Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Labor Day Getaway: Hyatt Lost Pines

Well, I'm caught up to Labor Day weekend on the blog, so makin' progress!  

We booked a semi-last minute getaway for Labor Day weekend to the Hyatt Lost Pines resort outside of Austin, and I'm so glad we did! I think ER'ONE in the family needed a little break from the ordinary. We'd heard great things about this resort and how family-friendly it was, so we decided to give it a try.  (This post is not sponsored, just a personal review of our visit!) 

Of course, you can't be on Highway 35 without stopping in West, Texas at Slovacek's. (I love the original Czech Stop too, but Slovacek's is just a little bit bigger, with some more options, making it more toddler friendly.) 

While the boys chose ham and cheese sandwiches on freshly baked bread, I stood in line at the Kissing Pig Cafe for some good ole-fashioned BBQ.  And it did Mama right.  

Seriously, this place is so much more than a pit stop....there's the cafe, the deli with all sorts of treats, and amazing gifts and shopping! I'm not above doing some Christmas shopping at the gas station...trust me, if you are a recipient of one of these gifts, you'll NEVER KNOW....
We finally made it to the other side of Austin and down the THREE MILE winding driveway to the lovely Lost Pines resort.  It feels sorta in the middle of nowhere which we loved. But trust me, this place had every amenity of your heart's desire. 

When we checked in, we were given a "Calendar of Events" for all the things going on during the weekend.  And goodness me, it was like one big 3 day party.....

First up was a tractor ride down to the Colorado River.....

It doesn't get much better than a tractor ride for this baby.
The property itself is something like 200 acres....it even has it's own stables and fields with Longhorns hanging out.....

That evening, I was "S'MORE" than excited (hehe) to participate in the S'More roasting.  

The best part is that they had everything prepped for you! Marshmallows were already on the sticks and ready to go! 

They even had servers attending the table and "assembling" your s'more for you! They have it down to a science! 

Surely there is a similar banquet table in Heaven.
Greyson was QUITE THE FAN of the S'more. He's still talking about it and will randomly start listing out what's in a s'more and how to make it.  (Think he's hinting around?!)

It helped that the weather was sheer perfection.  September was already toying with the idea of Fall, so it wasn't brutally hot.  The evening was SO BEAUTIFUL on the back lawn by the fire pit. Kids were running around playing and laughing; it really is the quintessential family resort.

The next day we decided to hit up the pool(s). More like an aquatic resort, if you will.  I loved that everything is built around a grove of pecan trees and there are beach chairs and relaxing areas tucked away around all of the water features. This place is complete with a kiddie pool, a splash pad, a small sandy "beach" with a zero entry into a pool, lazy river, a water slide (that lands into the lazy river) and a private Adult Only pool in case you are one of the lucky ones that gets to break away from the CRAZY and enjoy some quiet time. (We were not those people.)  Regardless, we really enjoyed it! Greyson is still not a big fan of a lazy river, but he enjoyed the splash pad and kiddie pool. And really the best part about it is that there is a full service staff walking around, so you can just order food and drinks while you splash around with the fam all day! 

The ONLY negative thing about the pool situation is that (other than the adult pool I'm assuming), there wasn't a regular/traditional pool that you can actually "swim" in.  The zero entry beach pool is probably 3 feet at it's deepest. I know it's meant to be more of an "activity pool" with the volleyball net and basketball goal, but me and Jeremie felt a little weird just standing knee deep in the water.  Greyson likes to do "Candy Balls" off the side of pools, so this wasn't really a possibility in the pool or the lazy river.  And since the main pool WAS zero entry from the sandy beach, I could just feel sand in the pool.  And listen, after what WAS a glorious week at the beach this summer, I still have PTSD from all the sand. 

The water activities did seem to be pure JOY for older kids.  Jeremie and I commented that ONE DAY, we WILL be the parents laying in the cabana with the kids old enough to run back and forth from the slide to the lazy river and just come back when they're hungry. I'm not rushing it, BUT WE WILL BE THOSE PARENTS, RIGHT? Please, older parents, assure me.  

The next day we took advantage of the many other amenities on the resort. We didn't fish, but look how charming the little morning fishing was.....

One of Greyson's favorite things was the bike selection. Under a beautiful grove of pecan trees, they have all sizes of bikes from toddler to adult! He found a "motorcycle" that we about couldn't get him off off. 

