Saturday, October 30, 2010

Louisiana and Mississippi!

The USMC doesn't think Josh should take leave as often as I would like, so Gray and I traveled to the South for a quick trip. I have to obtain a minimum of 10 continuing education hours (and I can assure you I always get the minimum) every year for my Speech Language Pathology license. I looked into some places here in SD to get my learn on, but they were all REALLY expensive and none offered 10 hours in one whack. I prefer a two-day conference to get it over with, plus childcare isn't the easiest thing to come by when you live 1700 miles away from all family members (if you don't count the aunt, uncle, and cousins in NM). I checked prices at home and found it was cheaper for me to come home and go to a conference than attend 2+ here to get my hours. Crazy, but true. Needless to say, I packed our bags and got on a plane. The up-side to two full days of airports with the craziest toddler this side of the Mississippi River was seeing lots of friends and family members while I was home!

Gray was up at 5:30am for a full day of flights. We flew out of San Diego to Jackson via Chicago. It makes a lot of sense to fly North when you basically want to go due West. Right? We finally arrived in Jackson after an hour delay in Chicago (for 4 passengers because that makes sense too) at about 6pm! Josh's Dad (AKA Papa) was there to meet us because he was leaving town the next day but he HAD to see Gray while we were in town. Gray thinks he is pretty spectacular, so he was quite excited. Papa held Gray, and played, and stole kisses, and chatted for a few minutes then we were off again!
Gray and his Papa at the airport.
Logically, our next stop was the Mississippi State Fair. Jennifer had taken Alexis and some of her pals to the fair, so we met them there for a little fair fun! We walked around for a few hours, ate some fried catfish (yum), drank some sweet tea (double yum), and got a free biscuit. THEN I spotted the one ride that Gray was able to ride on... the GIANT slide! He had to ride the slide since he loves slides! We then spend about $15 to ride this slide, once. I thought it was going to be a silly little baby slide. As I flew over the first hump and got a considerable amount of air, I thought maybe this wasn't a baby slide after all. After reaching speeds of up to 100mph (that might be an exaggeration, but I can't be sure) we landed safely at the bottom. Jennifer and I were quite shocked by this slide's ability to thrill us, but also that we were able to take babies on this slide. In a word this slide was: exhilarating. I highly recommend it to all!
Me, Gray, Jennifer, and Claire on the giant slide.
Gray and Claire wishing they could waste a lot of money for a gold fish at the MS State fair!
After the fair, Mom, Gray, and I drove to Bastrop. Gray and I got up early and headed to Shreveport for the conference. I dropped Gray off with his Grandma (Josh's Mom) in Minden for his first night away from his Mommy! After the first day of the conference, I had a pedicure and dinner with my BFF, Clair. I spent the night at Clair's in her son's Transformers bed. It was super comfy so I may invite myself to spend another night with her when I'm in town again! Don't worry, I didn't kick William out of his bed. He was with his Grandma too!

I learned a lot of useful information at the conference (or it would be useful if I wasn't in 'retirement'). I bought Gray some books and obtained all 10 of my continuing education hours! I think the SPALS conference is way more exciting than any conference in San Diego mostly because some of my favorite SLPs were there! 
Clair and I at 7am.
After the conference was over, I had several days to catch up with family and friends and drink as much sweet tea as possible. Josh won't drink it if I make it at home and I can't drink a gallon of sweet tea alone. I would feel guilty and not sleep for a month. So I drank my weight in sweet tea while I was home, because it doesn't count if you are on vacation. Who's with me? 

I stopped in Mt. Lebanon to pick Gray up from his Mamaw and Papaw. We also got to see Liz (Josh's grandmother), and his aunt and uncle (Philip and Angela)! Gray was very uncooperative in Mt. Lebanon, so both of the pictures I took there aren't super, which is sad. We also stopped in Ruston to see some pals, but for some reason I didn't get a photo with them at all. 

I drove back into Ruston Saturday morning to go to Tech Homecoming! I went to the game with Sheree and Jamie. We were going into the game but apparently tickets are $22 each. I'm not that kind of girl, so we decided to go shopping instead. 
Sheree and I at the Phi Mu house.
Sheree, Jamie, and I got into as much as we could (and had way too much fun 'shopping') then headed to the Dawg House for dinner with Shannon and Joe! We sat around and chatted a while (like the good ole days) but eventually the old ladies had to go to bed.
Sheree, Jamie, Shannon, and I at the Dawg House!

I decided to go to the Kappa Alpha mansion to see some of Josh's BFFs before heading back to Bastrop. Bryn (Josh's pledge brother) and Evan (Josh's little brother) were both in our wedding and both drove a long way for Gray's 1st birthday party, so I had to hang out with them for a while since we were in the same state! I love these guys so much, it was great to see them both!

Me and Bryn at the KA House. 
I drove back to Bastrop pretty late, and went to church with Mom. Gray and I love Cherry Ridge and we  saw a ton of people who we never get to see!
Gary and Gray sharing a laugh after church!
Mom and I drove out to Sterlington on Mom's lunch break to take Gray to a 'real pumpkin patch.' I was hoping to get some good shots of Gray but he wasn't as cooperative as he was last year when he couldn't walk. Maybe next year will be better... I got a few cute shots but Gray wasn't into it, so we went back to Bastrop.
Gray at the Pumpkin Patch!
Making his voice echo!
Maam giving Gray some yogurt as a snack. 
Hello? Hello! (Having fun at Maam's!)
One of my oldest pals, Linzay drove in from West Monroe to eat some tasty Johnny's pizza and hang out with me and Gray. She has a little one that is about a year older than Gray, so the two little ones played some and fought over a train. It was cute watching them play together. Gray doesn't really have manners yet, so he is trying to steal the remote for the train from Cayden. I'm so glad she drove in to see me. We have literally been BFF since Kindergarden (and she tied my shoes til 2nd grade) so I love that our kids are roughly the same age.
Cayden and Gray
We drove over to Jackson to see Jennifer one day. We also got to see my sister-in-law and her two kiddos. Josh's brother had to work so we missed him, but Gray loved hanging out with the girls for an hour or so. Adam and Melanie are about to have twins, so Gray is really going to love going home next year for Christmas! I think he will also be excited because one baby will be a boy! I'm sure he will love the little girl too, but he is so outnumbered with girls on both sides of the family. I'm sure he will enjoy having someone to get dirty with on holidays! 
Gray, Landry, and Lola
We spent one more day in Bastrop, getting his hair cut and my dress for the USMC Birthday Ball altered then we were off to the airport once more! Mom took us to the airport and Jennifer met us there to see us off. 
Gray and Maam sharing some Fruit Loops at the airport. 
Self portraits before getting on a plane. 
Gray and Buzz watching Toy Story at the Houston USO.
We had such a great time at home. Gray and I saw so many people we haven't seen in forever. Some since February at Gray's birthday party on our way through to California and some since before 2010 began! No matter how much fun we had, we were so ready to be home with Josh and Fletch! Josh picked us up after yet another airport delay and we were both so glad to see him! It's good to be home!

1 comment:

  1. Next time describe why my kid looks like a hobo and mix matched. And we have known each other since Prep Center.
    Loves ya!