Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving In & Out Takes

I have a bit more work to do on the In Takes, but I thought I would go ahead and post this for now.

To our surprise, at the end of our visit in Texas we discovered a new function on our camera.  Little did we know that the camera would take a small video clip as the photographer was focusing on an object or waiting to take a picture.  The video below is what we captured.  It is almost like a series of Out Takes from our weekend away.  It makes us laugh, a lot!  
Oliver and Kellan always love a good dance party and they shared some of their moves with their cousin William.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Everything is Bigger in Texas, Even the Thanks for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is always a time of year that floods us with emotions of all of the greatness that surrounds us that we have to give thanks for.  Keith and I have built an amazing family with two amazing boys to fill our hearts with joy.  We have jobs we love, a home that is warm and loving and the privilege to travel far and wide.  We can't imagine life being any better and we remind ourselves to take the time to cherish what we have and the amazing people that our life is surrounded by.
This Thanksgiving, we took the Ham Fam on the road south to Texas.  Keith's younger brother Jeff and his family moved to Texas a over a year ago and we have yet had a chance to visit.  Thanks to Oliver and now Kellan, we had a free flight from Denver to Texas.  (It is amazing how many miles you can rake in when you're paying for two kids in child care!)
Before we could take flight from DEN to DFW, we had another precious gift fly into our lives.  Wednesday morning (Thanksgiving eve) we received an unexpected phone call from our sister-in-law Stephanie that their hopes and dreams had been granted and the baby girl that they had been chosen to adopt was on her way.  Three weeks earlier than her due date, our new niece was born and that afternoon she met her family.  The Wyoming Hamiltons are now a family of FIVE!  She is a precious little nugget of sweetness and I can't wait to squeeze on her!
Fun fact: She is 2/3 the size of Kellan when he was born!
Our original flight was scheduled at 8:00 PM and then United moved it to 9:45 PM.  This could have potentially been a nightmare with two small boys when in fact, it was a perfect dream.  Kellan worked on walking the length of the airport while Mommy and Oliver played hide and seek from Kellan and Daddy.  Oliver and Kellan ran laps of tag around some empty seats and occasionally Mommy and Daddy joined in.  We were usually the guppies that Oliver the shark was going to eat if we didn't escape fast enough.  The plane ride was a breeze and both boys slept the whole way there.  We couldn't have asked for a better trip.
The next morning the boys fell right into playing with their cousin William.  William was eager to share his toys with his cousins and without a doubt he was the host with the most.
Jeff and Keith enjoyed playing with William and Kellan.  
Feel free to tease the two Hamilton brothers about their coordinating CSU t-shirts.  We did!

It is so fun to watch Kellan and William together.  Do you think they could pass as brothers or maybe even twins?  Maybe because they share the exact same birthday, August 23, 2010 and they were born only 30 minutes apart.  I like to tease that it is debatable who is older.  William was born first.  However, according to the birth certificates Kellan was born first thanks to a time zone difference.
William was thrilled to have his cousins to play with.  Once again, Oliver managed to rope a cousin into pushing him around on a riding toy.  In the past it has been Lauren or Kaden pulling him in the wagon.  Now, he has William pushing him on the fire truck.  The kid is resourceful!
William loved pushing Oliver around the house.  Oliver was good at keeping them on the right road.
Thanksgiving dinner was amazing!  We had ham, turkey and all the fixins.
Oliver was anxiously waiting to eat his fair share of turkey and ham.
William thought it was great fun to sit in his block box.  I found him here a few times.
Come on William, don't you want to smile for Aunt Carrie?!
The Texas and Colorado Hamilton Families around the Thanksgiving Dinner Table.
Oliver, Carrie, Keith, William, Lindsey, K2 (baby on the way), Jeff.
Kellan thought the sweet potatoes were something special.  If he could talk, he would have said they were spoon licking good!
Oliver thought dinner was T-Rex-licious!
Kellan enjoyed dining for quite some time.  He may have stayed all day munching if we would have let him.
That afternoon we took the boys outside to enjoy some Texas sunshine (and wind) while William took a cat nap.
Oliver had a great time working on his throwing arm.
Oliver throwing the ball to his Dad....
... who was working hard to relax on the patio with Kellan.
Oh yes, that's right, Kellan and Daddy are giving a cheers to a great afternoon on the patio.
When you're one, it really doesn't matter that you have an empty juice box that your brother already drank.  It's just a great time to be outside with the Fam.
The party moved around the corner so Keith moved his perch with the action.
The boys had fun rolling the ball down the driveway.  I've never thought of pavement as being comforting before, but Kellan enjoyed laying his head upon it.
Hey Mom, what ya doing back there?!
William came out to enjoy the sunshine.  Can you tell who is a fair weather kid?  Get this kid to Colorado!!  (of course, we love that his favorite blanket is compliments of Aunt Carrie and Uncle Keith so we won't tease too much.)
Blow me away!
The Ham Fam hanging in Texas.
Oliver, Keith, Kellan and Carrie
That evening we had a nice dinner (snack) of leftovers.  The boys were glued to a holiday classic while Keith gave a hip sashay for the camera.
This was Oliver's perch when we were doing "Special Treat" of a cartoon during dinner.
I always think it's so sweet to see Oliver all cozy.
The next morning the boys were back in their favorite dining positions.
Daisy thought her dining pleasure had tripled!
Kellan enjoyed William's book corner on multiple occasions.

