Happy 4th of July!

Or not...if you hadn't guessed that by my lack of posting! 
Since we got our pool a couple weeks before 4th of July, I had high hopes that the deck would be finished and we could stay home and swim over the holiday weekend. However, the deck took foooooreeeevver and wasn't quite done by the weekend, but it was too late to make plans to go to the lake. Unfortunately, my uncle passed away a few days before the 4th as well, so our holiday was definitely overshadowed with grief. To top that off, Tylee had complaints of blisters in her mouth throughout the week and was bad enough to head to the ER on the 3rd of July. We left their with a diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease - which ended all hopes of doing anything fun over the 4th of July. Life can't always be grand, I guess. Thankfully, we live in the country and frequent Grand Lake so it doesn't have to be the 4th of July to shoot fireworks! Here's to next year! 

Happy Birthday, round-two!

I wasn't really sure how to do Tylee's birthday since she was dead-set on a slumber party with friends. I knew if our families came out while her friends were there, Tylee wouldn't pay attention to anyone. That would've made for some upset cousins! So a couple days after her birthday, we invited our immediate families out and had a simple little BBQ. Having two small parties was actually much easier than throwing one big one.

The picture I posted on IG for Tylee's birthday. Newborn, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, and 6! 
Homeade icecream, yum! 
The birthday girl in her sash. 
That wraps up the birthday shenanigans. It seemed to go on forever but that is just the way it should be! 


Happy 6th Birthday, my love!

Tylee went to her first sleepover last February and although I agree Kindergarten is a tad early to start these things, I was more than happy to let her go and have the experience. She loved it and has talked non-stop about the sleepover she was having for her birthday ever since. Yes, it's been a looooong 5 months. Well the day finally came and Tylee couldn't have been any more excited. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. 

Since we had just gotten back from San Antonio, I wasn't going to do anything major for her party. No custom invitations, no balloons, just a small goody-bag, a simple cake/cupcakes...guess where I found myself 3 hours before it started? Wal-mart - getting stuff to put together a fancy table for her party. Note to self - vacationing right before TJ and Tylee's birthday is a bad idea. Thankfully, it all came together just in time!

Tylee invited her 3 best friends from school and a friend of ours little girl that she is close with. I was nervous about the mix of girls but it went better than I could've ever imagined! I definitely learned that 3 is a crowd and we need to stick with groups of 4+ or only one other friend. Luckily, we had gotten our pool (post on that coming soon) just in time for the party and the girls couldn't wait to swim. That lasted all of 5 minutes before they moved on to pickle sickles and sunbathing in the driveway. 
Then presents...
and back to the pool! 

It was such a fun and memorable night for Tylee and definitely gave me a glimpse into my future! I had clothes, accessories, and shoes scattered from one end of my house to the other. They did make-up, played dress-up, braided hair, danced, and put on shows - with absolutely no fighting! I'm so proud of Tylee and the little girl she has become and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.


The Trollope's Take Texas, Day 4

Day 4 was the only day that we didn't have planned before we left and ended up being our best day! TJ was stressing me out before we left - not wanting to commit to something for our last day. I was so close to buying tickets to Six Flags and when he shot that idea down, I was not happy. We had talked about Schlitterbahn but I know he doesn't get overly excited about anything water-related so I was trying to find something that all 3 of us would enjoy. Not to mention, we are going to White Water later this summer with my family.
At 9pm on Thursday night, we still didn't have a plan for the next day. I am a planner so this was not okay with me. We both agreed that Six Flags was not an option, as Sea World is basically an Amusement Park with some animals. Been there, done that. I'd researched local pools in the area to find some sort of water park on a smaller scale with no such luck. We'd already been the to Zoo in Fort Worth so it was looking more and more like Schlitterbahn was our only option, which was fine by both Tylee and I. And once Daddy saw Tylee's excitement, it was fine by him as well.


Schlitterbahn sits on 80 acres and has numerous kiddie areas. I randomly picked what looked like the best one on the map and we walked and walked and walked some more. I think TJ and Tylee were both irritated with me but once we got to our destination, it was perfect. There was a zero-entry pool that connected to a lazy river and in the middle of the lazy river, there was a kiddie-are with lots of fun slides!

