Chad has reminded me from time to time (during moments when I was home sick) "Linds, home is here...in Florida...with me and the kids." And I've nodded my head in agreement (because of course he's right - my home is where my immediate family is, without a doubt) - yet every time I refer to Arkansas, the word "home" flows from my lips. I say it, than grimace and quickly follow it up with "oh ya know,...my childhood home.". But truth be told, Arkansas will forever be a home to me. I grew up there. I know what lies over each and every hill. I know where the river flows. I've learned to read the clouds and know when the leaves turn silver, rain is soon to follow. I have unconditional love waiting for me in Little Rock like a beacon on a dark night...and I won't lie that during a rare moment of pain or sadness or loneliness, my heart aches for my 1st home. College, falling in love, getting married, the birth of our first child, purchasing our first home...all of this took place in Arkansas. So I think it's safe to say I have two homes...Florida and Arkansas. I'm a lucky girl. :-)
We went home ;-p for Thanksgiving. It's our annual tradition that we've all grown to love. The family and familiar surroundings we adore...the drive, not so much. ;-) It took us 17 hours to drive there...17 hours to drive back. Lawd have mercy, but that was BRUTAL! The kids were wonderful - truly! But 17 hours is tough. It's always worth it though. Why?
Because of this:
Chad and I were very limited on what we could do that week...several trips to Searcy, Beebe and Cabot kept us occupied when we weren't at my mom's house. Unfortunately we weren't able to see any friends :-(, but we did have a really special time with my family. A few days were spent at my dad and Judy's new home and we enjoyed a b-fast at Cracker Barrel the morning we were heading out of town. Lots of football throwing and soccer playing took place in their huge yard...one of the perks of living in the country! The kids always enjoy their time with Papa and Judy - thankful we got to spend quality time with them on their "off" days.
My Uncle Craig and Lauren drove up from Louisiana to be with us - something we were all grateful for! These two hold a very very special place in my heart. My Uncle calls me on a regular basis to see how me and the family are doing...never misses a birthday...and is the type of man who wants you to KNOW how loved and special you are. Since he left to go back to Louisiana, he's texted and FB mssged me (yep, he's cool like that) to tell me that he's already missing my ragamuffins. I'm deeply blessed to have an uncle as kind and thoughtful as he is. Not only that, but he's just a cool guy. Successful in every area of his life,...vivacious and outgoing...he lives life to the fullest and is optimistic about everything. A total go-getter. He's a good example to me and I have tremendous respect for him.
And Lauren?...my sweet "baby" cousin. :-) She's grown in to a GORGEOUS young lady who (much like her daddy) is successful at everything she strives for. I couldn't be prouder of her and am so thankful for the time we had last week to visit and catch up. Love you, Lauren!!
Our tradition of seeing the Twilight movies came to an end this year. Kinda sad! My mom, Lauren and I have had a lot of fun seeing these movies together in the theater each Thanksgiving. Now I guess we'll have to find a new series to get hooked on!
On our last day there, Chad and I took the kids to Natural Steps Baptist Church. This is where we were married...it's right down the road from Pinnacle Mountain so we let the kids play at the base of the mountain before heading back.
Overall, it was a great trip! Here's a few snapshots of memories made...
Thanks, mom for ALL you do. We love you, appreciate you and look forward to next year!!