Friday, December 28, 2012

A Little Bit of Texas Comes to Arizona

This post is sort of a continuance of the Katie's Double Digit post. It happened all in the same weekend but I thought it would be best to break it up a little..... Enjoy.

The Nash family may have flown in for Katie's party but that was just one day of their short 3 day trip here. We had a few things planned in hopes of making their time here in Arizona fun. I'll let you be the judge....

Saturday, after the party we came back to the house. We didn't really do much because we were all a little wore out from such a late night the night before and an eventful day with the party. We watched a few episodes of the best show ever made, Duck Dynasty, and called it a night.

Sunday: We planned a trip to the Rim. We wanted to show these Texans what we consider our get away. Pure peace, for me anyway. It was so cold but we had a blast. We started out taking pictures off of the look out on our way to Woods Canyon Lake.....

All of us at the look out at the ranger station on the top of the Rim
Pretty girls

Wonder if Cayden's arm is numb yet from Mark's death grip?
Kennedy and Kim and a beautiful view

I love this girl right here!!!

Caden and Papa...One of my favorite shots

Best big brother ever!!!

Two peas in a pod

Love this boy and his smile

Mark and Kim stop for a sweet shot.

After we got our fill of living life on the edge....pun intended hahaha....we continued to make our way down to the lake. We unexpectedly stumbled upon some wildlife....

A pretty cow elk

We finally got to the lake and brrrrrr was it cold. Even in the sun we were freezing. Kennedy and Katie took advantage of my desire to catch every moment on camera so I could cherish the memories later and turned it into their own personal photo shoot. Here are some of my favorite shots of them and a few of the rest of us too. LOL

Welcome to the Kennedy and Katie show.......

See how cute we are!

Supa Stars!!

I really do love these crazy girls

A friendship that will last a lifetime!

Picture perfect

Be glad I only put a few on me there were TONS!

"Amber, look! I am a reindeer! Take a picture!" hahaha

Kennedy pointing at nothing and Katie fake laughing....Such nerds!

I told them to act normal....this is what I got.  :)

Crazy boys having fun

Cayden Nash just hanging out

Waylon and daddy being cute as usual

Colten and grandpa having a conversation...great buddies!

After visiting Woods Canyon Lake we drove a little ways down to Airplane Flats and visited the creek. I was very disappointed because the last time I was here the scenery was lush and green and beautiful. Today it was dead and gray and icky. We found a camp ground at Airplane Flats and had a picnic lunch. We had "a ham samich" and even though it was FREEZING cold we had fun! After lunch we let the kids just kinda roam around and I used my time to get even more pictures.....

Hooray for ham samiches!!

My little cutie patootie

My love and I

I love this picture! It just makes my heart smile!

Love these kids  <3

Just too adorable...He loves being out in the woods

Playing with his pal

Colten trying to be a super stealth ninja......

Kim, Kennedy, and I were laughing SO hard...

I really think that he thought he was invisible.... crazy kid.

Katie taking a stroll with her Papa

As we were driving out we had our eyes out for more wild life. We saw some mule deer (I was not fast enough with my camera to catch them) and we established that there are not moose in the woods of northern Arizona. ;-)  Today was a good day spent with some good friends. As we drove back down to the valley and I was relishing in the awesome feeling of having my friend back my mind couldn't help but wander to that place. You know, the sad place where reality starts coming into focus and reminds you of the sad goodbyes that are sure to come. I stuff it back down and focus my thoughts on the beautiful sounds of the little girls in the back seat singing and giggling and having a blast. My heart breaks a little more because I know that as hard as it will be for me it will be 10x as hard for them. :'(

When we finally got home Randy was excited to take Mark and Kim to what real Mexican food was. We loaded up and headed down to Elviras. After what seemed like forever we were finally seated and ordered our food. It was ok. Yeah, just ok. Being an Elviras fan for the last 15 years I was not super happy. The service sucked and the food was mediocre. Of all times we needed it to rock and it just didn't do that. We still had a great time of fellowship and ok food. After dinner we came home and crashed.

