Monday, September 23, 2013

Avery Lately

Helloooo, from Amarillo, Texas!! That's right-Amarillo. I'm up here in the Panhandle working for a couple of days then heading a couple of hours south to Lubbock for a couple more. Then Thursday night I get to go back to Midland just in time to celebrate my hubby's 10 year class reunion this weekend. YIKES!! 10 YEARS!!

So. Lately. Y'all, I have been having the time of my life. Cash and I celebrated our one year anniversary (one year of being a Mrs.--unreal) in July. Two weeks before that I had had surgery, so our anniversary trip was delayed until this past weekend. I'm not much on selfies, but for those of you who know me will be SHOCKED by this one. I did it. I had the surgery. I said goodbye to the girls. Glorious moment.

feeling good! (and actually getting to run around!)
 I never had our wedding or honeymoon pictures printed to my liking (I'm lame), so in their place we enlarged and framed the envelope and congratulations letter from President and Mrs. GW Bush. We put them side by side in our hallway, and I'm over the moon pleased with how the art gallery came through for us on the framing. They did a fantastic job all around. The envelope may be my favorite, but I doubt my parents would be thrilled if I displayed their address on my blog. :)
favorite wedding card

At the beginning of August we met my parents in Ruidoso, New Mexico (where we got engaged--holla!), for a fun-filled weekend of horse races, history, and gondola rides. We rented this cute little condo/cabin that faced the woods. The deer would walk by in the mornings and evenings. One night I was able to get them to come up to me. Unreal!

the deer whisperer, that's what I call myself

In September I switched roles at the bank. When I was hired, it was known that I would be a Personal Banker for some length of time. Then I would eventually start a Training Department. September 3rd we officially got that up and running, and I have been eyeball deep in creating training material ever since. Four years of teaching and two summers of bank experience ended up being the recipe for the perfect job. I am traveling a lot now, but this is something I could have only dreamed of doing. It took 9 years between college and professional work to finally get to this point. I had always hoped I could just land in a training department. To CREATE one and have that trust from my executive team is something I can't describe. Unbelievable. Oh, and my boss is a Razorback. Make me lucky times 1,000!!!

Over Labor Day weekend Cash and I went to Santa Fe to go white water rafting. The rapids weren't too high, but it was still a nice day on the Rio Grande. Our guide had just finished a canoe race that went from Kansas City to St. Louis, so we learned a lot about rafting from her. Plus, Santa Fe is becoming my "gift" city. Last year, Cash bought me a super amazing road bike at the REI store there. This year he found a Jeep.

When we got back to Midland, this is what that sweet man bought for me...
I didn't live until I had this thing!!
I never thought my heart would let me trade in my 4Runner. It was the last bit of my single life I had left. But when Cash took me for a test drive in the new Wranglers, I could've cried I was so in love. It was the best choice we ever made. I love taking the top off (even if it does rain!) and driving all over West Texas. I am a Jeep person now, no doubt.

The first weekend we had it we took it out to the dove lease. I even killed my first dove! I was so proud.

my first dove
Even though I am no longer on the retail side of the bank, my old boss asked me to be in a golf tournament with him a couple of weekends ago. We played in the Bosworth tournament. Living in Midland, you learn you didn't really survive until you had Bosworth in your life. They take care of every single problem you could imagine having in your home or business. Since I moved to Midland I have become good friends with their CFO, so my former boss and I were on the team with her and their President. I spent the day trying to cost-effectively get them to Arkansas to work on our home there. 

Ron, Stacy, me, and my old boss Martin
This past weekend was finally our anniversary trip. We left after work Friday and headed to Kerrville, Texas, home of Johnny Manziel. (Hey, I'm an Aggie now.) We spent the weekend at the Texas Hunt Lodge, and I can promise you no one has ever had more fun than I had this past weekend.

Saturday morning we woke up to the smell of breakfast, then we headed out to go hunting. Cash bagged a catalina, so we took it to the processor and headed in for lunch. They had a full-time cook on staff, so we were fed to the brim at all hours of the day and night. After a power nap, we went out to find a ram for me. I wanted a painted desert. We finally saw a group of rams, so I popped this one. I could not stop shaking. Literally. I was so excited my heart was going 90 to nothing.

