Hello, my name is Wrigley. 

I am an 8-week-old female golden retriever, and I already know that I am the cutest puppy around. Monday was my lucky day. That is the day Tate and Danielle made the hour drive to Conroe to pick me up and take me home.  I have only been with them for 5 days but have already made myself right at home! I have my spot picked out next to the couch and have been strutting around the apartment like I own the place. I like to chew on pretty much anything {especially socks}, sleep in tight spaces {like between the couch cushions} and love to be held. I absolutely do not like baths, the vacuum or my leash. I'm already a pretty good listener despite the fact I usually talk back by barking when told "no." Oh, and I already know how to sit!  I hate to brag, but I am a really good girl, or at least that is what I am told on a regular basis. I had to go for a check-up yesterday and the vet even doted on how calm I was. So far I have been sleeping in my crate without complaining, but am still working on sleeping in past 6:30 AM. Good thing my mom and dad are bums and don't work this summer so they can wake up early and take me out every 3 hours. I'm looking forward to my new home in Waco. Can't wait to get upgraded to a backyard! 

First meeting

Camped out in my usual spot

Playing outside in the patch of grass known as the Dog Park

Glamor shot

Meet my bff, my duck


amarillo & santa fe

Before heading back to Houston for the remainder of the summer, we traveled West for our two final stops to:
Destination #4: Amarillo, Texas
Destination #5: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tate hadn't been home to Amarillo since Christmas so we were way overdue. We set aside a week to bum off of Robby and LaVon and I would say we did a pretty fine job. The day after we arrived, we packed up and headed to FBC Amarillo's lodge in Glorieta, New Mexico,  just outside of Santa Fe. Tate grew up going to Glorieta in the summer and I had never been before, so we were both excited!

On the way, we stopped by a vendor on the side of the road to by some fresh peaches from which LaVon made a delicious peach cobbler. We spent the next few days shopping at the local stores, hanging out in the lodge and eating Southwest food. Tate and Robby had an ongoing ping-pong game and LaVon and I joined in once or twice to make sure they got exercise by chasing down a few stray balls. 

My parents also grew up going to Glorieta so it was fun to finally visit the place I had heard so much about from my family and Tate's. The scenery of Aspen trees and still lake surrounding the lodge were beautiful! Although we read many signs warning about black bears, we didn't see any...beary sad {sorry}. After our time in Santa Fe drew to a close, we headed back to Amarillo to get Robby {and us...but mostly Robby} to church on Sunday morning. It was fun to catch up with friends at church the next morning over blueberry donuts from an Amarillo breakfast staple, The Donut Stop. Later that week LaVon took me to the cute local boutiques.

After browsing through all the cute stores, I ended up blowing my allowance on "treasures" in Alley Cat- a fun antique {junk} store. A lady was closing her booth and sold me like 30 apothecary bottles for $10 and a set of goblets for only $3! Great find! Behind hanging out with the in-laws and seeing Tate's childhood vacation spot, Alley Cat was the highlight of the trip. Also exciting was the Birthday Club. LaVon and some of her fun friends go out to lunch for each other's birthdays. They call it "birthday club," very fitting. I happened to be there on birthday week and was invited to be an honorary birthday club member for the day! 

I had so much fun eating lunch with these awesome ladies and catching up on the local happenings. Also- I got hit on hard core by our waiter...while sitting next to my mother-in-law. Classic. Naturally we {LaVon and I} bragged to Tate when we got home. Speaking of getting picked up, later on in the week we drove to Lubbock to pick up Tate's grandmother and her mini schnauzer, Sassy. They came to visit for a few days so it was good to spend some quality time with them.

On our last day in town we ate lunch at the Amarillo Club and got to see the captivating Amarillo landscape from the top floor of a 30 story building. Yep. It's the tallest building from Dallas to Denver. Usually when we go to Amarillo we are only there for the weekend or a holiday, it was great to spend a week there hanging out, catching up and breathing in the pungent West Texas air. Well, actually I could do without the last part, but the rest was great! I am so thankful for wonderful in-laws I look forward to hanging out with! 


nooga & atl

Roooad trip! Mom, Dad, Tate and I continued our tour of the USA with a 13 hour road trip to:
Destination #2: Chattanooga, Tennessee 

Shawn is playing AA baseball for the Chattanooga Lookouts, and Lynley joined him in Tennessee after she was finished teaching in June. Considering we hadn't seen Shawn in 4 months, we were very excited to see him! And although we just saw Lynley weeks before, we were looking forward to seeing her too. The team was on a home stand so we got to see 5 games in 5 days.

