Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet Home Oklahoma - Part 2! :)

Again...long overdue. promised :)

Warning: This post might be a little long, BUT it's mostly pictures :)

Labor Day weekend I got to fly home again and spend time with my family and friends. I flew into Tulsa on Thursday, and waited for my mom to get off work so she could pick me up from the airport. We drove to Claremore and met up with my aunt and one of my sisters so we could go shopping for our 2nd annual Labor Day weekend family camping trip. I think we ended up buying far more food that was necessary...or that we even came close to eating...but hey, you win some, you lose some :)

After the shopping trip,  my sister was nice enough to let me borrow her truck so I could drive to Fayetteville. I had to go by my house and pick up my camping gear, and my red shoes I was supposed to wear in my friend Jesse's wedding on Friday. Thursday (September 1st) happened to be my good friend Clint's birthday, who also happens to share the same birthday as my favorite 4-legged man in the son, Koda, turned 3 that same day! Mom of the year - I had to leave him in California...turns out Pit Bulls aren't allowed on I didn't even get to celebrate it with him :( Clint just started grad school this year, and he had class until 10:00, so when he got out of class I took him out for a beer. Our friend/one of my roommates at home, Erin, ended up meeting up with us later for some fun out on the town :) It was so good to see them both. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my camera in the no pictures of that night :(

I went home way too late and crashed in the guest room at my house (Erin has been using my bedroom while I've been away)...then I got up way too early so I could run a couple errands in Fayetteville that morning and then drive to Wagoner, Oklahoma, to get ready for my friend Jesse's wedding. She got married at a children's camp that she had worked at over the summer. It was such a quaint little setting and it was perfect for their wedding :)
The view from the room we got ready in. It took every bit of self control I could muster up to not run outside and jump was such a perfect day for the lake!
 Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks to being in the wedding, is you can't exactly take pictures of the ceremony itself. So I don't have a lot of that...but I do have some of us getting ready for her big day :)
Me - pre-makeup, and during my feeble attempt to make my hair look decent...Let's just say I am not a hair all. Lucky for me, my good friend Sarah, who doubles as my hair stylist when she's home visiting from Florida, has already booked her reservation for my wedding in May. Thank God for her! :)
Jesse wanted us to all wear low side-ponytails. With a little help from Kristin (one of the other bridesmaids), here is the final product. I always feel the need to take pictures of myself when I'm all dressed up so I can send them to Walter. I almost never have makeup on in the evening when we talk on Skype, so I like to let him know I can still make myself look decent ;) Though he always tells me I'm beautiful...even through the horribly pixelated webcam when he can hardly even make out my eyes vs. my nose. I love him :)

Me and Kristin :) We were sorority sisters at one point, but I didn't actually meet her until the bachelorette party. She's a sweetheart. And she does much better at self-portraits than me...I cut people's heads off because I'm short and I think everyone else should be too...

Me and the Bride :)

The beautiful Bride :)
 The wedding was really nice, and though my feet hurt pretty bad from hiking through the woods for some pre-wedding photography and standing for the entire ceremony, the reception was a good time. I changed to some flat sandals and danced the night away :) I also got to see Deb, who was one of my mentors in college at NSU. I hadn't seen her in a while and it was really nice to catch up and talk about what's new in life. I admire and respect her so much. I failed to get a picture of us together, but I did manage to get one of her dancing...though I'd probably be in big trouble if I posted it on here :)

Anyways, after a little clean-up at the reception, I packed up my stuff and hit the road. I drove to Claremore and stayed the night with my sister, and we got up early Saturday and drove to Spavinaw to go to the lake for our family camping adventure. We got there just in time for breakfast, so we ate some campfire breakfast burritos and set up our tent before going out on the lake. My nephew, Jaxon, had his 8th birthday the same day as Jesse's wedding...I was pretty sad that I missed seeing him on his actual birthday, but I did give him his present that morning - Indiana Jones Legos XBOX 360 game :) He seemed pretty excited about it. I think he liked Cassie's birthday card for him even more was one of those that said something like "I know a pretty rad kid" on the front, and then you open it up and it had one of those mirrors that didn't really give a very good reflection...but he thought it was just the coolest thing ever :) After the breakfast/birthday festivities, we went out on the water.

My aunt brought my grandparents pontoon boat, and my other aunt and uncle have a much faster boat that they brought. The pontoon boat became known as the party boat for some reason...I'm not really sure why Jaxon named it that, but he did. The faster boat has been dubbed "the fast boat" since last summer...and it's the one that nearly killed me. Well...that, or Tubby (my uncle), nearly killed me. Anyway, we had a good time :)
Sarah and me on the party boat :)

Me and Cassie on the party boat :)

My beautiful sisters :) Just so you know, the bottle of Jager was not ours...but I don't mind that it's hiding my gut in the picture ;)

Me and Brooke swimming at the back of the party boat :)

The party boat would be incomplete without a floppy hat and a ridiculous brother-in-law, right?