We basically paid a pretty penny to never ride a ride and play in the 6-and-under area all day but such is life. It was just hard to know what was appropriate for Tylee and the lines were too long to test rides beforehand. For instance, I'm familiar with all the rides at White Water so even though Tylee is too scared to ride anything, if she did decide she wanted too I know which ones are appropriate and won't scar her for life. That wasn't the case at Schlitterbahn so we just played it safe and stayed in the age-appropriate area.
Schlitterbahn is actually located in New Braunfels, TX which is 30-45 minutes outside of San Antonio. A guy I work with is from there and told us about some really neat family-friendly bars downtown. We visited the famous Gruene Hall, the oldest original dance hall in Texas, and went to a few neat places that have been featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel. It was a really neat area and the first place I saw in Texas where I could actually reside. City life is not for me!
Day 4 wrapped up our trip and brought our vacation to an end. We were all ready to get on the road the next morning but all really enjoyed San Antonio. It was somewhere fun to go within driving distance and had plenty to offer. This was our first official family vacation, minus some trips to Eureka Springs, the lake, and weekend trips to Kansas City and to say it was a success is an understatement! 5 full days trapped in a tiny car and motel room with the people I love most in the world - quite honestly could've went either way! I'm happy to report that it all went better than I could've ever imagined and I cannot wait to get on the road next year! Let the planning begin!
(Sorry for the Iphone pictures - I didn't take my DSLR to the water park.)


The Trollope's Take Texas, Day 3

Oh Sea World, the main reason we went to San Antonio. I was a little confused as to what Sea World really was - I read a lot but never got a good feel for what exactly we'd do. I looked at the show scheduled in advance but without quite knowing what to expect, it was overwhelming to plan our day. We just decided to wing it!
Our first stop was the dolphins, as we had a dolphin encounter scheduled first thing. We had a little time to kill so we went through the shark exhibit that lasted all of 5 minutes but was neat, none-the-less.
And then it was back to watch the dolphins. San Antonio doesn't have a true Dolphin Encounter but they did have a little extra deal that you could buy to pet and feed a dolphin. When I bought our tickets, I wasn't 100% sure Tylee would do it but wanted to give it a try. Well, over Memorial Day at the lake, Grandma Katy gave Tylee the Dolphin Tale movie and she quickly became obsessed. After watching the movie on repeat in the days leading up to our trip, all doubt was erased from my mind!  
She was so excited! It was such a neat experience and was even more amazing when the trainer told her that the dolphin she was petting was rescued and deemed not returnable to the ocean, just like Winter! Her mind was blown.
After the dolphins, we began exploring the park. The Sea Lion exhibit was closed but we saw some penguins, rode a couple of rides, played some carnival games, watched some guy doing tricks on skis, and had a meltdown over a blister. Thankfully, the meltdown was planned perfectly with the start of Azul - a dolphin, beluga whale, and acrobat show so we took a break to watch that and have some lunch.

I'm so happy we were able to see that because it ended up being the highlight of the day. (More on that in a minute.) It was so, so, so hot and I was very thankful that Tylee had chosen to wear her suit. TJ and I took a break in the shade while Tylee played in the Splash Park, then we took turns riding a few kiddie rides with her while we waited on One World, the killer whale show to start.  

When we walked in the arena, the whales were just swimming around and you could walk right down to them. It was unreal and I was so, so excited. I know the captivity of these whales is controversial but I didn't read much about it before we went because frankly, I wanted to go to Sea World and didn't want my opinion to be hindered in any way. Once the show started it was really, really neat but only lasted about 5 minutes before they turned on some strange music and all the trainers disappeared. The whales were kind of splashing, kind of swimming - it was just odd. A trainer finally made his way to the microphone and told us that the whales weren't cooperating, it was their show, and they respected the animals desire to perform. He said he was really sorry but we were all free to go. What?! That was the entire reason we went to Sea World! Along with the other 500 people in the audience that day!  

Thankfully, we had gotten to see a little bit of the show and to be honest, Tylee didn't even notice that it didn't last very long. It was pretty amazing just seeing them up close and personal and since the dolphins were such a success, Sea World still gets a thumbs up from the Trollope's.