I hit him through both lungs and the heart. If I must brag! LOL. I made a better shot on mine than Cash did his, and I just wanted to point that out. I am currently trying to convince my boss to let me hang this above my desk at work. She said a hog, no big deal...but a ram, ehhhh. I am still working on this though!

painted desert ram taken at Texas Hunt Lodge

Texas Hunt Lodge houses 35 ranches and over 100,000 acres. It is mostly for exotic hunting. We were able to shoot ours on a safari hunt then spend Sunday photographing the other exotics. It was quite amazing. We saw wildebeests, springbock, water buffalo, axis deer, pere david deer, many typs of rams, tons of different sorts of African antelope, whitetail deer, elk. They have a hunt lodge in Africa as well, and I'm determined my husband will take me there. Italy is out. Africa Hunt Lodge is in.

We drove the 4 hours back to Midland last night. Then I repacked and headed to Lubbock. I stayed there last night and drove the other 2 hours to Amarillo this morning and worked here all day. The COO even took me to see our new building; sometimes I can't get over how great it is to work for our executive management.

After work I checked into the hotel and headed out to Palo Duro Canyon. It was gorgeous! If you ever get the chance to go through Amarillo, take time to see this. I met an elderly couple from Australia while I was taking pictures, and the gentleman was kind enough to take my picture.

Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo
Traveling for work isn't quite the same as traveling with my husband, but I usually try to make friends in the other markets or find some sort of attraction to enjoy. If I'm going to be away from home, I might as well enjoy my time...and eat good! I am ready to smoke some steak from Las Brisas Wednesday night!! By smoke I mean eat it until it's all gone.

Well, that is the latest and greatest from the Pullin house. When I get settled in one night this week I plan on changing up the look around here. I miss this ol' blog world.

(*Note: News about the Razorbacks has intentionally been left off due to embarrassment from this past weekend.)

Avery Jane

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Demolition Area

Well, well, well, blog world. It's been a minute or two. Hope all is well with each of youins. We've been soaking up life out here in West Texas, with the hubs gone all week to Houston I have a spare second to catch you up!

After attending Christ Church Anglican for a solid 10 months, Cash and I were confirmed and joined our precious new home. Father Eric spent many hours with us, mostly trying to make my Baptist-reared mind understand new ideas. In the end, the only difference is the methodology. To that I say I do not think God cares particularly about that as long as you are doing it reverently and with purpose to praise Him.
Cash and I with Fr. Eric after confirmation
In July I had surgery so my sweet momma, sis, and niece came down to help us out. The day after surgery was the 4th of July, and seeing how that's my FAV holiday, we marched ourselves right on downtown and enjoyed some fireworks. I had bumped into our CFO that afternoon, and she gave us VIP seats for the show. It was a great time; half of it I had some super meds in me and didn't feel a thing, but I'm fairly certain it was a great time. :)

Uncle Cash and Addi headed to the fireworks show

During that time we also started some major renovations on the house. I am not sure if I should give Pinterest or HGTV more credit for the inspiration, but it was highly accepted nonetheless.

As you can see the outside of the house was brown purple blue gray something. I loathed whatever color it was.

What color is that?!
Now it's more calming and more of a real color. All the things we really tried to shoot for.

new. everything.

painted the rocking chairs!
The master bath (or as I've learned from HGTV--the en suite) needed some, umm, MAJOR updates. Before the contractor got to the house, we (meaning my husband, mom, and sister) took off the old wallpaper and underneath found this amazing 1969 original wall.

removed the vanity, closed off the door, changed the walls

that. wallpaper. ahhhhhhhhhhh

Okay, so it was atrocious. Luckily, we really did hire the best contractor in Midland, Texas. I couldn't be happier with the results.

new vanity, sinks, faucets, mirrors, and striped walls (the stripes are gloss)

towel warmer, towel holder, new toilet, new floors

new shower

And while in the reno' spirit, I tried to find some curtains that were striped with large navy stripes. They don't exist in case you're wondering where to get some. So I endured the over 200 mosquito bites I got on a Saturday night and painted myself some floor length curtains. It feels more and more like Maine in our living room every day. I. Love. It!

new curtains
It's back to the grind for one more day tomorrow, and my hubby comes homes! Woohoo!! Until next time...



