Erika and Shay's 1st Annual Road Trip!

WAHOO!!

After reading Melanie Shankles' books and hearing about the summer road trips Melanie and her girlfriend, Gulley, would take their kids on, Shay and I decided we wanted to start this tradition!  We made plans last summer we would do it in 2018!  We locked in the date, rented a big ole van that would seat us all, and made some road trip selections.  Then we were OFF!

The kiddos and I were at Shay's house to pick them up at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning!  
#earlybirds

We made these cuties wait to eat breakfast until our first stop in West, Texas, at the Czech Bakery!  Our crew ordered everything from cinnamon rolls to sausage kolaches filled with jalapenos and cheese.  Absolutely delicious!


Just FYI, this is what our crew looked like MOST of the time!  haha!


We all gave this stop two thumbs up!  If you're driving from Dallas to Waco, Austin, or San Antonio...make time for this stop!


I must tell you this van was one of my favorite things about the trip.  We all loved being in one car together.  The kiddos had I-pads and played games or watched movies with their friends.  I'm not even kidding when I say the ride was actually pretty quiet.  I'm not gonna mention any names, but we talked to a girl friend on our way down and she was panicking about all eight kids in one car {who can blame her-ha!}.  But for real...they were great in the car!


I kept thinking about how great the littles were on this trip.  They hung in there and were troopers, but this picture reminds me...those big kiddos were amazing too.  They were so sweet with the littles the entire time!


Stop number two...Magnolia Market!  We arrived in Waco right before 9:00 a.m. so we let them run around, get rid of some energy, and enjoyed the outside before it got HOT!


They all loved running around for a bit.


Please note Madeley Shull.


Stop number three was a quick little walk from Magnolia...to the Dr. Pepper Museum.

The second floor had a wide variety of activities for kids.


We stayed for a while just letting them all explore.


So thankful to call this mama a friend.  Love adventures with her!



At this station, you had to do jumping jacks for a full minute in order to burn enough calories to receive a tiny cup of Dr. Pepper.


We walked around the other floors and saw the history of Dr. Pepper commericials, timelines of all the different sodas Dr. Pepper has created over the years, and more.



Then we walked across the courtyard to the newer exhibits along with the soda fountain.


Everyone enjoyed this ramp with cars!





This was my favorite spot in the exhibit...so cute!

All aboard this Dr. Pepper truck!

We ended this stop with a Dr. Pepper {R.C. Cola for me-I'm not a fan of Dr. Pepper} for each of us before walking back to the van.


Then it was just a quick drive over to Jake's Texas Tea House for lunch.


Thing 8 wasn't paying attention but I wanted you to see the cute decor.  :)

After we refueled on burgers, chicken, and salads...we were off again!


And we made it to our next stop...Inner Space Caverns.  This was probably everyone's favorite stop.  We signed up for the Adventure Tour that was an hour and fifteen minutes.  We were amazed at how quickly it got cooler once you began descending.  I might have been bragging about the temperature a little too much because the further down we got the more humid it got.  Shay and I were glistening by the end.  hahaha!  And it wasn't a cute glisten, I should add!  The big kiddos did great on this tour, but Shay and I got our workout in by carrying Madeley and Britt the majority of the tour.  Let me just tell you my legs were sore the next day!  haha!  All fun and games until we made it halfway and had to start walking back UP!  


RRRAAAAWWWRRRR!!

We ended the tour with a COLD DRINK...we were hot and tired!


But our FINAL DESTINATION was just a quick drive away...THE HYATT LOST PINES RESORT.  It's an amazing hill country resort located right outside Austin, home to golf, spa, eight different dining options, lots of family friendly activities, hiking, a cool pool, and much more.  I'd heard great things about this resort, but had never had a chance to go and being just about 3 1/2 to 4 hours from McKinney {even though we stopped a ton on the way there} we thought it was great road trip material for our first time.

This was the view from our room.

