Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We Met in St. Louie, Louie!

So this past weekend after a fun triple date on Friday night, a friends' baby shower for Elyse & me on Saturday morning and work for Hubby on Saturday morning, we headed out to St. Louis for a quick little getaway. 

With crazy schedules, it's nearly impossible to plan a family vacation with Hubby's parents, his sister & her husband, and their two boys.  However, we were able to carve out about 24 hours to spend together doing some pretty stinkin' fun stuff! 

We met Saturday evening in St. Louis at our hotel in Union Station all decked out in our Cardinals gear & headed to the game.  We rode the Metro (or train as it was called to our nephews & Elyse) to the stadium along with hundreds of other Cards fans.  Elyse had been to a game last year, but she couldn't even walk yet--this year she was much more into everything going on! 

Our seats were in the Redbird Club which provided access to an air conditioned area for eating or just hanging out--it was still pretty warm even with a 6:15 start time, so it was nice to have this option for Elyse & our nephews to walk around in the cool air. 

We decided to leave after the bottom of the 8th inning, as a Cardinals win was pretty much in the bag, and we didn't want to have to wait too long for the Metro since we had ONE. TIRED. TOOT. on our hands! 

*Side Note--we took Elyse's pack-n-play for her to sleep in, as none of us really sleep very extremely well when she's trying to sleep horizontal while Hubby & I sleep vertically!  She hadn't slept in a pack-n-play in over a year, so we had no idea how it would go...but she slept wonderfully until the next morning!  So, we're definitely making room for the pack-n-play on our trip to Floriday in a few weeks! 

Sunday morning we woke up and decided to grab what should have been a quick breakfast at Steak-N-Shake before any activities.  Well...what should have been a fast experience, turned into over an hour for breakfast and a little girl named Elyse who was so ridiculously patient even with having to eat breakfast almost 2 1/2 hours late!  Ughhh...

We finally finished our breakfast and headed to Grant's Farm, which is a zoo-like, park but with much fewer animals, space, and people...but still tons of fun!  It's home to the famous Budweiser Clydesdales and has lots of fun attractions including a carousel, goat feeding, elephant shows, water misters, camel rides...and maybe most importantly...snow cones!  ha!

First stop after the tram ride was the goat feeding area...they should seriously have a warning that this area is not for children under the age of like 8 or less than 50 lbs--those goats meant serious business when it came to their milk!  Of course this could have had something to do with the fact that we were there first thing and you would have thought the goats were starved to death!  

Next up was the carousel, and oh what a difference a few weeks made!  Elyse did NOT enjoy the carousel at Silver Dollar City, but this time she was all about it!  She rode on her own horse all buckled in all by herself!

Next was the small area of water misters...these might have been the highlight of the visit!  I went through with her first just to see if she liked it at all...

The answer to that was YES!!!  She ran through multiple times.  First with cousin Hunter...

And then with Daddy, Cousin Hunter & Cousin Jackson!  She was soaked, but loving every minute of it!  

And of course, what do you do after getting soaked when it's 90+ degrees snowcones of course!  Elyse didn't eat much of hers, but she definitely enjoyed it and even shared a bit with her cousins!

The boys both wanted to ride the camels, and we tried to get Elyse to join in as well, but when it came her turn to ride with Daddy she was having NONE. OF. IT.  So thankfully we got our refund and went on our way--but the boys definitely enjoyed their rides!

We roamed around the rest of the park checking out all the Anheuser-Busch memorabilia and then after a tram ride back to the parking lot we walked over to see the clydesdales.  I'd seen these gigantic horses before, but their sheer size just almost takes your breath away.  They are such beautiful animals. I didn't really get a great picture of one because they were all huddled in the shade, but it was still a pretty cool sight! 

After a quick snack, we all headed down I-44 in our separate cars, already thinking and planning about how we can make a similar trip work next year. Elyse loves her cousins Hunter & Jackson so much...and I'm pretty darn sure the feelings are mutual!  We are so thankful for precious time with fun & such a blessing!

Friday, August 23, 2013

5 on Friday!

I'm linking up again with everyone for 5 on Friday...which seems to be the only consistent way to get any sort of unscheduled blog post published during the week...

1.  Elyse is finally feeling better after a LONG week of sickness last week.  And I think she's still catching up on her sleep because she's taking some ridiculous long naps, resulting in her mean momma waking her up from them!  But not before I captured this pic of her little piggies trying to escape...correct me if I'm wrong, but those look like big girl feet!

2.  I whipped up a recipe yesterday afternoon from Pinterest that I've been wanting to try for a LONG time.  I didn't actually get to taste much more than a spoonful yesterday, but it's on the menu for lunch today with Elyse &my mom.  Avocado Chicken Salad...YUM!

3.  Elyse is at the stage where she's wanting to cuddle a little bit after her naps...especially if I wake her up from them.  Check out these post-nap bed head curls she had yesterday!  Her hair is getting so long!

4.  Thanks to a post on Instagram from someone...I seriously can't remember who...I ordered this pair of polka dot, distressed jeans from Target.  I struggled a bit with whether they were too teeny-bopperish for a 30 year old momma to pull off, but the consensus on Instagram and from Hubby & several friends was CUTE!  I paired them with a more "mature" top and a chunky necklace and I'm liking the look. 

5.  Tomorrow we are heading to STL for a quick overnight trip with Hubby's family.  A Cardinals game tomorrow night followed by a trip to Grant's Farm on Sunday morning.   Something tells me she's going to look a little different in the pictures this weekend compared to her first STL Cardinals game last year!
Head on over to April's blog and join up with the other fabulous ladies who participate in 5 on Friday! I mean seriously, everyone else is doing it!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Family is Everything

Back on August 4th, my dad's immediate family gathered at my parents' house to celebrate a very special grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary (which was actually on August 5).
Since even our immediate family is growing quite large, we kept the guest list to a minimum with just my grandparents & their childrens' families.  Even with limiting the guest list, that still meant a gathering of 24 people!  We don't all get together very often, because as the grandkids have gotten married, holidays are often rotated, kids are sick, or things just happen to keep us all from being together.  So this was definitely a special treat. 
My dad grilled steaks and we had a simple, but traditional lunch meal followed by lots of family pictures & then the cutting of the cake...which was similar to the cake that they had on their wedding day 60 years ago!  My mom also did a great job of decorating in all white flowers, to pay tribute to my grandma's flowers in her bouquet .  And being in charge of snacks, I chose some of the traditional snacks from our childhood, spending summer afternoons swimming in my grandparents' pool and just gathering together as family--sesame breadsticks, frozen Snicker's bars, and my grandma's sugar cookies. 


I can't ever say enough how blessed I am to have not one, but both sets of my grandparents still with us, living nearby, and able to impart their wisdom onto my family as we can only strive to celebrate as many years together as they have.  60 years doesn't happen very often, and we were all so incredibly thankful to celebrate with them!