What is this?
Could it be?
In-N-Out in Texas?
Why, yes it is!
"Hey Oliver, what do you think of your burger?"
Reponse: None.
"Daddy, what do you think of your double-double with chili's?"
Response: Mmmm
Oliver enjoying a burger with a view.
(he did tell Keith that he really liked it and he ate more of this burger than any burger before.  That's my boy!
Even Kellan and William got in on the In-N-Out action.
Hey Boys!
Don't let him fool you.  He LOVED it!
"Carrie, how do you like your In-N-Out burger"
Response: It's eye brow raising GOOD!
Sometimes it's just fun to look up Kellan's nose.
Hey handsome boy.  How do you like your In-N-Out stickers?
They stickers are so great, they might be better up high.
Kellan and Oliver enjoying some brotherly love.
When I looked at this picture later I noticed that Oliver was pinching Kellan's ear.  It's the little things that let little brothers know they are loved and that they are the little brother.
Brotherly love with a right ear pull.
Brotherly tickles or torture?
O for Oliver (and In-N-Out)
Whoa Dude.  In-N-Out in Texas!
After lunch, we went to the Fort Worth Stock Exchange for a little Texas flare.
The boys got to test out Jeff and Lindsey's new double stroller.
In Texas, you may find things are bigger.  Including the lawn decorations.
A Texas sized photo prop with Daddy, Oliver and Mommy.
Of course with stock yards and tourists, there are pony rides.
Oliver signed up for a pony ride without hesitation.
Kellan wanted to be with the ponies, but riding the ponies was a bit adventurous for him.
Oliver is nearly a pro at pony rides.
Kellan saddled up for his first pony ride ever.
Kellan has a bit of work to do to master his pony riding skills.  He did specifically want to ride this little pony though.  It was very cute.
Cowboy Oliver leading the way while Kellan is getting his riding legs under him in the background.
Kellan did great for his first ride, but he much preferred working on his walking legs.
Fort Worth Live Stock Exchange.
This was a great historical building.  Lindsey and I talked about how the smell of the old building and the waxed floors reminded us of our grade schools.
The Hamilton boys in search of live stock.
Kellan was just happy to be outside in the fresh Texas air.
We wound our way around the stables (is that what they are called?) in search of live stock.  Some of the gates were just Oliver's width.
Look!  We found Mr Ed the Horse!
Look!  Mr Ed found Oliver's head!
Hello!  My name is Mr Ed.
(not really, but it sounds fun, right?!)
Daddy and Kellan taking a stock yard stroll.
Eventually, we decided that we needed to take a different approach to find the long horn cattle so we headed out around the building.  Jeff and Lindsey were like private Sherpa's for William (you should have seen William's face of victory)  Keith and Kellan were Johnny-on-the-Spot for an around-the-corner scare.
Look who's walking!
After crawling on the muddy grass, he stood up and walked.  Not only did he walk, he strutted a bit and threw his hands in the air in a Ta-Da fashion!
(he started walking at Halloween and then took a few weeks off.  Over Thanksgiving he picked up the skill again.)
Ham Fam in Texas.
Low and Behold, Texas Long Horn Cattle.
Oliver was quite concerned that when he "Mooed" at the cows, they did Moo back.  I told him they hear it ALL DAY LONG, so eventually they quit responding.
The boys had a great time on this old wooden platform.
William was giving it his own finishing touches.
An attempt to get a photo of all three boys standing together!
Oliver, Kellan and William.
Kellan loved walking in circles around the posts.
William and Oliver loved racing back and forth on the platform.
Oliver is Quick!  Plus, Mommy loves taking action shots.  Finally, a good photo combo.
There is nothing better than Oliver's laugh and smile.  It's contagious.  Be careful, he might get you with it too.
Every once in a while the inner artist comes out in me.  I loved this wood.
The laps and laughs went on and on...
Mommy and her first born son, Oliver.
The street was lined with tourist attractions to give the environment a very western feel.
With Christmas only a month away, the streets were lined with festive decorations.
We found it unique that you could enjoy a cold beverage of choice on the street so we opted to support the business that brings home the bacon with a Cold Coors Light.  By this time, Oliver was envisioning a cozy nap.
Carrie enjoying a Cold Coors Light with some Texas flare flying high.
Jeff testing out his father-of-two skills with his Cold Coors Light in hand. 
(just keep walking, just keep walking, just keep walking, walking walking.)
We had such a great time, we were kicking up our heels!
Not everyone was having a good time.  This poor cow drew the short straw to put on the Christmas get-up and pose with tourists.
The line of cars driving into the Stock Yards was never ending.
Look!  Even the Stock Yards have a few stars on the sidewalk.

