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Trip to Missouri

Plans for the big, much anticipated Thornhill Reunion were compromised at the last minute due to some unforeseen & unavoidable circumstances, but we headed out to Missouri nonetheless & still had a great time. We drove up on Friday, June 25, with our books on tape: The Hobbit (although it was so painful to listen to, we couldn't finish it) & Adventures in Odyssey (thanks Bekah!). We met David's mom & Brett upon arrival for dinner (they took a road trip out from California for the weekend) & stayed at David's Aunt & Uncle's house. We were still able to have a mini family reunion on Saturday, which of course included games, food & catching up.  
On Sunday, we spent some time with David's Aunt & Uncle on his Mom's side of the family & of course played some more games =)  I found out that I am not the weakest link - good to know.  We headed out that evening in a fantastic thunderstorm for Branson, where we stayed the next two nights with David's mom & sister.  We decided that Branson is kind of the Hillbilly version of Las Vegas & it was an interesting drive down the "strip" to our hotel on the way in (which was thankfully off the main road).  We did not take part in any of Branson's popular shows, but instead spent the following day at Silver Dollar City - a Knott's Berry Farm type theme park.  The weather was perfect & it wasn't too crowded.  I think the highlight for me was the folk singers that we sat & listened to - they did a Beatles medley as if the Beatles had been from the Ozarks. It was pretty entertaining & they definitely had me tapping my foot & singing along (even though I think I was embarrassing my family ;)  Also, it is pretty safe to say I will avoid the tea cups next time.  
Oh yea, and we had an awesome screened in porch at our hotel, so we sat out in the evenings & played games.  The weekend came to a close too soon though & we headed for home on Tuesday morning.
While we said goodbye to Missouri on Tuesday, we didn't have to say bye to Mom & Brett until the following Saturday morning!  They headed down to Dallas on Wednesday & stayed with us for three nights.  I think we mostly served to allow them to rest up before the long trek back to California (before Brett's next trip to Europe!), but we had a great time with them while they were here.  We got to visit with David's Aunt & Uncle who live here in Plano, we played some games (thanks again for Pictionary!!) & they visited me at work and took me to lunch at Chick-fil-a (I can't lie..it's becoming a new favorite of mine)!  
It was so good to see you guys!


lazy summer

Summer = no classes! It is a much needed break for David, although I know he would tell you he is already getting bored. But I welcome the break & admit we have been pretty lazy with our evenings & weekends. Oh so nice to have nothing to do sometimes =) We are both busy at work though - David is working full time at the bookstore again this summer & is in the middle of a move + inventory. I am just starting my new position & very thankful to have my trainer for over a month still! New title: Transfer Administrator. I have business cards. Nothing much else new on the home front =)
So far, we have managed one round of disc golf in the heat & disc golf means slurpies. Worth it.

There is a cute park down the street where I like to spend time reading, praying & reflecting when I get a chance...although I get distracted taking pictures sometimes =)
Now that it is summer, I have had to give up some staple dinners like Chicken Tortellini Soup, Chili and other heavier, hot dishes...which means I've been forced to search for alternative, summer-appropriate recipes. I've been trying a lot of new things & finding that I actually am somewhat enjoying it =) This whole "cooking" thing is still kind of new for me, especially cooking on a budget (& with limited time) but I am learning. We finally discovered for ourselves how easy & delicious homemade smoothies are and it's a new weekend favorite. I've made a couple "summer" salads & shish-kabobs, yumm. We also brought back breakfast for dinner! Awesome.
Last month we got to see my family back in California & next weekend we get to drive up to Missouri for the Thornhill family reunion! This year we are going to Silver Dollar City, in Branson, which I guess is kind of a big deal out here? Anyways, we're excited & also so blessed to have David's mom & Brett coming to visit us in Dallas after the reunion for a few days too! Yay for family. 
Hope you are all enjoying your summers so far!


Monterey, California

Thanks to the generosity of a coworker (letting me use accrued miles for a free plane ticket), we were able to fly home for a short vaca in California with my folks this month. Let me just say this a huge deal because the alternative is only going home once a year at Christmas - and well, I am finding that I really do need to see my family more than once a year. But instead of sitting at home for four days looking at each other, we decided to hit a favorite McIntosh vacation spot: Monterey. Overcast, cool beach weather was just what we needed before heading into our Texas summer!

We left a few days after David finished up his semester & arrived (after some flight delays) @ 10am in LA on Thursday, May 13 & immediately began to make our way north to the beach. And yes, we made our mandatory stop for in-n-out =)
After 6 hours of driving, my parents surprised us with a luxurious hotel right on Cannery Row (complete with a balcony overlooking the ocean AND a mini Zen garden) - it was pretty amazing. We settled in, had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp & went out to see Iron Man 2, even though we were all pretty tired from the long day of travel.