We got there and pretty much went straight to the game. We made the most of our time there in the first few innings by purchasing enough Lookout paraphernalia to open our own store: 11 Lookout t-shirts, a few hats and a magnet. Go Lookouts, Outlooks, errr, whatever! We were now appropriately dressed to cheer on Shawn. We saw him pitch twice while we were there.  Despite my hesitation to distract and/or embarrass him, I couldn't contain my enthusiasm and blurted out, "WOO HOO, GOOOO SHAWN!!" at first sight of him running from the bullpen to the mound. It was all so exciting! Also exciting was the addicting kettle corn at the concession stand and the fact we had a personal usher, Paw {aka the sweetest grandpa-of-a-man ever}. Paw showed us to our seats every night. I guess arriving to the games with a player's wife has it's perks.

When not attending Lookout games, we could be found at the Imax theatre across from our hotel. We went twice. We also hit up {and got hit on} the Duck boat tour, best freshwater aquarium in the world and Ruby Falls.

We had a good time exploring Chatanooga with the Tollesons with plenty of time to still take daily naps at the hotel. At the end of our stay in the 'Nooga, it was time for Shawn to hit the road for his away games in Jackson, Tennessee. The rest of us were on the road again, and on the way to:

Destination #3: Atlanta, Georgia

As many of you know, my parents lived in Atlanta for almost two years. At the time, it was a complete shock they were moving, but they really enjoyed their time being in Georgia and Lynley and I loved visiting. Since it was only a few hours away from Chattanooga, we decided to visit the ATL for a few days. 

Considering Tate had never been before and no one Mom didn't want want to deprive him of a true Atlanta experience, we Mom had lots of places on the itinerary. Lynley and I quickly voted against Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthplace and the World of Coke {don't judge}; however, were overruled on the latter of the two. Don't get me wrong- both are great places you must see ONCE in your lifetime. However, we had seen our fair share in the past 2 years. Despite our party-pooper outlook on life, we had fun anyway moseying through the World of Coke and tasting the thousands of yummy and repulsive products alike in the Coke Tasting Room. Tate loved it! I lost him a few times on the self-guided tour, later to find him double-fisting a Vanilla Coke and a Beverly. Bottoms Up! 

Also on the itinerary- Georgia Aquarium. You know there was no way we could go to Atlanta with Tate {Enviro Cop}, and NOT see the "world's largest aquarium." So, we made it our first priority to visit Niko the beluga whale, pet a few sting rays, and watch the giant whale sharks swim by. No matter how many times you visit this place, it is still pretty amazing. All that sight seeing made us hungry, so we also made sure to grab some Atlanta grub while we were in the area.  

Two days only gave us time to eat at a few of our favorite places: Roasters, Fellini's Pizza, Flying Biscuit and Bacchanalia. As most of you know, Bacchanalia is where we had our celeb sighting. As Lynley and I were finishing dessert, I looked up to see two men walking by our table. The second man looked vaguely familiar. As I studied him very intently I realized...It was...that guy...from 7th Heaven...the Minister...Mary and Lucy's dad...REVEREND ERIC CAMDEN! I looked at Lynley to tell her, but couldn't get the words out fast enough. Luckily, she saw him too. As we made eye contact she burst out in laughter. Apparently I looked in awe, eyes wide and mouth open. In my defense, I was just worried that Annie {his TV wife} was home alone with their litter of children, unaware of his whereabouts. That AND it was my first celeb sighting ever. In addition to dining with TV stars,  we also ate dinner with normal people, catching up with good friend-shout out to Erin, Diana and Cole! It was a great week in the dirty South spending time with my homies. 

Up Next: Destination #4: Santa Fe, New Mexico



Tate and I have the summer off...I hope you will still be our friends after seething with jealousy. In all of our free time we have been traveling the country, 5 states in the last month. We've traveled from Texas to Hawaii back to Texas to Tennessee to Georgia back to Texas to New Mexico and once again back in the Lone Star State. There is so much to tell you! It seems fitting to start where our journey began, in the Garden Isle of Kauai, Hawaii...or as Tate says it in his charming West Texas accent, "Huh-why." Let's get started. 

