For most of us, we have parts of family we see less than others due to location or other dynamics, and the rare times we're able to get together are all the sweeter. Often, the only time I saw those from my mom's side of the family was on Thanksgiving each year. It's for this reason I've always looked forward to, and savored, Thanksgiving so much. Even more than my grandma's pumpkin pie if possible.
I love this family. They are the crew who have most illustrated to me what family is about; with all our bumps and bruises and beauties and differences. Though I was the oldest grandchild, other siblings of my mom weren't far behind so I've been surrounded by amazing cousins I love dearly, and feel far closer to than the limited amount of time we get to spend together should allow. I adore them. All of them.
It's for these reasons I've always eagerly looked forward to the Thanksgiving drive to Oklahoma. (And it takes a lot for a Texas girl to look forward to a trip to Oklahoma). Family would pour in. My grandparents house is across the street from my Uncle and Aunt's allowing the crowd to flow back and forth from one to another eating, laughing, running, playing, and sharing our hearts for the brief but precious time we were allowed together on Thanksgiving. It was a time that has always lived up to its name.
Growing older, things have changed. Many of us have faced that tricky transition that comes with getting married and figuring out holidays. Our solution has been to switch out each year. Thanksgiving with my family this year, Christmas with his, and vice versa the next. All of my siblings have adapted this same schedule as they've married, so we're all in sync.
It's difficult because you're always missing out on something, but the years that I miss this Thanksgiving feast (which often means two years between seeing any of this part of my family) are especially tough. THANKfully, this year was Thanksgiving year with "my" family, and I was so excited to be with them again.
The last time we had gathered all together we were announcing for the first time our ideas of heading to Ecuador. We had a lot to catch up on...not to mention all the new babies who have joined the clan during that amount of time.
We had an incredible time together and I was thankful for every moment. It is such a joy to know that no matter where we go, what we do, what mistakes we make, successes we have, or differences we come to, we will always have each other to lean on.
Here are a few pics from our weekend; though most of the time I was doing my best to keep up with the herd of new babies, growing toddlers, or fun little girls running around and got too caught up in the memories to photograph them. That's a good thing sometimes.
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."