Jeremie loved toting him around in this little bike seat...it was adorable!
Every cyclist needs his cowboy boots right?
Good thing he had his cowboy boots on, because later in the day we stumbled upon a Cow Ropin' lesson....and my little Texan got it on his FIRST TRY...

To complete your Texas experience, they brought out their very own mascot Longhorns for a photo opp....

Racing down the LOOOOONG hallway was a favorite for the weekend...

And so was the horse inside, who Greyson deemed "Miss Sally"....

More hallway fun....

After nap time, we caught Mississippi State's first football game....

And then caught the train ride...more than once...


This was pretty much the scene at the end of each day....COWBOY WAS TIRED.

The resort has like 7 dining options on the property from poolside food to fine dining. (Which again, we did not get to participate in.) BUT everything/everywhere we did eat was incredible! The first night, we ordered pizza from Old Fashion Creamery and took it to our room, and it was probably one of the best pizzas I've ever had. We did the buffet at one restaurant for breakfast and dinner, and listen, it wasn't Golden Corral people.  When I walked in and saw the DESSERT TABLE complete with a fondue fountain, I giggled like a school girl. The food at all the stations was fresh and delicious...our favorite was also the "Create your own Pasta Dish" station.  #givemeallthealfredo

Of course my waffle was in the shape of Texas. DUH.
The last night we ate at the restaurant on the golf course, called Major Neighbors.  It was divine!

And how charming was the fire pit that night with everyone sitting around it?!

We had the best time and will certainly be back.  If you are looking for a family friendly-one stop shop resort, this is it! You don't even have to leave the property and there is more to do than you even have time for! (There are a TON of extra activities from horseback riding to scavenger hunts to airboat rides!) I'll also add that they DO have a "Kid's Camp" so you can get a little time away if you'd like.

Of course the resort itself was incredible, but I am always so refreshed when we just get away for some family time. Just a change of scenery and routine always makes me realize that I might be taking life a little too seriously sometimes, if that makes sense! ; )

So that was our trip! Good thing I always do a thorough check of the hotel room before we leave.....because apparently Greyson had put his new Armadillo (also "Miss Sally") down for a nap in the closet.

She did nap with with him on the way home though...

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Favorites!

Well HELLO AGAIN and Happy Friday! I'm already patting myself on the back for attempting to post 2 days in a row! Fingers crossed that I actually finish this post, because it's nap time and Mama needs a minute.... ; ) 

As Greyson says (well, he copies this phrase from me) "BUT FIRST" (with the #1 finger by his mouth), let me give you my Friday Favorites....linking up with Erika today!

This week seemed to fly by and we had a good one.  I always count it as a WIN when Greyson is healthy enough to make it to both days of MDO AND Bible Study! Here are some fav moments from this week:

1) Football Saturday: After traveling for the first TWO weeks of football season, this was the first weekend we got to be HOME and do our classic tailgate spread and watch the game together at home.  It was GLORIOUS. 

Even little G fired up his grill ; ) 
Our spread included our favorites: Sausage balls, "MSU Sin" Cheese Dip, Bacon -wrapped jalapeƱos, and fruit and veggie platter!
But EVEN MORE GLORIOUS than this spread was the fact that WE KICKED LSU'S TIGER TAIL. Listen.  I DESPISE the LSU game, because they ALWAYS seem to come back from the grave and whoop us.  But there was not field-goal decider.....no last minute plays....no over our double-over time.  It was a good-ole fashion whoopin'.  And hey-I'm sorry LSU, but this has only happened twice in the last 16 years, so lemme just dwell in this, and I'll celebrate again next decade. 

2) Chuckie Cheese Birthday Party: Ok, so I Chuckie Cheese is a LOT rowdy, but oh my goodness, Greyson had THE BEST time at a birthday party here on Saturday morning.  I have never taken him to CC...(was kinda avoiding it), but the kid was enamored with everything from the games to rides to the light up dance floor to Chuckie himself.  It is always a favorite to see my little guy enjoy himself. 

Just look at that face of wonder.....
3) Sweet reminders: I bought this print a while back that says "Love Your Season".  This reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3:11, which has always been a very special verse to me.  In what we consider "chaos", I often have to remind myself to "Love Your Season".  I finally got it framed this week and love passing by it each day! (I also love that it was designed by Emily Ley, who has great planners and I'm loving her book, Grace Not Perfection.)

