Home on the range… or something like that

We got to go visit Andy’s family. We loved it for many reasons, but some favorite moments were seeing Ben and his family after seven years apart, Harvey chasing the animals around, and getting some actual downtime and relaxation. Most of the time vacations are go go go, but we got to sit, watch the kids swim, boat, and even paint! Here is one of the projects I worked on while there:

It was a belated Mother’s Day gift. The farm is a fun thing to paint. This was one of my favorite pieces to work on, but more complicated than I anticipated.

We came recovering from a bug and unfortunately passed it on to some family members who seemed to have picked up their own bug on the way to Texas as well. So by the end of the trip everyone had been sick at least once. Despite that, we really got to enjoy each other’s company with card games and catching up. Here is a quick photo dump of the farm (i.e. Harvey’s happy place). He told Papa it was his and grandma’s farm, but that Papa could have the pigs and the cows. The cats, however were Harvey’s. Despite his attachment to the cats, he was fine saying goodbye to them at the end, knowing Papa and Grandma would take good care of them.

One of my favorite moments was horse back riding. We had to wait till it wasn’t quite so hot outside. Still hot… just not sun hot. I got a few pictures before it got too dark.

Another favorite at the farm are the flowers. Both my mom and my mother-in-law have a gift with flowers and vegetation in general. Actually, I’d say my dads do too. My mom said my dad does most of the work (or at least reminding) for the indoor plants, so maybe I need to pick his brain more. Either way, it was not a genetically transferred gift. I struggle to keep things alive and fruitful, so I hope the more I come visit and help them with their gardens, the more I can learn. Here are some beautiful shots of my mother-in-law’s green thumb.

Max had the opportunity to go to the farm a week early and earn some cash by helping on the farm.

Boat day! My in-laws have a nice pontoon that is the perfect resting spot while the grandkids get towed around on a raft by their Papa or Uncle Andy (aka Dad).

My in laws graciously allowed Andy and I to sneak away for a quick date night. We got to eat some gumbo! Something I have yet to find in GA.

The only bummer from the trip (aside from everyone getting sick) was Harvey’s injury. He some how twisted his ankle to the point where he was screaming in pain for a good while. He wouldn’t walk on it and we decided to wait and see how he was the next morning. When he still wouldn’t walk on it, we decided to take him to the urgent care. They couldn’t find anything on the X-rays. A week later, he’s walking, but limping. The first couple of days he wouldn’t move, then he gradually got frustrated waiting on me to move him from one spot to another, so he got creative with scooting, using a trike and his left foot to propel him forward, and even rolling around on the floor at one point. I have to admit, I was sad he was hurting and a little overwhelmed toting him from one spot to the next, but he was pretty cute when he’d try to walk.

We hit the ground running on Wednesday, despite not getting home till 1 in the morning. Andy caught up on work, his office, and the yard while I unpacked everyone, stowed the luggage away, caught up on laundry, deep cleaned the inside and outside of the car, haircuts for most of the boys (I ran out of time to do Harvey’s and his is… a challenge), and did some grocery shopping. We were both so wiped out by the end of the day that Thursday we spent most of the day relaxing. Andy headed back into work on Friday.

Every year we set aside vacation time and vacation budget to visit family. It is a bit of a sacrifice, but I really cherish the memories we make with our family, especially since we live so far away from them. My kids wouldn’t trade it for a vacation anywhere else if it meant they couldn’t see their cousins. I love that we have this bond with our family, as I know most people are not as fortunate as we are in the family department. Well, next week, I’ll try to be less travel-log blog and give more insight into the real issues of our lives. For those who made it to the end of this blog, thanks for sticking with me.

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