{Fireworks, Freedom, & Love}

Happy 4th of July! (well... 12th of July now...)  I hope that you got some sweet time to celebrate our fine country, took in some beautiful fireworks, spent time by any body of water (pools included), enjoying the loveliness of a break in the middle of the week or a long vacation if you're like us, and spent time with people you love most.  The Newly Nabors certainly did!

My office closed early, (thanks work!), to let us enjoy the holidays which was great for me because I had a lot to accomplish before my sweet husband came home.  Mama Nabors always tells me not to bring something, but I don't want to be a bad guest and show up without anything the weekend she was hosting us and so many other family members.  I got my two workouts in with the trainer (even with the short week -- I'll pat myself on the back for that one!), and headed straight to the grocery store to get the ingredients for {Buckeye Balls} and Chocolate Covered Strawberries.  I got S'Mores stuff too since I've been craving them!  Someone posted a picture of some they had at their wedding, and I looked them up to see how hard they were to make, and surprisingly they weren't hard at all, even for the sometimes baking challenged like myself.  They were delicious and took no time at all to make.  I say that, and I didn't really have time to make chocolate the way they recommended, but used the chocolate you can melt in the microwave, and that worked pretty well too.  Next time, I'd like to be able to do the chocolate on the stove as per the recipe's recommendation.
{These, my fine friends, are Buckeye Balls.  Powdered sugar, peanut butter and chocolate nuggets of heaven.}

About the time I got done letting the Buckeye Balls get cold in the refrigerator and was finishing up my last few Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Ryan arrived home and was of course readyreadyready to go to the Lakehouse (as were the Border Collie Babies).  I negotiated with him that I could get ready if he would dip the Buckeye Balls in chocolate, I could get ready and we could leave sooner.  To my disbelief, he agreed and we were loaded up and ready to go in no time.

{The girls love loading into the car and going places, especially the Lakehouse!}

When we arrived that night, the cute little granddaughter from next door was back and she greeted us warmly and told us all about what she had been doing.  She's a talker for sure, and gosh is she adorable!
4th of July morning was alive and well at 7:00 am when the Border Collie Babies tried to get us up.  I took them out to the restroom and forced them to sleep for another hour, much to their discontent (I know, we're not up for Parents of the Year).  At 8 am, with the other pups being awake downstairs, I got up with the BCBs who could NOT contain their excitement and rushed eagerly outside and into the lake for a morning swim and then playtime with the other pups.

Family arrived throughout the morning, and we spent the day playing on the boat, floating, riding the new paddle board, jet skiing, and lots of eating and drinking.  It was heavenly.  Even Jetta and Oakley got in on the lake fun as people toted them around on the paddle board (I have a pic, but I promised I wouldn't post it), and as they swam from the shore to us to be held (especially Oakley Mae) in the water, and chased water from the water guns.  Oakley will swim out and just let you hold her while you stand in the water.  Jetta Belle will tolerate that, but only for so long.  Not going to lie, it's pretty adorable watching two border collies swimming towards you or just around.  One of Mama Nabors' dogs, Gabi, will swim too.  {Sidenote: When we were at the lake last weekend, Mama Nabors, Ryan and I went out on the jetskis and Gabi and Jetta swam out following us.  We had to coax them back the shore and make sure they stayed before we could leave!  Silly water dogs!}

The evening concluded with some beautiful fireworks!  At the lake there isn't one big show that anyone puts on, but rather EVERYONE puts on their own show for everyone else.  When I first experienced this at the lake, I was kind of disappointed that there's not some massive fireworks show, but I have come to love this new tradition of setting off our own fireworks, sitting by the lake and watching them explode over the water so much more than any fireworks show I've ever seen.  So simply beautiful and AWESOME.  Plus, it's extra cool to have them literally exploding over my head.  I tried to post a video, but I couldn't.  Check out my {Instagram} to see my videos from the 4th.  There's a video of my personal firework of choice, The Frog Prince.  Don't let it's silly, childish demeanor make you doubt it's awesomeness.  I stumbled onto this beaut 3 years ago.  #boom

Sweet husband and I both took off Friday and lounged at the lake (best decision ever), and made it a very long weekend for the two of us and the babies.
[Brag Moment:  Ryan and I must have passed some sort of virus around because Friday evening I was in rough shape.  My stomach hurt so badly, my body ached and I couldn't figure out what was going on.  My sweet, sweet husband stayed up with me and took care of me... above and beyond, y'all.  I know he's not one to boast about that sort of thing, but I am constantly reminded how blessed I am to have him as mine, and how much he must really love me to take such good care of me.]

Saturday, one of my sweet friends from middle school through college and beyond got married to her sweetheart in The Woodlands.  I had never been there before, but as we made the trip there and explored a little I was surprised by how cute it was really being in the woods.  Alison was in my wedding back in September, and I was honored to support her on and Austin on their special day.  She looked so beautiful and so happy.  They are both ordained ministers now (also super proud of her for accomplishing that!), and they will be joining us in the Big D!  So happy to have them to share life with.
Since getting married, weddings make me feel such different emotions.  I was happy for those getting married before, but after being up there, having said my vows to my husband, sharing communion together, proclaiming promises of commitment and faithfulness and to serve the LORD in front of so many, weddings remind me of that special day, the commitment Ryan and I made to one another and the LORD, and those radical feelings flood my heart all over again. LoveLoveLove!

{Husband & Wife!}

{So happy for these sweet Revs!}

{Wining, dining, dancing, and celebrating with this hunk.}

At one of Alison's showers earlier this summer, I met {Whitney}, a fellow Baylor Bear and border collie owner.  She is super fun and I found her really easy to talk to.  Alison asked us to hand out programs at her wedding so we got to hang out again then, and Ryan and I ended hanging out with her and her fiance, Lance, at the reception.  [Small World Alert:  Ryan and Lance somewhat recognized each other, both Baylor Bears this was to be expected, but it turns out they had been in a Business class group project together.  As they were shaking hands and introducing themselves they had that funny look in their eye like, "Do we know each other?"  Lance said, "I think we had a class together", to which Ryan exclaimed, "Yeah, Vitalicious?", and that connected all the dots.  They were a blast to hang out with, and since they're in D Town too, we want to meet up with them!  HOORAY for more couple friends!

{Me, the Bride, and Whitney}

The same day in sunny California, our sweet friends {Ben & Holly} were also tying the knot.  I have known Ben since kindergarten and we were bummed to not be able to celebrate with them.  We can't wait for them to get back home and to hear all about their gorgeous wedding and honeymoon.  We are so grateful for them and excited for them to begin this new phase of life as husband and wife.  It is such a fun change!

We headed back to the lake the next morning and lounged there all day until it was time to go home.  The result of the trip was a well rested Ryan and Taylor, worn out puppies, full hearts and stomachs, and lots of great fun and memories.  Can't wait to see what next year's 4th of July holds!

The aftermath of a successful weekend according to Jetta Belle.

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