Friday, May 17, 2013

Kentucky Derby 2013

Back when I was in high school I participated in FFA (Future Farmers of America for all you non-small towners). My senior year I got to attend the FFA National Convention which happened to be in Louisville. Churchill Downs hosted FFA at the Downs Day, and ever since that exact moment I have been t-totally hooked on horse racing.

In the spring we usually made at least 1 trip down to Hot Springs for the horse races, but going to Churchill Downs was the experience of experiences for horse enthusiasts such as myself. $2 bets + horses = Avery in a very happy and cheap state.

Anyway, I desperately wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby this year, but I think we ended up having a better time right here in Midland, Texas, watching with friends. One of my girlfriends (Kelli) met her husband while going to graduate school about 30 minutes from Louisville, so she was instrumental in helping me figure out how to throw a real ol' fashioned Derby party.

Kelli and her twin for the day Todd in matching blue seersucker
 Tip #1: Seersucker is always in in the South.

Bethany and Whitney: both OSU grads poking people
 Tip #2: Have friends who all have connections. (I don't know if that's a real tip. But it was fun that every couple we invited all had a connection even though a few had never met.)

Cash and Matt
Tip #3: Have a bartender who is willing to go pick mint out of a friend's garden the day of the Derby just to have mint juleps for the afternoon. True story.

Bethany, Elizabeth, Kelli, myself, and Whitney
 Tip #4: Wear big hats.

Elizabeth and Kelli finding out they were in the same sorority
 Tip #5: Very similar to Tip #2...have friends who find out they were in the same sorority at different colleges.

mint julep making king

Run for the Roses
 Tip #6: Remember. This is the Run for the Roses. Decorate with roses.

Point made about the roses

Todd and his sweet, gorgeous wife Elizabeth
Tip #7: Invite people who are not only fun but also ecstatic about dressing up for the Derby.

Tip #8: Have lots of biscuits, ham, derby pie, dips, bourbon balls, mint juleps, and sweet tea; you can never go wrong with sweet tea.

Big Winners!
 Tip #9: Definitely have a contest during the race. This leads to all sorts of chanting and excitement. (Unless you live in oil country where everyone had a horse but secretly rooted for Frac Daddy so all of America would cheer for fracking. We REALLLLYYYY wanted Frac Daddy in the front.) Regardless, Matt was the big winner of a bottle of bourbon. He wasn't too upset. :)

Todd and Whitney: the big winners!
Tip #10: Have a best dressed contest. (And make sure you don't make Todd take pictures with every woman there. I just realized this. hahahaha)

A co-worker and I were discussing the Derby the week after, and he couldn't get over how silly it was to him that people spend all this money on 2 minutes of racing. Oh, my heart broke. Everything about growing up in the South, dressing like a lady/gentleman, drinking sweet tea like your momma made, watching horses and trainers and jockeys alike...all those things come together in one big event that in my heart of hearts cannot be topped by any other major sporting event.

To me the Kentucky Derby epitomizes the South. And frankly, I love the South.

And of course I love competition, winning, and gambling just a little bit.

Now it's off to the preakness and belmont. Until then...


Avery Jane

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wedding and Trips and I-40

As you can tell by my title, we've seen a lot of I-40 lately. And I-40 is about 7 hours from here. *sigh*

My "Hub" brother (that's a whole different post on the Hub) got married April 6, so it was an absolutely must for me to get to Arkansas to that wedding. It was a gorgeous wedding, but seeing my family and some friends added even more excitment to the trip.

Saturday we drove around the farm looking at the cattle, hit the dirt roads to go see my great uncle, and checked my dad's garden.

riding around on "the bullet" with my dad and hubby
 I love living in Midland. Deep, deep, deep down I cannot imagine leaving; I seriously am in love with this town. However, those days when I get homesick to visit my family I daydream about riding around on my parents' farm. That is my happy place.

