Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Smile From My Heart

My cousin and his family came for a visit in May.  I have always enjoyed a visit from my cousin.  We grew up very close together, and it's difficult to have him a world away, especially since he and his wife had added two precious little nuggets to the group. 
I was able to visit over spring break to meet Jonathan for the first time.....at 5 months he's even MORE precious, if that's possible.  He's full of smiles, and runs out of cries really quickly.  He's such a laid back little guy, I can't wait to see who God is going to mold him to be.
 And then there is Blythe.  I'm biased, sure, but....her personality is larger than life.  She speaks.  Very.  Loudly.  And she's full of some pretty cute tidbits and an incredibly determined attitude. 
 We usually end up at Cracker Barrell at some point....something Jimmy and Lydia miss living in California....about the only time I go is when they are in town, but we always end up on the rockers afterwards.
 I had the family over for Memorial Day.  We made smores inside, or....marshmallow wands according to the princess obsessed three year old. 
 I took some family photos to be revealed later, and Jonathan ate my project.
 I also brought out the paints and Blythe got to work, which makes my soul happy.  This picture was of her Dad, but the first picture she painted I thought was a flower, but it turns out...it was 'Chickfila'.....guess where the family loves to head on a Saturday night or her birthday?
 We also headed to the zoo where we made a day of it feeding giraffes, riding camels, and discovering some of the undocumented creatures like the caterpillar, Blythe's obsession.  At one point I asked her if she knew the name of a bird (parrot), she told me it was a 'pirate bird.'  I miss hearing these cute observations on a regular basis.
 This little guy hung out and despite being a hot day he slept or clung to an arm most of the day and shared his smiles.
 Midweek Lydia had to head back to work and take the little guy with her.  I had Blythe over for a princess themed dinner while my aunt and cousin went to dinner.  We had talked it up, and when she got there I asked her what she had been doing today.  She told me she played and waited for the princess party. 
 It was quite the to do.  My Mom and cousin Holly joined in for the occasion.
 I shared one of my loves.....baking and decorating cookies. 
There aren't many times I'm happier than when all my family is around.  The distance makes my heart hurt, but I also think it helps me appreciate each moment and pack the most into a week.  It also reminds me how important it is to make them a priority.  For years we've been such a little clan of family, each new addition is such a blessing.  I sure hope it's not another year before we get to pack another week full of memories.  Going airplane ticket hunting now....

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