Hellooooo! Yes, I’m still alive. I kind of unintentionally went of the blog and social media grid the past two weeks, and worried some of you (thank you so much for your kind messages! If I haven’t responded to you yet, I promise I will, soon!). I spent all of last week in Georgia with my family, and then came home to be hit in the face with exhaustion, allergies, and sickness. But I’m finally feeling more like myself again, and am back in the blogger ball game! Boy am I ever – the size of this post definitely makes up for the two weeks I’ve been away…;)
So. This trip. I included seventy bajillion photos in this post, but there are important things about this special visit that are not pictured. Poignant moments that really can only be captured in the mind – my own, personal, fragmented, but deeply impactful, impressions. Like my first embrace with my mama that I haven’t seen in four years. Her tears, how thin her shaking shoulders felt, the slight shock of seeing how much more gray her jet-black hair has become. Her soft voice, still the same. The familiar, peaceful feeling of equilibrium being restored when I got to see, and be, with my twin brother after four years of separation. The joy I literally breathed in when I got to finally meet his precious miracle baby, my darling, Fighter niece, Mena – the tiny, premature, 2 pound baby we prayed so very hard for, for many, many months. That overall secure feeling of comfort, like a favorite, cozy blanket, that enveloped me, simply by being with my big brother, and his hilarious family. Seeing my dad, and the simple gratefulness I felt at detecting genuine happiness in his eyes. The almost surreal feeling of getting to witness the gender reveal of my little sister’s first baby (and the ridiculous swell of game-win pride I felt at guessing right). The profound respect, the admiration, the love, the enjoyment of being, and talking, and laughing endlessly with my sisters-in-law. There have always been the whispers of a sisterhood forming around our brief, few-and-far-between visits we’ve been able to have over the years, but this trip, a rock-solid foundation was laid. I could never spend enough time with them – I just adore them, and genuinely enjoy being with them so very, very much. Celebrating my brothers and my husband on Father’s Day, and getting to watch them interact with all the precious Gifts that made them so, was a gift of its own.
So much not captured, and even more of it cannot ever be truly defined, yet all of it anchored my sense of being. That’s Family, huh?
Here is our Cousins Camp 2016.
First morning at my twin brother’s beautiful, new home, that he and his wife built together, at Lake Oconee.
One of many pool tours in my twin’s ever-sprawling, new ‘hood.
Waiting for more cousins to arrive, means massive water slide time!
The best, cousin Bunk Room ever (there are more bunks on the other wall!).
Boating out to dinner with the whole crew.
My twinnie, our Sea Captain.
Mena. The Sweetest, the Fiercest.
My brothers and my Honey, waiting for our dinner table to be ready.
Perfect way to pass the time, waiting for dinner.
My big bro.
Our Georgie takes Corn Hole very seriously.
Daddy’s Girl. Always and forever.
Red Rover Game Faces.
Because that one on the left needed a Game Face close up. Killin’ it.
Oh, my Jude. He lost his front tooth on this very day.
Perks of having a twin that’s a dentist. He’s not shy about removing a bit o’ mojito mint leaf from my teeth.;)
Adore that gorgeous, hilarious sister-in-law o’ mine! (I wish I had an individual snap of the other one I adore!)
Baby Nash, my big brother’s youngest.
Green crayon wasn’t as yummy as it looked.
Blurry crayon removal reenactment. Oscar win, right there.
New morning, new adventures await.
It’s Baby Gender Reveal time!!
GIRL!! Can you see the pink in the cake? Don’t want to brag, but I totally called it. Baby Elliana Grace is due at the end of October!
My brothers. My youngest baby, Charlie Christopher, is named after them.
Bunny tails are necessary when you are a teeny tiny Mena.
The Crew. Headed to another new pool in the ‘hood.
Pretty sure he liked this new pool….
Pizza and Zootopia. Doesn’t get better in Kid Life.
Sweet Mena. Goodnight kisses from Uncle Chris.
Father’s Day Brunch at the Club! I love this photo soooo much.
Family pics are the best…
There’s always one.
Cousins Camp 2016, everybody!! (My big brother and his family had to leave this day.)
More boating adventures on one fine Father’s Day. Some of my favorite shots….
That missing tooth! Kills me.
Father, son. One of my favorite shots.
Falls asleep anywhere, that one.
My husband is happiest holding a baby, or rolling around on the ground with children. It’s one of the many thousands of things I love most about him.
Warrior Mama. Love her. Love Him. So very much.
Aunt LeighLeigh spoiled all the kiddos with more fun treats (my kids adore her).
Scarlett is wurrrkin’ her runway walk out.;)
The kids were farrrr better at capturing lightning bugs, than I was at trying to capture it.
Colt captured a frog. There was much excitement over this.
Mesmerized over the new frog home.
Another day, another pool…
Last morning at the lake….
On our way back through Atlanta, we walked through the Fernbank Science Museum – I remember coming here when I was in first grade! The same age as my second born.:)
And then my husband took the kids to see Finding Dory, so I could have dinner, and spend some much-needed time with dear friends I haven’t seen in years! I hate that our photo is iphone-grainy, but I love that we have it. There is a history here. I played basketball with one in high school, was college roomies with the other two, and all were my bridesmaids. Between us, we have 11 children – one sweet angel, Baby Jaynes, was only with us on earth a few, short months, and another one (a boy!) will be arriving in early October. Grateful for each and every one of these precious lives. This time went by way too fast, but I was so grateful to see these beautiful faces, catch up on life, and just laugh. Love and admire these ladies so very much.
Heading up to northern Georgia to take sweet Lilly home!
Visiting my dad’s house, and then went for a short drive over to visit my big brother’s beautiful home.
She made a new friend.
Georgie adores Baby Nash. She thinks he’s “the cutest baby in the world!”
Last day at Nana’s.
Written by Lilly Collins:
Like Lilly said, “No matter how far we are, we are always connected.”
Thanks for letting me share my enormous family post with you (minus two of my siblings)! I plan to get back into the normal style-post swing of things next week, promise. Many thanks, and gratitude to all of you that reached out, checking on me – I was truly touched. As you can see, all is very, happily well.