You know I love my calling, and I love my "home," but it also takes me far away from many people I love. So, that moment of arrival after being gone for an entire year is very, very special.
My parents faithfully make the drive to come get me, arms open, year after year. (And now that I am a mom, I get that!)
This will likely be one of my favorite pictures of the entire summer. Once these cousins got to each other, they never let go of hands until we arrived home.
My brother treated us to a fun weekend on the lake. I can't tell you the joy of getting to see my two new nephews, who just arrived from Congo last summer at this time. They speak English. They are darling. They are so compliant and sweet. They remembered me! And it's a very, very good thing I am not their mommy. I doubt I could ever say no to them!
My nieces and nephews had all grown so much! This sweet little doll who shares my middle name makes me laugh every day that I get to see her. (Last night she explained to CC that lightning bugs won't electrocute you, as he tried to convince her, they just "glow up.")
My oldest nephew C faithfully got the little ones set up for "duck boarding" (a kid-friendly learning ski board) and knee boarding.
It didn't take long for Big Ben to start trying to emulate Cypress Gardens!
Alan Jackson's house boat (right around the corner from where we hop out of the boat to go potty!) Star struck!
We are not a perfect family, but there's a lot of love and recognizing what a gift we have in each other.