Thanksgiving in Utopia, Texas

We spent our Thanksgiving in Texas this year, seeing some of Travis' family.  We always meet in a little (more like tiny) town called Utopia.  That name always cracks me up!  It's basically in the hill country of Texas, also the middle of nowhere.  We love to go there because it's one of those places where we truly get to rest and catch up.  There isn't a whole lot to do out there, which is perfect.  We spent so much time chatting, watching movies, drinking coffee, and just relaxing.  It was just what I needed after that wedding!  

Getting there however, was quite the adventure.  I managed to survive the plane ride pretty well, although I was a little queasy thanks to some turbulence.  Ava was moving like crazy though!  She must have wondered what was happening.  I kept apologizing to her :)  Anyway, after we landed we had to drive out to the hill country, which was B-A-D.  It was night time, so there were tons of deer out, and I swear Travis was slamming on the breaks every 30 seconds.  Not to mention that we were heading into the HILL country, which is made up of tons and tons of HILLS!!  It was awful.  I'm always a little sensitive on that drive anyway, but this year was terrible!  I was SO SICK and had to beg Travis to pull over.  Oh it was the longest 90 minutes of my life.  We made it though and I wanted to kiss the ground when we got out!  

It was a great Thanksgiving and we were very thankful for the chance to be with Trav's family.  Of course our minds were also on the biggest blessing God has recently given us, sweet Ava Page.  We can't wait to do all these things with her next year, it's such a miracle to imagine.  The Lord has been so faithful to us and has poured out His blessings on us this year.  We have so much to be grateful for.  

Some of Travis' immediate family, his Mom and sister Katy.  We found this beautiful spot by the river to take some pictures that day.  I told Travis that Ava WILL NOT be swimming in that river someday!  Not if I can help it :) 

Pam with Travis and Katy.  We missed you Shaye!!  Travis is the middle child, with a sister on each side.  I think all those women helped make him a great husband!

Katy, Travis and I with their aunt Peggy.  She and Ron live in Utopia and built a B&B there.  Isn't this view of the river amazing?  It was still fall there, which was so funny for us Minnesotans!

Oh, I married one good-looking man!!  A little thanksgiving football to pass the time.  Trav's uncle Ron teased him because we were tossing the football back and forth and Ron thought I had a better throw than Travis!!  Ha ha, that is so not true though.  Travis is the one who taught me.  I just told him I had to keep my skills up because I'm married to a junior high youth pastor and I have to let those junior high boys know that I can still keep up with them :)  I have too much pride to not join in those games!

Our "last Thanksgiving" without kids!  Next year will be much, much different I'm sure!  Like eating in peace and sleeping in...At least we milked it for all it was worth this year!

Paw Paw and Mee Maw.  Travis grew up with them living next door.  They have lots of funny Travis stories!

Travis' uncle Curtis, aunt Sue, and aunt Peggy.  Somehow I didn't get a picture of his uncle Ron though, sorry about that!  Peggy was the master cook behind everything and the hostess for us all.  She and Ron were very sweet to invite that much chaos into their home!

These two little sweeties stole the show!  Emma Cate is our niece and Lily is Trav's cousins' little girl.  They are both stinkin cute!!  I can't wait to throw little Ava into the mix :) 

They were watching something on tv with us, but I can't remember what.  Emma's mom Kara is in the background.  She is married to Trav's stepbrother Brian.  We loved getting to see them on this visit.  

This is me with Trav's sister Katy, his Mom, and his aunt Sue behind us.  Yes, for the first time in this northern girl's life, we had Thanksgiving dinner outside!  It was like 76 or something, so it was perfect.  When we were done, I took a little nap in a lawn chair :) I'm glad you can't see my plate here!  I was the big joke of the plate was "heaping" to say the least!  I argued that nobody got to judge me for it or count how many times I went back (and for the record, it was several times).  I especially enjoyed every carb on my plate this year!

Kind of blurry, but one of our only pictures together.  This was post-meal I believe :)

Travis and his sweet Granny.  It was fun to stay with her at Ron and Peggy's house.  

The cutest little heartbreaker, Henry, enjoying a cracker.  He is a lot like his daddy Ian, Trav's cousin, I hear.  In other words, busy!!!

Trav with his cousin Heidi.  She introduced us to her boyfriend, who is a true Texas cowboy, starched wranglers and all!  I didn't get a picture of him, but he was very sweet.

Ian's wife, and my friend, Melissa.  She is Henry and Lily's mom and a very talented woman!  We are a lot alike and she has gone overboard blessing me with sweet little gifts for Ava...Just wait until I show you what she gave us and made us, so darling!!  We were laughing here about our "utopia hair."  For some reason, we both have the worst hair when we come to Utopia.  We blame the water.  

Peggy (Trav's aunt) and her granddaughter Lily.  They were feeding tomatoes from the garden to the cows that were literally leaning over the fence for them!  Lily and Henry were loving it!

A night shot of the back of Ron and Peggy's house and bed & breakfast.  If you're ever in Texas and want to stay at a B&B in the hill country, go visit them here.  You won't be disappointed!!

This cow was begging for anything he could get from us!  I appreciated his posing.  He was only a couple of feet from me and I swear he was ready to take my arm off if I would have offered it!

The hill country of Texas is ranch country.  Lots of dust, ranches and animals everywhere :)  The perfect setting for a bunch of cowboys!    


petrii said...

You two are so cute!! All of these are GREAT pics. I especially like those river pics. What a great family Travis has.
That B&B is beatiful.

So glad you had fun.

Have a Blessed weekend,

joelandbecca said...

I had to comment! Hi I am Becca and I peeked at you blog via Kelly's Korner. I live in New Braunfels, TX and I have been to Utopia twice with my husband for work (with the school districts) I was laughing so hard reading about your jouney there. It is beautiful, but I was pregnant our last drive there, and I thought I was going to die! I kept asking my husband to just leave me at the side of the road and come back when he was done! I can't even count the number of times we pulled over!

Congrats on your sweet baby girl! I love her name! Looks like you had a great Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

Hi Steph.. This is the first time i'm going to comment but i love your blog..and i love that your baby girl's name is Ava.. it's one of my favorites! ( but we can't use it for our girl name cuz my cousin named her daughter Ava) You look alot smaller than I do I think... we'll have to compare when I come back to Grace in January! Since we're only a week apart in due dates! I'm glad you had a good thanksgiving! Christmas is coming!!! ( oh and i'm jealous that you have your tree up lol i've been singing Christmas songs for WEEKS but haven't put anything up yet!)

Take Care!
Heather H