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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cousin Camp 2016

We had such a blast at Cousin Camp last month. It was so fun to be able to host this year! As always my sister worked so hard and planned a fantastic few days packed full of fun!  And Mama got to come this time too!  Yay!!!

I am so grateful God chose this girl to be my sister.  And these kids just make my heart happy.



This year we did something a little different and did video recaps of each day. Garrison went through my phone and deleted all the videos last week because he thought we didn't need them anymore. Sometimes I wonder about hat boy. Haha. But I went back and recreated the videos...and he's not allowed on my phone anymore for the record. :)

Wednesday night we just hung out at the house and Garrett let the big boys shoot the bee bee gun.



Thursday we went hiking in the state park right behind our house. We had lunch in town and then went to an awesome little water park at a local dude ranch. You read that right.



Friday we went to the Alamo, had lunch and a boat tour of the Riverwalk and even made it to the Wildlife Park.



Saturday we went to a creek near the house, watched a fantastic thunderstorm from the house and then went to dinner.



Sunday we went to church, had lunch and said goodbye.


Another successful Cousin Camp in the books with lots of laughs and memories made!  So grateful for my family!

~Jewels*

Saturday, July 2, 2016

City Family Gone Country

Oh my gracious! I cannot believe it has been five months since my last post. Let me fill y'all in on the recent changes for the Thomas family.

We sold our house in Wylie that we had lived in for TEN years! I was offered an incredible opportunity to work from home and took that job at the end of March. My husband was offered a transfer to the San Antonio office and he is loving it there. All of these things allowed us to fulfill a lifelong dream...we made the move to Bandera and got a house on 5 acres with a breath taking view of the hill country. 

I have gotten so many questions about our recent decisions so let me just answer those here. 

1. Why?
You laugh but I have seriously gotten this question so many times. 
We have always loved the hill country. Most of our weekend getaways have been to Wimberly, San Marcos, Fredericksburg or Bandera. 
We have been wanting land for a long time and couldn't afford it in Wylie. 
We were oh so tired of the 1 1/2 hour commute (for 20 miles) to Dallas for work. 
We desperately wanted our boys to grow up in a small town with a more simple way of life. 
And why not? Why wait until our boys were grown and gone to fulfill one of our dreams? Why not let them experience this with us and see how possible it is to follow your dreams? 

2. How are y'all going to move away from your family?
When we got married 13 years ago I left my family and moved 3,000 miles away to start  a life with Garrett. It was hard. Very hard. And I knew it would be hard again this time, especially having kids now. But we truly felt like God was calling us out here. For what reason I still don't know. Dallas is less than 6 hours from here though and in the last  (les than) month of being here we have seen my dad once, mom twice, sister and family twice and my in-laws are here this weekend. And we are going back to Dallas in three weeks. We are blessed to have family who supports us, loves us and even helped encourage us to follow this dream.

3. How do you stand being so far away from everything?
I love it! We are 15 minutes outside of town. There is a higher priced grocery store in town, a few restaurants, shops, salons, etc. and I truly don't mind driving 40 minutes to HEB for my weekly grocery trip. After all, that's half of my old commute to get to work and that was five days a week! 

4. What about all your friends?
The good friends I have are friends for life and me living six hours away won't change that. And I know as soon as we get plugged into a church and baseball we will make even more friends. 

Speaking of church we tried a cowboy church...yes I said cowboy church last weekend and loved it. We tried two other churches before that and they were okay but finding a church like we are used to in a town this small is not an easy feat. We are excited about getting plugged in there.

I have so much more to say - some of my (hilarious) experiences about transitioning to life in the country and of course our amazing cousin camp but I will save those for separate posts.

I wanted to share some recent pictures with y'all.


Our first dinner out as Bandera residents


My parents came the weekend we moved in and helped A TON!
Beyond grateful for them.


Sweet moments


A little back porch sing-a-long session.  I had no idea these two knew SO many songs...from the 70's!  Haha!

Our sweet neighbors brought us flowers from their own garden to welcome us to the neighborhood.  I am loving this country hospitality!


The boys on one of our afternoon walks (before it got too hot to take afternoon walks).


We finally have a flag!  Love it!


Where we do all of our front porch sittin'!


My sister came in town and helped me decorate the house.  She did an AH-mazing job!  It's not all completely finished yet but I am loving the way it's coming along!  We got this entry table at a cute little store in Fredericksburg and it's one of my favorite pieces in the house!  It now holds a really cool record player - my husband's Father's Day gift.


Our dining table we got from the same store in Fredericksburg!  Love it!


Open concept and I love it.  The kitchen is most definitely my favorite part of the house with the chef's gas range/oven setup.


View from the back deck.  Who knows what we will have in the cross fenced section some day...goats, chickens, donkeys?! :)


I thank God every morning for allowing this to be my drive to Ethan's daycare.  I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy His beauty every single day like this!


Garrett installing back porch lights.  This guy works SO hard all day in the heat and has been coming home every night to work on something at the house.  So grateful!


Lovin' this final result!


A little checkers at Cracker Barrel


Right before our tour of the Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio.  It was 99% humidity in the caves so trust me when I say you do not want to see the after photo.  ;)




This is what my buggy (yes, I said buggy) looks like after a weekly trip to HEB.  Loaded down.  And this crazy kid is licking a bag of chips.  Whatever keeps him entertained! :)



I can't wait to share more of our adventures with y'all.  Ethan is loving his daycare and making lots of new friends there.  His favorite thing to do is some front porch sittin' and enjoying the "biew" (view).  Garrison goes to camp (for the first time ever) in a week.  We go to Dallas in three weeks and then Garrison will get to go to Houston with my sister and her family for a week.  Prayers are much appreciated as we continue to adjust to this new way of life! I am soaking up His truths!





~Jewels*