The first of May found me headed south to the Dallas area. I have never driven there alone before and when my GPS in my car didn't recognize the street I was going to I must admit I was a little extra nervous. Thankfully my phone is more up to date.
I couldn't wait to meet Amy! We'd done lots of planning and lots of chatting and it was finally happening. Our cousin Renee was driving in from Houston as well and would get to spend some time with us. As a bonus, two of Amy's sisters lived in the Dallas area. We were looking at some serious family bonding. When one of Renee's sisters joined us on our last night, I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude to God and Facebook for getting this all together. We were so sad that Robin couldn't be there though. Albuquerque is just too stinking far away!
I apparently was traveling at the perfect time for Oklahoma wildflowers.Since I had plenty of time I took some time to stop and smell (well photograph) the flowers.I got to the hotel in plenty of time and sat in the parking lot waiting. I had no idea what car Amy was coming in, or which direction, but I parked where I could see all entrances. Since I had some spare time on my hands I decided to pluck my eyebrows. Natural light is the absolute best I must say. So when Amy and her son T. J. got there I greeted them with nicely shaped eyebrows. I'm always thinking of others:)
We settled into our hotel, Amy made a few phone calls, and soon we were having another reunion. Amy's sisters Ruth and Priya (and Priya's boyfriend Michael) picked us up and we all went to dinner.
I had been at a reunion with Priya when I was a newlywed and she was 12. She's grown up a bit:) We all talked so much we hardly had time to eat! They all grew up as missionaries and have lived ALL over the world. Their early years were so vastly different from mine and it completely fascinated me. Because Amy has six children (two that are already in college) I assumed she was quite a bit older than me. But no, we're the same age! She married incredibly young and had children quickly, and back to back. But she is years older than me in maturity. At the age that she was married and had 4 children, I was hitting the mall and worried that my three level bangs didn't have enough Aqua Net in them to last the whole day. Go read her blog and see how different our lives still are.
Aren't we a good looking bunch? Ruth, Amy, and I stayed up that night talking and looking at all the family history books and pictures I'd brought until, oops, 4 am. Poor Ruth only got a few minutes sleep before she had to wake her family up and start her day. Amy and I got a little more sleep, but not much!
If you're in Dallas, you have to go to Sam Moon. I'd told Amy I wanted to go to the jewelry store. Since she lives in Africa she's not familiar with the large, super center, really cheap, overwhelming, jewelry franchises. She didn't say it until later, but she didn't know why I wanted to go jewelry shopping. After getting lost, something that happens a lot in Dallas, we finally found Sam Moon. Since the town is growing so fast there is always something under construction. And they rename streets constantly! Not even the GPS on my phone can keep up. What should have taken 20 minutes took almost an hour. I almost kissed the ground outside Sam Moon when we finally got there. Amy was still unsure, but after looking at a few prices, she was all in!! T. J. however, was not impressed. The cross dressers helping each other pick hair extensions finally got him more excited about being there.
Renee joined us that night and we headed out to eat again. So far I'd eaten at Olive Garden for dinner, Pei Wei for lunch, and Chili's for the another dinner. I was in heaven. We only eat out once a week because of money and my food allergies so this was a special treat for me! Add in seven cousins and I was feeling so blessed!After another night of staying up late chatting with Renee, it was time to head home. We took a few pictures, hugged a bunch, made promises to keep in touch, and headed our separate ways.
Of the original 11 Stone children, we represented three sisters. Only Amy's grandmother is still living. The two bloggers. We were really missing Robin at this point:(
And can we discuss the fatness of my upper arms?? I work out six days a week with weights and they still look like that. I need to wear long sleeves year round.
As I headed up I-35 I was a little misty but I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend with them. Amy only comes to the states every two years but the other cousins have promised to consider coming to the next reunion. I'm in charge this time and I'm picking a place that's close to Oklahoma and Texas. Our generation doesn't usually come and I'm determined to get them excited about it! With Facebook to keep everyone linked together, it better happen!
Did you all hear that???