The pool had a volleyball net set up on one end, a big open space in the middle, and then a beach-zero-depth entry on the other end.

Can you spot Ebby Lee at the top of the slide?

This slide ended at the entrance to the lazy river.

I finished this book while we were there...The Girl You Left Behind.  This same author wrote Me Before You, and I've gotta be honest...I love a thriller, romance, and comedy but I'm not a big fan of sad books.  This one was WAY better than Me Before You, in my opinion.  Head to Amazon to read the recap, but it was a good one!

We had a quick dinner pool side and then...
at 7:30 every evening we enjoyed SMORES!

Near the smores' area there was a big Gaga pit set up and they played hard every evening before and after smores.  We called it a night early since we'd gotten up before the sun.  All in all, a PERFECT day one.  :)

Our day two began strong with animals in the lobby.

More fun in the sun, great food, and lots of trips around the lazy river.  There were lots of activities {I can't emphasize that enough!} to do with the kiddos...horse shoes, corn hole, ping pong, etc.

We enjoyed dinner at Shellers, definitely our favorite spot at the resort.  GET THE BRISKET!

And we ended the night with Coco.
#perfection

Day three was just as fabulous...pool, lunch, more pool, dinner, smores, and then this...
-lots of flipping with our big diaper showing.

And popcorn while we watched Finding Dory.

It was the best way to end our trip.  :)

Isn't it gorgeous?


I also finished this book while we were there...If You Only Knew.  It's Jamie's Ivey's book about how with Jesus she became free.  I've listened to her podcasts, but didn't really know much about her.  She has an amazing testimony and is using it to let His light shine.  


Our plan was to get up and head back on Friday morning, which is exactly what happened except in the night Ebby Lee woke up sick so she and I were up most of the night.  NNNOOOOO!!!!  I'm so thankful that happened on our last night and it was a quick drive home {all the other kiddos were AMAZING to her on the van ride home...seriously so sweet}.  We made it back around 1:00 p.m. and I got that girl in bed ASAP.  She started feeling better on Saturday and much, much better on Sunday.

Here are a few of my thoughts...

*If you can, grab your people and head out on a road trip ASAP!
*This trip doesn't have to be far from home...hit up interesting things near you or hours away-whatever you'd prefer.  Depending on stops and destinations you could make this as cheap or as expensive as you'd prefer.
*These stops are mostly places we'd never take the time to stop on a typical trip.  But all of our stops were FUN!  I'm so glad we did this!
*My mother-in-law was talking to me when we returned and I almost cried because she started talking about how one day those eight kiddos could be spread out all over the world, but they'll have these amazing memories of getting to spend days together each summer.  I hope they always remember.
*We really did make some awesome memories.  You should do it.  I promise you-you won't regret it!

Saturday afternoon...it was back to life, back to reality {and all the laundry}.  :)

TOTALLY WORTH IT!

We had a blast and it was a trip my kiddos will talk about all year long.  Slaughters are ready for our 2nd Annual Road Trip in 2019!  Pack your bags, Shull Crew!  And thanks for all the FUN!

XO

13 Years

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Shay and I are BACK!  We had a fabulous trip...more details about that tomorrow. Come back tomorrow to check out my recap!

Today, I'm celebrating THIRTEEN YEARS with this hunk of mine.  :)
Due to kiddos' sports and work meetings, Tab and I had a special date night on Saturday at one of our favorites in McKinney, Sugarbacon.  Love this guy so much!

Thirteen years ago today our families and friends were gathered in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to celebrate our marriage.

*3 Houses
*4 Kiddos
*A Variety of Job Changes
*Lots of Vacations
*And 13 Years' Worth of Amazing Memories

So thankful I get to do this life with this guy by my side.

Tab and I met through a mutual college friend my sophomore year and his junior year.  And to be honest, we both didn't think much about the other {it wasn't a romantic meeting-just a quick introduction}.  But two years later, he swung by the pool when some girlfriends and I were laying out.  We chatted and I invited he and some friends over to our apartment for dinner {he loves telling everyone I ASKED HIM OUT and I like to remind him I asked he AND HIS FRIENDS over...hahaha}.  We started talking after the dinner and the rest is history! 

