Christmas & NYE 2016 + Texas road trip

Eastridge lights We drove (25+ hours one way) to and from El Paso, TX to spend our Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family this year. It was wonderful seeing all the sights (beautiful West Texas back roads, city lights of El Paso, Mission Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park area, etc.), spending time with family, meeting our adorable nephew (born 12/14/16), and enjoying the wonderful holiday season! As we drove to Texas, I made short little posts along the way and here they are:

  • Tackling a drive of 1,690 mi, 1 day, 1 hour, 3 minutes in 2 days
    Day 1, road trip report: Michigan – beautiful, snow-covered fields, very…very…very cold, saw a sign for a maple store that was “closed for the season”, added air to tires
  • Day 1, road trip report: Illinois – Springfield/home of Abraham Lincoln (made me think of the “drinkin with Lincoln” glass I bought Ryan for his birthday last year), moved on from regular Christmas music to punk Christmas music…to Jack White…to early 90’s rock (Ryan wouldn’t car karaoke to Mr. Big with me 😏)
  • Day 1, road trip report: Missouri – passed St. Louis gateway arch (we’ve passed it many times to/from TX, one day we’ll stop & visit), Eureka! (Missouri, that is 😉), music changed to Indie & then to The Strokes, Melody is still marathon-sleeping in the back seat & doing a great job so far, still see some light dusting of snow on the ground here & there
  • Day 1, road trip report: Oklahoma – just crossed the state line, can’t help but think of the musical (which, by the way, I love)…O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A!!!, booked a room for the night in Oklahoma City & in just under 3 hours we’ll be there, the sunset was lovely, my butt is numb from sitting in this car for the last 12 hours…that is all…
  • Day 2, road trip report: Texas – “the stars at night are big & bright…” (👏👏👏👏), my home state, born & raised & lived here the first 26 years of my life, can’t wait to meet my nephew (1 week old today) & see family & be back in my college town (also where Ryan & I met & were married)…& then on to El Paso (to Ryan’s Mom & his childhood home 💗), enjoying this West Texas scenery (it’s been a while, West Texas…feeling all the feels), I really love the word “y’all”, Shiner Bock beer, tacos, & TexMex!
  • Day 2, road trip report: New Mexico – It’s dark now & I can’t see much so I’ll just report on my day… It’s been a great winter solstice; watched a gorgeous sunrise & sunset, met my 1 week old nephew, got to hug my brother & sister-in-law, saw some beautiful West Texas scenery, & now headed for my mother-in-law’s home. This is not a Holiday Inn Express ad, just the photo I took of the sunrise leaving our hotel this morning. #wintersolstice #wintersolstice2016
  • Day 2, road trip report: Texas (again, with New Mexico in between) – It’s always so nice to come home; the smells, the sights, the sounds…so familiar & like a dream. You can smell the rain & desert sage; Ryan keeps saying how much he loves the smell & I keep thinking about how much I love him. Nothing but love. 69 miles to El Paso & then we’re staying put for a week!

As we drove into Lubbock, I of course had to make a West Texas/Panhandle playlist and I still can’t stop laughing at this song.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and I wish you all a very happy New Year. You can view more photos from this last month, including our holiday road trip, here! Eastridge lights city lights San Jacinto Plaza Socorro Mission, Mission Trail US-180 E/US-62 E NYE 2016 NYE 2016 NYE 2016 super foggy morning drive home, holiday road trip coming to an end #roadtrip

by Valerie | 01.03.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

baby love

Graham Clinton Talbott

Welcome to the world, Graham Clinton Talbott; my 6lb, 10oz, 21 inch-long nephew was born on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. Congrats, Clint & Kayla – we are so happy for you and so excited to be his aunt and uncle!!!

by Valerie | 12.15.16 | For Funsies | No Comments »

Happy 45th!

Happy 45th wedding anniversary to my parents today! 💗

I’m wishing my parents a very happy 45th wedding anniversary today!!!

by Valerie | 11.26.16 | For Funsies | No Comments »

staycation

Kuhnhenn

After having both been traveling separately for work, it was nice for Ryan and I to be home together last week and enjoy a much-needed, relaxing staycation. We filled our week with a nice visit with family in Frankenmuth, a visit to Cranbrook to see the Hippie Modernism show (which we loved!), several movies at the theater, and I was able to add several more Michigan brewery visits to my ever-growing list – which currently includes the following, in alphabetical order:

  • Ann Arbor Brewing Co/Corner Brewing
  • Arcadia Ales
  • Bells
  • Blue Tractor
  • Brewery Vivant
  • Dark Horse
  • Dragonmead
  • Founders
  • Frankenmuth Brewery
  • Glasshouse Brewing
  • Gonzo’s Big Dog
  • Grizzly Peak
  • Jolly Pumpkin
  • Kuhnhenn Brewing Co
  • Latitude 42
  • Mitten Brewing Co
  • North Peak
  • Oddside Ales
  • Perrin Brewing Co
  • Right Brain
  • Salt Springs Brewery
  • Tandem Cider
  • Wolverine Brewing Co

You can view photos from our staycation here.

