Our whole family got to be together last week.
Elle arrived home from Jerusalem. Dave and I snuck out of the last hour of church to go pick her up, and I loved seeing her so glowing and happy walking through those arrival doors with so many adventures to share. Loved the hug after hug the little girls mauled her with when we all arrived back at home, Bo bouncing all around the hugging circle in pure glee, matching everyone else to see that girl (that dog sure knows her family!).
We only had a finite amount of time before she headed off back to Hawaii (yesterday), so we snuck the little girls out of school for a few days, headed to California where Max met us (in another joyous reunion, this time missing Bo) and we basked in family togetherness like nobody’s business.
I know the kids were so happy to be all together, but I don’t think their excitement could compare to ours 😉
Ok, those smiles don’t even do it justice, but we had been counting down the days. (In that picture we were on the roof of the place where we stayed, after having come up to breathe all together there after we arrived late at night. The stars were shining, the city lights and boat lights on the bay were twinkling, and all was well in the world.)
It was a party having these two back:
Of course I have pictures coming out of my ears from that little get-away, but for now I just want to spill our a couple of my favorite things:
Riding bikes all over, always my favorite thing in California. Slipping along beside countless beach houses on one side, the waves crashing on the other, the beauty of it all in that place we love. I did get in a little biking accident when I missed a turn and Elle didn’t 🙂 I wish we had a recording so it could be on kookslams on instagram…it was all in slow motion hitting into that darn wall, but I survived. Ha!
I loved having little side chats with each child individually and in smaller groups, everything from thoughts to friends to worries (both sides), to funny things to experiences…trying to fit it all in. Max, Elle and Grace are all trying to figure out lots of next steps in life and I loved having time to discuss it all in person. It’s so crazy to me that all three of those children are in such big stages. I’m starting to get pretty clingy with Grace, poor girl 🙂
Claire trying to do some crazy jumping/dancing maneuvers, Lucy very opinionated about what she would and wouldn’t do, but doing it all with a smile because she too felt the beauty of togetherness in the air.
We made tinfoil dinners one night and watched the sky turn purple as the sun sunk lower, we took some boat rides, we sat on the beach, Claire and Max flipping in the waves, Elle and Grace laying in the sun, Lucy with her nose in a book but stopping to join in the conversation here and there, talking about whatever we wanted, shell collections growing in large piles around us.
Mostly I just loved being “whole” once again. Of course, we’re whole all the time, we’ll always be a family no matter how far and wide we are spread. But there was something about being huddled together, in California and here for a day at home that I know better than to ever take for granted.
I love this family of mine.