lots of hugs and kisses,
sight word reading time (the kids' favorite),
and finished off with bath time with Daddy.
(Hunter loves writing letters with his tub crayons.)
After the bath it was breakfast time with P-Pa and the gang.
Uncle Josh cooked up a yummy eggs, biscuit and bacon meal for all of us.
And we celebrated one very special little boy's birthday.
(Emerson loves to hold one leg up in mid-air and hold it there whenever
she is sitting. I swear it's because shedoesn't want to get dirty or touch whatever
is under her foot.)
After getting dressed we headed over to the "big house" for the day's festivities.
(Emerson with cousin Hannah.)
Sissy loved the blow-up pool we set up for her.
(Little Miss in her first bikini from
our friend Deena.)
(Emerson is wearing my great Aunt Jo's necklace
that was given to her by her stepdad, Branch, when she
was 16. It's about 75 years old.)
(Emerson's gorgeous hat is made by Chic Peek from etsy.)
Aside from some pesky gnats*, mother nature delivered us a gorgeous day full of sunshine which provided the perfect platform for lots of raft time,
laughing and catching up,
and a king's feast of delicious raw oysters, fried catfish, shrimp and chicken along with cole slaw and creamy grits just after this handsome fellow led us in a beautiful blessing.
(Uncle Guy - the Chief of this family.)
We finished the day by throwing the ball with Bailey and then headed home to rest up and change for the evening.
Our little family plus four arrived just as the guitar playing and singing got started. The vibe was laid back, the air a cool warm and the gnats had thankfully decided to take the night off.
(I'm embarrassed to say that my daughter had a complete
meltdown because I wouldn't let her drink anyone's wine.)
(And as you can see she's still trying....she's persistant
and although it's challenging sometimes, I like it.)
(Hunter pulled out all his best dance moves.)
(And then Daddy joined in.)
(My cousin Tammy. She has a heart of gold and makes
always makes me feel like a million dollars. She also has one of the most
infectious laughs I've ever heard.)
Although these pictures won't do justice, I learned my daughter has a love for live music. She danced, blew kisses, grabbed the sides of her head and dropped to the ground like the best of a Beatle's fan.
(Blowing kisses to the band.)
I was able to spend time with one of my favorite cousins, Jarrett. She is gorgeous and an amazing mom to four beautiful kids. I could spend hours talking to her.
The night got late and a little silly. Someone put Emerson's flower in P-Pa's hair...I swear he wouldn't have known if Julie didn't tell him!
(Me with my little brother and our beautiful cousin Leslie.)
(I am blessed to be born into such a gorgeous family!!
I love you cuz's!!)
(Ironically, look at how we have stood for our
annual threesome picture for the past few years....)
(We squeezed a little KK action in here too!)
We were lucky enough to have our own personal cheerleader for the night complete with toilet paper pom poms, thank you Alicia.
Our family is also fortunate enough to be blessed with the "Willie Nelson dancers"....
...along with many other talented dancers. There's nothing I like better than seeing a couple who dance well together. (KK and Vance, I missed you!)
(Ok, this face my Dad is making is classic!)
Our gang wrapped up the night a little earlier than others. We were full of chatter the entire ride home talking and laughing about new memories being made.
Whenever friends up here ask me what our plans are for the summer, I always say that what I'm most looking forward to is my Dad's family reunion in south Georgia. Although I get very perplexed looks since Turks and Caicos or Paris seem to be a more common answer up here, I know that I am really the fortunate soul. Because you can take me to a beautiful Caribbean beach or the city of romance but I am confident that you won't find a more connected and loving family who lives life to the absolute FULLest and sends me back home with a heart that's bursting. And when there was a lot of rumble about our last day on earth being May 21st, I only smiled because there was no place on earth I'd rather be than with my little family and my big family--all big on life and big on heart. I love ya'll!!
*Thank you Alicia for providing us all with lavender scented dryer sheets to tuck in our bathing suits to keep the critters away. Bet you northerners didn't know this trick did ya?