Our first full day was mainly spent at the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium (I love this place!!), and if you're with someone like me, who needs to see & touch everything, then it can take a while to get through =) David's favorite creatures were the sea turtles & mine were the sea otters, as usual, although they had an awesome display of seahorses too.
We took the rest of the afternoon pretty easy. We drove leisurely up & down the coast, David & I climbed around on the rocks searching in tidepools for more things to stick our fingers in, although we never did find a starfish. David wasn't sure they existed outside the Aquarium after that. We walked down the wharf & attempted to see the seals we could hear in the harbor, although we learned you have to be quick when using those timed binoculars if you want to see anything =) We grabbed some dinner at El Torito (a CA favorite - yum!) & headed back to the hotel for some game time
Saturday we spent most of the morning on the 17-mile drive, a route along the coast that ends in Pebble Beach, with markers along the way of interesting places to hop out & take pictures (including the Lone Cypress pictured below). I like to stop at pretty much every one, even in the cold (good thing we stashed up on our saltwater taffy before the drive - not sure why, but Monterey has the best!). My mom & I had some girl time @ the outlets in the afternoon, while the guys took their afternoon naps. After dinner & a walk on Cannery Row, we spent the evening getting whooped by my parents at cards.

Oh, and did I mention that the breakfast at our hotel was amazing? Well it was - almost everything came with fresh berries - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries piled on. Heaven & certainly worth mentioning...even though this post is getting long. I'm just disappointed I didn't get a picture...I was too distracted with eating it I guess.

Sunday (after aforementioned awesome breakfast), we headed for home, but we made a couple of stops along the way. First pit-stop: SLO-town, well Avila really @ Avila Vally Barn...and I got some Divinity Fudge, an old favorite =) My dad got his boysenberry jelly. Second stop: Carpenteria. My uncle Terry was camping at the beach there with my Aunt Cheryl & Grandma Mac, so we got to stop & have dinner with them & hang out for a bit. And before flying back to Dallas the next day, we had breakfast with my Grandma Lockwood, so I got to see her too! Yep, that's pretty much my entire family =) So good to see them even just briefly!
The trip went by very quickly, but it was relaxing & SO good to see my family & spend some good quality time with my parents. Now summer in Dallas is underway & there is no turning back...no more trips to the beach for an escape =)

Thanks Mom & Dad for everything you do & for a great trip - so good to be with you guys!!!


Summer Has Arrived

It is official: summer break has arrived!

Friday evening kicked off the celebration. Thanks to a new grilling pan, steak is now a viable dinner option and has been the favorite in any sort of celebration meal for me. After dinner, the only thing I was really capable of doing was lying in bed watching a movie. So that's what we did.

For Saturday, taking a play out of Roy and Bekah's book, we took a day trip down to Houston to watch the Padres play in Minute Maid Park. Not wanting to drive all that way just to see a game, we added a nature preserve to the itinerary. The preserve was alright. Not quite what either of us expected, but it wasn't without its highlights.

Highlight #1: Live armadillo sighting. This was the big one for Lindsay. I don't know what the habitat range for armadillos is, but it does not include CA. We had seen dead ones on the road and stuffed ones in Texas souvenir shops, but now we know that they exist as living animals. We are becoming more Texan every day.

Highlight #2: Buffalo and alligator sightings. These we have seen before, but not everyday. The big alligator was hard to see. Bonus points if you can spot him in the picture.

After the nature preserve, we headed out to the game. The orange train apparently runs back and forth when an Astro hits a home run, but we didn't get the chance to witness it. It was a game of pitching and singles, but in the end the Padres were victorious. Bonus! If you haven't been keeping track, the Padres are semi-decent so far this year. We'll see how long that lasts.

The trip back was a long one, but we managed to make it back to our apt. around 2 am. Needless to say, we made sure we got a Sunday nap this week. But it was worth it. We can now cross Houston off the list. Not sure if we will ever return. I think we both prefer Dallas to Houston.


fresh flowers

It had been a grueling week of studying for finals, translating Hebrew, writing papers & generally late nights.  After finishing his finals on Thursday afternoon, David stayed up all night Thursday writing his last paper, due at 5:00pm on Friday.  I fully expected to come home on Friday after work to a sleeping husband, recuperating from the long week.  Instead, I arrived to a clean apartment, a smiling husband & fresh flowers on the dining room table. After finishing the semester well, he still took time to thank me for supporting him. There really is no better way to this woman's heart. Thanks hon, great job this semester! Yay for summer & being done!!