Dragonmead

Cranbrook Hippie Modernism

by Valerie | 08.19.16 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

family fun

4th

We enjoyed a fun 4th of July week with my parents who drove up to visit us from Texas this year; we visited the American Museum of Magic and Dark Horse Brewing Co in Marshall, MI, had dinner at Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo (my mouth is still watering over their fried green tomatoes…not to mention the delicious beer), saw the Beatles exhibit at Henry Ford Museum, and Ryan cooked up some delicious eats like waffles with homemade Michigan blueberry compote for breakfast and fajitas for dinner. We’re having fun with this new-to-us photo app, Prisma, which Ryan used to edit some of our photos from the 4th; you can view more photos from our time with my family here.

4th

Henry Ford Museum - Beatles Exhibit

if it fits it sits

I have been enjoying listening to these song remakes lately, like 99 problems and No Diggity and Jolene (there are some fun ones listed here too); Johnny Cash can do no wrong. We’ve been taking lots of long walks all around town and throughout the local parks – the summer is flying by, but is definitely lovely here in Michigan!

Summertime in A2

by Valerie | 07.17.16 | Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day!

Wishing you all a (belated) happy Father’s Day; celebrating those dads who are still with us and remembering those who are no longer here – love to all of our dads!

Family7

Molloy Family Photos

Molloy Family Photos

by Valerie | 06.20.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

Holiday weekend

It's National Wine Day & I "might could" enjoy a glass of delicious, dry rosé from the south of France #nationalwineday #texasalphabet

Yesterday was National Wine Day; in honor of the day, I “might could” enjoy a glass of delicious, dry rosé from the South of France. #nationalwineday #texasalphabet

And on our kitchen table this week are these beautiful white lilacs from our backyard and some pretty peonies inside a vintage, blue Ball jar and an old extract bottle – one of my favorite times of the year for fresh flowers!

fleurs

I’m so looking forward to the long, holiday weekend ahead! Looking back at recent Memorial Day weekends of mine, I wanted to share this; this Friday, May 27th would have been my Granddaddy’s birthday and I am grateful to have such wonderful memories of him.

For some Memorial Day inspiration/fun, check out the following links:

by Valerie | 05.26.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

Hello #westelm

It’s that magical time of year in A2 where the University has commenced with commencement, it’s really starting to feel like summer, and we planted most of our garden over the weekend too! We filled our pots and garden boxes with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and herbs; I even treated myself to a beautiful yellow rose bush (Yellow Brick Road), which I hope will do well – I couldn’t help but think of my Granddaddy and smile when I saw the roses as he used to always grow them at his house. Our lilac bushes are blooming now too, which is always a treat for both the eyes and the nose; they smell fantastic! We enjoyed attending our neighbor’s Derby party on Saturday too; it was complete with delicious mint juleps and fantastic hats. And how about this gorgeous combination of purple parrot tulips, white freesia, and white lilacs – swoon… I made this photo collage for Mother’s Day with photos of my beautiful Mom. Bring on the gingham, patios, and sunshine!

The most gorgeous parrot tulip, freesia, lilac combo I've ever seen!

Bring on the gingham, patios, & sunshine! ☀️

by Valerie | 05.09.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

National Siblings Day

National Siblings Day

In honor of National Siblings Day yesterday, I created this photo collage; I love my little brother!

by Valerie | 04.11.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

I’ll be home for Christmas

Christmas Eve 2015

We traveled back to my hometown (Gatesville, TX) for Christmas this year and loved spending it with family at my parents house; my Aunt Connie and Uncle Phil came down from Abilene and my brother and sister-in-law drove down from Lubbock too. We had so much fun seeing everyone, celebrating Clint’s birthday on Christmas Eve, eating lots of delicious food, playing games, and just relaxing. If you’d like to see more photos from our trip, you can view them here.

Christmas 2015

Couldn't have found a better birthday gift for my little brother...

Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas time in Gatesville, TX

by Valerie | 01.01.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Travel | No Comments »

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