Thursday, April 18, 2019

last weekend

There is something almost holy to me about having your whole family together after some have left. I don’t think you can ever explain it until you are in it, and even then, there are not words.  There is just love just filling up the air and oozing out of all the pores in your whole body.  I’m dramatic I know, but to me this past weekend was a holy one.

It was a blurry one too, there were so many comings and goings and I didn’t get much sleep. There were a lot of other family members here too.  My parents came to town at the same time. They wanted to see Grace and Claire's last tennis match of the season and my dad had his own tennis match here. A bunch of extra cousins were in town too...Dave's sister and her family were here for a week, then the kids left and her college daughter McKenna, who is another of Elle's best friends joined us in time for the wedding and stayed with us a couple nights, and Dave's oldest brother and his wife and another sister came to town too. 

Before people started coming, Grace and I snuck off with one of her friends to take some senior pictures.  It was so windy but we wanted to give it a whirl.  I'll have to post our favorites soon.

Grammie and Grandfather arrived first. Their flight was late so they missed dinner with everyone but it was fun for Dave and I to have them to ourselves while the girls were all at mutual camp kick-off.  

I took my Mom on my BrainFood route, and we talked deep about so many things, but mostly family revelation (she, my dad and my sister are deep into writing a book about that right now).  Boy, I’m so grateful for the pathway we sometimes don’t recognize until we’re past it.

We went to Grace and Claire’s last tennis match of the season.  
Grace was playing practically the whole time so I didn't get a pic. of just her with my parents, but here she is about to win her match :)

Abby rolled in half-way through (same flight as my niece so Dave's sister dropped her off) and joined Grandfather in the grapevine watching the end of Grace’s match.
Ha!  (This is a funny exercise my dad does when he wants to keep moving that we are all endeared to :)

Josh came too...good crowd for that last match and I didn't even have time to get all emotional about it being the last....

...because the three of us had to hustle off to my niece's wedding dinner (not the one who just flew in with Abby luckily!)
It felt so good that it wasn't OUR wedding dinner and all three of us loved just relaxing and enjoying all those good people gearing up for the next day.

Abby and I walked Lu to school, and midway there up drove Dave, Elle and Max (they had just flown in on hour-apart flights that morning).  Hooray!
(Lucy was in a pretty awful mood but they snapped her out of it by the time we got to the school.  Those big kids have that kind of Lucy power.)

A little father/son ping pong and accidental matching:
Some girl talk before the bridal party was to meet up:
So happy to have these cousins back together:

Does this house look familiar?:
Yep, my cousin-in-law was the one who hosted Abby's bridal shower (back HERE) and was on for hosting duties again (she is SO good at that).  It was so fun to join in for a little bit with the bridal party as they got ready.

Then it was off to the WEDDING!
I know I mentioned this, but those two in the back seat were so happy to be there to enjoy someone else's wedding they didn't have to be the stars of.  And that lady in the front seat was pretty relaxed/happy as well!

So happy for these two!

(Missing the fourth cousin in this close-knit cousin bunch above...she is serving as a missionary in Florida right now.  We missed you Jaylee!)

We were also missing one of the nine siblings (on a family trip that had been planned well before the wedding), but so great to have these eight together:

Missing no one in this family though!
Woo Hoo!

Excuse this second car picture today, but this time it was with Dave's brother and his wife who were in town from Milwaukee:
We stole them away for lunch to meet up with our family, and loved sitting there on the patio eating tacos surrounded by all those people I love in one spot.

On to the reception:

Dave's Uncle and Aunt who we love, and Max are good friends with their granddaughter up in Provo:

There was something pretty grand about the reception. 

Not the part where Lucy was all doom and gloom, tears rolling down her cheeks that we were making her be there and that there was no food she liked and that no one cared about her.  No, the time I loved was when something switched to make her happy and our whole family was dancing our hearts out on the dance floor.  I love that Dave has passed dancing skills on to all of our children and they have got the moves, and they make me join them sometimes. 

I’m not going to try to describe how that felt that night all tightly knit together, everything else faded in the background except to say it was holy to me.

The next day we did this:

And this:

We came home and met up with my niece (Elle's fellow bridesmaid) and a companion from her mission and hung out in our back yard all afternoon. 

We set up the volleyball net and had a great game with all nine of us and Lucy keeping score and I looked around and realized it’s ok that my kids are growing up.   
There is something pretty great about a family ebbing and flowing and growing and morphing and I love what we’re becoming.

My parents had been with my brother that day, then joined us as the sun started to slant.

We went and played tennis:

(My dad is really confused in that picture above because can't figure out how these girls got so dang good.  HA!)

Then this barefoot duo joined in too:
Crazy kids.

We had a really late dinner, and a good dance during clean-up:
(I love that area for after-dinner dancing which happens more than you would guess...)

Since dinner was so late we didn’t start our last game night until even later but I loved having my table crowded to the max with our whole family and Mom and Dad and McKenna and even my brother-in-law who happened to drop by and we lured him in for a few rounds.
Then, late-night hot tubbing.

We had our whole family together for church and and I was determined to get there on time (8:30am), but there was a comedy of errors that morning that I won't go into details about, but it all melted away when Elle and Abby came in to join my primary class and shared how they know Jesus is real and spilled out so much beauty into that crowded room.

It was a good weekend.
I hate goodbyes, but college is over so dang quick before we know it we'll all be back again.  And then split again. And then together again.

And so it goes.  The life of a growing, expanding family. 

I am a grateful mama.
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