Cash and my dad working in the garden
When I was teaching in Alma, I enjoyed so much going down on weeknnights to eat with my parents and watch them work in their garden. Cash and I aren't big veggy eaters, but something about growing food yourself; that's pretty cool.

hold on, honey!

I grew up riding 4-wheelers and in the back of trucks and doing miscellaneous things in the country. Cash did not. It just tickles me to take him to my parents' house, because so many of things that used to be second nature to me are brand new experiences for him.

On top of riding around all day, we had breakfast with all of my grandparents and loved on a certain niece and a certain nephew. (He is pining for his aunt to buy him an iPod touch. I'm losing that one.)

How do you say "no" to a kid who lets you put lip marks on his sweet little cheeks?!?!

Then that night we spent time with my Hub family on top of a mountain overlooking the stunning Arkansas River. An outdoor ceremony, beautiful weather, breathtaking views, and an amazing Christian couple means a perfect wedding.

Mom and Dad with the AR River in the background

my 3 favorite girls: my sis, my mom, my niece

the prettiest little girl I know

Bond. James Bond.
007 reporting for duty; gah, he's super good looking!!
 Sunday we had to make the 10 hour trek back to West Texas, but it was all worth it to be there to see Kit and Tony get hitched. I just love 'em!

It was sad to leave...but...we were back a few weeks later for TuRkEy CaMp. We had originally decided I wouldn't go since I had to work, but Cash ended up getting me a one way ticket on Friday night to fly up there. Then we made the journey back to Midland again that Sunday. We were both exhausted of I-40, but it was so worth it to be at turkey camp for breakfast.

The following weekend our friends Jessica and Shawn got married here in Midland, and it was beautiful as well! Plus, a good friend of mine from work was there with her soon-to-be hubs, so we had a great time with them. I am finding more and more why God led me to the bank I work for. The friends I have made and the managers I work for are unparalleled.

B and I with Jessica
cash, me, christian, britton, jeff
Britton and me and my farmer's sunburn
Seriously. Love that chica bonita.

Oh, and a definite highlight of J and S's wedding was watching my non-dancing husband glow on the dance floor to "Oh, you know it makes me want to SHOUT!" Boy, he lit it up out there.

A photo booth. A 2 meat dinner. A wedding planner who checks you off the "invite list" as you come in. A hopping dance floor. The end.

as the local weatherman, Horace, calls him: Tom Cruise and myself

Wedding season has begun and is in full swing now. Next week Britton and Jeff tie the knot, and I absolutely can't wait to see her beautiful self walking down the aisle. Love those lovebirds!

Tomorrow is Holli's wedding shower too! Eek! I get overwhelmed with all sorts of exciting emotions when my friends find the perfect man for them. Seeing people happy in marriage is what it's all about. I tweeted somewhat about this today, but ladies, the world needs to see us lifting up our men not tearing them down. We hear a lot of griping from women about their husbands not doing this or that or saying this or that. And I'm not saying the men are perfect. But maybe if we started with ourselves and gave our men a little public positivity, we wouldn't see so much of the imperfections.

In the words of Ruth Graham, "Show your mate (and the world) the positive, and show God the negative." As wedding season ramps up, I just hope we all remember to protect our marriage. Above. Everything.

That man is your helpmate in this world. Love him fiercely, and protect him boldly.

Love you, ladies (and men?!). Happy summer days!

XOXO and WPS!!

Avery Jane

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Salaam Alaikum

Tonight my head and my heart are going every which way. We just finished our 3rd of 6 lessons in Beth Moore's Deuteronomy series, and I needed that word like no word has ever been needed. Sometimes it just feels like, "How do I get through just today?" "What is the point of today?"

Nearly two years ago my then boyfriend (now husband) dropped me off at the DFW airport and stood at the security gates waving bye to me for what seemed like an eternity. Our first summer of dating, and I was headed for a trip without him. When he was out of sight, I was full of tears wondering how I would ever make it through TODAY.

