Friday, August 09, 2013

Precious Memories

I just got home from the most incredible week visiting my family!  I'm so grateful to my sisters and mom and especially my dad for making the trip possible.  They pretty much ironed the whole thing out and then called and told me to pack my bags.  It was just what I needed!

During the first few days in western Kansas, I was able to meet up with a few classmates.  A couple of them I had not seen since our graduation eleven years ago!  It was super-fun to meet their kids, hold their babies, and catch up a little.  Unfortunately, we completely forgot to take a group photo!  Bummer.

I was also able to attend a service at the one and only church of my childhood.  The experience was interesting to say the least.  It was filled with lots of nostalgia, thoughts of my dear grandmother (who is buried in the church cemetery), self-reflection, and most of all thankfulness for my own unique God-journey.

Sunday after lunch, we buckled up and headed out to move my sister and her family into their new home in Colorado.  In stereotypical kid form, this little munchkin was asking "how long?" before we even got on the highway.

Monday was a busy day of cleaning and preparing for the arrival of the semi truck and the rest of the week was filled with lots of box-carrying and organizing.


I can't tell you how much I enjoyed spending time with my nine (yes, nine!) nieces and nephews.  Several of the young ones had really started talking since I last saw them and several of the older ones are old enough now to connect on a more mature level.  One, I met for the very first time (so sweet!) and we celebrated birthdays for two others while I was there.  It really was special! 

Toby (the little guy on my lap above) and I bonded one day on a walk/bike ride.  I said, "Toby, I like you!"  He replied, "I wike ooo too!"  My heart pretty much melted.

The view in every direction around their new home is absolutely to die for.  What I wouldn't give for a daily view of those mountains... and the air... there's something uniquely refreshing about mountain air.

This trip felt different to me.  Perhaps because it had been so long since I'd seen everyone or possibly because I'm finally growing up (ha!).  Do you know what I mean when I say that home shines a light on identity in a way that nothing else does?  I'm guessing this resonates more the further you live away from your family and childhood home.  And I think that this light reveals things that either stir up deep peace or anxious turmoil in the heart.  For the first time in a long time (in that setting), I felt deep peace.

On my last day there, Jillian was in no mood to have her picture taken. Obviously. She said, "I not gonna cheese.  I no wanna hm-mile."  But the picture below couldn't be any more perfect of Kensey. She is an absolute doll and has a personality to match. I missed those kids the minute I left, even more than the mountain views... which is quite a bit, as you may know.

Ok, so... funny story to wrap this up.  As we are stuck in traffic on the way to Denver, Sara and I are keeping the girls happy by doling out pretzel sticks.  All of a sudden, we hear Jillian say, "Ow, ow ow!" and I turn around to find her hunched over in her car seat with her hands up around her face.  Just as I realized what had happened, she proceeds to pull a two inch pretzel stick from her right nostril.  Her eyes water and she sneezes about five times.  Needless to say, Sara and I die laughing.  Several minutes later, Sara says, "Hey, ask her where that pretzel is."  I turn around and ask Jillian and she opens her mouth, points to her tounge and proudly says, "I ate it.  It in my tummy."  And the laughter commences again.  Hilariousness.



  1. Katie who moved to CO??? If Sara, why??? What are they doing? Did they adopt a new child??? Wow so many changes I'm having trouble putting it all together!! How exciting! Aunt'leney

    1. Hi there! Yes, life moves on huh? Brad and Sara moved to Westcliffe, CO. You'd have to ask Sara specifically why but I know they've liked this area since they went out there several years ago when Brad was slow with work. His work has picked back up though and he is continuing with that. Last summer they were placed with a birth mom and they took Kensey home from the hospital in August from NC. She is such a sweet thing! Hope you and your fam are all doing well! :) Think of you often!


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