Walking with Sophie

DSC03089My sweet little sister Sophie is loving having us home. Which makes us feel pretty special! We love, love, love her! She's so sweet to her "Heatha" & "Brother Ack." Sophie stays with my grandparents Monday through Friday during the day while my mom & step dad work. One day we went to give them a break for a few hours by taking Sophie for a walk in their neighborhood. DSC03092
Chara went on the walk with us. Sophie LOVED riding Chara like a "Orsey." DSC03099
"Brother Justin" knows alot about plants & flowers so he taught Sophie all about the ones we saw on our walk. He let her taste the edible ones, smell the cedar, mint & rosemary & taught her which plants not to touch. DSC03104We made our way to a small park with a little hill where Zachary taught Sophie how to log roll down it. It was precious watching her run up and down the hill & timidly try to roll down it. DSC03105We love our sweet sister and are so thankful for her & these sweet moments, like going for a walk, we get with her. :) post signature


Turn Around, Don't Drown

You guys the weather has been crazy here in Texas! Tornadoes everywhere, 5000+ lightening strikes in 15 minutes, storms all through the night, hail & tons of flooding! It's insane. Memorial Day on our drive home from my Papa Ted's house we saw tons of questionable clouds, drove without seeing past 5 feet in front of us because of the crazy rain & slowly drove through tons of flooded roads! Just when we made it home, they shut down the road we had traveled home on. Cra-Zee.
Have you heard the saying, "Turn Around, Don't Drown." That's the flash flood saying in Texas, reminding people to NOT drive through flooded road ways or cross roads. Flash floods are crazy & their under currents can sweep vehicles and people away. Is this a saying just in Texas? Or do all States have it? Check out what we drove through on our drive home. I know, I know. We drove through them, kind of doing the opposite of the Texas flash flood saying, but these flooded road ways were not flooding from a creek or river going over it's banks, but from the side ditches filling up and over with water, so there was no where for us to really be swept away to.

Insane. I know! Parts of Downtown Austin were flooded to. Shoal Creek ran crazily over it's banks flooding parts of Lamar and ruining tons of businesses. I heard on the radio yesterday though that Whole Foods, which has a huge store on Lamar, is offering a million dollars in interest free loans to those businesses that were destroyed. That's awesome, I think. :) Here's some photos of Lamar. How lame is it that I actually thought, "Hey, I should go down there are take some photos." Zachary would have killed me had I wasted gas on driving down town to take pictures of the flood. I can't help it, it's the curious blogger in me!
Flooding in downtown Austin on May 25, 2015.
Source: Kvue.com
Flooding in downtown Austin on May 25, 2015.source: Kvue.com
And of course there are also TERRIBLE floods in other parts of Texas that people have lost loved ones, too. My heart breaks for the family that was swept away by flash floods in Hays County. 12 people were in their lake house and the entire house was swept away. My grandma told me yesterday that she heard that their other family members had said that they were all a family of faith and trusted God & knew they were all in His hands, which is so encouraging, but still heartbreaking. One of the ladies in the house called another family member and asked that she tell everyone that they loved them and good bye. She called from a cell phone, while they were in the house being swept away. It's devastating. 

Pray for the 400 families who lost their homes in Hays County. Pray for Van, where a tornado devastated their town and destroyed tons of homes. Pray for the 9 people still missing. Pray for all the people's families who have lost loved ones in these floods. And keep praying for Texas,  the looks of things on the weather channel don't look promising. We have a full week ahead with heavy storms and no where for all this water to go. 

Also, remember, turn around, don't drown! I've always thought it was kind of silly. I also thought the "flash flood" warnings on the weather channel were pointless before but now I'm seeing how serious it can be. So, I'll say it again, "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"
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Papa Ted's House

DSC03110We're at my Papa's this Memorial weekend. I love the red, white and blue of these pictures. This picture captures so much of what reminds me of my Papa's house. Red porch, blue accents & his blue rocking chair & nature, what made coming to Hemphill, away from the city, so exciting as kids. Also, we love seeing Papa. DSC03111DSC03112Sophie loves picking flowers of course. I love how little, girl precious she is in her Frozen dress. Frozen you guys, it's intense the love people have for that movie. There's almost entire aisles of Frozen party decorations at the grocery store. When is Frozen 2 coming out?! I heard it was the highest grossing animated film ever. Or something. DSC03113DSC03115DSC03154This is Papa throwing up the Chinese picture V. We still don't know for sure what the V stands for, if anything. Lots of people have asked us since coming home. I'm still posing with it most pictures. It's just awkward to take a picture without it. The other option is,  "I'm just gonna stand here & not know what to do with my arms.  I'm awkward.: So, I throw the V up. And I'm super cool. Victory? Peace? Zachary's thinks it means victory. I just don't know. It's probably just a hand sign with no meaning. DSC03156DSC03159DSC03161That's all folks. Just stopping in to say hello & post pictures of our time with Papa. Pray for him! He's having lots of trouble breathing. Love you guys! Happy Memorial day! AND happy birthday (tomorrow)  to my momma, my daddy & my future sister-in-law, Lauren! So many birthdays!! Yeee!post signature


5 Ways I've Changed Because of Zachary

This post idea is stolen from Taylor at The Daily Tay. I promise you, she has one of the best blogs I've ever read. She's HILARIOUS & sarcastic in the best of ways. She's real, which in my opinion, is one of the best traits a blogger could have. When choosing friends I want ones that are honest & real, so why would I want anything different from my favorite bloggers? Her posts never disappoint & she's heck-a gorgeous, which is just a bonus, I think, to how amazing of a woman she is. So, Read her friends. You won't be disappointed with her daily rants, stories & hilarity. Also, read her 9 Things I Do Because of Him post.