Somehow I made it through that day, even though I'm not sure when that day ended and the next began as I was on a flight from Dallas, Texas to a layover in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My first time out of this blessed country, and I was alone.

The next flight went south and I stepped out of that plane, walked down those steps, found myself literally swarmed by the devil in a very non-blessed country in the Middle East. My first overseas experience was not only by myself. It was in a war-torn, devil-controlled, brutal part of the world. Every bit of failure creeped into me. Every bit of homesickness creeped out. And every bit of the confidence I had in those preceding months vanished the moment I felt what Satan feels like in a country where he has to fight no war to win.

To explain to you what the air not only smelled like but also felt like would not be justified in words. Stripped of everything I had known for 25 years, I was in a daze. Plus, the Americans picking me up were 30 minutes late. So I stood outside of the airport as an American woman by herself in a Middle Eastern country at 10:00 at night. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through TODAY.

Finally, they picked me up. We went to the mall and bought me a cell phone and minutes as my American phone was of no use there. This phone was in Arabic, and to this day I look at it amazed. I named my bluetooth the word for "cash" in Arabic, and that was the most exciting thing I experienced while there.

My minutes that were supposed to last me at least 1 month were used up in 2 days. On top of that they had taken me to a local restaurant for my first meal, and I ate with one hand what I could barely stand to smell. I tried to go outside to get fresh air, but with my body wrapped head to toe and the entire country reaking of dust and spices it was to no avail. My stomach could not handle any of the food, so over a hole in the ground in the bathroom I hurled and hurled and hurled. I did not know how I would make it through TODAY.

But I did. I slept. Alot. I skyped. Even more than that.

I started teaching English the second day I was in country. I knew "salaam alaikum" and "alaikum salaam" in Arabic, and had no other words than that. I was also teaching beginning English learners. I knew no Arabic. They knew no English. I had been there less than 48 hours. They had never had a woman teacher or spoken to a woman outside of their family. I did not know how I would make it through TODAY.

Then a week of teaching was complete. I had learned to always wrap my last class up just 2 or 3 minutes early so I could get my materials out of the teacher room before the men went in for their prayers at 1.

The director of the school was always kind and brought us little snacks. I was not one for dates, the unofficial national fruit. But at that point I was so hungry that even dates were tasty. It was hard to eat them with one hand too. I have not had a date since I have left.

My first weekend all I could do was sleep. The other Americans (and the one New Zealander) and I had went out for dinner the night before. I discovered Egyptian hot dogs; I no longer starved. This place also had Fanta, so my craving for Dr. Pepper somewhat subsided. However, I could not stop thinking about eating barbeque. Possibly because I knew I would never taste it during those months.

The local shops were opening that next morning, but I asked my roommates to please let me sleep in as I was still reeling from the time zone difference and crazy heat of 130 degrees and of course the attire. Our apartment was set up so if it was locked from the outside, no one inside could get out. If it was locked from the inside, no one outside could get in. I was told we were in the safest area and they would be back soon anway.

I skyped with my sister, probably crying the whole time about the misery I was in. Then I crashed into a nap and set my timer to get up and skype with Cash a little later. With my phone laying next to me, I was in a zombie state as I dozed off.

Curled up in a ball, I was in a deep sleep. Then I felt a little nudge. Then a shake. My eyes started opening, and I saw the face of someone I had never known. And I saw a long, ridged knife inches from my face. I began to scream. But his hand flew over my mouth before a sound could come out.

Even writing this for you now my heart is pounding nearly out of my chest as I did not know if he was alone. I knew I would feel the knife stab into me at any moment. I feared other men would run into the apartment. My first thought flashed to my niece and nephew who were half a world away, and my exact thought was, "They cannot see me like this." My next thought went straight to my now husband. And all I could think was how I wanted to just go home and marry him and never be away from him.

The man flung his pointer finger to his lips and said "shhhhh, shhhhhhhh." That does not need translation. Some things are universal. I did not know how I would make it through TODAY.

