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This weekend…

8 Oct

Busy weekend coming up! Tonight is our Date Night Co-op. On Ryan & I’s agenda for a date tonight? Run 5 miles at the trails, cook chicken lettuce wraps, then end the night at Andy’s for a pumpkin pie concrete…delish! Sounds like a perfect night to me.

Tomorrow is the Grand Opening event at Brown’s Landing, so I’ll be working there. Excited about this new venture! It’s been a great first week, by the way. Loving my new job and the girls are loving their new school! Back to Saturday…Ryan has a studio mix session that afternoon with a band he recorded live recently. Tomorrow night, we are looking forward to hanging out with the Blalock’s! Alison is coming all the way from Lubbock to run in the FULL marathon this weekend. We are going to Joe’s to get carb-loaded before the race with them.

Sunday is race day! This will be the first of three half marathons Ryan & I are registered this Fall. We went this afternoon to pick up our race packets. So exciting. Have I told you how much I love running?!

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Night away in the big D.

27 Sep

Ryan & I left the kids and escaped away to Dallas this weekend! My friend Loretta was getting married Saturday night, so we decided to go see her & enjoy a night away. We headed out and drove straight to Chuy’s for lunch. Obviously we couldn’t focus on getting anything else done in Dallas without going there first and consuming massive amounts of creamy jalapeno dip. YUM. I couldn’t be more excited that we are getting one here in Tyler!!! That rumor better be true or else I will be highly upset.

Anyways, after lunch we went to the Apple store to check out the new shuffles, which are very cool. Didn’t get one, don’t need one…just went to admire. Then, we headed over to Luke’s Locker. Such a cool place. There is something inspiring about going to running stores! Got some shoe recommendations and Ryan got a flashy light to wear when he runs in the dark. Next on the list…Central Market. The grocery store of all grocery stores. This place amazes me. The produce aisle is unbelievable. They also have a great wine selection. And a whole aisle dedicated to granola, are you kidding me? Are we weird that we love going to grocery stores while out of town? We are foodie dweebs.

Saturday night was the wedding and it was much fun. It was at the Biblical Museum of Art, which was interesting. Great to see Loretta and meet her man! We stayed the night with my cousin Danny & his wife Kelly at their new place in Las Colinas. Always good to see them…I love my cousins!

Then, Sunday morning, Ryan and I got up and ran at White Rock Lake. My Dad always tried to go run ten miles around White Rock every year for his birthday. Since his birthday is this coming Thursday, we decided we’d run around the lake while we were there in his honor. Perfect weather for our run. It was overcast and cool, with a slight breeze. When we started the run, I looked across the beautiful lake as the sun was rising and my emotions overcame me. I burst into tears. I so longed for Dad to be running his birthday run with us. I miss him so bad. I thought of him the entire time. I prayed that my life would be meaningful, like his was. I prayed that I would make a difference and make my life count, like he did. I imagined God calling Dad over and saying, “Kip, I want you to see something” as he pushed back a cloud to show him us running. That made me smile to think of Dad watching me. It was a great run physically, but tough emotionally. We finished with a high five to the sky and a few more tears.

We headed back, stinky & sweaty, for our normal Sunday lunch in Quitman and to pick up our babies. Great night away with my love!

Date Night Co-op

11 Sep

Have I told you all about our Date Night Co-op? I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about it. Here goes anyways…

Ryan and I are firm believers that dating your spouse is a must. It’s not an option really, but a requirement. We feel that setting aside time specifically to be alone is so important and just plain good for a marriage. So, we try to plan dates often. Get away from everyone, including kids, and just go somewhere and talk, laugh & have fun together as a couple. Just one on one, quality time. Thankfully we live close enough to my Mom and she is our all-time favorite babysitter. And bonus…Grandma’s don’t charge! On occasion, we’ve had to hire a sitter, but not very often.

About six months ago, we started a date night co-op with some friends from our community group (idea stolen from Jamie). Here’s how it works. We got three other families that live pretty close to us to go in on it. We picked a night that worked well for everyone and set up a rotation schedule. Our date nights are the second Friday of every month and each couple takes a turn in hosting it. For example, last night, Ryan & I babysat all of the kids at our house. Next month, another couple will host and so on. So, you end up babysitting once every four months and the other three months, you get a free date night! Its also great for the kids, because they love getting together with their little friends to play at each other’s houses. Its neat to babysit for your friends, because you know you are contributing in some small way to keeping their marriage healthy! It’s really a blessing & works out well for everyone involved. Ryan & I LOVE it!

So I would encourage you to 1. always, always, always date your spouse and 2. start a date night co-op with some close friends! It’s so easy and well worth it.

Weekend Overload.

31 May

This has been one jam-packed, fun-filled weekend for sure! Prepare yourself for tons of pics & weekend details that may cause exhaustion.

