I was in Atlanta, GA with my family for roughly 4 months. I haven’t lived with my parents since high school and they moved to Georgia when I was in college --the "South" and small family dynamic was pretty foreign to me. After spending so much time with them I have a newfound appreciation for Georgia and most importantly my family, not matter how far we all are from one another.
|Days after the hospital.|
|Gwen and her Glamma|
Big geel, aka my mom. I don't know what I would have done without this woman. Some of my happiest memories were the hours after giving birth to Gwen. My mom stayed with me that night and I felt comfortable sleeping knowing she was right there. A shower and a few hours later my mom comes strolling in with bags of things for baby girl Gwen. It was the start of her endless generosity and obsession with my baby. My SIL said, moms/grandmas are special because they are one of the few people who love your children as much as you do. This is true, and I love what it has done for our mother-daughter relationship. Right now I miss my mom coming in my room, walking by e to greet Gwen with her token phrase What's going on girl, what's going on?! I wish I could cozy up with her in her and watch Million Dollar Listing. I definitely do not want to watch one of her favorite B movies, but I miss joking about them with her. My mom was always willing to change a diaper, dress Gwen up, bathe her and get me all my favorite snacks from the store. I felt spoiled with how well my mom took care of us. I realized how much she really loves me and sacrifices as a mother. I know I will be learning this lesson over and over as Gwen gets older, I'm just lucky to have witnessed and felt the sincerity of my mom’s love for so long.
I have always known my dad/Steve as a hard worker, but the past four months also reminded me how much he sacrifices for our whole family. I thought the first 36 hours of my life with Gwen were crazy; my dad was just as sleep deprived. He went from being in the delivery room, off to his calling, church, and then caught a plane to somewhere in the USA. I didn't see him until Thursday. It was humbling to see my dad come home exhausted and then find him doing something for the one of us. He was quick to help with dinner, Gwen, Collins, or just entertain us with some crazy story. My dad also has a talent for knowing the type of foods and restaurants I would LOVE and getting a baby to sleep. Right now I really miss watching him rock and sing to Gwenzo. He had the best lyrics about her mannerisms and gas.
Collins was born my senior year of high school; regrettably, we didn’t get to spend too much time together. It is apparent when you ask him to list his favorite people: #1 Conner, Evan, Mom, Dad, Ben, Gwen then me. I sort of agree with the order, so I'm not offended. I will cherish my time with Collins. He is such a sweet boy. Some of his acts of kindness would bring a tear to my eye, like bringing me water because he knew I needed to stay hydrated. Or the time he brought me “breakfast in bed” but left it on the toilet because I was on the shower. Had to eat it, the gesture was so thoughtful. He always invited me to do things with him and I felt bad when I was 9 months pregnant and couldn't keep up. What truly melted my heart was his love for Gwen. He told me, I normally don't like babies but when your sibling has a baby you love her. He is the best uncle and I can’t wait to see all the life lessons he teaches Gwen.
Geezy/Evan was preparing for his mission when I was in Atlanta. I got there days before he got his call and then he was off to BYU-I. From a distance we watched and tried to help Evan prepare for his mission and seeing him before he took off was a beautiful sight. On our way back to Kenya we stopped in Atlanta for a few days to join Ev as he received his endowments and gave his farewell talk. It had also been awhile since I have spent some quality time with Ev and it is wonderful to see the young man he has become. First of all, he is TALL. I love seeing his goofy side come out because he is in a man's body-- a nice reminder that he is the same Geez. He gave an inspiring farewell talk and it was exactly what I needed to hear because I didn't want to see him go.
Being home really made me miss having my whole family together. I want Conner back from his mission and wish Evan was only going for 18 months. Two years seems like a long time. By the time our family is together again it will have been over four years, we are basically at the half way mark. I can’t wait for the day we are all reunited. My mom and I are already planning that special Christmas.