Also, what the heck, guys?! I have NO idea why my post font is so small! I've tried every possible thing to fix it. Any ideas?   
This was so fun to think through all those ways I've changed because of Z. I have of course grown in ways I can't even pin point because of marriage & my relationship with Zachary, but today I'll just highlight a few. 

1. Make the Bed. 
I would like to say that as an adult I would make my bed every day, and now, as the current Heather, I think I would, but Heather pre-Zachary, probably would have gone her whole life making very few beds. Now, I love it. I can't imagine not making the bed. It's just sooooo much nicer to walk in to your room after a day at work with a made bed. It feels good. It feels like you have a handle on adult life, you know? Thanks Z.

2. Own an Iron & an Umbrella.
Seriously. You'd think I was an ogre living in a tree with all the simple house hold, I'm an organized adult type things I used to never do/own. Rest assured Reader, I am no longer an ogre, and own an iron, that I know how to work!!!, and an umbrella. Score. 

3. Eat chocolate, cheese and bacon.
Okay, before you freak out, I had ate these three Man-staples before. I just ate them on a very seldom occasion. I didn't like bacon or cheese.  A friend scarred me when I was younger by rubbing into my face the fact that bacon was made from pig's butts while I was eating a bacon sandwich. The image of a butt in my sandwich really deterred me from eating bacon in the future. I associated all cheese with the flimsy, Kraft kind that gets stuck to the roof of your mouth when you eat it, and therefore could not stand cheese. It makes me cringe now thinking about white bread & sliced cheese stuck up there. Chocolate, obviously, always tasted good, but I was a stubborn girl, and refused to fall into the "I have to have chocolate on my period!" girl stereo type. So, I avoided it. Now, obviously, give me chocolate. These 3 above may also account for the fact that I gained so much weight when we got married. Womp woh.

4. Have a budget.
Money is not that big deal to me, as in, I just spend it. I don't really think about how much I have, until it's almost gone, then I find a way to make more, and repeat the process. I would live like a free, go with the flow, hippie-butterfly, that follows her feelings to whatever her heart desires in the moment of spending, if it wasn't for Zachary. Zachary has been a huge blessing to me in that area. He keeps us focused on goals, reality and being led by wisdom not feelings, in the area of finances. We're not perfect, but we'd be very worse off if it wasn't for him.

5. Sometimes organize my desktop.
If it was up to me my desktop would be decorated with thumbnail after thumbnail of randomness. With Zachary in my life, those thumbnails get organized way more often and I must admit, it does make it easier to find things when it's organized!

And there you have it. 5 very small, seemingly insignificant, but significant ways I've changed because of Z. Love you boo!

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What to do: Dallas & Fort Worth

The Dallas Fort Worth area has tons to offer in terms of activities and things to do! I've put together this great list for you (& for Zachary and I, because I love to get out and do things!) of some of the high lights in the DFW area. Enjoy!

Dallas Arboretum Botanical Gardens.
Beautiful fauna and flora, dining, sculptures, fountains, adult education classes & more.
A relaxing way to spend a beautiful, nature filled day.

Open Daily
9 am - 5 pm
Adults $15  //  Children $10  //  Parking Garage $15
Discounts here. 
Thursday Concert Series
Tickets $27

Spend time in Oak Cliff in the Bishop Arts District.
Coffee shops, delicious restaurants, tons of art galleries, boutiques, wine bars, the Emporium Pie Company & even a chocolate shop. 

Take the Dart Rail to down town Fort Worth & Dallas.
Travel downtown the "fun" and more relaxing way. Avoid traffic by taking the DART. 
Day passes $5
Have dinner Sky High at Reunion Tower.  
Have dinner at the fancy Wolfgang and Puck resturant, Fifty-Six, lunch it at Cloud-9 Cafe, or just enjoy the view at the GeO-Deck.

GeO-Deck $16  //  Parking $6
GeO-Deck Hours:  
Sunday - Thursday  11 am - 9 pm  //  Friday 11 am - 10 pm  //  Saturday 10 am - 10 pm

For more information on resturant hours & reservations go here.  

Six Flags Over Texas.
Roller coasters and rides, carnival food, carnival games, live shows, all the fun amusement parks have to offer. If it's a really hot Texas day, try Hurricane Harbor, too.

Adults (online) $48.99  //  Adults (at the gate)  $66.99  //  More info here.   //  Hours

Run White Rock Lake Park.
Check out Catherine's time running White Rock.

