Wedding Roadtrip

This past weekend Annie, Norah, and I met Rachel in Houston to shop for her upcoming wedding.  Timm stayed behind with Jake and Lillian so that we could enjoy some “big kid” girly fun.  Originally our plan was to look for wedding dresses, but since Rachel found her dress here in Fort Worth last weekend {and it’s a beauty!}, our focus shifted to other details like paper, accessories, and decorations.  We had a blast.  Traveling without a baby is so different, and I relished every minute of it.  No sippee cups.  No diapers.  No real schedule to hold to.  The three of us just enjoyed the ride together and had fun wherever we went.  Here are some photos from our jaunt southward…

I kicked off the car ride by letting Annie and Norah take a self-portrait with my phone.  Classic.

A few hours into the drive we decided to stop in Madisonville at Buc-ees to visit their pristine restrooms, fill up on gas, and grab an after-dinner sweet treat. {By the way, if you are unfamiliar with Buc-ees, plan your next roadtrip around their locations.  You won’t be disappointed.}  On our way to the ladies’ room, I was following a woman and thought to myself, “The back of her head really looks a lot like my sister-in-law.”  And then I noticed the little girl walking beside her and thought, “Wow.  She really looks a lot like my niece.”  And then, holy cow, I realized it was my sister-in-law and my niece walking in front of me on the way to the ladies’ room in Buc-ees!  And it turns out their whole family was there!  So we had ourselves a little impromtu family reunion at the world’s greatest convenience store.

It was the craziest thing!  {Check out the extensive candy aisle in the background.}  I mean, who runs into family on the side of the road?  Unbelievable.  My brother-in-law was also kind enough to help me air up one of my tires.  I was so thankful he was there because auto maintenance is not one of my strong suits.

Friday night we arrived, bunked with the Houston Walkers, and got ready for our full day of retailing.  Saturday morning, after the best home-brewed cup of coffee I’ve every had {thanks to Jenni and her awesome French press} we were ready to go when the shops opened their doors.

I took this picture of Rachel, Annie, and Norah {and Bear} before we set out.  When Rachel saw the photo she said, “Annie, I love how sometimes when we take pictures together we look like real sisters.”  Me too.

Among other stores, we visited BHLDN {pronounced “Beholden”} which is the retail store for Anthropologie’s bridal line.  Let those words wash over you…Anthropologie….bridal…store.  Are visions of unimaginable beauty dancing in your head?  It was better than our dreams.  Breathtaking, actually.  At one point I think Rachel was so overcome that she actually cried silently to herself.  We came away with lots of ideas and inspirations and a realization that $400 is indeed too much to pay for shoes, no matter how beautiful they look on your feet.  Oh well.  It’s fun to dream.

Our most productive purchasing happened at the Paper Source store.  A longtime fan of their amazing website, it blessed my creative soul to walk in their store and let my eyes fall on the scads of amazing papers and creative supplies.  Bless you, Paper Source.

We found exactly what we were looking for…paper and supplies for the invitations and other decorative touches.  Isn’t it all so pretty?  I can not wait to see the final product!

As a reward for excellent behavior while we poured over paper and envelopes, we bestowed upon Annie and Norah a fresh pack of Sillybands.  They were giddy with excitement.  Between you and me, I caught Norah inadvertently trying to steal these by hiding them in her skirt for later, so I’m thankful I caught her before we became criminals.

After a very full morning of browsing and attempted shoplifting, we were all hungry, and the girls decided PeiWei was the only cure for our shopping-induced appetites.  Honey Seared Chicken hit the spot.

So did the fortune cookies.  Ponder these words {and note the lucky numbers, eh?}.

By this time Norah was all shopped out.  She needed a nap, and thankfully Wynne was willing to let her hang out with his girls for the afternoon while the three of us pushed onward.

Eventually shopping fatigue got the best of Annie too, and she grabbed a power nap in the car on the way to the Galleria.

The Galleria.

Oh my stars.  I grew up going to the Galleria in Houston, but I do not remember it being like it was this weekend.  So.  Many.  People.  Girls in quinceanera dresses with their attendants trailing behind them like ducklings.  Fleets of strollers.  Throngs of people bustling around every square inch of every store.  Lines.  Crowds.  Noise.  So much going on it was hard to even remember what we were looking for.  Rachel and I became very focused and began speaking in choppy sentences:  Cardigans?  Nope.  Bracelet?  Yes.  Online.  Shoes?  Nothing.  Keep going.  It went like this until we had visited every store we wanted to visit.  And then we were duh-uhn.  As in, oh-my-gosh, get-me-out-of-here-now done.  Except the traffic was so intense it took us 30 minutes to exit the mall.

When we did finally get out of the traffic and back to the house where Rachel was staying, she and Patrick got to open their very first wedding gift.  We had to capture the moment.  Awwww, look.  A hand mixer.  Isn’t that sweet?  Don’t they look happy?  She’s just glad to be far far away from the Galleria.

We parted ways to regroup for the evening’s next big event:  The Engagement Party.  No, no, not for Rachel and Patrick.  For Patrick’s sister, Taylor, and her fiancee, Rhyn.  Quite a bit of celebrating going on around these parts these days!  So we all got cleaned up and ready to go.

I thought my girls looked especially cute.  And apparently so did Norah.  Upon entering the party she announced {to a room full of mostly strangers}, “Hey, everybody, look how cute I look!”  Honest.  Confident.  Direct.  What’s not to love?  The party was lovely, the girls were so well-behaved, and the food was delicious.  Plus, as an after dinner game they collected pine cones from Jeff and Shirley’s yard for over an hour, and Norah didn’t fall into the pool!  Everyone left happy.

The next morning we got on the road to head home.  If you’ve traveled on Interstate 45 you’re familiar with Giant Sam.  It’s an enormous statue of Sam Houston that you can see from the side of the road.  On a whim we decided to stop and get a closer look.

Can you see the girls there at the base of the statue?  Look how giant he is!

And this is them next to his creepy stone free-standing face.

We arrived home safely, thankful to be reunited with the other half of our family unit.  Thankful to leave the Galleria in our rearview mirror.  Thankful for the opportunity to be with Rachel and wade through all the wedding planning details together.  Thankful for all my children, but this weekend specifically my girls and the special kind of fun they bring.   Thankful for little opportunities to be creative, resourceful, inspired.  Thankful for the Walkers and the comfortable place they provided.  Thankful for how a few days can bring sweet memories and simple delights.

So there you have it.  A wedding weekend with my girls.

I look forward to the day when we can add Lillian’s face to our girly photos.  But for now, this will do just fine.

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4 Responses to Wedding Roadtrip

  1. Krista says:

    I like these– to hear you talking. Great trip and THRILLED you got to do it with “big” girls– NORAH?? Oh. My.
    Perfect pics.

  2. Flora says:

    We make the trek down to Houston every few months and I love stopping at Buc-ees, too. What a fun roadtrip!

  3. Sarah wolfe says:

    Love the picture of you and your girls :)

  4. Sandra says:

    GREAT…thanks for sharing. I LOVE seeing my girls! So fun you saw Tammi and gang. She actually called when they got back in the car and told us. AND, Norah’s announcement…I’m telling you her dad was/is just like that! :)

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