Once we were back home, the boys were back at it.  Kellan was chillin' by the fire and William was in his box.
Lindsey and I went out for an errand and we made a stop for a little guilty pleasure, Chocolate Shakes at Chick-Filet-A.  Shhh... Don't tell the guys.
Mommy and Son self portrait.  
I could just smooch these cheeks all night.
Sometimes it's fun to let the camera lose with our newest photographer, Oliver.
The family hanging out on the couch after a great day with the Texas Hamiltons.
The Texas Hamiltons in the kitchen and the only picture of K2 (baby in the belly) that I have.  We can't wait for K2 to arrive in January.
Some things are just too fun to not have multiple photos of.  William was having fun with this bowl.  Aunt Carrie may have shown him how to have fun with it on his head!
Oliver wanted in on the action too but his noggin is too big for this bowl hat.
William with his bowl hat!
We just love this boy to pieces!
Where there is one bowl, there is usually two.
Two bowls, two bowl hats.
It was quick, but we got all three boys in the batch tub.
First in, William and Kellan.
Then, Oliver jumped in.
First thing first, scrub-a-dub-dub.
On Saturday we went to the Ward's house for lunch. (Keith's cousin Jenni)  We had all three boys in the back seat.
Sometimes the looks are just funny. (Oliver, is that some G-Brow you're throwing out?)
At The Ward's house, Oliver loved playing with Luke.  Luke is Keith's cousins youngest son.  Is that a second cousin?  I watched them chase each other back and forth in the back yard and then we I couldn't find them I found them here.
Hey boys!
Luke and Oliver playing a video game.
Trish (another second cousin of Keith's) LOVED Kellan and William and spent quite a bit of time with them.  Kellan was quite smitten with Trish as well.
Aunt Patty pulled out a 1,000 piece puzzle that Jeff had given her.  Rachel, Jeff and Aunt Patty went to work.  When Oliver discovered a HUGE puzzle in action, he got in on it too.  They said he did great and helped put several pieces together.
Keith and his Aunt Patty.  Aunt Patty moved from Sheridan, WY to live with her daughters family a year or two ago.  She loves being so close to her family.
In no time, the boys were sound asleep in the back seat on our way home.
That night we hit up a local hot spot, Joe T Garcia.
Joe T Garcia's was a big hit!
It was a bit crazy at first.  The line is WAY out the door and we almost left in fear of a huge wait with three small kiddos.  It ended up that the line moved fast and we were seated fairly quickly (considering the volume of people.) There were two menu choices; a mexican platter or fajitas in chicken or beef.  Our table got a variety and they made Oliver an ala cart cheese enchilada.  The food was worth the wait! It was great and I'm still craving more!  I would have loved to have stayed for sopapilla's but the boys were DONE (like get me out of here, done).  Next time.  Another request for next time is nicer weather so that we can sit in the courtyard.  It looked amazing as well.
Keith and Carrie at Joe T. Garcia's.
The Texas Hamiltons
Jeff, William, Lindsey and K2.
Kellan having a bits of a snack while we waited for the meal to arrive.
Handsome boy, Oliver was all smiles.
We flew home to Denver the next day.
It was Broncos Football Sunday and the boys were properly representing the Blue and Orange.

Go Broncos Go!
(They won, again!)
Ahh... such sweet boys.
HUGE Texas Size Thank You to the Texas Hamiltons.
We had an amazing time and we can't wait to see you again as a family of four.
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