4) Preacher Man: In other deep thoughts, Greyson has been ALL ABOUT the B-I-B-L-E this week, which is adorable.  Between our little chat, MDO, and Bible Study on Wednesday, he is REALLY soaking some things up.  He carried it around with him all week and would sit down and say: "This is the Bible, God's TRUE WORD. Everything in it is TRUE."  And then when I'd ask him to tell me a story from the Bible, he'd open it up and say: "David fought the giant.  But what did he do BEFORE he fought the giant?".....PAUSE....."Pray to God".  And yes, I melted over and over and over again. The fact that he is actually absorbing this is mind-blowing. 

5) Happy Fall Y'all: And finally, TODAY is the first day of Fall, despite the fact that our temps still begin with a "9".  It is supposed to cool down next week, but I just couldn't wait to get started on the Fall cooking and decor.  So last week, I whipped up the Sausage balls, taco soup, pumpkin bread, and wassail! (This is actually a sneak peek of my upcoming Collin County Blogpost too!) 

Okay!!! It's official! I officially made it through this post and blogged 2 days in a row....I think it's Gecko's expression from yesterday's PJ Mask episode is fitting for how I'm feeling.....

Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a wonderful weekend!!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

August Recap {Better Late Than Never}

WOW. The August Recap passed me by without a fleeting thought. (I considered joining August and September, but DEAR GOODNESS that stress me out.) So we'll hit Rewind and  reminisce.  

I'm usually not a Negative Nancy, but to be honest, a general look back at August does not fill me with warm thoughts.  It seemed to hold everything from horrible natural disasters to my BFF's Dad suddenly being diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, to a health scare for my brother-in-law (who is in remission from lymphoma.) GEEZ.  The Lord's ear certainly heard HEAVILY from The Wells household in August. 

I will say that it was amazing to watch our country respond whole-heartedly to ALL who were suffering from the hurricanes, my friend's Dad was in a ONE PERCENT grouping who didn't required classical chemo, and my brother-in-law's scare is just an infection.  PRAISE THE LORD for answered prayers. 

And in the meantime, there certainly were some fun moments in August.  So let's chin-up and celebrate those, shall we? 

Greyson goes through monthly obsessions, and this month it was "Cowboy Music" (Garth Brooks Pandora station) and Cowboy boots.  NO ONE in the household is exempt from wearing the boots.  Weather they match your workout shorts or pajamas or whatever...you'd better put them on or you've got yourself a four alarm toddler meltdown.

I also got to spend a whole weekend in Downtown Dallas with my fabulous Dallas/Collin County Moms Blog Executive Team. I am really enjoying my new "job" and connecting moms is just my jam. 

The view overlooking Victory Park didn't hurt either.
Since there are 17 of us, you can hardly tell, but we're in front of one of the famous "Big D" signs that are scattered throughout the city!
While I did enjoy my "adult" weekend....I'll admit, I feel like Jeremie and Greyson were living pretty BIG while I was gone! 

Homemade beignets and bacon?!
Monster truck ramp....
And then we slowly slipped into those final few weeks of August that could also be known as the 7th Circle of Hell.  It's late summer.  IT'S HOT AS...WELL...YEAH.  School hasn't started yet and I'm out of ideas and everybody's losing their minds. 

Greyson even started doing this thing where he fought his nap with VENGEANCE. His crib acrobatics rivaled an Olympic audition. The first few times, I'd get him up and muster through the afternoon, but after a few days, I just sort let him flip until he passed out. 
We had to get creative....so we lined up our trucks...smallest to largest....(this is developmental, right?)

We played "Hide the Animals" in the dark....


Isn't he darling?!

Mama dropped him off....and although I felt like I just left one of my limbs at school...I did not cry on the way out as other Mamas CLAIM TO DO...

Instead, my girl Lindsey and I headed to the local cafe and had this.....


And the relief just continued.....even the temps started falling....

So naturally, I had to buy THIS from Costco....

The softest Puffer Vest and tunic you ever did see...
We finally met up with our BFF's, The Reiter's for a family dinner and park date....

This picture took about 15 minutes to get in order, in fact, we had to promise little Preston that he could count to 100 if he would be still. (YES, HE CAN COUNT TO 100 AND MY KID'S STILL MIXING LETTERS AND NUMBERS.) But in the end, we were all happy to catch a family memory.  
And that was August! The good, the bad, and the ugly.  We have rolled through September like a steam train, and hopefully I'll be catching up soon!