Category Archives: Traveling

My Summer Vacation

In honor of school starting (and since I didn’t blog practically all summer…oops) I decided to write my summer vacation essay.


This summer has flown by. And, I don’t mean flown by as in all the other blog posts I’ve started with that statement. I mean, I can still hear the whooshing sound in my ears. It was that fast. Here are some things I did NOT accomplish…

  • Clean up back yard, get ready to replant flower beds in fall
  • Repaint baseboards (they are disgusting)
  • Repaint master bath (also disgusting)
  • Fix bathroom caulking
  • Repaint master bedroom (noticing a pattern here)
  • Clean out massive shoe hoarding space
  • Print some photos and frame them (I did buy frames, they just still have the freaky stock photos in them – hi random people I don’t know!)

Amazingly enough, I’m not freaking out over this list that did not get checked off. We started this summer telling each other that we know it’ll go by fast and ginning season is quickly approaching, so we’d better enjoy it and work our tails off. Well, we did enjoy it but from a nice, relaxing space on the couch. I’m ok with that. It’s just been too darn hot to do much but we did have some trips and adventures.

In June, we traveled all over like ancient nomads to Abilene and Tyler, TX and then Norman and Yukon, OK. We were able to go to my cousin, Melissa’s wedding in Abilene. They were actually married last year before he was deployed in the army and so this was the family’s chance to be together and celebrate!

Melly and Me

Papaw and Tim

We got to hang with our awesome friends, Ryan, Traci, Addi and Kam in Tyler. We had a blast! Those girls keep me on my toes and it was so good to catch up with great friends.

Me and Traci

Dixon crew

Us and Ryan at Lake Palestine

We had a blast making pretzels, swimming, seeing Traci’s great place of work (Brown’s Landing) eating amazing food, seeing old friends, and staying up late laughing. Does my heart good.

Next, we headed to Norman to stay with my aunt and uncle and see their new house. It’s a little ways out of town so it’s got beautiful land and trees (not so used to those!). I love their new place and they seem super happy there. We ate a ton of homemade ice cream and got to see Leah’s apartment. Can’t believe both my little cousins are attending OU…so weird!

Casa de Pace

We made this big loop up to Oklahoma mostly to be there for our niece’s appointment to activate her cochlear implant. We had been praying hard for her since she had the surgery for the implant. We never doubted for a second that it would work, we just didn’t know how easy the transition would be. But, for all those concerned, she was a total champ! Her whole family got together to cheer her on. I think the audiologist said it was a record 22 (ish) people there for her. We completely filled up the little room, all waiting silently to see how she would react and trying to quietly wipe away tears. It was truly amazing to watch her sweet face light up when she knew she was hearing something new and exciting. Not to mention when she heard her mommy and daddy’s voices!

She knows how to find the cameras

Her lunch break

Team Tessa

Pretty girl - back at home

Sheesh, that was just ONE trip! In July we went to Ruidoso, NM, because Tim had a conference there. It was just a few nights but it rained while we were there and it was peaceful and relaxing. We ate our favorite pizza from Cafe Rio and shopped too much. We stayed at a lodge that had a golf course and a 3 mile walking trail around it. I went for a walk the last morning we were there and it was awesome! I love being in the mountains.

We also got to see our friends, Brent & Tamara become parents to sweet Sawyer and were his first babysitters (score!). It’s been fun hanging out with them and getting to know Sawyer. And, we are the new directors for a newly married couples class at our church, Victory Life. We have a great teacher and have made a lot of good friends already through this. We’re so excited to be leading this group through a unique stage in life. We feel like the old married couple of the group – 4 years is way beyond most of the others! We are still learning a lot ourselves and we pray daily to be able to be real with these other couples. The study we’re doing now is called “Staying In Love” by Andy Stanley. I highly recommend everyone look into this course. (Plus, it’s only 4 weeks long!)

And one more little thing – my hubby’s 30th birthday! I had been so excited to celebrate his birthday this year. 30 is a milestone for sure and I’m just so stinkin’ proud to be his wife. I decided a few months before that the thing he would love the most is to have his family around for it. So, I planned a little surprise party. His parents and two of his brother’s and their family were able to come and we had a great time! He didn’t suspect a thing!

Love this pic - Harley and Dad chatting before the party

Chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries - Tim's fave

(most of) the brothers

Tessa being the cute entertainment

Kids are happy now that they have cake!

That, in a nutshell, was the great Bynum summer of 2011. We loved every second. Now, I’m ready for -40 degree weather and hats and scarves and boots….


San Antonio

We had the opportunity to go to San Antonio during Spring Break last month (umm, someone slow down time, please!). We had a blast! The weather was perfect, got to hang out with some family, made new friends, stayed at an amazing resort and ate awesome Mexican food! I’m bad at this posting thing, so I’ll tell this one through pictures as well…

Layce and Lyndsy in front of the resort

We stayed at the Westin La Cantera Resort on the North Side of San Antonio, just off of I-10. We were actually far away from everything San Antonio-feeling but it was set up high on a hill with lots of land surrounding it. Great views everywhere and a great little nature trail that we took one morning.

View of San Antonio from La Cantera

The Resort had several pools, sports areas and lots of kid’s activities. We were with my aunt, uncle and three cousins. So, good excuse to hang out and participate in kid’s stuff! 🙂 Ice cream before dinner and s’mores before bedtime? Yes, please!

They had an animal show one morning where we were able to pet a baby wallaby (try saying that without an Australian accent…go ahead…try), a sloth (!!) a blue-tongued skink and a tarantula (no thanks). It was crazy seeing all these animal up close. I stayed far away from the spider and if you pet the skink, you had to use hand sanitizer afterward…umm, there’s something wrong about that.

Baby Wallaby!
Blue Toungued Skink
Sloth (looks like a Wookie)

The Hotel is right by Fiesta Texas and they have Looney-Tunes characters join you for breakfast in the morning. It was really cute and they interacted with everyone (adults included, a bit awkward…but still funny!)


Bugs with Layce and Levi
Bugs and Ben!

We visited the Riverwalk and ate at Casa Rio.


Casa Rio and the river dyed green for St. Patty’s

Tim had never been to the Alamo so we visited there of course!


Tim at the Alamo

We also went to Fiesta Texas and window shopped at some crazy-expensive stores at the Shops at La Cantera. We finished the last night at Mi Tierra. Sort of a tourist trap, because it is near the river walk in an area called The Market. Surrounded by “trinket stores” and there is seriously probably 100’s of people at any given time. We got there at a good time so only had to wait an hour. I had chicken enchiladas with mole…oh. my. word. SO GOOD! I recommend eating here at least once, the decor alone is worth it. Plus they have a great bakery (panaderia) for some good dessert or breakfast the next morning.


Millions of pinata decorations!

We had a great time and can’t wait to go again!