Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NWA Weekend

What a beautiful Thanksgiving in Jethro, Arkansas! Although our holiday was spent a wee bit different this year, it was still relaxing. We've always split our Thanksgiving day into halves with my dad's side of the family and my mom's side of the family, and we've never had Thanksgiving with just our immediate family. This year my mom decided to make dinner for just us on Wednesday and spend all day with my dad's side of the family on Thursday. I missed going up on Mountain Top and having dinner with our {large} and in charge family. (By that I do not mean for all my cousins potentially reading this post, I do NOT think you are fat. haha)

I've always been closer to the cousins on my mom's side, because we all went to school together, played ball together, and hung out together. They were truly my best friends. We all have so much in common and the majority of us graduated with a degree in some sort of education. So you can imagine what holidays used to be like growing up--jammed pack full of basketball, football, made-up-on-the-spot games. Yeah. I missed that this Thanksgiving. But we have Christmas in a month!

On to much more serious news, Cash flew in last weekend from his home out west. Another best weekend ever. And this little gal needed some Cash time. Friday it was so late by the time we got back to Alma from the airport that we barely even spoke once we got to my house.

Saturday morning we met up with my friend Sara so I could get fitted for my bridesmaid dress for her wedding in {December}. Y'all, that is just 1 week away. And that means Christmas music season is officially here!! Anywho...since Cash and I had tickets at noon to see Twilight (numero cuatro, part one) (all HIS idea. please don't hurt me, cash), I was going to drop him off at the movie theater to get good seats then go get fitted for my dress.

Wellllll...I wasn't thinking about how pedafilish my boyfriend would look standing in a line for 30 minutes with a bunch of 12 year old girls. So he opted for the lesser of 2 evils, and he decided to go with me to my dress fitting. Then we made a beeline for the theater and got 2 of the last seats in the whole place! It blows my mind how many people eat this stuff up. I get that I do too...but a) I read the books and b) I'm old enough to watch a PG-13 movie. Sorry if I'm stepping on your toes, but I just don't get how a 7 year old girl could like Breaking Dawn. How does a 7 year old understand that? I felt so awkward watching it with screaming girls sitting next to me. Basically--note to self: from now on stay at home to watch adult movies that for some odd reason little children enjoy.

After the movie we made it back to Alma just in time for Cash to call his beloved Hogs! Actually, his version of calling the hogs is with a gun in one hand and a hog dog in another. *Tears tears* I am finally coming to terms with the fact that we will have a broken house from day one.

My parents stopped by to pick us up to head to Northwest Arkansas for a fun-filled evening. First on the ol' agenda was getting some AQ Chicken in that boy! Cash's friend Nick has been telling him for 10 months now about how AQ Chicken is THE restaurant in NWA. I disagree. I'm a Penguin Ed's kinda girl...but that's the old school, Saturday lunch, pre-tailgate for nighttime Razorback game girl in me.

Can you inhale chicken? Yes you can. I saw living proof of it Saturday night. Oh-and yes-Cash already knew what he wanted BEFORE we even got to Springdale. He had been scouring the online menu for a week trying to find the best choice for him: the sampler platter. I think he was in Heaven. Or as we would say in The Natural State, he was in Hog Heaven. (Sorry, that was very ridiculous, wasn't it?)

He and my dad loved the chicken to the very last crumb, of course, then we finally hit the road to Bentonville. We saw some ice skating (time out--Cash, you have to laugh so loud about that) and walked the overlook trail to check out Crystal Bridges. All the tickets were sold out for this weekend, so we just looked from afar. However, I can't wait to get up there and spend some time once it's completely finished.

Crystal Bridges-view 1 

Crystal Bridges-view 2
 We stopped at the overlook to snap some pictures. Nothing in the world makes me happier than being with Cash and my family. I was so happy to have an entire evening of just fun things! Nothing elaborate. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just plain life.

Cash dressed nice as always. Me dressed in basketball shirts as always.

We were also on our way to the Gravette basketball game. Basketball season is by far my favorite of all sporting events, even though I love football, baseball, and track (yep, track too..oh, and I think I'm supposed to say rugby now as well) more than I probably should. Basketball just brings up so many good memories for me. It was my way to de-stress growing up, and I spent countless hours on our homemade basketball court shooting, dribbling, defending, and running. I wish I had the motivation to keep myself as in shape now as I was back then. I was such a goob--I would actually shoot free throws then make myself run redlines on the front porch for however many shots I had missed. I did that. And now I am lucky to walk 1/2 a mile.
my main man! I have no idea why my eye looks like I just threw back 13 shots. But I didn't.
I can't tell you how many pick-up games we have played on the court my parents spray painted for us as children. This post seriously wasn't supposed to be about basketball, but I love everything about it: the sights, the smells (gross, I know), the comraderie, the Cinderella stories. I remember my mom and aunt always taking my sister, cousins, and I to NWA to watch the district finals of the district opposite of us in regionals. We would go every year, and I loved sitting by the coaches and listening to them as they scouted the other teams.

Most kids were running under the bleachers (that should date me--this was before the modern era of fancy gyms. don't get me started), but I stayed next to my mom and was fixated on the game. My first love was Ozark High School's star basketball player Brent Brooks. He was in high school, and I was in 1st grade...but I loved him! haha. Man, every year at this time my heart just starts skipping beats remembering the good ol' days.

Back to the story at hand: we were at Crystal Bridges and headed to a basketball game. On the trail we spotted a pig statue (only in Arkansas, right?), so my mom conned Cash into taking his picture next to it. The kids just couldn't stand not being in the middle of the picture too. What a good sport!

Cash, Braeson, and Addison with the pig!
The game was the best I have ever seen Dustin's teams play!! I mean, what a first game of the season to watch! They went into halftime down by {1} to Siloam Springs, who is 2 divisions larger than Gravette. In the third quarter Dustin's star point guard fouled out, but his other players stepped up and really shined. He had one kid go 10/12 in the field for 30 points all while tying a school record for 8 three pointers in a game. He was unstoppable that night, and Gravette ended up defeating Siloam by 4!! After the game a man who grew up in Gravette said he thought that was the first time they had beaten Siloam in 20 years. I was so proud of my brother-in-law and his team!! He has worked so hard the last 3 years getting them ready for games like that. Great job, Gravette!

Sunday Cash and I went to Goddard UMC in Ft. Smith. I have been there several times lately trying to learn about evangelical denominations since Cash and his family are Lutheran. He's so proud that this weekend I'm starting my first advent! It's amazing to me that you can grow up in church your whole life and not even understand the traditions of another church. We are both learning, though, and want to find the best fit for us. But at the end of the day, we both just want to love the Lord despite the church.

He thought the church was gorgeous, and it is. Having mostly always gone to small, Baptist churches I've never experienced the magnificence of a church like this. So. Beautiful. And I'm really loving the tradition in these types of services.

The sweet, little Methodist ladies were selling baked goods after the service, so Cash bought us some sugar cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. We smothered our faces in that on our way to Market Place, one of my favs! Afterwards, it was all prayers heading back to Tulsa in hopes that his flight would be canceled. No such luck. So I sent him off with a first-class ticket, which he was so proud of! He thinks he should only travel first class now. *rolling my eyes*

But poor school teachers like myself will still be seeing y'all in coach...

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