Katie and Mark MUST be related!

The Ca(y)dens

Yep, Mark is "special" haha

Monday: As much as I loved this day I hated it! The morning started off a little slow. Dad came over and made breakfast for us. We then planned to go to The Goldfield Ghost Town and play tourists. Really we just wanted to eat yummy ice cream lol. I was having trouble getting motivated but finally got around and got ready and we headed out. I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves.....

Checking things out

Right where they belong!

Cayden kicking it in front of the jail house

Doesn't he look enthused?

Hey look!!! They are not fighting....Just give it a minute! lol

The Nash Family

The Tipton Family

We did a little shopping and snapped those awesome pictures and then decided to head back toward the house for a bbq. On our way to the grocery store we had to swing by mom and dads so Kim could print their boarding passes. Here comes that dreadful feeling again. That lump in my throat and ache in my heart. Ugh! Lord give me strength to make it through the next 10 hours.

Mom and dad came over and dad cooked burgers and dogs. Afterwards the kids had a fun time decorating cookies and we just enjoyed being in each others company. 


The evening was coming to an end and I knew that Randy and Mark wanted to get some sleep before having to get up at Midnight to get ready to go to the airport. The Ca(y)den's were fighting like crazy, as usual, and I was happy when they passed out but it took away the distraction that was keeping me from dealing with what lay before me. I discussed with Kim before hand and decided that I would have Katie say her goodbyes before bed instead of waking her up to say goodbye at midnight. It was so hard to tell her she had to go to bed. It felt like I was robbing her of what little time she had left with her friend. I felt horrible! I was sad myself but tried as hard as I could not to show that to her because I didn't want to make it any harder.

I kept telling her it was time to go to bed and she kept begging for "just a little longer" and I would cave in and grant her what she wanted. Finally it was almost 11pm and I couldn't put it off any longer. I looked up at Kim and knew by the tears already forming in her eyes that she too knew it was time. Katie gave Kennedy a BIG hug and said her goodbyes and as expected, broke down. Turning to Kim she did the same but seemed to hold on just a little longer. I know goodbyes were exchanged along with other words but by this time my eyes were filling up and I was struggling to breathe, all while fighting to keep it together for my daughter, that I didn't catch it all. I do remember Katie stepping back and standing there crying and me glancing over at Kim who had the look of helpless agony on her face. The words she spoke next broke me. She said to Katie, "I am so sorry!" and hugged her tight once more. I am not sure why that sticks out for me. Maybe it way the hurt in her voice or the helplessness of knowing there was nothing she could do to ease the pain of my little girl that I know she was feeling.

That moment, that very moment, solidified what I have known for a while now. This family, these four amazingly wonderful, kind hearted, crazy, down to earth people who are so similar to my own family its scary sometimes did not just come into our lives by chance. It was something much more then that. And they will not just be normal friends of ours. They have become family. It was so easy to see that, as I watch this woman who has become a very important and special person in my own life, hug my daughter with the same amount of love as if Katie were her own. I could very clearly see that Kim was not only hurting for herself and Kennedy but for Katie and I as well. I know because I felt the same way.

I took Katie to her room and calmed her down as much as I could. We hugged and prayed and cried together and then hugged again as I tucked her in and promised that things would get better soon. Kennedy had fallen asleep too and Kim and I just hung out watching some kind of nonsense on tv while keeping an eye on the minutes ticking off the clock. Again, the time came to say goodbye and I was pretty proud of myself for holding it together. I actually waited until they were in the car and pulling away before I lost it. I don't remember falling asleep but I did. Randy came in and crawled in bed. He didn't say much just held me tight and let me get it out. I love him for that.

Even with all the sadness at the end, I had an amazing weekend and I can't wait until we can see them again. We have so much fun together and I know there will be many more memories made together. I hold on to that hope and thank God for bringing these Texans into our lives. Life is definitely richer when you have people like them in it.

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