To Grandma's House We Go!

After a super busy day, we loaded up and were on the road by 4am the day after Christmas.  We were through Lake Charles by sunrise!  A quick stop for breakfast in Lafayette and we were eating these beauties in Alabama at lunch.  That's a new record. 

Wintzell's Oyster House Chargrilled Sampler
On a side note. Eli's new "kitty" he got for Christmas rode all the way safely in the best spot!

Once we got there, the boys hit the ground running exploring and catching up with their Gamma & Big Poppa.  And Mommy even got some snuggle time too.

One thing about this stop on the vacation, the boys were wild at night!  And we all shared a "family room".  The mattress on the floor and a bed.  We tried every combination imaginable and they all equaled NO SLEEP.  They are still cute though :-)

Aunt Lauren got a BB gun for Christmas the boys were excited to get their first shooting lesson from Big Poppa and Daddy.  

And one of the best parts of visiting is cousin time!

We were blessed by a great Christmas "morning".  The kiddos had such a good time opening their presents.  

Christmas tree picture!

Emmaline not too sure about these loud and crazy boys!

helping bring in the gifts 
Lots of hugs, jokes and thank you's for our special gifts.

Loved their cool boots from Emmaline

Emmaline like kitty too

Robot ABC's!

Emmaline on her ladybug

Justin and his long awaited Open Road Hat

Pretty handsome with the fox pj's
And the annual Gingerbread House party was a blast I hear.  Well, chaos but fun memories!   We came in from a little adult time just in time to catch the end. 

look at those hands!

not happy it fell apart again!

We certainly were fed good.  Big Poppa's fried venison, Grandma's rib roast, shrimp and grits.  Whew.  And the boys loved their trip to the donut shop with their grandparents.

donut time! Wait for us Poppa

Carving the annual prime rib 

eating it as fast as his daddy could cut it!
This year we had a family outing to the bowling alley.  Success!  Bowling with 3 under 4 was quite the challenge when waiting was involved.  They had a great arcade and the boys loved spending time playing with their Big Poppa.  Justin and I got in a heated battle for the winner.  He beat me by 1 pin!  I think this will become a great new tradition for our visit.  The bowling.. not me losing.  I'm after you Riley.

On Sunday, we loaded up to head north to Gantt, Alabama to visit the boys Great Grandparents.  We were so blessed to be able to go to their sweet little church.  Love the small town Alabama street and the boys thought it was the best to be able to walk to church from their house.

We don't always get the chance to participate in this Christmas celebration at Nana and Papa's.  So happy that it worked out to see Justin's Aunt and Uncle from Arkansas and his aunt and cousin from Pensacola.  The "dirty Santa" gift exchange was fun.  So fun in fact, the boys slept through the whole thing!  A combination of sleepless nights and Christmas craziness.  Out.  My kids are not the kind to just fall asleep anywhere.  Poor littles.  Christmas can be tough!

Riley gift exchange

serious work preparing the #'s and the rules

Justin and his Nana 
Papa and his birdhouse the boys picked out

the very popular dog bed 


and stolen again!  Lauren is the winner

our gift to Nana

Strategy.  It's all about the strategy

Papa ended up with our ear wax vacuum!

testing it out 

He's awake and helping Papa 

Now I show you this next picture to explain why Beckett is melting down in every family picture that follows!  

Just so tired
But it was time to go and we could not let an opportunity pass us by to have family pictures.  We had to do the deed and wake up Beckett.  You can tell he was clearly not happy about it.  But when you are only together once every few years, its a blessing to get pictures either way!

All the girls and their gifts from Nana 
sweet Nana and Papa 

Emmaline and Lauren with Nana and Papa - Uncle Preston was working 

His precious cousin Deidre

An attempt for the boys to get a picture with Nana and Papa
the whole gang!  Self timer pic.  

One last attempt to take a picture of the boys with their cousin Emmaline before we headed north to start the Roberts Family Christmas.

My personal favorite!  I love Emmaline's reaction to the boys antics

The best we got!  Beckett and Eli -4 , Emmaline - 2

And with that we wrapped up the Riley leg of our 2013 Christmas vacation.  Justin and I agreed as we drove away, it was the best one yet! 

The Riley's 

The Riley FamilyComment