"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Relatives Came

Memorial Day weekend was good.  It was good on so many levels, for rest, for love, for no reason at all.  
It did my heart some good.  
We met up with family, we did nothing, we played, we lost count of cookies eaten.  We caught up on life and watched cousins play.  We forgot the things we wanted to forget about and we soaked in the present.
And I couldn't help but think, as each day and scene played out, of my favorite childhood book The Relatives Came.
A story of a family in Virginia, leaving their home to travel to see more family.  Simple as that.

I think it's funny that this sweet, little story has such a special place in my heart.  Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with lots of family, not knowing what a busy holiday packed full of cousins felt like.  Not knowing the joy of being greeted by a herd of aunts and uncles ready with hugs and cheesy jokes.
Maybe because there's a simplicity and ease to the story, how the beautiful pages of this story warm my heart and make me smile.  
And as I sat back and relished in this sweet weekend of memories with family, I smiled to myself and thought how similar these moments are to the pages of this sweet story.  
We packed up our babies and drove to east Texas, all meeting up with Chris' brothers and families for a few days on a pond surround by pine trees.

And so begins our story of when the relatives came.
We arrived last, late in the night and the cousins poured out of the house scooping up our girls and telling them of the fun that was to come.  Morning couldn't come soon enough.

We quickly learned our girl has a deep, patient love of fishing.  She was the first one out of the dock in the mornings and the last one inside as the sun slipped behind the trees.

We spent hours on the water fishing for bass and talking about life.  Important stuff like how school is going, her favorite color today, what she wants to be when she grows up.
The good stuff.

Cousins picked back up where they left off last time and aunts cuddled babies and her laughter filled up the room, and my heart.

I watched from a far, wishing I was closer to hear how he speaks to her, how she responds.  What they're talking about and the way she looks up at him as their hands meet.

And I smile because I know this is special, the moments of families gathering together in their love and joy, their tiredness and imperfections.  We pile it all in and bring it with us, because that's what families do.

There's a special smile and joy in their faces when we're together that goes beyond schedules and routines being lifted and the answer to most questions being yes.  They know they have our full attention.  They know there's no work, no job, no stress, no mundane to-do's.

Where the pace slows and picks up when we say so.

Alice wanted to walk with just me, several times a day.  So we did just that.  And she told me all about her.  I asked her the same questions each time we snuck away together and her answers changed every time.

I loved this weekend.  In so many ways it was beyond wonderful.
Just plain good for the soul.

Tomorrow summer begins, pieces of life resume, schedules ensue and the things I wanted to forget about will make their appearances, both big and small.
We said our goodbyes and my girls cried...a lot.

And maybe I wanted to cry too.

Tonight we tucked in tired babies and kissed them goodnight, watching them drift off to sleep no doubt off to dreamy land of fishing and playing cards, being loved on until their tanks were full to the brim.
And we though about those aunts, uncles, and cousins.
What a wonderful weekend, when the relatives came.


  1. beautiful pics, and what a special time...makes me wish for a huge family!!!

  2. Love this! Love big family gatherings... my dad is one of 8 and I always LOVED getting together with everyone!

  3. What a great post Meg! I love picturing you and Ali on your walks! I know your heart was so happy :) Love you!

  4. What a beautiful time! It sounds so dreamy and fun. :) Glad you got to take that trip. Your girls will remember having times with their cousins like this for the rest of their lives.