We drove to Waco early on New Year's Day. "The plan" was to wake up, throw kids in the car (because it was already packed), grab breakfast and drive north. But it was New Year's Day. So everything was closed. Except Old MacDonald's or McNasty's as Gigi calls it. I really should just quit planning things.
We made it to my hometown in record time and got settled in. The kids and Ryan hung out at my parents house while I grabbed lunch with Lyndee and Jenni of the RaRa's. It was probably the best hour and a half lunch I had all year. Just time to breathe with your besties, buddies, first loves (you know what I mean). Laughing, chit chat, tears, discussing our husbands quirks, the usual. And dessert.
I even got a nap in that day. GLORIOUS.
We then devoured a delicious NY Day roast, potatoes, black-eyed peas, cabbage dinner at the granny hour of 5pm and then it was time to hit the town. Lyndee was booked for the evening but I wanted to go bowling so Jenni talked her crew into joining us and y'all.
It was a BLAST.
Landry was too small to actually bowl, but she sports the "bowler's belly" quite well, don't ya think?
And while the littles were taking breaks,
GiGi was quick to hold them.
Radley LOVES to go bowling. He has already requested that his 6th birthday party be at the bowling alley (which kind of puts a damper on the theme that I had "planned" but well, we've already discussed that).
Emmy's general rule of thumb these days is "I do it all by MYself!!" I am actually rolling my eyes as I type this. So all 24 pounds of her carried that 6 pound ball up to this handy dandy bowling ramp and did it. All by HERself.
We also let Ryan do it all by himself, too.
Emmy did have a hard time actually reaching the top of the ramp, so she let "Ladley" (lad-lee) assist from time to time.
This series melts my heart.
The ball drops...
She waits in anticipation...
HIGH FIVE LADLEY!
(I really need to learn to take better pictures - sheesh. Focus, Katy. Focus).
And after the first ten frames, who was the winner?
For the first time ever.
The Kent's arrived to join in the fun. Aren't they just adorable?
And we got an extra surprise that the Echterling crew showed up, too! They were celebrating Grace's 6th birthday. Courtney, Charis' little sister, just had Olivia 6 weeks ago so I worked in some cuddle time with her between frames. :)
Here are all of the Petite RaRa's (minus Mason)
Back Row from Left: Michael (16), Cousin Carter (6), Corbin (7), Brennon (13)
Front Row from Left: Cooper (almost 2), Gracee Jo (6), Landry (9 months), Karli (5), Radley (5) and Emersyn (2)
I literally cried when I was snapping this picture. Lyndee and I met when we were Emmy's age. Jenni and I became besties when we were Gracee's age. And Charis movded to Robinson when she was Brennon's age. And now look at us. Look at THEM.
Dreams are made of this. Really. Who has best-friends for that long? Not just knows someone, but has best-friends - tried and true. The kind that will have your back no matter what. The kind that will drive to where ever you are just to give you a hug the day you lose someone. The kind that you have so many memories with you don't know if they are yours or theirs or both? The kind that forgives and forgets. The kind that you give your whole heart to and they never give it back.
The kind that go to baptism class at a Catholic church even though they aren't Catholic just so they can be your daughter's godmother.
The night was almost perfect. Just wish Lyndee could have been there.
My hometown Christmas ended at the place that we "grew up" one Friday at time.
We ended the year with Ryan's best buds and rang in a New Year with mine... I think that sounds like a tradition I could get used to!