I begin this post with an apology.... for the awfulness of the photos.
Let's just say that family time trumps quality photo ops and leave it at that.
And I'll add that I am looking forward to retaking these photos soonish....
I am big on family.
I love my family. I love family get-togethers and spending time together and even vacationing together. Yes, I'm serious.
I love spending time with my siblings and their little families. I love watching our children interact together.... I love how my Lu is the big boss and how she comes up with fun ways to distract the boys from destruction, Mads is the sweet caretaker and protector of the littler girls, my Sammer and his cousin Jakers are the rough-housers and rabble-rousers, Ree is the busy bee- everywhere and in everything at once, Sare is all heart- quiet and sweet but tough as nails if you think you can take her on and then there's Tanner D....
This Little Man is the stinkin'est cutest dude ever. No doubt.
Tanner D and Auntie Mamie
The weather in these parts has been pretty Crazy with a capital C since the beginning of the year and even though my sister lives just an hour away, I haven't seen her since the middle of December. Being mama to two littles (3 years and 2.5 months) she's doing her best to learn the ropes or wranglin' two.... loading up the car with their copious amounts of necessary paraphernalia for an hour drive on slick roads is one adventure she's saying no to right now. And with good reason!
We tried making plans, once, twice, three times.... more. And the weather laughed at us. While my Lu was gone to Guatemala, Mr. Winter dumped an accumulation of 10+ more inches on us. The Saturday the Mister and I were to hit the road to brave the elements and visit with my sis and her hubs (and those 2 cutesy kiddos) ended up a raging blizzard. Sigh.
For someone who loves having their family around often and in big heaping doses.... it's been a rough couple of months not seeing my sister.
Which makes me very thankful for long phone calls.
While Lu was gone in Guatemala, she called once a day and more to check in with me. Due to some extenuating circumstances, day six of Lu's trip was most difficult for me. Missing her fiercely and dealing with some seriously upside down emotions (due to those extra circumstances) had thrown my Joy for a loop and I was one big hot mess.
The weather prevented my Sis from knocking on my door but not from coming to my aid. She prayed over me on the phone while I cried. And she shed tears with me.
Not once did she tell me I was wrong to feel what I was feeling or to even "put my big girl panties on". She knew I already had them on and I was battle weary and fatigued.
So she called in the cavalry.
About 45 minutes after getting off the phone with my Sis, my brother was knocking on my door with fancy coffee and amazing donuts from a local bakery.
He stayed for two hours talking to me, distracting me, encouraging me.
I have two siblings.
And both of them, in their own way, reached out to me and were Jesus with skin on to me when I needed it most. They, with God's grace, helped me to stand up under the weight of it.
I can't quite put into words what that means to me.
>>> Embrace the Camera is a year long challenge in which I agreed to take/have taken and post at least one photo of myself each week for 52 weeks. No editing out the wrinkles or digitally shrinking the waist line or cloning out the growing grey.... real pictures of the real me. Along with the photos comes bits and pieces of my heart- written out here as I walk this journey to capture the real me on camera for the remembering.Click here for all cumulative weeks of the Embrace the Camera Challenge.