Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Friends, Family, Flora and Fauna...

We are back in our desert home after a week-long visit with friends and family in our beloved Mississippi.

The weather was perfect -- the visits just lovely -- and the friendships revisited a blessing for us all!

Cate enjoyed relaxing in Grammie's backyard -- though her self-proclaimed FAVORITE place at Gram's house was her "pink bathroom, cause it is sooo cute."

Grammie threw a birthday party for the triplets so that they could see some of their family. Nana and Papa drove down from Tennessee, and we loved that my cousin Kaye drove my great Aunt Dot up from Jackson to see us and that my Daddy's half-brother came to hug on the kids. Garry was great with sweet Cate...reminding me so much of my daddy that I wanted to cry. And my Aunts came (Gram's sisters) and Wade's cousins....and so many dear ones! We had such a sweet time!!

We took a day and drove down to our favorite place outside of the Disney parks....Mississippi State University! Claire had a tour of the Veterinary School -- and loved every minute of it! (Except perhaps when the director told her she needed science, science and science to get in!)

We went to visit our friend Susan in the Athletic office and she had quite a treat for us! Coach Rockey Felker (an MSU former star quarterback, coach and awesome guy!) came to spend time with the kids!

And then....we were escorted into the office of NEW head football coach, Dan Mullen's office! The kids (little and big alike) were thrilled to meet Coach Mullen and to have our picture taken with him (Benjamin thinks this should be our Christmas card photo...always thinking ahead, that one!)

We also had visits with VP of Alumni, Dr. Jimmy Abraham, one of Wade's college mentors; ate at our college favorite, Little Dooey (and ran into a friend of Mommy's there!); toured the MSU Weight Room and met several football players there; and capped the day with a baseball game at Dudy Noble! It was a great day!! And Wade and I could not have helped our children understand our love for Mississippi State any better than the precious people who loved them there did!!

I love my desert home...but there is nothing quite like Mississippi in the Spring! The Azaleas were past their peak, but they were still beautiful. Cate was sweet enough to pose for me! But the Crimson Clover (we prefer to call it Maroon Clover!) lining the Mississippi highways was so breathtaking that I made Wade pull over and let me take some pictures!

The highlight of our trip was definitely seeing so many loved ones. I took a ton of pictures of visits with Miss Trish, my dear friend and mentor since college days met us at the airport for a brief visit; childhood friend, Robyn and her sweet kids; high school friend Markietha, and the list goes on! It was great!!
We capped the trip with an overnight visit to my best friend since college days (and maid of honor in our wedding) home in Meridian. Carol has a son about the triplets' age, a daughter Cate's age, and a husband who is a doctor! Everyone had someone to "play" with!! We had a blast and the kids were so precious together that they want to move closer to Rhet and Rylee!!

Cate and Rylee dressed up, swinging and sharing the secrets of their lives, no doubt! (Periodically they would just spontaneously start squealing at the tops of their lungs!!)

The Shrader and Hailey crew! Lots of love here!!

The big kids having fun together!!

Hugs were the order of the day for the littlest sweet friends!!
We had a blessed trip -- making memories that will keep us sustained for a long time! What a blessing!!


Kristin Sidaway said...

I always love springtime back at MSU. The campus is gorgeous. I hope you enjoyed a Shipley's donut for me while you were there.