Destination #1: Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai is all about chickens...wild chickens. They are everywhere on the island! On the side of the road, at the resort, by the pool, and certainly at the restaurants. I didn't mind them so much until one stepped on my foot while eating lunch. Gross. 

Vacation is all about good food and this trip did not disappoint. One night we ate at The Beach House, this great restaurant situated on the coast. We ate dinner, overlooking the Kauai sunset. We were seated in a cozy booth 15 minutes before the sunset with plenty of time to put in our order and snap a few pics before the sun set behind the palm trees. I ate ahi rolls and wasabi crusted Ono. Delicious. Even more impressive, Tate tried sashimi...on his own without any persuading! He is growing up so fast. 

One of our favorite excursions in Hawaii was the Catamaran sail and snorkel trip. We had taken this trip few times, but I always seem to forget just how much fun it is until I am actually on the boat. This trip in particular was especially exciting! First of all, everything is just more exciting with Tate, and I mean that. He is like a kid, seeing everything {even things he has seen before} with new eyes. He gets excited, on the verge of hyper, which is contagious. I think he gets this from his Dad, because my father-in-law is the same way at the mere mention of Six Flags. This makes every experience more exciting. Secondly, the ocean waves were GINORMOUS. I am not exaggerating when I say that a wave came over the entire boat and crashed into us on the back deck. Oh, so fun.

The snorkeling on the other hand was more fun for some than others. Dad: Liked it. Mom: Loved it. Tate: Loooooved it Me: uhhh not so much. Probably due to the fact I am scared of fish and the whole point of snorkeling is to get as close as possible to the biggest and brightest fish. I have snorkeled many times before, but since this was Tate's first time I wanted to share in the experience. What a sacrificial love we have, I know. As I nervously entered the water off the back of the boat, the hilarious skipper threw crackers in the water 5 inches in front of me. The thought of slimy fish gills touching my skin makes me want to gag. The fish were flapping all over each other, jumping out of the water. Ugh. I wanted so badly not to be "that girl." You know the stereotypical girly girl that gives us down-to-earth girls a bad name. I am so sorry all you down-to-earthies, but I reached my breaking point. As the fish tails were fluttering in my face, I screamed {through my snorkel} and death gripped the edge of the boat. My muffled screams of terror were encouragement for hilarious Skipper to continue throwing crackers. He yelled at me to "keep it moving." Random Man in our group turned his attention from the fish below to the hysterical girl gripping the boat. Our interaction went something like this:
Random Man {to Tate}: Why is she screaming?
Me: I don't like them touching me. 
Random Man {to random lady who didn't ask}: Ohhh, she doesn't like to be touched. 
Me: NO. {clearly annoyed} I don't like to be touched by the FISH. {dur.} 

I should mention despite all of this, Tate swam with a giant sea turtle and had a pretty awesome time. And we also saw some dolphins. So, I guess it was cool. 

Now earlier I mentioned vacations are all about the food. I should rephrase: MY vacations are all about the food. However, Tate's vacations are all about the golf. Tate and Dad played golf 4 days out of the trip, and I abandoned the pool to play for one. The courses were beautiful. 

One day we tubed the irrigation ditches on an old sugar plantation {or shhhhhugar plantation if you are a creepy man leading a helicopter tour}. We rode this truck through the retired plantation down to the river/irrigation ditch. We looked intense in our helmets, head lamps and gloves. The tour guides instructed us not to use the F words: frigid or freezing, while on the tour. It was bad for business. Instead, we should describe the water as: refreshing, invigorating, energizing. We floated on tubes through the frickin' invigorating water. It took us down Eddies {drop offs}and through pitch black tunnels that ran underground. It was an adventure! 

Jan had a Hawaiian birthday this year. We celebrated at Duke's, one of the local restaurants down the beach from our hotel. Below she can be seen with Hula Pie, the best dessert {after Roy's chocolate souffle} in all of Hawaii! We got two free ones, thank you. Mom said we only needed one, which was correct, but a true 25-year-old on a Dave Ramsey budget doesn't turn down free dessert anything. And I don't regret my decision. 

