East Texas New Year

So it is now almost February, but this is too good not to be shared.

I lucked out and got to see my best friend Lacey over new years weekend! She lives in Memphis these days, but her family is from Longview. On occasional holidays I’m in Tyler when she’s there, and we get to see each other in real life!

Lacey got to bring her cute 5-year old neighbor Jaden home for a week, so we wanted to do something fun with him to ring in 2012!

Lacey’s mom found out about a festival a nearby cowboy church was having (complete with snow hill), so we eagerly jumped in the car and drove out to the sticks.

Keep in mind that there actually is snow in Memphis.. but Jaden still loved sledding down this hill! Well, until he went the second time and got turned around and got snow all over him. As it turns out, snow is wet. He was over it.

They were handing out glow bracelets, and of course mine broke I broke mine in the first five minutes. Not to be deterred, they handed me a strip of duct tape. Naturally.

This was our first cowboy church experience. They have completely taken off the last few years, and it is easy now for me to see why. The atmosphere was so welcoming and friendly! Even though we looked like tourists, with my camera around my neck and our lack of cowboy boots..

Lacey’s Memphis friends think this is what Texas is always like, so we decided to embrace the stereotype for a hilarious picture. Poor guys in the background had no idea.

While Jaden was in the jumping house, Lacey and I decided to take the opportunity to get a picture of the two of us. As we were taking it, a man walked right in front. At first he apologized, then he decided we needed a real cowboy in our picture. (True.) After the picture, he proceeded to tell us he is a horse whisperer. As if that was not enough, he then told me he would gladly give me one of his. Sensing there were probably strings attached, I politely declined. Highlight of the evening? Yes.

The hospitality continued however, when we walked inside the awesome building they use as their church, and there was a chili-cookoff! All of the food was so good. And free! Even better.

The best part was still to come. In the far corner of the building, we spotted a crowd gathered around something. A mechanical bull! Jaden was dying to try it, so up he went!

 I can’t think of a better way to wrap up 2011. Best friend, cowboy hats galore, 2012 cookies, and home by 8. (Jaden was concerned about missing his bedtime. Or playing his DS. It’s a tough call.) Loved it!

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