Monday, September 8, 2014


I've blogged exactly half our summer. I don't know how I fell so far behind: living, I guess. Now it's back-to-school. In years past, this has saddened me, but at the start of this school year, I became both a high-school-band mom and a home-school mom. I can't stop smiling. I want to write more about these things, but I want to catch up, first.

I especially don't want to let summer slip away without my sharing that some of summer's greatest blessings were opportunities to visit with family. Andrea and her bunch live about forty-five minutes from us, and I have some cousins at the beach; otherwise, our relatives are outside of Virginia. We love living here but miss our people.

I grew up (Have I told you this?) with grandmothers who were best friends. It was the strangest, best thing. I could very well attend a family reunion of my dad's people, for example, along with my mom's parents and sister. After we moved to Tennessee, my four grandparents drove south together, to visit. If I mailed a letter to one grandma, she would call the other to share it over the phone. (Would it be wrong for me to pray for Cade's mother-in-law to be my best friend?)

Anyway, all of it came back in a rush, this July, when great chunks of our family happened to be in Virginia Beach at the same time. Jim's brother's family drove from Ohio, and my parents, brother's family, and my mom's family (many of her siblings and their children/grandchildren) drove and flew in from all over the country. Jim, the kids, and I slipped over for a little more than twenty-four hours. We walked the boardwalk with Jim's brother's family, and the next day (a rainy day) visited Nauticus with Jim's brother's family, my brother, and my brother's older son. That afternoon, Jim and I put his brother's younger daughter in the seventh seat of our minivan and drove to Sandbridge to visit with my parents, my brother's family, my mom's family, and--get this!--two of my dad's nieces, their husbands, and one niece's grandson, all gathered in the same house.

I know that's terribly confusing, but trust me: it was beautiful. I hope my photos bring you some small measure of the joy those twenty-four hours brought me.

Jim and Chip on the Boardwalk

Clementine, Niece Adalynn Grace, and Chip on the Beach after Dark

Clementine, Adalynn Grace, and Jim's Brother Terry on the Boardwalk

Adalynn Grace at Nauticus

Terry and Adalynn Grace, with My Crew...

I didn't come close to photographing everyone in the house in Sandbridge, and I'm not going to label out the collages, below. Still, I think I captured the spirit; at least, I feel a little weepy, just now, looking over the photos.

Jim, the kids, and I connected with family a few other blessed times, too, over the summer. In my next post, I'll share some of those photos.


  1. TOTALLY AWESOME! Family ROCKS!!! You are so blessed that everyone melds together in one big happy family! Much like mine is. So cool that whoever is there is oh so friendly, and just happy to be with everyone else!

    As always, your photography ROCKS, too!

    Peace <3

    1. Thank you, Jay. When the moderator said I had a pending comment, I thought (without opening to see from whom): Oh, Jay. I'm so glad you're my friend. :)