It's been well over a month since my last post, and with good reason. The last couple of months have brought the highest highs and the lowest lows of our lives. The sweet addition to our family, Lauren, has been such a blessing to us. She can throw a tantrum like no other, but boy is she cute, too! We love her so much and are so thankful to have her in our fam. She has brought so much joy to us in the midst of our trials.
The main trial we've been facing revolves around Brad's job. I've wanted to share all that's been going on, but haven't been able to. Things aren't over yet, but we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. And things are turning out much better than expected. Brad and I are so grateful for the growth we've been able to achieve, and are so thankful that we feel like we're passing the test of this refiner's fire. We've become so much closer to the Lord and to each other. We've also come to appreciate the incredible support given by family and true friends.
Now on to the fun stuff. In between the stress and prayers and phone calls and crying, we've managed to have some real fun.
We took a weekend trip up to Brenham and College Station with Spencer, Sara, and the girls. I love that they're family, and I love that we're in this Texas Experiment together. Of course you can't go through Brenham without stopping at the Blue Bell Creamery. Honestly, if you haven't tasted Blue Bell, you need to take a trip to one of the 17 states that sell it. You will thank me.
Our little Blue Bell Darlin'
Moving on to College Station, we ate at Free Bird Burrito, toured Texas A&M's campus, swam in the hotel pool, and visited the George Herbert Walker Bush Presidential Library. It was cool.
Tyler giving a Presidential Speech.
We also took a fun trip to Utah/Oregon. I missed so many photo ops, but did remember to get some. One of the highlights was stopping off in Ontario, Oregon to see Grandma Schultz. My sweet Grammy, how I love her.
In between these two pictures was a whole lot of action that I didn't capture on film. We had a family reunion up at Eagle Crest in Central Oregon, and it was so fun. Little Lauren was such a trooper, meeting so many new faces and being in such strange surroundings.
Ty had a lot of firsts this trip. He caught his first fish, played his first round of mini-golf, went in his first cave (oh wait--we did do a cave in Texas, I guess it's his second cave), his first hike up a mountain, his first climbing a tree, and tons more.
Poor little Lorzy. We stopped in the middle of nowhere during our long drive for a little break. I think she got tired of her carseat for hours on end. I had to show this picture of her in her little BYU outfit, though. So cute! (Thanks for the bubbles, Suz! They were a hit:)
Sweet little girl. You would never guess she had just thrown up in the car. That's when we decided to stop in Twin Falls, get some 7-Up for her stomach, and take a break from the car.
We decided to visit Shoshone Falls. It's kind of a joke because almost every time Brad and I have made the trip to and from Oregon, we have stopped at Shoshone Falls. His Grandma, an Idaho Native, always talked about how they're the Niagara of the West. Only we never ever saw much to the falls. In fact here's what they looked like on one of our trips several years ago:
Not much, huh? But here's what they looked like this trip:
We also got to spend a day with Ty's birth family. One thing that has totally impressed me with both our birth families, is how much they love and accept the other child. Am I making any sense? Both families are so sweet to treat their birth-child's sibling as their own. It's like both my kids have two birth families now. How awesome is that? Hopefully some day we can all get together. What a great party that would be!
We tried to get a sibling shot, but this is honestly the best we could get! They were pretty wasted by the end of the day.
To top off a great trip, Brad was able to get bumped on the flight back, so now we have a free ticket to use in the future! Only wish they needed more! Brad and Lauren stayed in Denver, and got assigned to First Class on the flight into San Antonio today. Not bad!