I think it's probably obvious by now, that we don't have either of our immediate families living in Minnesota.  I do have some cousins who live here (and for that blessing we are grateful), but our parents are in Iowa and Texas.  I think because we've been "away from home" for our entire marriage, there is something very sweet and sentimental about the times we get to be with family.  There aren't too many days that I don't long to live closer, to be able to stop by Grandpa and Granda's house like we both grew up doing or to have them over for dinner on an ordinary night...we would love that.  And yet, we know God has us in Minnesota for a reason and we love it here.  But, we are so thankful for trips like this one, when we can pack up and head SOUTH to see the ones we love! 

We spent our time in Abilene at Trav's Mom's house.  Texie comes to see us so much that we wanted to be able to go see her for a change!  So we stayed with Texie and Craig (Trav's stepdad), who Ava affectionately calls "Craigy" :)

However, we got a BIG surprise on our first day there, when Trav's Aunts, Uncle and Granny drove up from San Antonio to see us for a few days!!  We were so surprised and thankful they took time out to see us.  I think they are used to my incessant requests for pictures, so everyone was happy to oblige and smile "for the blog!" 
Ron and Peggy or "Nana and Papa" as our kids call them.  Trav lived with Ron and Peggy from 4th grade on (I always forget the year, but I think I'm close) so they are precious to us.  Their boys, Jeremy and Ian, are more like brothers than cousins to Trav and we are grateful that they consider our kiddos their grandkids too!  Just means more people to love :)
Travis and his sweet Granny. 
Her name is Addison Jane.  Isn't that beautiful?  Very ahead of her time :)  Our niece Addie is named after her.   
Granny lives with Ron and Peggy in San Antonio and we are always thankful when we get to spend time with her.
4 generations together!  Love that!  My Mom and Dad's Moms have both gone to Heaven, so this is special for our kids.  Granny, Texie, Trav, Ava and Carter.
Pretty in pink, all three of them!
Great picture of Papa and Nana with Carter! 
This was their first opportunity to meet him in person.  He sure is a charmer :)  
Trav's Aunt Susie, who has been a teacher for many years, reading a book to Carter :)
How fun that she came to see us too! 
Ron probably telling Carter some stories about Daddy growing up :)
Ava knew who Granny was on this visit because we have a photo album for her with a picture of Granny holding Ava as a baby.  She looked at her and said, "Granny" :)
And she did her part to entertain Granny with all her singing and talking!  Granny couldn't get over her "busy-ness" and I told her, neither could I most days!
This is Ron who made the beautiful crib that Ava and now Carter sleep in.  He has a new blog, which is on my sidebar now.  If you live in Texas and are looking for handmade furniture, this is your guy!  He's made so many things I've lost count, but he's starting to do more of that than ever before.  He and Peggy also have a B&B in The Hill Country (Utopia, TX) that Ron built from the ground up, so if you need a little vacay in south Texas, check out Bend O' the River B&B and let Peggy wow you with her cooking and Ron too!!  Check his blog out...He is very talented!  Only wish we lived closer together so we could conspire more often on design ideas :)
Nana, lovin Carter up!
We LOVED being outside and catching up!  Someone asked us if Carter liked to be outside and we said, "We don't know??  This is his first time really!"  It got cold and snowy shortly after he was born, so he really hasn't been outside for more than a few minutes to and from the car.  I think it's safe to say that he liked it and we made sure to get him plenty of fresh air!  Only a Minnesota baby for sure...
Should I play or relax??
Daddy says play!
Ava and her new best friends, Bailey and Beau.  She LOVED Texie and Craigy's doggies and was very good with them.  I think they like her too, probably because she constantly wanted to give them treats!
Craigy :)
We bought her a doll stroller on a quick trip to the dollar store. 
She loved it and pushed it all over their yard.
Nothing like relaxing on the back porch in the Texas sun. 
Since it is snowing once again today, we miss this already!


Ron and Peggy said...

Love all the pics! Miss you all so much. Thanks for the great plugs!

petrii said...

What a great time y'all had!!! And look at the shorts and now you are all probably all bundled up. That's reason to miss Texas right there =) Your winter has been brutal.

Your family is just beautiful.

Have a Beautiful evening,

Toni :O) said...

Glad you had such a fun vacation! Like you, I'm soooo tired of snow and cold. Thankful spring is around the corner.

Darla said...

Okay. Totally unexpected. But that picture of Available on Granny's lap made me tear up. Stephanie, that is a precious picture. If it were in black and white I imagine seeing it in some old history book or something. So glad you had this time away.