mo ranch 2013

Your happy place….we all have one.  For some it’s sitting on the beach, digging your toes into the sand and watching the ebb and flow of waves.  For others, it’s sitting at your mother’s kitchen table, or in your favorite chair with a good book.  For me, it is Mo Ranch.  Thankfully, every summer my family gathers at this oasis in the Texan Hill Country.  Every year is good, this year was just the best.  Grab your favorite cap or floppy hat and let’s go… ImageImage

This is the Westminster Lodge, where we call home.  The weather was amazing and cool, so we enjoyed the breeze on that dog run every day.

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Let’s start with the important things: the food!  We each take a meal and this year was more delicious than ever.  Chorizo taquitos, Carolina pulled pork sandwiches, a fish fry, a divine egg/sausage/crescent roll combination, sea salt crusted baked potatoes and more cookies that you can imagine…we did not go hungry, y’all! Image Image

My Grandmother brought this cute apron, wishing for everyone to wear it as they cooked.  And we did!  (Nick is such a good sport.)

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Mmm, monster cookies.

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Adorable little fashionistas.  I have no idea who taught them to put heir hand on their hip.  Ha!

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Full of delicious food, we’re on to the next activity: visiting.  We sat on the dog run and talked while the kiddos played.  I love those conversations.

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Meet Audrey, the newest to join our little reunion!  She is such a joyful, content baby.   (I would be too in that swing!)

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She loves her Maddie.

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And now for the next activity: swimming!  Our little model Olivia (we call her “Livie-Love!”) shows us her patriotic suit.

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Who, me, Niece Paparazzi?  Clearly not.

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Clay looks pretty relaxed.

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Natalie and I enjoyed splashing and playing in the cool water.

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Then there were frosty beverages in the evenings…margaritas and white wine for the adults,

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And sippy cups for the kiddos.

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Beautiful Natalie.

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Our final night, many of us stayed up talking (oh we do that well in our family) until about midnight.  The fellas smoked cigars and us women laughed and told stories (we’ve decided next year we need something special for just us, like champagne!).  It was perhaps my favorite part of the weekend.  I was determined, sleepy though I was, to get up bright (err, I mean dark) and early the next morning to go up to the Chapel on the HIll for the sunrise.  This is a tradition for me on my last morning there spanning back to high school.  My dad and I enjoyed the peaceful beginning to the day.

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Close-up of the cross.

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Can you spot my dad?

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The prettiest picture was found back at Westminster, though.  What a beautiful sun.Image

I kind of have a thing for sunrise pictures.

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But back to more activities…now, reading!  We love our books.  My Uncle Jack read outside, while I climbed into my top bunk all camper-style and read from there.

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Grandmother enjoying the view.

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We went to the Chapel on the Hill again and my talented sista took pictures (coming soon!).

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But there is one activity, more sacred and hallowed than any other in our family, and that, my friends, is drinking coffee!  48 cups per day among all of us, actually.  We love our coffee.   Most of us began this java obsession quite early, so naturally, we pass it down…

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Grant enjoying his morning coffee.  Good lad.

Image More visiting…

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We always have a puzzle to do as well.  This year it was a peacock in honor of my cousin Bonnie’s wedding (with a bit of a peacock theme).  Lee there was a Puzzle Master.  Note the form, the concentration, the intensity.  Oh yes, she was good.

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We all thought he was an angry looking peacock.

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Luis and Nick, who are now a part of our family since last summer, enjoyed a walk to the rapids.  I sat in those swirling, cool (it was morning-time) waters and let all my worries float on down the river.  I love those rapids.

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Okay, next (and final) activity: Diva Hat Wearing.  I did it okay…

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Gigi girl is a natural, dahhling.

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I pointed out this tree to my nieces and told them it was an elf tree, because it has a little door.  Which is exactly what my Aunt Karen taught me when I was little.  It’s fun to pass on such whimsy.

All in all, a fabulous time was had by all.  I can’t wait for next year!

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