I think at this point you can appreciate or at lease realized my love for good food...especially on vacation. Well, we found a new, local restaurant called Kauai Pasta. It is wonderful! So wonderful in fact, that is where I am picking for my birthday dinner this year {December 18, btw}. This place is so great, we ate there twice in three days. Everything is locally grown on the island. Caprese salad, homemade macadamia nut pesto, greek pasta and pink peppercorn ice cream. Yum.

Well, report of destination #1 is coming to a close; however, I can't honestly recap our trip without mentioning our last "adventure." It was a long one. As we got to the airport, ready to board our flight home, we noticed the big emergency slide was inflated on the side of the plane. Apparently, the doors were not "cross-checked" before opening and the slide automatically inflated {or at least that is our consensus}. For your sake and mine, I am going to make a very long story short and tell it to you in list format: flight delayed, people mad, kicked out of airport because it was closing {who closes an airport}, stand outside for hours, rainstorm, long line, airport shuttle, shuttle full x 6, get on shuttle, go to the hotel we came from, no rooms in the inn, volunteer to share a room with parents, Tate on a cot, Mom, Dad and I share a King size bed, lay over in LA, home 2 days later. Don't worry, despite the chickens, fish, and emergency slide, it was a really great trip! In my opinion, you just can't beat a week in Hawaii! Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us tag along...again...I'm sure it won't be the last time. We love you! 

Coming soon: Destination #2: Chattanooga, Tennessee 


tye + katie

Congrats to the newly-weds, Katie and Tye Barrett! This post is so late, I am going to dedicate it in honor of their one month anniversary. It was {almost} one month ago they said their "I dos." And what a beautiful day it was! A day filled with poof balls, bow ties and lots of love {awww}. It was without a doubt the second best Barrett wedding I have ever been to. They got married in Waco, Texas at UBC on June 4th.

The ceremony was divine. It was held in the backside of the church in a small, eclectic room adorned with a tin walls and concrete floors. The dim candlelight, snug seating and acoustic guitar in the background contributed to the intimate atmosphere. This was a big day mainly due to the fact that my bro-in-law was getting married, but also because it was my first ever House Party duty. I took my job seriously- assisting guests with escort cards, stacking programs and intently taping cards to gifts. I was not going to mess this up. I also got to walk down the aisle before the VIPs- you know the bridesmaids and groomsmen and VVIP- the bride, duh.

As the wedding party walked down the aisle, Tye mouthed every word to the song being played and sung by his good friend. It was a full house with standing room only. Katie looked beautiful, of course, as she came down the aisle with her dad. Months before, she admitted she was dreading this moment due to everyone's eyes staring back at her. I told her to get over it. Not really. I told her it would be fine, which it was. She could have fooled everyone in the room, including me. She was gorgeous and looked at ease, like she was exactly where she was meant to be at that moment. The ceremony was perfect. Robby, my father-in-law, did such a great job! He conducted our ceremony and Tye and Katie's as well. He's a pro. Didn't even shed a tear, which is saying a lot for those sweet Barrett boys.

After the ceremony, the guests made their way through the lantern adorned walkway into the reception. Entering the sanctuary {aka party zone} was a "ohhh-ahhh" moment once your eyes feasted on the dozens of poof balls that seemed to be floating in mid-air effortlessly. Everything came together beautifully for Mr. and Mrs. Barrett's special day. People mingled, Sangria was poured and the hormone-free, free range chicken was served.

It was amazing how Tye and Katie's friends and family came together to ensure things were taken care of. Friends picked up the food for the reception, served ice cream, cleared off plates and lined up chairs after the ceremony to get ready for Sunday church. After thanking one friend for helping with everything, he smiled and said, "that's just what the Body does." He was referring to the body of Christ of course, and I thought it was a great reminder of how we are to take care of one another without expecting anything in return. We are one big family.

Speaking of family, that Robby Barrett can get down with his bad self. I finally got him on the dance floor, after much hesitation, and taught him a quick rendition of the Cupid Shuffle. After we partied for a few hours {and by party I mean danced to a few songs, cut the cake and scooped hundreds of ice cream balls in the kitchen} it was already time for the Mr. and Mrs. to make their exit to San Fran. Guests lined the parking lot with sparklers. We got the last hugs in and they were off to the West coast! And they lived happily ever after...well at least for {almost} a month.