So this post is really late but whatev! I truly look forward to my trips home like nothing else. It is a breath of fresh air to see my family and since Giovanna was born last year, I seriously crave seeing her. Some of my favorite moments are hanging out with my sisters and of course the photo above wouldn’t have been complete without G. Lindsey, Shelby and I are all extremely different but we have a strong sister bond that is full of honesty and trust. I always laugh a lot with my sisters and I don’t think I would appreciate our time together nearly as much if I lived nearby and got to see them all the time.

Want to hear more about my trip? More photos and writing BELOW!

I love this photo of Shelby and Giovanna. She was so cute in her little life vest! I could just follow her around all day!

The main reason for my trip home was for Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th Anniversary party. Wow — 50 years? I can’t even imagine. Grandma seemed so happy that day, to have all of her friends and family there to celebrate something not many people get to. There was a nice dinner and my Florida family had flown in, as well as a few folks that were in the wedding party! Neighbors, friends, the ones my grandparents loved the most were there. During a time for remarks, people were invited to speak about Grandma and Grandpa. My sister got up and gave an amazing little speech.

The truth is, we appreciate every single day with Grandma so much because she has battled and overcome cancer three times — is still battling it actually. When someone in your life nearly dies — more than once — it’s hard not to recognize the blessing of their presence. I’ve said many times that my Grandma is the most kind, compassionate person I’ve ever met. She has prayed faithfully for my family — and mom and dad in particular over the past 30 years. Lindsey made that point in her dedication — mentioning how Dad has said again and again that if it wasnt’ for Grandma, he might not be here. My parents relationship hasn’t always been great and I know they have struggled over the years. My sister told Grandma and Grandpa how much they’re prayers and support have meant over the years to our family, that us girls especially appreciated it. She was tearing up and I was tearing up and Mom and Dad were tearing up. It was a very poignant and touching moment. We all knew it was true. What prayer has done for our family, we may never truly know.

Being there, listening to Lindsey speak, was one of those moments frozen in time. One of those moments when everything of significance is blaringly clear. The simplicity of the greatest things in life revealed: family, friends, and love. There aren’t that many times in life that a sobering moment comes upon you. This was one of them. Sitting there are the table next to my sisters and my parents, and recognzing the truth of Lindsey’s words…that is a moment I won’t forget.

The extended family. Grandma, Grandpa, their three daughters, husbands and all the grandkids. It’s always amazing to think how so many people, so much personality and love came from just two.

Hanging out with Gigi. It’s hard to get a great shot of her smile but I liked this one of us looking at eachother.

Love my aunties! One of my favorite things to do when I go home is spend an afternoon happy hour with my aunts Andrea, Angie and Cheryl (not pictured). They are always out for a good time and we laugh a lot. Plus — they are always stocked no the good liquor 🙂

You’ll have that. Shelby. Killin’ it.

We rented a boat for the day, which was awesome! I really love boat days though they are such a rarity in my life. When I heard we were all piling on one — a double decker with a slide — I was thrilled. It was beautiful and a blast.

This was my favorite photo the whole trip. Lighting isn’t great but Mom and Dad were so excited for Giovanna to climb up the stairs by herself. Mom climbed up behind her while Dad waiting and encouraged from the top. It was a fun moment to watch happen. She is sure a loved little girl!

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