Wednesday, September 7, 2011


In the months of August and September, I was fortunate enough to take 3 trips with my family.

Weekend One: Girls Weekend
Anyone who spends anytime with me gets to hear about "My best friends from preschool on... the twins... Misty and Christy."  We met at Hominy Baptist Preschool when we were 3-ish and have been friends ever since.  Seriously- a 32-ish year friendship is nothing to joke about!  Having best friends who are twins teaches you a lot about how friendships ebb and flow.  One year I would be "closer" to Misty, the next I would be "closer" to Christy.  In school it typically depended who I had more classes with, or- more importantly- who I had lunch with (and could share a baked potato with, right Christy?)  We've been through just about everything together- Girl Scouts (and camp!), break-ups, divorces, Senior Week, death, weddings, arm amputations (well, really only one... I don't need to make that plural), miscarriages, babies, and lots of chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle.

When Mary died, the girls gave me a gift certificate to a spa to get a much needed massage.  The beauty of redeeming this gift was that I convinced them to go with me... so the three of us went to Asheville (our hometown!) together.. something we'd never done before.  Our weekend was filled with laughter, food, wine, a bus tour, amazing spa treatments, laughter, and some more laughter.  It's a beautiful thing to have people who love you like family.

Weekend Two: Roadtrip to Tennessee
My brother and his wife moved to Tennessee over a year ago when Katherine became a professor at Sewanee.  They recently bought a beautiful house there- so at the end of August my Dad, Elizabeth, and I went to visit them.  Seeing them was wonderful, but the trip itself was just as good.  I hadn't realized how little E knew of Daddy- in her nearly 5 years of life he's been dealing with 5 of his hardest years with his own cancer and Mary's.  Friday night when we checked in our hotel, E said "Mommy, I really like Dadaw... I mean I really like him!"  My heart stayed full that weekend with both of them enjoying each other.

Weekend Three: Rwanda Reunion
I had planned to sum up our camping trip for you with loads of words about what an amazing reunion this past weekend was... but Elizabeth Rutledge beat me to it on her blog.  The two families who traveled together, lived life together, adopted together, and were changed together got to see each other for the first time since we returned back in June.  It was a perfect reunion- no pressure to do anything but enjoy each other.  The kids played and played- and we laughed about things that didn't feel as funny 3 months ago.  I still feel so incredibly honored to have been a part of this experience- and loved being with this part of my family this weekend.

Family... they know you best and love you most.  I am blessed to be part of an amazing family- both related by blood and by tears.  You make me who I am and are walking beside me as that person is growing.  You walk beside me when I need company and give me space when I don't.  You surround me with your love and help me process life.  My space in this world is rich and full and happy because of my family... thanks be to God.

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