Wednesday, July 13, 2011

....our journey.....


....there is significance to this picture......not quite realizing it as I snapped it during our one day layover in Ocean City, MD during our voyage home from our vacation; I realized as I browsed through the pictures from our trip that this is how I watched my children during this past week's family reunion.....from the shadows.....from the background or from a distance, if you will.....sure there were times when I had a special moment or two with them, but I mostly watched our girls interact with our 21 other family members over the course of a week, enjoying the independence from my wing.......some of our relatives they know well, some they don't remember, some they had never met.....but it didn't matter who it was.....they loved to be around the newness of sharing a 10,000 square foot house on a lake in North Carolina with family......and I love that they loved every minute of our vacation and their own exploration, regardless if I watched them in the shadows or spotlight.....

.....my girls are blooming and to witness this is joyous and heartbreaking all at once......comforting and unsettling; surprising, but expected all swirling around in one emotion.....realizing both girls are spreading their wings.....choosing to sit at another table at lunch; instead of the usual chair nestled next to me......choosing an uncle over Mommy for a ride on the boat, fearlessly running off with family in their quest for fun without as much as a wave goodbye......and Stefan and I laughed and marveled at the independence.....we certainly enjoyed moments alone or times when it was the two of us with our sweet Brody.......we waved from afar at our girls, silently looking at one other with the same awe and excitement of seeing our flesh and blood blossom.....









.....and as crazy as it sounds, there were many nights as I was tucking them in after a long, sun filled day when I told them I missed them.....and they would giggle and chuckle asking me, how can you miss me, Mommy?.....I am right here.....oh, someday they will understand......

.....I have certainly had these fleeting feelings before; suddenly in a moment's time realizing that one of my babes has made great progress in their independent journey of growth......and I think the times of feeling your young pull away are necessary; as God prepares us for the next phase one small step, ever so slowly......timely allowing us to gradually grow, observe, and welcome new experiences that enable us to be prepared for His plans.....







.....so we take the moments that we can.....we use all of our senses to enjoy them.....the smell of sunblock as a cheek is pressed against me asking for one more swim in the pool.......the harmonious sound of their giggles, the sight of their grand smiles; plastered continuously while we celebrated being on our vastation, as Callie would put it......


                                                   Brody's first boat ride 7.3.11


....and we celebrated the week like no other.....my Mom and her sisters as the gracious hostesses, countless hours of planning in order for the week to take place.....8 children between the three of them, plus in-laws and children of in-laws, plus babies and toddlers, not to mention two bumps that will add another two for future reunions.......all of it equaling a group so big and festive that my grandparents had to have been beaming from up above.....












.....each day filled with sunshine, boating, kayaks, fishing, tubing or napping next to the saltwater pool.....a place so remote, that leaving the house meant a 20 minute drive to find anything.....it was perfect for maximizing a week with family we don't get to see that often.....and as each day came to a close, one of the families within the extended family prepared dinner and the group activity to follow......we ate, we drank, we played games, we recognized birthdays......we laughed, we talked, we confided, we cherished.....





                                                                         Callie eating boar Uncle John hunted and prepared.....she loved it.....









.....and when I had a moment during the madness of it all, I would watch and inhale the scene.....the busy family buzzing in the kitchen preparing the meal for the night.....chaotic and hurried, yet relaxed and fun......toddlers squealing and running around the living area, small clusters of family sharing an anecdote about their lives, wine glasses being filled and clanked together in toasts, BBQ flames highlighting the porches, rocking chairs rumbling the wooden deck, all of us gathering for prayer and thanksgiving and babies being passed and shared by everyone.....

..... and for the record, reunions just aren't complete without a baby or two.....they add a calming effect on the entire group because everyone gets a moment to scoop up an infant, enjoy their smiles, their coos and the feel of their creamy, milky white skin.....









                                           Brody's first dip in the pool- 7.7.11

.....and after a week of 21 of us living in blissful, chaotic, noisy, laughter filled harmony in the same lake house, I am reminded to be thankful that I have a family who wants to spend time together.....a family that, without hesitation, takes a week off work to carve out time to be with the ones they love.....three sisters who were raised by incredible parents, my grandparents, who would be so honored, happy and touched to see all of us together.....they would be proud of the legacy they left behind....


....and I aspire to leave the same legacy as the ones before me.....I have three babes to give the same gift that I have been given.....my three blessings.....they are my everything....













.....and I know at the next reunion, we will be in another phase of this journey of parenthood.....and luckily, we have some amazing role models to help guide us through newness of what is sure to come.....


.....Mom, Aunt Christy, Aunt Al....thank you so much for the week at the house and for planning such a memorable vacation.....I love our family.....and I love what's ahead......



.....until next time....

                                                            xxoo

8 comments :

Michelle said...

That was such a fun week! It was so great to see y'all. Thank you for this post and the awesome pictures! Hopefully we can see you again soon! Love, Michelle

Becky Jane said...

All those sweet babies and little kids having fun...sounds like your vacation was a success! Your first photo is so cool! Should win a prize somewhere!

Lexie Lane said...

What a really great collage of photos. I had so much fun looking at them! Thank you for sharing and I must say, you have such a lovely family.

Hope you're having a great week Tracy. Just stopping by to say hello.

Sincerely,

Lexie

jbplbarbara said...

Beautiful pics and such an adorable family. Looks like the kids were having too fun with ice cream and swimming. Thanks for sharing these great pics and for connecting on voiceBoks. Hope to see more posts.
Have a good rest of the week,
Barbara
Español para Niños (Spanish for Kids)

Jen (emeraldsunshine.org) said...

That looks like so much fun! I really love that first photo. :)

Kathy said...

What a great time you all looked like you had!! I'm so happy for you that you got to enjoy such a wonderful visit!! The pictues were great!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Kathy
Via VoiceBoks!

Alysia said...

What fun! Love all the pictures, looks like an incredible time!

Samantha said...

I found your blog from VoiceBoks. Please come check me out at http://sjkatigbak.blogspot.com