Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter in Houston - Longest Recap Ever.

A few weeks ago my sister invited us down to Houston to celebrate Easter. A lot of different things had to be sorted out in order for us to go. A week before Easter we weren't sure whether a drive down to Houston was in the cards. I told that to my sister who relayed the information to my parents who were coming in town for Easter as well. A couple days later the last few pieces fell into place and Aaron and I were more than ready for a vacation, however brief it might be. We decided to keep our visit a secret since everyone (my sister aside-someone had to know we were coming) thought we weren't able to make it.

Our bags were packed, the apartment was clean, and after Aaron got home from a half-day at work we piled into the car and made the drive. We arrived around 8pm and my sister snuck outside to greet us. She grabbed Grace and headed back inside with Aaron and I trailing behind her. It was a lot of fun to surprise everyone. Stacey must be a pretty good secret-keeper because no one had any idea. We chatted, caught up, and eventually crashed in bed.

The next morning the boys headed out for a round of golf, and the girls and kids headed off to an Easter egg hunt and brunch at our friend Lauren's house.
There was some crafting while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Then of course there was some brunching
Lauren approached me all stealth like she was running a covert operation and said "I have one cold Diet Coke left, do you want it?" Lauren knows me so well. I love her.
Then we commenced with the egg hunt. Grace barely containing her excitement...

Our lovely Hostess and Host, who spent hours filling hundreds of plastic filled eggs with candy and toys for the little ones to find. I think that qualifies them for sainthood, don't you?
Grace, Taylor, and Carly showing off their loot.
It is a really interesting story of how we all know Lauren. My brother Matt was friends with Lauren's twin brothers in college (they then became roommates after their missions). I met Lauren's younger sister at lacrosse camp the summer before my senior year of high school. My roommate in college married one of Lauren's twin brothers. Lauren and Jon lived in D.C. and know members of my extended family, then Lauren and Jon moved to Houston. My sister moved down to Houston recently and ended up in Lauren's ward. It is a crazy little web of who knows whom, but I think we were all destined to be friends.
While the men headed home from golfing the kiddos dyed Easter eggs. It was a somewhat traumatic experience since some of the eggs were cracked and since Grace felt it necessary to dye eggs completely "clothing-free."
But cracks (no pun intended) or no cracks Carly was up to the challenge of dying some pretty stellar eggs.
And we drank cold beverages and watched the proceedings.
Grace spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up every moment of play time with her cousins. She has missed them terribly. On the days leading up to our trip she told me repeatedly where Carly, Taylor, and Stacey were going to sit in our car and which toys she was going to let them play with.

My Mom's birthday was the following Tuesday, so we took the opportunity to celebrate her with as many of us together as we could manage. I will have you know that my parents are posing like this to make fun of some of the ridiculous engagement picture poses that Aaron and I had to do way back when. Dinner out at Lupe's.

The kids played outside after dinner, stopping in briefly to point out where Meah's eyebrows were.
It was bright, can you tell? Sorry Dad.
Presents, singing, and then an ice cream cake made purely from Bluebell ice cream (read: heaven).
Being the awesome children that we are, we left my parents to babysit while Cade, Stacey, Aaron, and I headed out to watch The Hunger Games.

On Easter morning we headed downstairs to see if the Easter bunny had come.
A quick check of the basket and a few jelly beans later we were off to church.

Happy Easter from the Barnards!
We inhaled an amazing smoked brisket lunch, the kiddos had another egg hunt, Aaron and I packed our things, took a group shot,
Said a few last goodbyes,
And hit the open road.
It was a short trip, but definitely a good one. Just what the doctor ordered.
I have to give mad props to Grace who was a stellar traveling companion. She hasn't been on many road trips, but she deserved a gold star for this one.
Hello Dallas.

It was a wonderful way to spend the holiday. Thank you to our lovely hosts who made the trip so doable.


Jack's Mama said...

Love your easter family pic and belly! When are you due again?

Jordan and Laura said...

Kara, you just have the greatest blog. Grace is SO cute, you look amazing pregnant, Karen looks so youthful (27th birthday?) and Carly and Taylor are so old!! Crazy. I hope you are feeling great. thanks for being entertaining.

Mema of 5 said...

What, no mention of the SNAKE!?! Great pictures and writing! Thanks for making the trip to Houston. Next time I come to Texas it will be to your neck of the woods:) (Tappy's is calling).