For the first time ever - EVER - we vacay'ed with my Mom's side of the fam. And for the FIRST TIME in over 20 years I got to spend time with my Mom's nieces and nephews and their children/spouses.
It was awkward. It was strange. 20 years is a long time. It was very good. We had a blast. How do you "reunite" with people you haven't seen in that long, and even at that, people you barely knew. T and I stayed up late many a night...one night until 2:15am hanging with cousins and learning what their lives had been like. It was sweet and precious. We laughed. I got teary. My heart ached and filled with joy as I heard their stories.
One of my cousins fell in love with her spouse while serving our country overseas, which is where they met. Out of respect, honor, and obedience, they knew they could only be friends. Friendship is how it began. By the time they returned to the States, they'd logged a lot of hours talking and they had fallen in love. The first time they saw one another in plain clothes, she was like, "what are you wearing? What? You're a cowboy? I'm a skater/punk kind of dresser."
I love their story. I can understand falling in love with someone on the basis of friendship, but to fall in love with someone on the basis of friendship, never having seen the type clothes they wear, or what brands they buy, or what kind of car they drive, or what kind of house they live in, or how they wear their hair...wow. How much of a person do I sum up based on such shallow things? They had no idea. At one point someone piped up and said, "oh, but you knew after a few months you could change him." She quickly replied with "Oh NO! I don't want to change this man! I love this man." He's a little bit country. She's a little bit rock and roll. And they have a darling little girl. They were refreshing and reminded me to LOVE my husband and to STOP trying to change him.
It was a good time together. Surprise...I like my family. I was worried about how things would work out...would we gel? Would it be awful? Too weird? A week is a long time. It was wonderful and a time I look back on with fondness. We love them. And...they encouraged us greatly...to stick it out. To make the hard, but right, God honoring choices.
Mama and her girls...
Little Man kept running off...and we'd find him here...in a HUGE hole. I'm not surprised.
Thank you Mom, for a great time together. You outdid yourself with all the cooking and the little luxuries that made it great...fruit snacks...ice cream cones...sprinkles! Fun new books for the kids...and thank you for sleeping on the sofa TWO nights in a row. You are precious to me and I love you.
And thank you Uncle B. You put this together and you treated and it was wonderful. I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with my cousins. I love them. Thank you for making this happen.