Go to the Texas State Fair.
Eat ridiculously good fair food, concerts, rides, games, lots of fun.
September 25 - October 18 
More info and tickets here. 

Eat dinner, served by the Stars, at the Magic Time Machine.
Eat in a tepee, drink smoking drinks, order the Roman Orgie, go dancing upstairs, have an adventure when you step into the Magic Time Machine.   
Open 5:30 - 10:30 pm

Watch horse jousting at Medieval Times.
Live medieval show, eat delicious food with your hands like they did in the medieval times, Medieval fare, fun gifts & more. 

Adults $60.99  //  More info here  //   5:00 pm - 10:30 pm*
*time varies by day

See George at the Dallas Zoo.
George is the name of the huge giraffe statue next to the high way. I don't know what his actual name is or if he has one, but this is what we called him all growing up. Giraffes, gorillas, rhinos, elephants, you know, lots of animals. A zoo. And a pretty good one. 

Adults $15  //  Children  $12  //  Parking $6  //  9 am - 5 pm daily

Remember Kennedy at the Kennedy Memorial & Dealey Plaza.
Stand on the X where Kennedy was assassinated. History. Visit the museum & memorial. Remember. Relax on the Grassy Knoll. Museum info.

Go Western at the Fort Worth Stockyards. 

History, boutique shops, delicious restaurants, lots of picture ops, live stock, rodeos, horse riding, and more. Go Western.

Enjoy art at the Nasher Sculpture park.
Indoor & outdoor galleries of beautiful sculptures from all around the world.
"Complete your visit with lunch on the terrace at Nasher Cafe by Wolfgang Puck and be sure to stop by the award-winning Nasher Store for one-of-a-kind gifts, jewelry and d├ęcor." -source

Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm
Adults $10 //  Children Under 12 Free  //  Students  $5  //  Military & Seniors $7
FREE admission every first Saturday of the month, 10 am – 5 pm

Enjoy more sculptures at the tiny Dragon Park.
Take photos with all the mythical sculptures or just enjoy a relaxing 15 minute stroll through this little park. More info here.

Or pose with the Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures at Pioneer Plaza.
Pose with a drive of cattle at Pioneer Plaza. Sit on them. Grab their horns. Bring out your inner cowboy or cow girl.
Get funky at the MADI museum.
3-D, open spaces, anything goes kind of art.

Sip a brew at Deep Ellum Brewing Company. 
If you enjoy craft beer, out door seating & brewery tours, then Deep Ellum Brewing Company is the place for you.

Brewery Tours Thursdays 6-8:30 pm & Saturdays 12-3pm
Taproom Monday - Friday 3 pm-10 pm Saturdays 12 pm - 10 pm
Closed Sundays
DALLAS, TX 75226

Eat a grilled cheese sandwich at Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.
Delicious cheesy, amazing goodness. Just take my word for it. Go.
Located in the Bishop Arts District.

Hike at Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge.
Hiking trails, animals, wetlands, forests, flora & fauna. The Refuge is a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Adults $5  //  Weekdays 7 a.m. - 5 p.m  //  Weekends 7 a.m. - 7 p.m

Readers, the next time you're in Dallas and/or Fort Worth, don't sit in a hotel room bored! There is tons to do! Enjoy DFW!
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Lake Hollywood Park

While we were in Los Angeles we were extremely fortunate to find an Air BnB house with an incredible location, right off Lake Hollywood Drive. Our house was in a neighborhood connected to the hill that the Hollywood sign is located on. Perffeeect location!
We were super excited to find out from our host that there is a dog park at the base of the Hollywood hill, too. We left our house, drove 2 minutes and parked at the Lake Hollywood Park so that Chara could have a fun filled afternoon.  
See all that pretty green? That's a dog park!
On one side of our parked car we had this sun-lit filled view of the Hollywood hills & on the other side, the Hollywood sign. Lovely.
I was actually surprised to see how green & lush parts of Los Angeles were. I always pictured huge buildings, smog and a congestion of people. While there are probably parts of the city that host that, the parts we spent the most time in were gorgeous and green.
Lake Hollywood Drive leading up to the park. :)
We quickly found a quiet spot to sit down at and people/dog watch.
Chara did lots of dog watching, too. She didn't really play with any of the other dogs at the park, just watched them. 
Lounging. She's got wide hips, like her mamma. ;)
Look at us. We're taking a selfie in front of the Hollywood sign. Oo la la.
This was an attempt at a family picture with Chara. All we could get in was the tip of her head.
After our time lounging we drove up the hill to try and get as close as possible.
We ended up turning around with hopes to come back another day and actually go up and stand behind the sign (I saw a picture of someone doing it, so I think it's possible) but we never did. No regrets though. We enjoyed our time at the quiet dog park. It was a great picture spot, nice location and not filled with tourists. If you're in L.A. skip the tourist-filled bits and spend some time relaxing at this park! :) If your in the mood for a work out or run, park your car further down and hike up the road. There are sidewalks, shady trees and beautiful views.
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