So….I love to run for fun and when I am visiting the grandkids, that is just what I do! We made it back to South Texas this afternoon and finally sitting down at 8 PM to look through the pics I took and reflect on the precious memories. We take turns staying with each one of our daughters during visits and this time it was Molly’s house. This is where she, my son-in-law, Tyler, and four granddaughters live in the small town of Valley View in North Texas. This visit was to celebrate Audree, our oldest, 6th birthday!She is still a baby to us and cannot believe that she is 6! When we arrived to their house they all met us at the door squealing and it is an instant entry in to another world of joy and a sky high level of energy in the room. We settled in, blew up our portable bed in Ivy’s room and headed off to Babe’s Chicken House to meet my other daughter, Rachel, Jeff, and sweet Ruthie. When the cousins see each other they jump up and down and are all over the place. We may say, “now calm down just a little” about 100 times and I guarantee you that they do not even hear us. Luckily Babe’s Chicken House is a loud, fun, kid friendly venue. The food served is a Southern cooked meal with family style service and I can assure you that there is not one thing at this place that is healthy, but is oh so good.
As tradition has it, if it is your birthday they place a chicken hat on your head and sing and ask you to do a chicken dance. Audree clammed up and turned red and just stood there shaking her head. So cute to see her sweet little shyness. We headed back to Molly’s to hang out on her back porch. The kids jumped on the trampoline, played softball, colored with chalk. Of course there are always a few tears because someone falls down, or gets their feelings hurt, or just flat out throws a tantrum. It is non-stop adrenaline and beautiful chaos. Being a Nana is so different than a mom. There is nothing that they can do to make me mad. Yes, I get a little aggravated when they whine or are not nice to each other, but when they look in my eyes, any irritation just instantly melts into love. As a grandparent, you also realize how fast time goes and before we know it, they need us less and less and are more independent with each stage. With this in mind, I just soak it all in watching each one’s personality and little traits coming out. Hazel is the baby of the group and almost 9 months old. She is babbling, pulling up, eating table food now Last time I saw her in March, she was not doing any of these new things. Once the sun set, we started to wind down and little Ruthie went home to get to bed and rest up for our big day on Saturday. She and Hallee both had soccer games one hour a part so we were lucky enough to see them both play before we headed to the birthday party at the park. Ruthie plays like the Tasmanian Devil, running the ball up and down the field for goal after goal. She is only 3 and has the game down pat. Hallee was so good too. Her group is older and more structure, but she stayed after it the whole entire game and I could not have been prouder. We rushed from her game to pick up the sandwiches and off to the beautiful Leonard Park in Gainesville for the party. We spotted the pink decorations and headed over to the picnic area. Molly had decorated with fresh flowers, crates filled with matching plates, napkins, and the table was set. How she does this with four kids is beyond me. It took every adult there to keep up with the kids on the playground that has mazes of tunnels, bridges, and nooks and crannies galore for them to disappear out of sight. We all panic and they have no clue why we get upset when we cannot keep them in sight.
The Easter Bunny happened to be there and not all of the party attendees were a fan, but these three were. As if this day at the park was not enough, we played outside more at Molly’s that afternoon and then went to the Valley View square for pizza at the Lil Brick Oven. After we ate, we stopped off at the Firelight Winery next door. They had outdoor music and we sat in the back at a picnic table for a bit. The girls thought the music was there for their dance party and they danced the night away. A few times we tried to get them to settle down and finally gave up. The evening was perfect and these little free spirits made it even better. We knew it was time to go when they had collided one too many times and two out of the four had battle wounds. I think we had officially worn these sweet girls plum out. We got them home, cleaned up, in PJ’s and off to bed. One last gathering on the back porch, star gazing, and visiting with the adults. Now my body was feeling like I had run in a race all day long and could not move from my chair until time to get in the bed.
Lil Brick Oven – Valley View, TX
This morning we gathered around the table for coffee while the girls played with the new toys Audree received. Before I knew it, it was time to hurry and hit the road to head South back to San Antonio. Kisses good bye and long hugs leave me with a lump in my throat and a empty feeling in my stomach.
Thankfully Keith keeps the mood upbeat and the Classic Rock playing was good. We paused the tunes and listened to a Sunday Sermon to help reset us for the upcoming week. Before we knew it, we were back in The Hill Country. Next visit to North Texas will be Mother’s Day. The fun memories this weekend will have to carry me over until I can hug and kiss these sweet faces in person then.
Nana’s Life is the best life and am so blessed with these five little miracles.
I love to run and run to stay healthy. After cancer, I started running more and run a half marathon every year. My philosophy is “It is me vs. me.” I try to avoid getting caught up on how fast my time is, but do wish I was faster. Most importantly, just thankful I am healthy.