Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Road Trip!!

Before I can really dive into the Tails of Telluride I have to go back...way back...to about 2004. 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, just kidding, but it was a really long time ago and Stacey and I were just a carefree couple without any diapers to change and no circus to ringlead.

Seriously, what in the heck did I do with all that free time???

Anywhoo, it was about that time that Stacey decided to start leading in Student Ministries at Watermark. I had been leading my small group girls for awhile and he had been serving for several years doing all sorts of stuff behind the scenes but he was ready to commit to a more serious role. 

Enter, Keith Shepelwich, the best friend he never knew he was missing and now couldn't live without. They started co-leading together and well, lets just say they were a match made in heaven. ;)  

God blessed both of us in the co-leader department beyond just someone to lead with. I got my beloved Karla and Stacey got Keith. He really dealt us a double portion of amazing friendships with these two and we are forever grateful!!

When Keith and Stacey are together they can't help but crack themselves up (and most of the people around them). They can take a simple facial expression or random comment and make jokes about it for hours, days...sometimes years. :)

The Sheps quickly became (bonus I just happen to adore Kristin too) some of our favorite peeps. And thankfully when you lead together for seven years and you are in community and have kids the same ages you're sort of linked forever. Even if one of you does decide to move to Waco. ;)
They started out with a group a rowdy sixth graders.
And they grew. 

Notice one baby Stacey III below - cue circus music.

And grew. Wyatt's in this picture - circus music getting louder.
And somewhere transformed from gangly junior high boys to AMAZING Godly men who are all off at college now. Taking their lights into a dark world.
I have never been as proud of Stacey as I was watching him in this role. God really did a transformation in him during his time in student ministries.

Their small group motto was KSITC - Kicking Satan In The Crotch. I know. :) But I'd say they helped each other do just that and had a great time in the process.

We were also blessed with some wonderful leadership, great kids and incredible families who we got to watch parent through all sorts of circumstances. I am confident that we are better equipped for our future with teenage boys because of it. Not prepared, just potentially a little less unprepared. :)

Sooooooo what does this stroll down memory lane and kicking Satan in the crotch have to do with a road trip to Telluride you ask?

I'll tell you. As a "thank you" for their time with their sons the aforementioned "amazing families" - who also blessed us with meals and diapers and a double stroller (that we had no idea we would also need for TWINS!) as our circus grew right along with their boys - gave Stacey and Keith a week at one of their homes in Telluride and a week in Possum Kingdom for their time with the small group.

I know!!
The date was set, vacation time accrued and we had a trip to Colorado in our sights for this summer.

After much debate, mostly by me, as Stacey was smart enough to realize that a 17 hour drive with two 20 month olds would not be a memory we wanted to make, we decided to leave the C circus at home. So Crew and Coyt stayed back in Dallas with Nannie, Big and Shelley (THANK YOU!!) and our tiny four pack was locked and loaded.

Up at dawn to hit the road.

Coffee? Check.

Oh yes, I drink coffee now, I hardly even recognize the former, less sophisticated, version of myself.

Driver? Check
Activity Binder? Games? Snacks? Movies? Mile Markers? Grab Bag gifts? Check. Check. Check. Check. Double Check.
I was worried about the long drive and probably over-prepared but I think in the end it was all worth it.

We saw lots of fun sights on the road.

Mountain Dew chap stick - perfect for our mountain adventure.
Road Trip Bingo. Pinterest of course made gathering these ideas and printables easy peasy.
Grab bag time!
Nannie sent lots of sussies for the road too, all hits of course.

Geography lesson. 

Pit stop. :)

More treats.
We finally arrived in "The Land of Enchantment".

Wyatt and I were representing the hometown with our Waco Ts.
Not sure if you can tell, but the boys were thrilled to be taking this photo, she said sarcastically. :)

Modeling clay (another Nannie genius).

Once we arrived in Albuquerque, our destination for the first leg of the trip, we grabbed dinner and found a spot for dessert. We ended up at I Scream Ice Cream, a super funky eclectic spot packed with kids toys and games and lots of sweet treats. Put it on the itinerary next time you're in "The Land Of Enchantment."
Then we stumbled upon this great park and did a little mountain climbing. The weather was already pretty amazing and we were feeling pretty high on life.

The boys had never seen the mountains before and couldn't believe that they would be even bigger in Colorado!!
Flip flops and my purse, I am SO outdoorsy!
Then we headed to the hotel for the night and went swimming. These two were so stinkin' excited to go swimming at the hotel we could have headed back to Waco the next morning and they would have thought it was the greatest trip ever.

Pure joy!! Love this sweet picture.

The next morning we were ready to start leg two of our road trip but not before a little sustenance at IHOP.

I had a MASSIVE headache that morning and may have ordered my breakfast with my sunglasses on like a total diva without even realizing it.

I think all this coffee drinking coolness has gone to my head.
Pictures of us on top of the mountains we'd be climbing of course. Foreshadowing.

We got a big pick me up when we met up with the other half of the Griswold gang for this leg of the trip and the Sheps joined us the rest of the way!!

Hello Colorful Colorado (I'd like to sign up for the committee that came up with "Colorful Colorado" they clearly need me).
I had warned Kristin and Keith that I wanted to stop at the state line for a quick picture but when we passed over from New Mexico to Colorado there wasn't any big sign so I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Oh well, bummer," right as this beauty caught our eye causing Stacey to inflict whiplash on everyone as he rather aggressively slammed on the breaks and pulled over.
Love that my man knows I needed my road trip pics!

The boys did a little snoozing as we wound through the mountains.
And we did some dancing for joy as we watched the temperatures do this!

It was overwhelming just trying to take in all the INCREDIBLE GOD BREATHED SCENERY everywhere we looked. Mountain Maker, you made it all and said it was good and it was!!

And as if the cool weather and scenery weren't enough to make you want to get on your knees with thankfulness we pulled up to this shack ;) our accommodations for the week graciously given to us via the generosity of others. WOWZA! You can see a small Stacey on our side of the condo.
The house was incredible. Just a few pictures that DO NOT do it one bit of justice.

The room we stayed in:
Our bathroom:
Living (it really is like Christmas all year long ;):
Boys "man cave":
This is the view from the house, and the views were equally amazing any direction you looked - Hello Va-Cay!!
And that was just the road trip, phew!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

First, the memory lane of Keith & Stacey was so great and put tears in my eyes since our girls were their boys "sister" group! And also laugh that those boys were soooo tiny in 6th grade! I still remember one D-town when we heard them in the room next to us chanting "men, men, men" in...snuggies. :)

Secondly, sounds like an awesome trip!! I can't believe how big Wyatt and Stacey are! Miss you!