"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer in the USA - 2012


If you haven’t had a chance to read my post from Wednesday – PLEASE – go back and read it!  And please consider giving what you can to Ryder and Waldens’ families.

Walden’s death only highlights what we already know – many of these children are fragile and have little time unless their families can make it to them!

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27


So I already recapped our trips to and from the USA, so I am going to mostly focus on our time in the USA in this post.  Its going to be long, but not soooo long.  The truth is, we didn’t do much.  We were sick. A LOT. If you read Wednesday’s post, then you will notice that that has been a common theme for our family in the past couple of months.  Nick has been sicker than I have been, which is so unusual for him.  Its probably a combination of travel, jet lag, and not eating as well as we do at home, so we are going to try to plan as little and as low stress of travel as we can, at least until Two Baby comes.

Our Trip will be summarized as follows:

  • Two Weeks in Houston w/o Nick
  • One Week in Orlando
  • Two Weeks in Texas w/ Nick

Two Weeks in Houston w/o Nick

So as I mentioned before, this was the time of the dreaded migraine, so I did not do much.  We didn’t shop or eat out much or do a whole lot interesting.

The best part was the day after I arrived, June 29th, we had an early 4th of July celebration at my mom and dad’s place.  It was amazing!  My parents have beautiful 36 acres in Magnolia, TX called The Thistle Patch, and I love it there.  At Thanksgiving I want to do a post on that special place, also special to me because that is where Nick and I were married.  Its really pretty and they are building a big house (FINALLY), since they have been living in a 2 bedroom/1 bath garage apartment for the past 9 years.  Its fine for just the two of them, but it quickly gets crowded when Nick, Isla and I are visiting, not to mention various other family members and children and grandchildren.

The 4th of July part was amazing!  There were two big waterslides, a dunking booth, and there was even a live band that came and performed.  Every year my parents have Skeet Shooting contest, that is lots of fun, one year Nick won and he is usually in the final 3, and of course there are lots of fun fireworks.  I don’t have any pictures (how did that happen – someone please send me some!), but it was probably the best party I have ever been to.

It was also great because my MIL, FIL, and my SIL and her family all came.  Isla and I left the party and spent the night with them in the Woodlands, and had a nice time catching up.

Early in the week, we ran errands, visited Doctor’s and in general took care of business that we have to get done when we are the states.

Here are a couple of pictures though from early in the trip.

Cutie pie.

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The 3 original Thistlethwaite ladies!

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More cutie pie.

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Isla had so much fun with her Pawpaw riding tractors and gators and following him around the property.

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Then Thursday – the dreaded migraine hit!  And that was it.  I was out of commission until we left for Florida over a week later!

Time in Florida

I was so nervous about the flight to Florida because Isla and I were flying alone out of George Bush, and my parents, niece and nephew were flying out of Hobby and landing about 45 minutes after us.  Normally I don’t worry about flying with Isla, but I was still so swimmy headed and I was really scared of the migraine coming back and hadn’t been able to really get back into driving.  Thankfully we made it to the airport fine, and BONUS, Isla and I were upgraded to business class Smile. As I told my mom, God is not in the business of forsaking me. We got to Florida fine, and then we had some trouble with our rental car, and we finally made it to my parent’s time share at about 2 am!  We were tired and thankfully hadn’t planned anything for the next day.

If you have read my blog for a while, you know we go to Orlando A LOT (read HERE and HERE). This would be my 4th time in about 3 1/2 years.  My parents own a timeshare there that they are generous with, and its really nice, and I just really like that town.  Plus I love Disney. And Universal Studios!

So let me get to pictures!  I am just going to upload them in no particular order and comment.

Getting ready for the Toy Story Midway ride, one of my favorites.

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I rode with my dad, and kicked his behind!

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This is at the Animal Kingdom – my favorite Disney park.  Isla kept trying to hide behind things so she wouldn’t have to share her ice cream, and she kept doing everything possible to NOT draw attention to herself, HA!

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I just think these were cute. She found a spot in the bushes and tried to hide.


This is at the Petting Zoo part of the Animal Kingdom.  Isla just crawled into this ladies lap when she was showing Isla a pig, and then Isla asked to pet a sheep, and she demanded that this lady carry her to the sheep.  The lady was really sweet about it, and I thought that this was pretty cute.


It’s A Small World! Isla loved it.


All the cousins!  Isla loved playing with them; they loved playing with her… some of the time! I’d like to point out that these photos were sent by my mom, and I can’t believe that this is the only one that I have of Kendall and Aiden!


