Branson 2011, baby.

Summer Vacation 2011 was a success. An utter success. It was filled with babies, bubbles, swimming, laughing, copious amounts of swiss rolls, Lila drinking pool water on a daily basis, campfires, smores, fishing, "booming" (jumping on the bed, according to Lila), grilling out, sidewalk chalk, laughing, running everywhere and overall unscheduled, unplanned fun.

Asleep at the Enterprise car rental place... waiting on the van that took FOREVER.
We flew from San Jose del Cabo to Dallas. Rented a mini van. (Yes!) and then drove to Claremore, OK to visit friends.  (Here are some of them...)

Alex, her baby brother Wyatt and Lila
Then, we headed to Branson, Missouri to a house we rented on Table Rock Lake. The Missouri-based family joined us. (We really wanted to do a "road trip" and we thought that driving would a.) be easier on the kids and b.) would allow us to travel at our own speed and c.) allow us to see our friends in OK.)

The van. And the rented car seats. Boo. I've got quite a review coming on Enterprise.
It was perfection.

This is the house.

I got to spend time with the sweetest niece in all of the world, 4-year-old Aubrey.

I got to meet my 5-month-old nephew, Eli. (He and Vivienne are 15 days apart.) Um, he's great.

I got to laugh with and hug my baby sister.

I got to spend time with my Mom.

Most importantly, my babies were with their family. It was fantastic.

Lila loved to "boom" with her Nana and Aubrey and Aunt Taryn.

These two ladies... oh, they're precious.

I could go on and on about how the air smelled different; pure and good and awesome. I could mention how every single southern person we encountered was ridiculously friendly, save one. I could confess the amount of money that I spent at the Branson Target.

But I shall say this.

  • This trip was good for my soul.
  • Laughing with family is the best.
  • Watching my babies play with my sister's babies all week long was awesome.
  • Not having anything in particular to do at any time in particular was incredible.
It was good.

So good that I was quite sad to come home.

But, then again - I like it when you leave missing the experience. It's way better than the alternative.

Here are a few more pics.

Lila and I after we arrived.

Lila and her Daddy. (Vivienne was sleeping.)

Vivienne and her Papa.

Sweet Aubrey.


We have high hopes that she's going to be a doctor.

Babies playing!

I wish you could hear them squealing. SO cute.
Happy Eli.

My sweet girl.

Cousins laughing

...and drinking more pool water.
...fisherman by night.
Daddy by day...

This is the life. Popsicle. Snacks. Bathing suit. Bubbles.

That is cake all over her face. She's pumped.

THAT is my girl.

Vivienne with her Nana.

Yep. More pool water. It was an uphill battle. "Lila, ENOUGH of the pool water."

Love this look. "Does anyone see me drinking pool water?"


Stickers on her face.

My Mom with sweet Eli after a bath.

Lila and I.

Love that kid.

Vivienne and I. (I'm super sweaty. It was in the 100's.)

My sister and I and our babies.

Love that smile.

Love that face, too.

As if they'd all look at once.
These two totally were up for the pictures. 
It was awesome, ya'll. Thanks for your patience with my lack of blogging.

I'm back.

P.S. Want to see the rest of the photos? Click here.



  1. that sounds like pure, fun vacation at its best and i'm glad you had this time. love that you braved the road trip style instead of the flying all over.

    i'd like to state for the record that Lila most resembled you when she was excited about cake and mac and cheese. and on my face is not a look of surprise, but rather more of an "mmmmhhhhmmmmm".

  2. Love all the photos! You have a beautiful family and your vacation looked amazing.

  3. How wonderful. I dream of this someday - specifically, I dream of cousins for Joss. I have cousins all over the place, and most of my best memories are with them.

    Am I crazy that I see similarities between Vivienne and Eli? Not in every picture, but just a glance?

    They're ALL beautiful children - and one big happy family. How happy was your mom!?!

  4. This entire post made me smile and smile and smile. :) I'm so glad you had a WONDERFUL time, friend. I cannot get over how adorable everyone in your family is -- in particular how big and how GORGEOUS that niece of yours is. And your little ones -- I mean. I MEAN. The levels of adorable must be redefined. (I LOL'd at the picture of Lila in her cake frenzy. Ha!)

    You've got a pretty darn amazing family, dear friend.

  5. Glad you had a wonderful trip!! It looks like everyone had a blast...and how adorable are your sisters kids?!

    And that house is gorgeous! What a great place to stay.

    This does sound like a good "soul" trip. I am glad you got to do that with your family.

    And I agree with TP, your mom must have been loving it!


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