Ninja Natalie

(Official Ninja Photo)

I realize it has been three weeks now that I haven’t written about our trip to Texas, but honestly I needed that amount of time to reduce the swelling of my inflated ego. That’s right people, I went to Texas ready to be schooled and laughed at by a couple of the best marksman in the Marine Corps (refer to photos). Instead each day they both told me what a good job I had done. Granted they are pretty sweet guys, so they could have secretly been laughing at me and just saying I did a good job. But I choose to believe they told me the truth and that I astonished them with my ninja skills. Now when I say I did a good job, I guess I should admit that if you are within 25 yards of me, I will most likely fatally hurt you (obviously if you are a bad guy, don’t worry buddies I don’t just shoot everyone within 25 yards of me). If you get much farther away, you may walk away with only some minor blood loss and perhaps the loss of use in your right or left arm. But I am considering myself pretty ninja anyway. Hahaha. Here are some photos of Texas. Of course I am not in any of them because I am always the one taking pictures, but I was there okay.

Andrew, aka Stotts (right), has a range out on his parent’s ranch. Lucky. It ended up being crazy windy, but it was such a beautiful few days. 
Stotts and Andy discuss the mysteries of the universe and zero the sniper rifle.
Because we’re responsible gun owners we ended each day by cleaning and because we’re in Texas we did this in the back yard….which backed up to a public green space…it is weird being somewhere that is even more gun friendly than Colorado.
Our “helicopter”. We didn’t actually shoot out of it, but the boys contemplated for a long time about rigging it up and driving around. My job would have been to make the helicopter sound. Told you I was ninja. hahaha.
Stott’s Dad’s house on the ranch. I just love Texans; they are so hospitable and friendly. If you’re friends with their kid, that means you’re family to them. Such a cool feeling of having this extended family all over the place.
This is the guest house, where Stott’s Grandma stays sometimes.
Oh yeah, and there was a lake. Seriously, I am green with envy.
So after four days with Stotts we headed up to Waxahachie to see Shelly, Eric and their nugget, Hayden. Where are the pictures of that, you might ask? Total photography failure on my part. We ended up just hanging out, going to Dallas to drive go-carts, and watching movies. It was so good to see them. Eric and Shelly lived in the same apartment complex in Oceanside when I first moved to California. Shelly was my first military wife acquaintance and quickly became one of my bestest friends. It is always wonderful when you can go almost four years without seeing someone and then you can fall back in to that comfy place as soon as you’re back together. My absolutely favorite memory from Waxahachie was when we were watching Hayden, 4, for a couple hours before Eric got home. They have one of those glider chairs that can rotate in a full circle. Anyway we were watching a movie and he was spinning the chair around, blowing off some steam. Well he got a little carried away and tipped the chair over on top of himself. Andy and I froze waiting for the wailing to begin. When I didn’t hear anything I was like ‘are you okay?’ (getting up to go over there). And he was like ‘yeah, can you help me get this up?’ sure I can help you pull the giant chair off your little body…we were so shocked that he was right back to spinning that chair again as soon as it was up. He’s a sturdy little fellow. Oh, wait, no my all time favorite memory of him was this: We’re getting in the truck to go to the grocery store.
Eric: Hey buddy, so what happened with Jason today at school? I heard he hit you?
Hayden: Yeah, well he’s been making a lot of poor choices lately.
Andy and My brains: WTF did he just say?
We were too busy busting up laughing that a four year old said something so grown-up. Meanwhile Eric, obviously the parent in this situation, keeps his cool and discusses with Hayden how he should handle this situation.
We’re going to how to figure out how to do this when we have nuggets of our own. It definitely seems to be an important quality in a parent.
It was an awesome trip and an actual vacation for us for once. It has been forever where we have actually had a relaxing, no-strict-plans, vacation. It was wonderful. I think it was also infinitely helpful for Andy. He misses these guys, more than he would ever admit. These are his brothers; actually they are probably closer than brothers. But I could see a noticeable change in him just being around these two guys. It makes it a little tempting to move to Texas….not that you could pry me away from Colorado, but it is a little tempting. I laid as much groundwork as possible to get them all to move to Colorado. But they are probably all Texans for life. Doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying. And who knows, maybe in 10 years I will be ready for a change of scenery. If that happens, I could live in Austin. Don’t worry people! I am just keeping my options open…..and I just dropped a piece of muffin down my shirt. Yay for v-neck boob tops. So I have to go retrieve it outta there. Don’t want those ladies to think I don’t care about keeping them neat and tidy.
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