To a devoted family on Labor Day

I love my family. It’s not often that all four of us, me, my two brothers, and my sister,  plus our Mom are all in one place -besides a wedding or funeral. Now that we are adults, we are scattered. We have our own lives and our own ways of navigating them. It’s HARD to get together, especially when you don’t live in the same town.

My sister lives in Houston, just south, in a town called Friendswood. One of my brothers lives in Jenks, near Tulsa. My oldest brother, lives in the town we were born in, Ada. It’s funny that both sisters are in Texas, both brothers are in Oklahoma. ALL of us work full-time, and have families. I can easily say it’s near impossible for all us to get together with all the kids and our mom. IMPOSSIBLE.

When we do, it’s like the paparazzi with all the camera flash bulbs. We have to record those moments. I live for those times, not only because I get to see my brothers and sister, but because I can see my mom’s face brilliant with pleasure. The gratification she gets from our growth, from our our lives, from our children born. The honor it brings her to touch and hug every one of them. How exceptional. How rare.

This weekend, I witnessed an event similar to my family but with Jason’s family. We had an impromptu cook out. It came together very quickly without hardly any notice. His stepbrother’s girlfriend sent me a message on Facebook asking if we were doing anything for the Labor day holiday. This was on Sunday night about 8pm.

Actually, we weren’t doing anything, which sounded blissful and concerning at the same time.  Shortly after her message, he found out he would get to keep the girls from 11am-7pm. O happy day!!! THAT lead to an all out  celebration and wasn’t it just natural that we wanted to throw a party? *like we do every time the girls are around we celebrate every moment*

So, just like that, a  party was born. A cookout. A celebration with both of his brothers, step brother, step-brothers girlfriend Beth, his Mom , Step-dad and ALL the kids (8 of them). Additionally, my neice Jaelynn came as well as my daughter and some dear friends on the cusp of their wedding, Lonnie and Rachael. The only one unable to come was his step-sister Kim, with her baby Landon, who was ill.

This kind of celebrating calls for some big activities. We got out the water slide. Oh yeeeaah. It’s about 20 feet tall, has a generator to keep it aired up and a water hose shooting out of top to slick it up for sliding. The kids climb it from built in foot holds then slide down barrell down it pell mell, shrieking to a splash at the bottom. *man to be kid again*


Seriously this thing is AWESOME!

It is pure entertainment just to WATCH them in all their glory. We even had a big blow up pool, off to the side, just in case THIS wasn’t enough fun.

Hold up a second, can I brag on Jason’s backyard? It’s gorgeous, peaceful, and tree-shaded (mostly).  I got the pleasure of gardening there this year. Amazing. It is a HAVEN of mine and his. I have a garden post that I will share very soon with all the flowers. Next year, I hope to do fairy garden with the girls.

Ah, but back to the cook out and the reason for this post.

A cook out in a great back yard with family.

Family. To witness this families love for each other. The way they gather last minute without blinking an eye. The children enjoying the merriment of romping with their cousins. It is such a prize to behold.

Nothing is a coincidence. Not your family, not where you live, not who your parents are, who crossed paths with you, who your ex is, who your children are, where you work, go to school, you reading this. NOTHING. There is a purpose, a reason, a meaning behind it all.

This post is about seeing a wonderful family come together. Seeing the heart and soul of a family soaring and relishing time. As each cousin chased another, up and down the slide, their eyes were a thousand twinkling stars. Their laughs, a song of delight so sweet to the ears.

I have no doubt, that, all of them living in the same city is NO coincidence. It was God breathed. Their mother has a SOUL full of love. She would be swallowed by it – if she were not able to pour it out onto her grandchildren,  her sons, and her daughter-in-laws. They soak it up and they shine. They shine her light. Her love.

Witnessing their togetherness is a great joy of mine.  I can stand back and appreciate the greatness of it. I can’t imagine ANY of them living anywhere else. It would be a shame. This is where they belong.

If Jason or his girls had ended up in Massachusetts, where their mother is from, I can not imagine how different this picture would have been. It took all them to make it just right. It’s what God wanted from the beginning. I just know it.

The cook out continued inside for some family fun Rock Band which was jamming. I got some pictures on my other camera that I don’t have here, but will add to this soon because it’s too good to miss, especially a five year old boy, who head bangs perfectly to Metallica.

Life. Love. Laughter. It’s what I live for. I watch for those moments and I saw it on Labor Day. It was everything I relish and more.  It makes me more grateful for those rare times with my family. It makes my heart smile.

Here’s hoping your Labor Day was as incredible as mine. Enjoy the “short” week.