Barstad Tour of Texas

For our first ever family vacation by ourselves (!) we decided to drive somewhere.  Jeff arranged his schedule so that we could have two weeks to drive around wherever we wanted.
You know, the dream.
Drive to the grand canyon! Or our extended family shares a house in utah so we could go there! Or BOTH!  We could rent RVs or a camper and bring our cousins. Endless possibilities!
Best summer ever.  
Reality came fast, and we realized that Shea's flat head could possibly never recover from that amount of time in a car seat. And we may never recover from trying to console her for that many hours in the car.
So, it was shortened and simplified to a tour of (some of) Texas. We had a very broad plan to stay wherever we knew there was a place. It turned out to be so much fun.  We rarely drove more than a couple of hours at a time and came home to check on the chickens at one point.  It was a smaller version of the dream, but fun all the same.
We started at Ke Ohana with our cousins, totally crashed their family party that they were already having, and loved every second with them.  We never wanted to leave.
We ate, we laughed, we fished, we played charades. Dream.
linds and me and aves
Shea rode shotgun. She hated it, clearly.
From there we headed to my in laws lakehouse where we swam and fished some more.
From there we drove west to Granbury.
We went to the animal park and to Dinosaur World in Glenrose (a little outside of Granbury) and let me tell you-  It was a hit.
The animal park was incredible.  All of the animals just roaming free just waiting for cars to drive through and feed them.
Everyone loved it.
Jeff even fed one of the deer with his mouth (#summerdoubledare).  He is insane.
After we had had all the fun one family could have with wildish animals, we headed to Dinosaur Valley State Park.
We hiked through water and trails and tried to find dinosaur fossils and footprints. (and failed, even though they were there on the map right behind us the whole time).

After hiking around the park, we headed over to Dinosaur World to make all of Ben's dreams come true.
We stopped by my parents on our way back to our house where sass jumped in the pool with her clothes on #summerdares2014
Then, we headed to Tyler for graduation for Will and all of those graduating from residency this year. Jeff got to give the award to the Resident's Resident to Ryan Tatum and he quoted Whata man for his speech.  Ryan is def a mighty mighty good man. The whole night was perfect and hilarious. Congrats everyone!
We, of course, ate at Stanleys for the best bbq in the world.  We got to meet Brooke's cross fit family there, and it was so fun to see them all in their post workout glory.  And we played at the park, just like old times.
It was just the best weekend. We miss you guys so much!
We rounded our trip out by mixing gelato with Emporium Pies and it was heaven.
Perfect end to the perfect tour of (the middle of) Texas.
Next time, south Texas and the coast :)


Bob's Year of 37 July Envelope

I can't believe it is already July. Summer is going by so fast, too fast. We have been having fun getting lots of stuff checked off from the list that was in Bob's June envelope. July won't be as easy going for Bob. He is on a pretty rough rotation this month with lots of long hours and not a lot of sleep. Hopefully July flies by as fast as June did. 
Bob is the kind of guy that doesn't buy a new shirt until the old one is literally unwearable. So when it comes to swimsuits, he is still wearing the two he bought for our honeymoon, that was TEN years ago. His mom gave him one for Father's day a few years ago so that was nice to have a 3rd one in his rotation. They are still in great shape so I don't blame him but I would like to see him mix it up (and by mix it up, I don't mean tie dye pattern on floral print babe) every now and then. I gave him 37 dollars to go towards a new one. I would bet 37 more dollars that he doesn't use it on a new swimsuit though. It will just go towards bills or coffee. Love that guy.
I made a list of 37 encouraging quotes for Bob to read throughout this month. 
The personal notes were from Chris and Amy. Bob loved reading the sweet words from some dear friends that we haven't seen in forever! So awesome that there are so many people helping me make each month so special to Bob. 
Happy July everyone! 


King George

We were some of the lucky few who got to attend George Straits final concert.  
I do not come at this post lightly.  
This was a HUGE HUGE thing for all of us (you know how much we enjoy honoring our country music legends- no matter the hurdle.  Even if it entails a quick run in with the law in vegas), and we were so thankful to be able to see the cowboy ride away. 
It was everything we could have hoped and dreamed of-and better.  I mean, the man did not disappoint.  He IS the king (mom).
Of course allison had the best shirt idea in the world! (and his first song was check yes or no!)
The back was a line from George's song "Easy Come, Easy Go"  it said "Goodbye, Farewell, So Long, Vaya Con Dios" which he sang with Eric Church. 
And bob's shirt said The Chair. (my personal favorite)
I know its the same exact picture in different locations within the same location, but I just want to remember every single one we took before he changed our lives with his last hurrah.  I know.  Life Changing sounds dramatic, I hear you, but it was.  
He only had asleep at the wheel open for him and then he, himself, came out at 730 and sang until 1030.  He had an amazing line up of country stars that sang his songs with him and we were just not even expecting that.  I mean, get out George.  You're so creative.
We LOVED it.  
We never knew who would come out next and every time it was amazing.
It started with Vince Gill and then there was Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, 
Miranda Lambert, 
Faith Hill, Martina McBride, 
and Eric Church (and his sunglasses).
No frill or fluff, just them and him and their guitars and the ace and the hole band.  It was just the best.
Except he did give away a million dollar house to a veteran who continued to fight after his arm was blown off.  It was so moving.
When he left we all screamed for an encore and they all came back out and sang All My Ex's Live in Texas and it is now written on our hearts.
Then he really ended it with the Cowboy Rides Away and I am pretty sure everyone was crying.  I mean, I can't speak for everyone, but, you know. It was emotional.
And then they dropped confetti and balloons and we all went nuts.
For some reason none of my cousins made it to my pics, but they were there and the life of the party.  Everyone left saying they were their favorite people.  So, sorry guys.  All the matching shirts and George took over my phone camera.
We love you George.  Thanks for an amazing last night with you.  I know you won't even remember we were there, but we will.  And we have NOT gotten good at goodbye.  So, if I know us, we will be carried away by the best day of our lives with a love without end.  Amen.