Isla posing in front of the Nemo entrance. She was obsessed with Nemo the entire trip! Now she has moved onto Tangled.


Just a cutie.


Waiting for “Beest” to start! I thought Isla would like it more than she did.


This is a cute one we took while she was taking a bubble bath with my dad (he had his swim trunks on).  I just love her happy look in this picture!


All in all, it was a really fun trip!  I love Walt Disney World, and I just don’t ever really get tired of it.  Isla had a lot of fun too.  There were so many things for her to do, even at this age.  She was free so I didn’t know if there would be much geared to her age group.  She kept saying “Isla like ride.” and “Isla not scared, mommy.” I think her favorites were Peter Pan and the Nemo ride.

Isla and I left early on Saturday and got into George Bush a few hours before Nick’s flight from Moscow got in, which brings us to…

Two Weeks in Texas w/ Nick

Nick got in Saturday and after his Dentist’s appointment Monday, we went to visit his parents in Temple, TX. I love visiting Nick’s family.  One because I love them, and two because almost everyone lives in Temple so its so quick and easy to visit extended family!  Unlike my family in Houston, where everyone is spread out over all over the city – and it’s a BIG city.

So Nick spent the majority of the time there sick, and then as he got well, Isla came down with a fever.  Here is a cute one of Grandpa and Isla, resting in their sickness…


We did get to do a couple of fun things.  Nick’s parents booked us, and Nick’s sister and her family, a room at the Hilton in Bastrop, which is a beautiful resort with a lot to do on the Colorado river.  I have to tell you, I love Texas, and most people don’t realize just how diverse it is geographically.  I always thought that I was an East Texas, Big Thicket kind of girl, but the older I get, the more I fall in love with the Hill Country. My dream house would be on acreage on a river in the Hill Country – Nick’s is on a lake in the Piney Woods… we’ll figure it out!

Here are some of my favorites from the resort.



Isla got to ride a “pretty pony”.


We got in some cousin lovin’!


Side note – Nick’s sister is pregnant again and due in November, which means that by the time Two Baby comes, Nick’s parents will have had FIVE grandchildren in less than 4 years! Talk about aggressive expansion Smile.

I cannot not get enough of this sweet picture. I just wish that Hallie’s big grin hadn’t been cut in half!


I loved watching movies at night on the lawn – with Nick, Tiffy, Hallie, Barrett, and Isla.


We also swam a lot and enjoyed the lazy river!  I have to tell you, in my youth I loved the thrill rides, but in my old age, I loves me some time on the lazy river!

We also enjoyed eating some good BBQ! We love our BBQ, Brady, Nick’s brother-in-law likes to eat at all of the top Texas Monthly recommended places if he can.  So we stopped at Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, TX.  It was very tasty, but my favorite is still Goode Company BBQ in good ole H-Town!


Wait, that picture was actually taken at the resort, but we are going to pretend that its Louie Mueller for the sake of the blog.

We also celebrated Nick’s grandmother’s 80th birthday!  All of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were able to be there.  Talk about special.  Granny is a fun, feisty lady even at 80 and she really manages to keep a positive outlook on life, which I know can be harder, the older you get. 


Nick is BLESSED to have all FOUR of his grandparents still living!  Can  you believe it?  I only ever knew two of my grandparents, and now my Nana is all that I have.

I had to head back to Houston a couple of days earlier than planned because I had a couple of Doctor’s visits that had to be rescheduled.  Nick’s parents were sweet enough to drive him and Isla down to Houston the Thursday before we left so that he could make my appointment with my OBGYN.  We spent the day in the Woodlands Mall – greatest. mall. ever.


And then Friday was our last day to pack up and get ready to go Saturday!

I do want to include a few cute pictures of Isla and Baby Finn.  He is the sweetest, funniest little baby and Isla couldn’t get enough of him.  I think he was ambivalent to her though!  She really enjoyed pushing him down, and then when we stopped her, she would nonchalantly walk over to him and bump him with her belly to knock him down!  Gracious.  After a while he would fuss whenever she would get near him. Sweet boy.

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All in all, it was a good trip!  I just wish that we hadn’t gotten so sick.  There were a lot of people that we didn’t get to see or barely got to see… not to mention a lot of laying around.  I wish that I could have spent more time with these beautiful ladies, two of whom are going through things that I couldn’t even begin to cope with.

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But that’s ok, we’ll be back home in a little over 2 months, Smile and maybe we can make up for the time we lost this first trip – in a non-busy, non-stressful way… HA!

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