You know the saying, "You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family"?
Well, lucky for me, my friends are my family and my family are my friends!
The week preceeding Charles's baptism, my incredible sister Sara flew in from Switzerland to spend time with me (and 17 other people, but mostly me), to meet her new nephew and to help prepare for the celebration.
Words cannot describe how elated I was to have here here with me - to talk, to laugh, to cry, to understand and share in the mahem and magic that motherhood and marriage can bring. Even in our silence there was communication - just to "be" begets a beauty in and of itself. A beauty that satisfies the soul in a way that words cannot. Because at times, there is so much you want to say, but know that words can so often come up short.
All of my family lives five or more hours away. With work schedules and other commitments, getting us all together can be a bit like solving a rubics cube that has been in the hands of a toddler. Tricky stuff. I just kept hoping and praying that all of my family would be able to reunite for the baptism.
As the week unfolded, it became clear that my eldest brother, Steve, and his family would not be able to come. My heart ached for Sara, because I knew how desperately she missed them and longed to be together. Then, to our great surprise, on Thursday evening, Benedict came running into the house and breathlessly announced that "Uncle Donut" was here.
Our children affectionately refer to my older brother, Steve, as Uncle Donut. My relationship with Steve is pretty much based on deep sarcasm, relentless teasing and occasional elbows to the ribs. He knows I'm strict about the amount of sugar the boys eat. What better way to get under my skin that to give my boys donuts? Not a donut, but donuts. As in a bag of dunuts. Arrrr.
I'm still formulating my plan for revenge. Needless to say they love him. Love, love love him. Who wouldn't love an Uncle who thinks chocolate glaze and powdered sugar are vital nutrients necessary for survival???
No, Steve, he is not on solids yet...now give me my baby you big corruptor!
Even though Steve was at our farm for less than 24 hours, we treasured the time we had with him - Sara especially.
With my parents and brother Scott and his family at the farm, we joined forces with Steve's family for a BBQ celebration after the baptism.
The two wine experts - it takes one to know one!
There's nothing like good conversation,
The boys loved hanging out with their beautiful cousin, Peyton for the evening.
On a serious note, when I consider the natural disasters that have occurred in our country over the past few weeks causing pain, suffering, loss and devastation to so many families, I am compelled to take a sincere pause, to give thanks for my family and friends. Thanks for their lives, their place and purpose in my life and in this world and thanks for every moment that we have together - moments that are precious and not to be taken for granted. We are fortunate indeed.
On a lighter note, I have to share this quote I came across last week. I know my brothers, who are big Blue Collar Comedy fans will appreciate it!:
"If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.'"Jeff Foxworthy
September 2011 = Road Trip - State Fair
Here's to Family!