around the lake while we were there in his honor. Perfect weather for our run. It was overcast and cool, with a slight breeze. When we started the run, I looked across the beautiful lake as the sun was rising and my emotions overcame me. I burst into tears. I so longed for Dad to be running his birthday run with us. I miss him so bad. I thought of him the entire time. I prayed that my life would be meaningful, like his was. I prayed that I would make a difference and make my life count, like he did. I imagined God calling Dad over and saying, “Kip, I want you to see something” as he pushed back a cloud to show him us running. That made me smile to think of Dad watching me. It was a great run physically, but tough emotionally. We finished with a high five to the sky and a few more tears.

We headed back, stinky & sweaty, for our normal Sunday lunch in Quitman and to pick up our babies. Great night away with my love!

Our trip to Lubbock.

We went to the good ole L-B-K for Labor Day weekend and had such a great time! Its been a while since we’ve been back to visit friends, so it was time. We also felt it would be good as part of our healing process, to see people who knew and loved my Dad. He loved Lubbock and the people there.

We got in late Thursday night or actually, extremely early Friday morning. A 7 1/2 hour drive turned into a 9 hour drive somehow. I’m guessing a 2 and 4 year old had something to do with that. Oh and as a side note, never exit off the Interstate in Abilene…just saying. It was so neat driving in late because we got to see a lightning storm in the huge skies of West Texas. It was beautiful. There may not be trees and it may be flat, but the skies are abundant and the stars are gorgeous!

The first two nights, we stayed with our friends Tim & Christy. We love these two dearly and appreciate their friendship. Addi & Kam love them too! It was adorable because they would choose to hold their hands, instead of mine & Ryan’s when we would go out places. I think it gave Tim & Christy a taste of having their own kids!

Friday, we went by to say hi to some people around town – old places of work, church, drove by Tech (wreck ’em!), etc. Stopped by for lunch at West Crust Pizza, which was quite tasty I must say. We also stopped by the Veterans Memorial, so I could see my Dad’s brick. Just when I thought I could not be any prouder of him, I am reminded of yet another reason to add to the list that is still growing, even though he’s gone. Special. Then, Friday evening we met up with our old youth group for dinner & had a fabulous time. We are so very proud of our Fusion kids & the grown-ups they have become! This night was good for my soul. And Julie Patterson – YOU impacted MY life dear.

Saturday, after yummy homemade blueberry muffins made by Christy herself, we met up with my friend/college roommate Amanda for coffee. So great seeing her & catching up! Come run the Turkey Trot in Dallas with us Amanda!

Then, we headed out to Levelland for lunch with the Pace’s (Christy’s parents). These people mean so much to us and my family. When my Dad passed away, they loaded up their car, along with their son Jason and Tim & Christy and drove all the way to Quitman just to be there for us and hug us. It meant the world to me. I love all of you guys so much!

Saturday afternoon, we headed over to Danny & Ashley’s for the remainder of the weekend. Oh my word, we laughed so much! We had so much fun just doing absolutely nothing but hanging out. Their daughter Grace is so adorable, Addi & Kam had a great time with her. Baths, dress up time, watching movies, swimming, etc.When we got in the car to drive home, Kam said, “That was so fun!” and Addi has been saying, “I’m sad…I want to go back to Grace’s house.” One night while we were there, Ashley arranged for a babysitter so we could go out for some adult time. We went up to Stella’s, where she sings on occassion and got to hear her sing a set.  I got to meet Alison, a friend I have gotten to know through blogs and Facebook. She’s a runner too & is actually coming to Tyler next month to run the Tyler Rose Marathon. Fun night!

Monday morning, we loaded up, drove through & got a Josie’s burrito and headed back East. The girls were sooooo good and well behaved. Thank you Lord! It was a fun trip and a great Labor Day weekend. We miss all of our West Texas friends already. Now its your turn to come to Tyler!

Weekend Overload.

This has been one jam-packed, fun-filled weekend for sure! Prepare yourself for tons of pics & weekend details that may cause exhaustion.

Starting on Friday with the 30th birthday of yours truly. What an amazing day it was! My family, friends & coworkers made this birthday the best one yet. From a mocha brought to my desk first thing that morning, to cupcakes & Bruno’s pizza for lunch, to flowers delivered from my sweet cousin, to an edible arrangement from my brother-in-law, to a romantic date night with Ryan, and then a last minute party at KE Cellars with friends to top off the evening- wow, it was fabulous day! I appreciate all the FB posts, phone calls, texts and cards – I feel so blessed to have you all in my life. 30 isn’t so bad! Here are some pics from the day…

Saturday, I took the girls to the cutest little tea party ever! One of their little friend’s was turning 5 and had a tea party birthday party – so stinkin adorable! The girls loved it…Addi was in heaven with all of the dress up stuff and Kam was happy because they served ice cream at ten in the morning.

Saturday evening, we had dinner at our friends, the Lee’s house and enjoyed some tasty burgers and an intense game of Balderdash – so much fun. Our girls have a blast playing with their two girls…its cute to listen to them all giggle & squeal!

Then, Sunday after church, we headed to Quitman. It was the 2nd annual Skinner Cousin get-together on the lake. Tubing, sunbathing, swimming with all my cousins…great times were had. Then, that evening my mom cooked some yummy comfort foods for my bday dinner…meatloaf, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, rolls, chocolate cake – was soooo good, especially after spending the afternoon on the lake! My Aunt Debbie from New Hampshire was also in town…its always so good to see her & her smiling face.

And that brings us to Monday. A day of rest & relaxation! We had plans for the day, but overslept & honestly didn’t even care. After all of the events of the weekend, we were all exhausted! We left the house once to go run on the trails, then cooked out and had popsicles. Ryan smoked ribs to go with our baked beans and grilled corn… love days like this!

Happy Memorial Day friends & family!