Brooke fishin' off the side of the party boat with her Barbie fishing pole :)

Austin and Sam on the party boat :) I had to throw this picture in all my 25 years my cousin has never brought a girl home to meet the family. We like her :)
The fast boat...with el capitan, Gordon, a.k.a. Tubby...a.k.a. the one who tries to kill... ;)

Cassie, Brooke and me on the casualties :)

Cassie and me on the tube...
 Well...Cassie is on the tube. I'm pretty sure this was at the point when my entire lower body was dangling violently in the water, I was about to lose my swimsuit bottoms, and right after this Cassie pulled me back up to safety...if you want to call it that. I think me and Cassie took the trophy for hanging on the longest...but then our uncle decided that was unacceptable and decided extreme measures were going to be needed to get us off the dang tube. The next thing I know, we are literally FLYING through the air...Gordon actually said he saw the entire BOTTOM surface of the tube we got so high...Cassie and I both landed that one...when we landed, my body bent in a position that I am certain it was never intended to bend. And if you would for a moment, imagine a rock skipping across the water...well that was kinda like me and Cassie on the tube. We landed that jump/launch with style, but we went right back up in the air again, and I decided my back was more important than proving myself on the tube, so I let go before the next painful landing. Even still, I thnk me and Cassie dominated the tube. It was Gordon that could not be defeated. When I got back on the boat, Gordon says, "It looked like you kicked yourself in the back of the head!" Just in case you needed a visual of my body position during landing...

After he wore Cassie and I smooth out...we decided to break out the kneeboards.

Gordon on the kneeboard. He was doing cool stuff like 360s and what not. Show off. haha.

My second time to kneeboard in my entire life...the first being when I was about 12 years old. I was going slow and steady, but managed to move in and out of the wake a couple times.
 Kneeboarding was a good time, until I nose-dived into the water...both the nose of the kneeboard, and my nose. I inhaled a lot of water, and my arms were already limp from hanging on to the tube for so long...I decided to call it quits after my first crash on the kneedboard :)

Jaxon, the birthday boy, and Brooke on the fast boat. Tell me I don't have the most adorable niece and nephew...I dare you :)
 After a nice long day on the water, we decided to go back to camp and cook dinner. We had some campfire burgers and hot dogs. After that, once the sun started to set, we went back out on the lake. That time of night is my favorite time on the's cooling off outside, but the water is nice and warm, and it's so smooth it looks like glass. I just love it :)

Since I had a nice big meal to replinish my energy, I decided to try my hand at tubing again. Only this time, I decided to play it safe and go with the 4-year-old ;)

Me and Brooke on the tube :)
 I guess I was wrong in thinking I would be safe with the 4-year-old. Shorly after this picture, we achieved the impossible. We had taught little miss Brooklynn the signs for speed up, slow down, and "good" while tubing. We got to going kinda fast, so she sent the signal to slow down. Tubby slowed down quite a bit, then Brooklynn decided it was TOO she gave the thumbs up. Tubby took off, and thanks to all the waves he had created around us by taking us in circles, we decided our tube was a submarine instead. The entire tube, plus me and Brooke, went completely under water. I got my head above water as fast as I could and swam to Brooke as quickly as the waves would let me. Of course we both had life jackets on, but the force was still enough to keep her under there for quite a bit of time when you have no oxygen...She was scared, but she was a trooper...only cried for a few seconds and then she was okay :)

After that, we decided to call it a day and headed back to camp.

I had to get a sunset picture of peaceful does that water look? :)
 We hung around the campfire for a bit before going to bed. The next morning we woke up, and the weather was not so cooperative. It was pretty cool outside, crazy windy, and rained off and on througout the morning. We managed to get in some breakfast in between rain showers, but we spent most of the morning like this:

Cassie and Brooke in the tent, hiding from the rain. Jaxon and I were on the other side, hence the camera angle :)
Since it was a little too cold and windy for the lake, we decided to pack up camp and head home early. Of course as soon as we get the cars loaded up completely, the sun comes out and it warms was still pretty windy though, so the water would've still been really choppy anyhow. We all headed back to Claremore. We decided to have a family outing and go to a movie instead since our camping trip got cut short. A few family members ended up cutting out, but we still had a good time. My aunt Kathy, mom, Cassie and me went to see The Help. I had heard about it, and knew a lot of people were suddenly reading the book so they could go watch the movie, but I honestly didn't even know what it was about. It ended up being a pretty good flick though...long, but good. I enjoyed it, and I was glad I got to spend a little extra time with some of the family. After the movie, we had a late night dinner at Chili's, where my uncle Ronnie, Sarah and the kiddos joined us. That poor waitress probably hated us coming in with a party of eight 30 minutes before closing...but I promise, I tipped her well, despite a few errors on her part :)

Cassie and I went back to her house and slept. The next morning we got up and around, and we made use of some of that leftover food by having a family Labor Day chili lunch at my grandparents' house. I was glad I got to see them while I was in town too. After hanging out one last time, Sarah took me to the airport to catch my flight.

I was bummed that our camping trip got rained out, but all in all it was a good weekend. Sweet Home Oklahoma: Part 2 was still a success! :)

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