First of all, these are two of the things I am most grateful for. There aren't enough words to express the amount of gratitude I feel to God for entrusting me with the care of these two exquisite human beings. I am humbled and awed at the responsibility.
Another angle. She was still over the moon that he was there.
For the actual Thanksgiving holiday we went down South to Sweet Home Alabama. We drove 16 hours from Kansas City to Montgomery, Alabama in ONE DAY! And you know what? It was so easy. We got stuck in traffic in Nashville, but the kids did great! Rob and I could not get over how easy the trip was. It flew by and we were so happy to pull into my parents driveway.
The next day my sister and her family drove down from Birmingham to spend the weekend with us. Bennett and Will were so happy to see their grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. And you know what? So was I!
Anyhoo.... where was I? Oh, yes. The day after Thanksgiving I was able to spend some amazing quality time with my dear cousins, Erin and Elliot. I have blogged many times over the years about how these two are more like sisters than cousins to me. We were all raised together only a few miles apart and all went to the same private school together growing up. They were my first playmates and we did everything together when we were kids. Dance lessons, recitals, summers spent in the pool..... In fact, Erin and I were in the same class because we are only 5 months apart in age. She is due to have a baby girl in about a month and so I was thrilled to see her. It was our first time to all be together since my Grandmother's funeral this summer.
A lot has actually happened since my Grandmother passed away. Just about a month or so after Elliot was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was a shock to the whole family, but she is dealing with it like she deals with everything in her life. With strength, grace, beauty, and the strongest faith in Jesus Christ imaginable. I humbly ask for any of you reading this to pray for her healing and for her recovery. She can explain things so much more eloquently in her own words.
Seeing her alone was worth the entire trip.
Here are me and my sister with our cousins. The four Granddaughters of the incomparable Polly Patterson.
And here we are with all of our kids. Grandmom loved each of these "angel babies" so very much.
I love this picture. Of course I wish I had been smiling and not doing whatever I was doing, but I love the way Bennett and Elliot are looking at each other. Priceless.
Will wanted to kiss away Elliot's boo boo's.
I love my family!!
So, the next day was the Iron Bowl! Forget Christmas. If you live in Alabama you wait 364 days for this game. It is a big deal. It was held in Auburn this year which is only 45 minutes from where my parents live. Plus College Game Day way going to be there, so that settled it. I needed to drive to Auburn to to try to find Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews. Forget Lee Corso. H's on my bad list ever since he picked LSU to beat Bama this year. Never mind that they did. Croso is not my friend anymore. But we went, had a great time, and ran into some dear friends. Oh, and ummmm.... we won! ROLL TIDE!
All in all, being home was absolutely wonderful. I got to shop for cute southern clothes. This is the boys section by the way. I feel as if I needed to explain that to the 99% of you that are scratching your head in disbelief. Get over it. It's cute, dangit.
I got to catch up with dear friends who are so good for my soul.
Although we had the easiest trip down, our trip home was a nightmare. We got majorly stuck in Thanksgiving traffic, the kids were terrible, and Will threw up the entire last leg of our trip. We couldn't even make it to exit ramps. We had to stop on the side of the road and change his clothes and clean the car seat in 30 degree weather multiple times. It was awful. And I was sad. I missed my family. But when I got home, I opened my phone and saw this note a certain someone had left me.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11