Thursday, January 5, 2012

{Six} Days in Utopia

Well, it was back to work for this ol' gal this week. It was rough getting up Monday after having two weeks off work and a late flight the night before. But it was a *wonderful* two weeks off...thought I'd share my 6 glorious days in utopia with you as well as a few moments from this week. Woot!

We had a wonderful Christmas in Jethro. Before the big day, I spent an entire week with my parents. One day my mom and I went to deliver bread to all the neighbors. My parents live in this beautiful little farming community. The roads have just been paved in the past year or two, and my friends and I still go floating the river and riding 4wheelers straight from my parents' house. It's wonderful!!

So you can imagine how beautiful the community is with all these little farms, mountains, and the national forest. We went to one neighbor's house, and come to find out her nephew is a really good friend of Cash's family. I couldn't believe it when she told me her nephew worked at Clayton Williams in Midland, Texas. Then she told me who he was and I about fainted. Yep...friends of the family and works with Casher. I was so excited and immediately messaged Cash. His response? "Cool."


So I called his sweet momma, because I knew she would be excited. And she was. Never lets me down!

Christmas was restful and so enoyable. I love watching the kids when they walk in and see what Santa brought them. Too sweet! Although...I'm afraid Braeson is starting to figure it out. He can't be that big!

The day after Christmas I dropped little BQ off with my dear friend Malia, then I headed to Northwest Arkansas to stay with my sister's family. She took me to the airport at 4 the next morning. What a trooper! I was wide awake, because I was excited. But how terrible for my sister, huh? She's a great big sis.

Addi with her new Barbie mansion the night before I left
Finally, I got to Midland about 9 on Tuesday morning. Here is where utopia starts:
Dec 27: Cash picked me up, and we dropped all my luggage off and I got to see Jetter. He used to love to see me coming, because he knew he'd get to stay inside all week. But this week turned out quite differently for him, and I'm pretty certain he could've cared less when I left. :(

We <3 each other!
We had lunch with Cash's mom at my favorite Midland restaurant: King and I. While eating his mom showed me the fortune his dad got the other day. It said something to the effect of someone in his family was going to wed soon.
I had no idea Ross was related to Cash.

After lunch I dropped Cash off at work and stole his truck for an afternoon of hanging out with Milena. She and I met in October when I was flying back from Midland. We were sitting next to each other on the plane, and she was all tears. I said, "Did you have to leave your fiance?" What she said next I have no clue. I couldn't understand a word she said. I finally got out of her that she was from Romania and was getting married next summer. Her fiance lives in Midland and is an engineer for one of the oil companies. Throughout the plane ride we struck up a friendship and ended up exchanging e-mail addresses. We have kept in touch ever since October, and she even sent me a Happy Thanksgiving message despite being in a different country. Once we found out we were going to be in Midland at the same time in December, we immediately decided to hang out.

Therefore, on Tuesday afternoon I went and picked Milena up. We went throughout town shopping. Then we got a sweet tooth and sat down at Harvest Cafe for some cheesecake. While we were there Milena invited us to her wedding this summer in Romania. IN ROMANIA!!

I picked Cash up that afternoon and was elated as I told him we were invited to Europe at the end of July. He, being a pessimist, said, "Oh, she was just being nice." So I let it go for awhile, and we went to HEB to get some grub to cook for our Christmas dinner.

Cash cooked this amazing chicken wrapped in parma ham stuffed with cheese. He had gotten a new cutting board from his parents, so he wouldn't even let me cut potatoes. So I just sat there watching him go to town on dinner. (Any takers on wanting to send him to massage therapy or manicure school??)

Dinner was delic, of course, and then we exchanged presents for our 1st Christmas. haha...that's cheesy.

We had set a limit a month or 2 ago and decided to just give presents we thought the other would really like but couldn't go over our price limit. He, being the thoughtful little sweetheart he is, gave me a duster from my favorite boutique in Midland and a set of Kate Spade greeting cards. I had told him one time that I love writing people little notes, so he remembered that and got me some for Christmas. So sweet!

I had gotten him some house shoes and a houndstooth blanket. We didn't spend much, but it was fun to see how we had been creative in trying to find a present instead of just throwing out money. Perfect way to share our first Christmas presents!

Dec 28: I spent the morning getting ready until Cash picked me up to head to the Smiling Moose for lunch. We walked in and heard someone say, "It's Cashy!" It was our friends Nick and Erin with some of their family. Always fun to run into someone you know in a town where you know hardly anyone!

After lunch I picked Milena back up and spent the afternoon at the nail salon. She mentioned again going to Romania for her wedding...but this time she said if we went she and Marius would take care of us the whole time. I was elated! I immediately started daydreaming about what a summer trip to Romania would be like. Can you even imagine? I'm so excited about the possibility!

We had decided that the four of us would all go to dinner that night, so Cash and I met the Romanians at Carino's. It's one of the only restaurants in Midland they like since their food is closest to Italian. Milena is super shy since she hasn't been in the States much and doesn't think her English is very good. But Marius...he talks as much as I do! He is hilarious!! You can tell he has picked up on southern mannerisms. He would answer the phone in his Romanian accent and say, "Hello, hello, hello! Talk to me!" I thought I was going to fall out of my chair laughing.

