Posted by: Tricia | August 29, 2008


“When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”  Dale Carnegie

And, what sweet lemonade it was!

A couple of my friends from the NICU at Baylor Dallas and I recently decided to meet for a playdate at Hawaiian Falls waterpark in Garland.  Cassi has a season pass and was generous enough to invite Leigh Ann and I along for a discounted price.  Sadly, the day before the big trip, Cassi emailed to say that she and her little boy were down with a stomach bug.  Ick!  They were in no shape to go with us, but Leigh Ann and I were still up for going.

So, the next morning, after Elliott met his Parent’s Day Out teacher for the first time (more on that to come!), we set out for our first ever trip to a real waterpark!!  I had to make a slight detour to Irving to get the “buy one get one free ticket”, but it actually worked out well because Elliott got a longer nap.  Leigh Ann and I checked in with each other and discovered that we would probably get there around the same time…..

…15 minutes before arriving at the park, I got a call from sweet Leigh Ann…”Uh, Tricia…you’re never going to believe this…there is nobody here!”  Are you kidding me?????  “Yup.  The park’s closed!”  She even drove around the entire park thinking that maybe she was in the wrong parking lot….no such luck.  Somehow, between the three of us and our pre-school aged children, we missed the fact that the park closed this week!…BOO!!  Anyway, Leigh Ann and I laughed it off and quickly decided that we would “make lemonade out of a lemon” and get some lunch!!  She spotted a nearby Chick-fil-A and I met her there within a few minutes.

And, the day gets weirder…

Within a few minutes of being inside my eyes were drawn to an adorably cute little boy with curly blonde locks. I did a double take to confirm that, yes, it was….it was “O”, the little boy of, Chrys, a mommy who’s blog I stalk!!!  Although, is it really blog stalking if she’s a friend of a friend??  Yeah…it probably is.  Anyway,  I scanned the restaurant for Chrys, and her youngest son, “T” and spotted them in line…which happened to be the shortest line, and the line that I waited in, too.  I hesitated at first, but decided that she would probably like to know that I enjoy reading her blog even if she thought I was a weirdo…I mean, I would be flattered if someone did the same for me.  The conversation with her went well and she even knew of Elliott and me because Stacey had mentioned us to her at lunch the day before.  I was glad to get to meet her in person and even more glad to know that she didn’t think I was a weirdo.

Leigh Ann and I went about our lunch, but both felt like the Chrys’s friend looked terribly familiar as well.  I concluded that I probably ran across her blog at some point…I’ve probably seen hundreds.  And, Leigh Ann concluded that she was probably just an acquaintance from church.

Elliott and Alex sharing lunch at Chick-Fil-A

Well, we all ended up in the play area and started chatting.  It turns out that Chrys’s friend, Rachel, was indeed a familiar face…because we all worked at Baylor Dallas together!!  Rachel worked dayshift, and Leigh Ann and I worked at night.  None of us are at Baylor Dallas anymore. We’ve all had kids and moved on.  I couldn’t help but marvel at what a small world we live in!  It was nice to see some “familiar faces” way out in what felt like the middle of nowhere.

Playing at Chick-Fil-A

So, we had our lunch (and now I’m wishing I had ordered a glass of Chick-fil-A lemonade…so fitting for the occasion), but decided that we should try to find something else fun for the boys to do.  Afterall, I didn’t exactly plan to drive over an hour to have lunch at a Chick-fil-A.  So, we asked our new/old friends for some suggestions of fun things to do in the area.  They had lots of good ideas.  We decided to try the play area at a nearby mall because it was too stinking hot to do anything outside!  The boys had a blast sliding down slides and running free!

On the way to the mall I put two and two together, had an “Ah-ha” moment, and realized that we were only a few minutes away from Stacey’s house in Allen!  I mentioned this to Leigh Ann once we were in the play area and she added that her mom lives in Allen, too.  And, in Allen there is a great splash pad and a natatorium.  We debated about whether or not to prolong our afternoon for the boys’ sake, but decided that we should go for it…afterall, we did have our hopes set on playing in some water that day!

I called Stacey who was nice enough to do a little research and find out that the splash pad wasn’t open that day.  Yeah…we weren’t going to make the same mistake twice in one day!!  So, the decision was easy, and we were on our way to the Allen natatorium!  I joked to Leigh Ann that we would be in Oklahoma by evening because our travels kept pushing us further and further north.  I counted 9 different highways that I traveled on that day!

It’s no secret that I have whined and whined about not having a “water baby”.  Elliott loves bathtime, but he has yet to really love being in the pool.  For one thing, he hates the sun being in his eyes.  Thus…Outdoor swimming: not a big fan; Indoor swimming: better.  Splash Pad: great! And, he isn’t a big fan of being held in the water.  He would much rather be independent.  Not without a life jacket, Mr!

Enter: The Natatorium!

AHHHHH! Can’t you just hear the angels singing??  It’s indoors, out of the sun, AND, babies can be pseudo-independent here!!  It’s PERFECT!  I wish you could have seen the look on Elliott’s little face when I set him down for this picture.  He was beside himself in awe.

And, for a good reason.  We had the best time playing in the water here.  He particularly loved the fort and all of its water works.  We couldn’t go down the slide…no grown-ups allowed.  Boo!  But, we didn’t let that stop us from having a great time!

The natatorium also had a lazy river and an enormous hot tub!  If only we had one of these amazing places closer to home!

Stacey & Bennett, and Leigh Ann’s mom came along, too!  It was a special treat to get to see Stacey all weekend, Monday, and Wednesday, too!  Bennett was a HUGE fan of the water hoses on the fort and he spent most of his time inspecting them.

Leigh Ann & Alex, Elliott & me, and Stacey & Bennett

Elliott, the snoop, checking out the lockers in the locker room.

We stayed for about an hour until they closed up shop and then headed home.  Elliott was asleep before we got on the freeway and didn’t wake up until we pulled in the drive way.

So, a lesson was learned.  When things don’t go as planned, have fun anyway!  Thanks, Leigh Ann & Alex, for spending the day with us and for taking a lemon and making some extra sweet lemonade out of it!  We look forward to our next adventure together!



  1. wow! what an adventure!! i have to admit, i had no idea what a natatorium was but it looks AWESOME!! wish we had one here!! GREAT pics, too!

  2. It was just a perfect day for some lemonade!

    I’m so happy you and Leigh Ann stuck it out and ended up in my neck of the woods. We had fun getting to meet up with you all!

    You got some cute pics too! Elliott just doesn’t make a bad picture (unlike myself…yikes!).

  3. OH Tricia, I am so sorry. I had no idea the waterpark would be closed but it sounds like your day turned out even better. I am so glad you guys had a great time together. Tobey and I really missed getting to hang out with ya’ll again=(

  4. no, i don’t think you’re weird at all! i’m glad you said something!

    and i’m SO GLAD you found something fun to do! that place looks awesome!!

    we are thinking about going to hawaiian falls today. it’s the last wkend of the season and we’ve never been before!

    great to know you!


  5. Great post! What a day!

    So glad to run in to you girls…and to meet your sweet babies. It is such a small world! I passed on your “Hello’s” to Erica.

    The Allen Natatorium looks like so much fun! We’ll have to check it out!

  6. I read the whole thing even though I had heard the story becuase of the Photos! I loved your play by play with photos. I wish we had one of those in Fort Worth too.

  7. […] I was reminded how fragile the miracle of life is.  I attended the funeral of my precious friend, Leigh Ann’s husband.  He slipped away in his sleep in the wee hours of the night Thursday, leaving behind an […]

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