A Day at the Races

A Day at the Races

We spent the majority of our day in Hot Springs at the races, and it was the best day!

The weather was awesome, there were fun activities happening all around, and we just enjoyed ourselves so much!

We stopped to see the statue out front and a nice group of college boys took our picture for us.


When we walked in, Remi spotted the mascot horse walking around and we had to follow him to take a picture. I didn’t catch a smile from her in this pic (I was taking it quickly because the National Anthem was starting), but she was thrilled to see him!


Mom and Remi got food and I got a drink. Remi looked SO big just eating her own big piece of pizza.


Oaklawn tea for the win! Lemonade with sweet tea vodka.


I took Remi down to the fence for the first race and we had some special time. I told her all about coming here as a little girl with my parents, and told her all about grandpa and how he taught me about the horses.


My mom snapped this from behind. Love my girl. Thankful to share these special moments with her.


We made our way to the infield because it was open for the food truck festival. First stop were the bouncy houses! Remi had a blast.


Face painting is always a hit. I’m thankful when stuff like this is free (it all was!).


They also had a petting zoo, and she got to bottle feed a goat. She loved this.


We grabbed lunch at the food trucks and then went back to the stands to find Nene and Carl. Remi was SO excited to see Carl down with the horses, and so he came up to say hi to us.


She loved seeing Nene (and I know Nene loved showing her off), and then Nene got her a sweet stuffed horse- which was the same color as the horse we bet on- Cherokee Chatter- so that’s what Remi named her new stuffy. Love it!


It was the perfect day at the track!

Hot Springs Overnight Trip

Hot Springs Overnight Trip

We took a little overnight getaway to Hot Springs. It’s fun to go visit our family and hit our favorite places that we miss.

We left after work Friday, so we got in for a late dinner. We hit our fave spot on the water, Fisherman’s Wharf. Great as always! Remi loved all the fish on the walls, and she made her fish face all during dinner. She also loved feeding crackers to the ducks outside.


We crashed for bedtime and the next morning, mom went to get us cinnamon rolls from Will’s.  I sent her with a list of 5 (one per person) and she came back with 8. ha! So much for the diet!  We did end up bringing half of them home. They are SO good.


Remi went straight for the middle. Smart girl.


Hotel checkout wasn’t until noon, so we went for a morning swim. Remi was PUMPED. After the swim, we got ready and she took a little nap before we left for the day.


We hit the races (more on that later this week), and then we had dinner at Taco Pronto. It’s a quick service Mexican spot that we just love. It was a family fave growing up.

Then we met our entire family for ice cream at Scoops. Remi was initially so happy when Nene and Carl came, then she yelled “Mimi- your cousins are here!” When Cait and Gavin and Luke showed up. And Auntie and D got big hugs upon their arrival. It was waves of fun as they all got there.


We got home (like 11:30 p.m.) and then the time changed that night, so we were dragging Sunday morning. After church and long naps (thank you!), Remi played at home. She came out like this and said “I’m not Remi, I’m a PRINCESS!  Magic, magic magic” and she would yell spells at us with her wand.


Then at bedtime, she wanted a mommy horse ride, and Pippin jumped up too.  This life is always crazy.


I’m so grateful for family time together!

Weekend Before Christmas

Weekend Before Christmas

The weekend before Christmas was great. We were all off work and enjoying each other!

We started with our church’s candlelight service. There’s no child care, so we are all in service together, which is (stressful, but) nice.

Had to snag a pic before church. I love our little family.


And Remi with her grandmas. She is so loved!


This is last year’s Christmas dress. We were “behind” on wearing all of her Christmas pretties because she was sick for a week. but I just love this dress and wanted her to wear it.


She loves being on stage (guilty: she’s totally my child), and during the greeting, she went right up to say hi to everyone. So after the service, she went up to sing. It was precious.


And then we went to Hot Springs after church…and very appropriately, for family Christmas, she got a microphone.


We had a great lunch and gift time with our family! We love them so much!