Starting on Friday with the 30th birthday of yours truly. What an amazing day it was! My family, friends & coworkers made this birthday the best one yet. From a mocha brought to my desk first thing that morning, to cupcakes & Bruno’s pizza for lunch, to flowers delivered from my sweet cousin, to an edible arrangement from my brother-in-law, to a romantic date night with Ryan, and then a last minute party at KE Cellars with friends to top off the evening- wow, it was fabulous day! I appreciate all the FB posts, phone calls, texts and cards – I feel so blessed to have you all in my life. 30 isn’t so bad! Here are some pics from the day…

Saturday, I took the girls to the cutest little tea party ever! One of their little friend’s was turning 5 and had a tea party birthday party – so stinkin adorable! The girls loved it…Addi was in heaven with all of the dress up stuff and Kam was happy because they served ice cream at ten in the morning.

Saturday evening, we had dinner at our friends, theย Lee’s house and enjoyed some tasty burgers and an intense game of Balderdash – so much fun. Our girls have a blast playing with their two girls…its cute to listen to them all giggle & squeal!

Then, Sunday after church, we headed to Quitman. It was the 2nd annual Skinner Cousin get-together on the lake. Tubing, sunbathing, swimming with all my cousins…great times were had. Then, that evening my mom cooked some yummy comfort foods for my bday dinner…meatloaf, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, rolls, chocolate cake – was soooo good, especially after spending the afternoon on the lake! My Aunt Debbie from New Hampshire was also in town…its always so good to see her & her smiling face.

And that brings us to Monday. A day of rest & relaxation! We had plans for the day, but overslept & honestly didn’t even care. After all of the events of the weekend, we were all exhausted! We left the house once to go run on the trails, then cooked out and had popsicles. Ryan smoked ribs to go with our baked beans and grilled corn… love days like this!

Happy Memorial Day friends & family!

Snow Day & Date Night.

13 Feb

Yesterday we woke up to a beautiful surprise – SNOW! It rarely snows here in East Texas, so for us- it is very exciting! The college where Ryan works was closed for the day and the girls school was delayed. So that morning, we all played in the snow & made a snowman…it was a total blast! Kamryn wasn’t quite sure about snow…she didn’t want to stand in it. But Addi absolutely loved it and never stopped smiling the whole time we were out in it. Our electricity was out for a long time as well – so we were thankful to have a gas stove so we could make french press coffee & pancakes. It was a great morning! Then, last night – Ryan & I got to go out on a date (thanks Uncle Jeff for babysitting). We met up with some other couples from our community group at this yummy new Italian bistro. Had such a great time! We are truly thankful for the friends God has blessed us with and the true sense of community we are starting to feel here in Tyler.

Date night away!

24 Jan

Yesterday, Ryan & I went to Shreveport, Louisiana for a date night getaway! It was a blast! Thanks to Jen and her high status at Hilton with her free points & perks, we were able to stay in a very nice hotel for free, right on the river. We walked around the Boardwalk, which has a ton of shopping & restaurants right there along the river front. We went in to the Bass Pro Shop and gazed through the camping section, planning our next camping trip for early summer. For dinner, we ate at Saltgrass Steakhouse & wow…it was SO good! We originally thought we’d do cajun food, since we were in Louisiana and all…but we’ve always heard that Saltgrass was good, so we thought we’d try it out. We were not disappointed! We stopped by one of the casinos and played a few slot machines…penny slots of course and no, we didn’t hit the jackpot. Then, a trip for icecream and back to the hotel. This morning, we got up for a quick 3 mile run & a nice breakfast at the hotel restaurant before heading home. It was a blast. Ryan & I have always felt that having date nights are very important in a marriage. Away from kids, away from everything. A time to reconnect, talk without interruption, enjoy a quiet dinner, and just spend quality time together. Here are a few pics from our night…

And here is a pic my Mom sent of the girls staying the night at her house…I think they had just as much fun as Mommy & Daddy did!

headed to dallas!

28 May

i’m currently packing for our one night birthday getaway to dallas tomorrow! woohoo! right after work , ryan & i are headed out to the big D. the girly girls are staying the night at grandma & papaw’s so mommy & daddy can getaway! we are going out to dinner…where else but pf changs. then, staying in a hotel…thanks to jen (happy bday to me). saturday morning, we will get up & run white rock lake….awesome place to run. and the weather is supposed to be slightly cool. then, a little shopping and heading home to enjoy the weekend w/my babies. oh, and let me just say thanks to everyone that sent me texts, called, sent cards, or posted on my facebook today…i enjoyed my bday & appreciate all of you remembering me! 29??? yikes! love to you all.

date night

23 May

last night, ryan & i had a date night! i love dates with my husband. we really strive to do this on occasion…as often as we can. we feel its so important! its nice to just fully focus on each other and have quiet conversation with your best friend. i highly recommend it! it doesn’t have to be some elaborate plan…just have fun hanging out together. we had a blast…went to academy and then to eat. we had buffalo wings and onion rings all under a blue moon. ๐Ÿ˜‰

date

date night tonight!

19 Mar

i am so excited…ryan & i are going on a date tonight! its been a while, so i’m really looking forward to spending some alone time out with my man. we are headed here in winnsboro and i can not wait to try out their food! the pics on their site look amazing.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

Lazy day at home for us today! Ryan’s cooking one of our favorite meals tonight…grilled burgers & steak fries! Our Valentine’s date will consist of putting the girls to bed & then watching a movie we rented while eating Ben & Jerry’s Cinnabun ice cream. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I love my Valentine!