After dinner we went to the holiday basketball tournament that Midland High was hosting. It was a terrible game..and made me a little sad I was missing the Airedale Classic and time with my fam...but it was fun to watch basketball nonetheless. Cash said that he and Ross had talked about hanging out, so we grabbed some Starbucks and headed over to see ROSS AND BARB!

a quick pic I snapped at the basketball game...LOVE!
They had just gotten home from Hawaii where Ross had p*pped the questi*n to my sweet friend. As Ross showed Cash everything he had done to the house, Barb told me about the engagement. It sounded beautiful, and I am so happy for our two friends! It was my only time to get to see them when I was in town since they were heading out a couple days later to go skiing in Colorado. Man, it makes me wish Cash and I lived in the same town and were able to go places together.
Dec 29: Cash took the day off so we could hang out more while I was there. Ahh. I love that guy. We got around fairly early and headed to this ranch to fill up the feeders and check the game cams. Cash turned the job over to me after awhile. I swawny. You could look at the pics from the game cam and see me on top of the truck dumping corn into the feeders. Bless my little heart.

about all the work he did...while I slaved away! ;)

oh, the landscape..sometimes I do miss the hills
We met his dad for lunch. I hadn't seen him the whole time I had been there, so I was pretty pumped to see big Russ! I love Cash's family..they are so wonderful!!! That night Cash's mom cooked dinner, so we hung out over at their house for quite some time. We were all excited that Aaron and Jeanne would be in town the next day.
the lunch restaurant
Dec 30: Since Cash had paid for the Romians dinner on Wednesday evening, Marius wanted to take us to dinner too. We decided to meet up for lunch at Cafe at the Gardens (one of my favs!). It was so neat to spend time with them while I was there. Cash and Marius exchanged numbers so they could hang out more once us girls were gone. Marius can't golf, so I told him Cash could teach him...get him out of a lot of work in the summertime!
Milena always has these cute little outfits. She wears boots with nice, thick leggings and sweaters...all the time. After lunch Cash and I were at Dillard's so I decided to put a Romanian outfit together myself. I found some olive green tights and camel colored riding boots. We'll call it a Christmas present to myself.

my new "Romanian" outfit: When in Romania...
Then it was off to see two of our favorite little ones: Lena and Toby! It was so, so good to see Aaron and Jeanne. I hate living away from everyone!! We even decided to stay at Russell and Andrea's house that night, so we could wake up and have Christmas. I got to sleep in the same room with little Lena, and when she woke up I was so scared she would start screaming when she saw me. LOL. But when she did wake up, I just picked her up and she stopped crying. Love that little girl.
Uncle Cashy and Lena Bug
Dec 31: That morning we had Christmas with the Pullins. I felt beyond blessed that they let me in on their celebration. It was fun watching everyone open their presents and get to be a part of their holiday. I even gave Aaron a special present. Remember that terrible, terrible shirt I had to wear when LSU embarrassed Arkansas? yeah...I cut that into 1,000 pieces and put a hog nose under it, wrapped it, and gave it to big bro. It might have been the best gift I have ever given. In exchange he gave me his baseball card from his time playing with the Travelers. Check it out on could win your very own for $4. Or it may be up to $5 now. One of my students said he was going to bid on it. Hurry before you miss your big chance!
That evening the four of us went to sweet Kelli and Dean's house for a NYE partayyyy!!! The Romanians met us there. Jeanne had brought Mad Gab for us to play, but sweet sister announced she didn't want to be on my team. :'( I didn't know my accent was that bad! hahahaha!

It ended up being girls against guys, so Jeanne was stuck with me. We pretty much dominated as Kelli translated my Arkansas English to normal English. I say we dominated...I don't think the guys ever played a round. #fail

The clock struck midnight, and we pretty much were out like bandits. Blame it on the old guy *cough*Aaron*cough.

Jan 1: Cash and I got around and went to First Baptist-Midland for New Year's Day service. It was a mega church! Having gone to Methodist church the past several months, it was nice to be back in a Baptist service. It's just home, you know?

Then we took my RAZORBACK (WOOOO PIG) macaroni & cheese to lunch. Hey, ya gotta have your hog jowl somehow! ;)

the note left on my fridge since the kiddos stayed at my house while I was gone

Sadly, I had to catch a flight back that afternoon. Of course I hate leaving, but I knew I had to get back to work the next day. I was hoping for a smoothe flight back. We hit lots of turbulence and had an hour delay on the flight from DFW, but other than that we were smoothe sailing. And it was reality about 6:30 the next morning.

Jan 2: Utopia was over, but my student teacher started to school that Monday. It's been a glorious week having someone else in the room to help out the kiddos. He knows his history, and he's so excited to be there. I've loved my first week with an intern, but I've missed my Dee Ann. I got to see her for a split second in the office today and gave her the biggest hug. I'm so ready for some breakfast with that woman!

my airport find...yep, I wore that to work. HA!
Welp, I better call my Casher back. And just to make him happy, I'm going to give him a shout out. He loves when I tell him how handsome he is...Cash, you are so handsome (said in my best southern voice I can muster)!!!

Okay..I better sign off before I wake up single. haha. Love you'ins, and I hope you had a great New Year's celebration...and ate your hog jowl, black eyed peas, and cabbage! I don't want y'all scratching backwards like chickens, go forward like a hog, y'all! ;)


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