Remi thinks Uncle Neil is so funny.


Tyler had to work Sunday night, so he didn’t come with us. And I was off work Monday, so we decided to stay the night in Hot Springs. This big girl pulled her suitcase herself!


We hit the hotel pool (with the family, who all came to swim with us!) and swam until almost bedtime. Mimi ran to Sonic and got us food and we crashed.


She and I ended up sharing a bed (we don’t do that often…usually if we travel, she gets her own or sleeps with a grandma) and it was sweet. She was GREAT and went right to sleep.  She woke up in the night once and it was just fun to be together right when she woke up.


Monday morning, we took Remi downtown to see my favorite Christmas spots- The Arlington! I grew up LOVING the gingerbread house. And she thought it was cool too!


We also ventured upstairs to see the pretty lobby from up top. And Remi liked the swirly staircase, too.


She took over Santa’s chair, since he wasn’t there!


We went across to Arlington Park and let Remi feel the actual hot springs and then we played hide and seek…and she LOVED hiding in this big rock! I grew up spending SO MUCH TIME downtown and at this park, so it was fun to run around it with her.


When we got home, she wanted to make her Christmas cookies with dad. It was sweet.  This was just a simple kit from Trader Joe’s, and they enjoyed making it.


We enjoyed spending so much time together over Christmas break!

Wintry Mix Tour

Wintry Mix Tour

Immediately after coming back from Branson, mom and I went the opposite direction to Dallas.

Hanson was doing their wintry mix tour, and I realllllly wanted to go.  We decided about a month ago to go- I had the vacation days and mom wanted to see a Hanson show with me.

This was my 22nd concert, but mom’s never been. She dropped me off at my first show back in 2004, but since then, I’ve gone with friends.

We got to Dallas in time for lunch. At Shake Shack. Because we looooove it.


We did some shopping (because that’s what we are best at) and we ran into Todrick Hall!  (He’s a Youtube/Broadway/music star.  He first came out on American Idol years ago, but it now better known for his music/Youtube. He is also Taylor Swift’s bestie).  I just spotted him walking through the mall and I was like “Hey, are you Todrick Hall?”  Ha!  He was SOOOOO nice. He shook our hands a couple times each, and was just so gracious. He was just there being a normal guy, so I didn’t ask for a picture. But it was great to meet him!

We had a bit of an issue with our Airbnb- he said it was flooded, but I’m not sure I believe it.  Either way, he put us up at a nearby hotel. Then we shuttled to the concert venue.  Mom got a taste of waiting outside the venue and talking with fans (which is actually something I love to do! except it was pretty cold since we didn’t want to deal with our jackets at the venue).

We got inside when doors opened and got a good spot.


Their brother Mac’s band, Joshua and the Holy Rollers, opened first. They were good, but not really my style. But they were all very physical players, so it was at least fun to watch.


We had super nice people in front and behind us (hey, tall people behind us!), but the people on either side were….strange. Not really seeming like they were there to have fun at all. But it’s fine. We enjoyed ourselves. 🙂


Paul McDonald, who has the best smile, opened second. He’s always fun to see/hear.


Then the boys.  They played a good 1.5 hours (like always) and played a great mix of brand new music, classics, Christmas music (including my FAVORITE Christmas song ever!), and some awesome “have to play live and jump around” songs.


I’m pretty sure mom enjoyed herself, but she was tired of standing by the end. ha! 🙂


She caught this of me.  Pure joy at a Hanson show. 🙂


Always thankful for a chance to see them perform live. I don’t know that I’ll ever get tired of it. It’s always fantastic.



After some sleep, we got up to go to mom’s favorite Dallas spot- Cindie’s NY Deli. Mom got a bagel and lox, we shared potato pancakes (latkes) and some corned beef hash. And I got German pancakes. Good thing we walked the mile there and back!


On our way out of town, we stopped at the outlet mall and Trader Joe’s, then grabbed some soup at Pei Wei before driving home.

It was a fun trip with my momma! And so fun to introduce her to Hanson.