So, remember us? We used to do fun stuff and hang out with fun people and every once in a while I took fun photos of it all. Well, I have finally emerged from a crazy work haze that has overwhelmed all of our lives for the past eight weeks or so. And so now it is time to rewind and catch it all up.
So, Ruby. The last trip to Texas was over Memorial Day weekend and it was awesome because it was not yet blisteringly hot. But, with the girls in school it would only be a three day trip and SFO-AUS is a long way to go for such a short vacation. Ruby's mom and I decided Fourth of July would be a great idea because they could make the trip longer (a week!). Basically, I lured them here with promises of unlimited pool time and cold drinks. It was a great week. An AWESOME week. A house full of some of our very favorite people in the entire world.
My recollections are not as sharp all of these weeks later, so the photos will have to suffice for a chronology of what we did. There was a lot of swimming, a lot of movie watching, a lot of art projects, a lot of imagination, and a whole lot of love. It was really remarkable to see how Norah and Ruby genuinely love each other--even when they spend many months apart at a time and lead very different lives. Their personalities are definitely different--and some of their likes and dislikes are as well--but they are fundamentally the very best of friends and I can only hope they will stay that way "from now until the end of time." Ruby is Norah's go-to in any situation. We also got some much needed Ella time. A baby no more Ella is full of personality and both Norah and Louis were quickly enamored by her. For weeks after their visit Lou would ask when Ella was coming back.
Ruby's mom came bearing matching pajamas (I think they have at least five sets by this point). This photo is not an optical illusion. Norah is taller than average for girls her age. Ruby is a super model.
Norah asked to keep up her Happy Birthday Norah sign. While I was picking the girls up from the airport she added a sign that said, "and Ruby." (Ruby had not yet turned six but would immediately after the trip.)
Lots and lots of daytime swimming. The raft was originally purchased to haul around a cooler of beer. Four kids fit better.
There was a LOT of night swimming as well. Often sans swim suits.
Not only did Ruby's mom bring the girls matching pajamas she brought the same for the American Girls dolls as well. Quadruplets!
She also had Daisy uniforms custom made for the dolls (with the girls' actual troop numbers). Amazing!
They asked to have their photo taken while pretend sleeping.
Ruby's ipad has way better games and way more Barbie movies.
One of the first mornings, the girls asked Ruby's mom to straighten their hair. Norah got stuck with a mom who can teach her a lot of amazing things, but how to straighten hair is just simply never going to be one of them. But look how gorgeous they look!
We walked to our neighborhood park and it was oppressively hot.
Happiest kid on the block for sure.
See how sweaty they are? Still with fabulous hair.
The next neighborhood over has a traditional fireworks show on the third of July. You can see the show remarkably well from our street, so our neighbors two doors down have an annual block party/pot-luck event. Such a celebration was cause for matching maxi dresses.
There was bribery involved in getting this shot.
Ella's smile is genuine. Lou's is not.
They took a walk with BVZ and ended up on top of the mailboxes. I did not ask.
The girls LOVE to wear each other's clothes. At night you do not have to wear a rash guard and you can wear the suit from your BFF's suitcase.
Norah had been pretty sick the week before and still had a gross cough. Ruby and Ella were great sports about letting Norah take it easy when she needed to. There were canvases left over from the birthday party which made for fun mornings.
The girls got to do big girl activities like seeing a movie at the Alamo Draft House. They got gluten free pizza, not beer.
This is how they walked around the grocery store after the movie. So sweet and genuine.
There was a lot more swimming, including "cocktails" in the pool and trips to Target.
We went to a first birthday party. He was way more into it than it looks. (I am shocked by the number of matching outfits they have by this point).
For weeks before the trip we talked about having a joint birthday celebration at Norah's favorite restaurant, Bellini's. It was a big hit.
After dinner and drunk on gluten free birthday desserts the girls begged to jump into the pool in their clothes. It is hard to say no to these two.
These two were my breakfast helpers.
They made a lot of obstacle courses.
No trip to Texas is complete without visiting the mall.
The best part of the mall is Claire's, where you can get two sweet girls a "best friends" necklace. When the two parts get close they snap together (magnets). Norah wears hers all the time, especially when she's missing "my best girl."
The focus of these visits are obviously the big girls but I cannot underestimate how much fun Ella brought to the table. She is a crack up.
There were science experiments performed in the back yard.
Everyone thought it was hilarious when Ella borrowed Lou's swim suit.
The girls made a restaurant complete with hand drawn menus.
And created special concoctions that involved an entire jar of cinnamon.
We finally got out of the house for a trip to the children's museum.
Which wore them all out something fierce.
That last night poor Ruby ended up with an ear infection (too much swimming) and a trip to urgent care was required. Ella was happy to help make taco dinner in an old ballet costume.
We are so grateful to have best friends who will travel so far to see us. One of these trips we will venture beyond the pool and Target. We cannot wait until they come back.