And now I'm off to celebrate thirteen years the way most moms do...laundry, making breakfast, prepping dinner, and getting some work done!  ha!

Have a great day, Friends!
XO

And We're Off...

We have a FUN day planned around here.  My kiddos and I are picking up Shay and her crew bright and early this morning.  Then we're ROAD TRIPPIN'!

Last summer Shay and I discussed this idea and now that's it's finally happening I'm giddy with excitement.  :)

Have you read any of Melanie Shankle's books?  If you haven't, you should!  In those books, she talks about her and her BFF, Gulley, taking their kids on a summer road trip every year.  Along the way, they stop to do and see things, enjoy the final destination, and make some amazing memories throughout the trip.  I'm pretty sure that's where we got the idea.

We rented ourselves a big ole van and are setting off an a little adventure!


You need to follow along!  {slaughteren}

This summer I've been horrible at posting on Instagram, but I promise to share some pictures and hopefully a video or two.

I'm taking the rest of the week off from this little blog, but I'll see you back here on Monday!

Have a GREAT week!
XO

A Quick MO Trip

Whew!  I feel like this summer has been CRAZY!  We've had camps, traveled, spent lots of time at the pool, and have snuck in any lazy days we can.  It's been FABULOUS so far.  But this week is no different...summer for four more weeks!  Soaking it up!  ;)

If you missed my post on Saturday, you can see it here.  WHAT?!  A Saturday post?  I know.  I know.  CRAZY! 

Last week when I realized we had nothing on the agenda, we made a last minute trip to Missouri to visit the family.  The kiddos and I left around 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning and arrived around 4:00 p.m.  It was GREAT timing and the ride couldn't have been better.  Thanks to our DVD player and snacks.

On Tuesday my grandparents had us over for an afternoon of games before an early dinner.  My grandma is the BEST cook.  {I'm sure everyone thinks that about their own grandma, but as I was eating I thought...whew!  I've got a long way to go in my cooking skills in order for my grandchildren to think that about me!  haha!}

On this trip, Britt was ALL about the guys.  She warmed up super quickly to my grandpa, Boo {her grandpa/my step-dad} and my brother.

My sweet grandma :)  The window behind us made us look a little angelic.

Wednesday morning, my day began with a snowman mug, coffee, and a straw.  Lots of you guys asked me about this.  I always drink my coffee with a straw.  I think it helps with coffee stains on my teeth...not really sure it does BUT it makes me feel better. ;)

My parents got this go-kart last year and my kids are obsessed.  Boo took Britt for a super slow ride on Wednesday morning.  She was a big fan and then upset she couldn't keep riding.

My parents live in the country so these city kids of mine LOVE the wide open spaces!

Around lunchtime lots of family came over for a little get together and it happened to be my nephew's sixth birthday so we celebrated him too!

We all SWAM!

And then the kiddos had a little kickball/soccer game in the front yard.

Everyone left and the kiddos and my parents settled down to watch a movie so I went outside for a little exercise.  I should add the weather in MO last week was absolutely delightful while here in Texas it was crazy hot!

My parents had bought some little fireworks for the kids to enjoy while we were there.

And we ended the night with Big Brother!

Thursday-my parents took the big kiddos to have lunch and watch a movie before the birthday party.  Britt and I stayed back and I worked while she took a big nap.  Then we left to the join the fun!

They watched Hotel Translyvania 3 and were big fans!

Then we met up with friends and family for Paxton's birthday party!

Check this big girl out!

Cousins!

And more cousins :)

These two moms are some of my favorites!  And let's talk about cute baby Beau?  Don't you want to squeeze his cheeks?

We had a blast with these two and all our other Missouri family!

I'm so glad we made a last minute trip to visit!  We loved seeing them all!