It is no lie my eyes are a little larger than most. But in that moment I believe there was something behind them, in them, that this man saw. I locked eyes with him and at that moment with the power of the Almighty the look of my eyes alone gave him sense to scream himself. It is no doubt in my mind that God showed through to him, in a very real and present sense.

Then my voice. I cannot replicate its sound. My voice came out so deep and powerful to the point it shook the concrete walls of my bedroom. Without my control I shouted, "Jesus!!!!!" And then the man darted.

I began crying hysterically screaming, "Get out of here, get out of here!" At that time he was already gone. I locked all the doors of my roommates' bedrooms, the main door, and my door. I was locked into my room for the long haul and prayed to God if any man was in a different room he would die of suffocation in the heat.

Frantically, I searched for my phone. I had it right next to my head when I went to sleep. But I could  not find it. Where was it?

There sat my laptop. My purse. My wallet. But no phone.

Luckily, I had bought extra minutes for my internet the night before. Call me a lawbreaker, but I used skype (very illegal in this country) to call Cash in the States. No answer.

I called my parents. Mind you it was 4:00 am at their house, their daughter is in a foreign country, and they get a very dreaded early morning phone call. "Get on skype now. Call Cash now. Get on skype. Get on skype."

My mother was already in tears by the time they got to their computer. I was in shambles. I could barely breathe to tell the events that had just unfolded. We got a hold of Cash. My mom had to tell him what happened as I could barely talk.

Hours went by, and I had no way of calling someone in my country. Then I heard a phone ring. In my bedroom. It was MY phone, and it was hidden across the room.

That's when it hit me.

He did not come after material possessions.

I lost it. And I don't mean for 5 minutes or 5 hours or 5 days. I mean for like 12 months. I lost it.

Finally, my director and roommates showed up. They said they would not be pressing charges as it could very well lead to his word being twice as much as my word; and who knows the results of that? I chose to take it safely and not press charges either. I didn't really have a choice. I did sneak his sandals (he was so kind to take them off before he came in my bedroom) out of the country.

They asked if I would consider staying to finish out the summer. Call me a quitter. I didn't. It took me 3 agonizing days to get a flight out of the country. That flight was grueling and has had life-long repercussions of my fear of flying. I was nearly the only woman on the plane surrounded by men wearing the exact same outfit of my intruder. My 5-hour long panic attack ended with me on the floor of the plane with a European stewardess fanning me and telling me so sweetly that all would be okay. I did not know how I would make it through TODAY.

KLM is the only airline I recommend. Those ladies saved me that day. I had little to no air and my face was ghostly white. And I have not been able to sanely fly since that day.

Once I got back to Amsterdam I could freely speak, and I could speak English to most everyone. We landed in Dallas, and I walked out of the airport, fell on my knees, and kissed the American soil. My mom, sister, and niece picked me up and drove me 2 1/2 hours west to have dinner with Cash in Abilene. Then we drove 7 hours back to Arkansas. At that point I needed Arkansas. My mom. Anything normal.

Normal has never been what normal used to be.

I would love to tell you in the past 2 years I have stumbled upon something profound. Or that I gleaned this wonderful insight into a culture. Maybe that I have a great Biblical interpretation for what happened. But I don't.

Sometimes I can tell my story. Sometimes I cannot. Never until now have I written it. Never will I tell the country I went to. The country itself does not need me to hold Christianity and willing missionaries from it. The country needs Christianity in a way you may not believe. I may not be the person who ever takes another step on the soil of the Middle East, and I may not be the missionary in its fields. But if I could tell one person how deeply that world needs Jesus, and if that one person could touch that country in a way I didn't get to see come true, then maybe it was truly my mission field after all.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Look beyond your first person footprints. Leave more than a trace. God made a purpose for you TODAY. What is it?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We're Not in AR-Kansas anymore

The past month or so I've been coming down with a bad case of homesickness. I mean. Real bad. So I started begging my family to come visit, but they all had excuses of how busy they were back home.

