**Uh. Yeah. I started this post two weeks ago. Super. So I'm posting it. And then another new one. I'm one awesome blogger.
One of the main things on our summer to-do list was "Get to Knoxville as much as possible." The reason for this is simple-COUSINS! One of the biggest blessings in my life is my siblings and then in turn, their children. As I've mentioned once, or a hundred times, I am beyond blessed to have one sister with me here. Her kids are like my kids. In fact, Van looked at me just yesterday and said, "You're almost my mom." Yes, little buddy, I am. And I couldn't be happier about it!
Yesterday, we returned from our second trip to Knoxville. We went to celebrate my oldest nephew's birthday. Weston is 7. SEVEN. He has no front teeth and he's almost as tall as me already. And he's SEVEN. I can't even deal. It is not only hard for me to accept that he is seven, I also have to come to terms with the fact that my girl Lyla will be seven soon. And shortly after that? Drew.will.be.seven. I can't even handle it a little bit.
The party was an absolute blast and so cute-baseball theme. You should have seen the adorable decorations made especially by Nana. I would love to show you a picture. Only, I didn't take a single one. My favorite feature was the Big League Chew my kids got to bring home. I may have had some. Twice. Whatever.
It just makes my heart so happy to see my kids playing with all their cousins. And that doesn't even cover the good it does my soul to be with my people: my sisters, my brother and my dad. And yes, being there, and together makes the ache of missing Mom burn a little hotter. But there is also nothing better for the ache than being able to be together and talk about her. My sister has a beautiful picture of Mom in her kitchen. We have gotten to the place where we can have some humor about the picture. For example, I needed to work on the little table where her picture sits. So I moved her! I said I didn't think she'd mind because I was working on church work, after all!
I don't know about you, but there is nothing better than my tribe. I do hope you have one. They all look a little different. And, in fact, your tribe may change over the years. But there is nothing more comforting than the people who hold you close, call you out, hug you tight, listen to you rant, pray for you and love you no matter what, for real.