Two weeks ago Cash asked me what time my friend's baby shower would be over that weekend, becaue he had a surprise for me. Oh, I was ELATED! I love surprises!! I immediately called my family to see if they were the surprise, but they weren't. Even my 6 year old niece said she was too busy to come see me. So naturally I thought I was getting a new Land Rover.

Fast forward to Friday at lunch: Cash 100% promised me he lied about a surprise, and we were actuallly going to work in the garage to get ready for a yard sale. Rude. He learned in 2 hott seconds how rude it really was, because that was not the best night of his life. I promise.

The next morning I got ready for Melissa's shower (still steaming mad at my husband about lying about a surprise) and headed over to Barb's. P.S. I have the cutest little friends...

Melissa's Baby Shower
(photo credit: Hidden Key Design photo booth)
Told you. 

Anyway, I was griping to my girlfriends how mean Cash was to pretend surprise me, but I finally decided I should get home to help him.

Then...then...THEN...I got in my car to go home and had a picture from my mom. It was my niece and nephew...IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE!!!!!

at noon--they had been driving since 1:30 that morning

I tried to go the speed limit and not run over people my whole way home. By the time I got out of my car, tears were just streaming as I hugged my big sis for the first time since Christmas. The next 48 hours were amazingly insane.

It started when they had Rivertowne BBQ sitting on the counter ready for lunch.

Then we drove around looking at new houses, stopped for candy at Susie's, and checked out the bank where I work.

my precious little love
We made our usual pitstop at ClayDesta to see Uncle Cash's office. The kids love running around the water fountain and animals. Dad loves learning geology.

Mom and the kids posing with Clayton's latest African addition

Dad always wants to learn a little rock knowledge from my hubs.
(Only at an oil company can you have mounts all over the walls like this, I know.)
making faces at the alligator
Saturday night we went to eat at a new cafe in town: Back in the Day Cafe. Then we just enjoyed the company and let the kids rest from driving since 1:30 in the morning (all to surprise me by noon!!) and swimming all day. Yes. March. And the kids were in the pool all afternoon. It was 92 beautiful degrees!

On a side note my super amazing brother-in-law came the whole way sicker than a dog. It was just a blessing to see everyone!

Sunday we went to church where my nephew asked if Uncle Cash and I were Christian since we didn't hold service the same way he did at his church. Ha. Then we took them to our club for a nice little brunch and for some entertainment from the most enthusiastic omelet maker in West Texas.

And that night we went to my in-laws house for a crawfish boil! It had been 2 years on my first spring break to Midland since we had had a crawfish boil. Sweet memories. Our good friends Thea and Toby from church came over too, and it was perfect weather to suck the heads of some crawlers.

Plus, it was the first crawfish boil my parents had ever been to, so it was fun to watch them take their first few bites. I also claim my brother-in-law only came down to see my mother-in-law. lol. They hit it off the first time they ever met, and ever since I laugh that he likes her more than he does me! It's pretty cool, though, to have my family and Cash's family get along so well.

That night the kids and I played on the iPad and came up with some pretty strange outcomes.

Brae's goofy pic with the quirky settings
being dorks--they loved it! Maybe I did too.

my loves, including the dogs!

I hated so much to see them leave Monday morning. They had a long 10 hour drive ahead of them, and we had to go to work. However, I knew it'd only be a few more weeks until we were back in Arkansas celebrating the marriage of two sweet people: my Hub brother Tony and his bride Kit!

For the record Cash is out of the dog house. He's all right after all! :)

In the meantime I do have to share I went out on a limb with my hair. Y'all. I straight up did an ombre.

I have never been so out there, and that's not really even that out there. ha.
 And...I learned how to do a fishtail braid. Sorta.

I spent hours on YouTube and the couch trying to figure this out.
(And yes, that's a big lobster pillow. We are Maine honeymooners. What can I say?)
In other random news I got a phone call at work yesterday that I get to go to the Junior League's Shotguns and Stilettos with Clay Walker as entertainment on behalf of the bank. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my job?!

Okay, I hear Abby Lee in there screaming at me to go watch Dance Moms. Don't judge.

Be blessed. Be loved...

Avery Jane