Lewisville Park with the family

Sunday I had the privilege of taking my three boys to a family get together 
with my mom's side of the family. 

{Aunt Sheri, Mart, Eric, Jeff, Jennifer, Amy & Uncle Norman}
 Her aunt, uncle, cousins...

{Birth Order: Barb, Marilynn, Mart, Linda, Eric, Jeff, Jennifer, Amy & Uncle Norman}
and sisters.

{Isaiah, Milo, Roxanne, Me, Wyatt, Erica, Xyleena, Amy, Simon, Kris, Sidney, Sammi, Ceaira, Cole, Hailey
Row Two: Ferris, Jack, Logan, Indie, Kahlil & Avery}
Plus all their kids!

The weather started out questionable, but turned out great. 
A handful of showers, but dry enough for everyone to play.

My boys were overjoyed to be set free outside.

Wyatt was beyond precious.  Walking slowly, taking it all in.
It reminded me of myself as I was driving out to Lewisville.

The contrast of the green here with the blue sky is still taking my breath away after so long in Marshall where everything was brown or white.  I loved not only the scenery on the drive to the park, but listening to my ipod in the car, singing along with the boys, and driving. Oh, I didn't realize how much I miss driving. I was like, "I could go anywhere!" as I traveled along the highway.

One thing I also really missed while in Marshall was showing off my kids.
Who doesn't love to brag on their kids, right?

So it was really fun for people to meet Wyatt, see his little personality and get to know him.
I would have him count, or name letters. 
I would ask him where he was from, or how to spell his name.
He's such a social guy, and he loves meeting people.
He was in his element.

I am happy to say that I feel settled where we are staying. It already, less than a week in, feels like home.  And the boys have adjusted beautifully.  It was a long road (most of May) to get here, to this place, and I still can't believe we made it! 

But we did. And Sunday was a day spent enjoying every moment.
(Actually, luckily enough, so was Saturday, at the boys' pool party!)

Being there, surrounded by family who loves me and my boys, I found that I was living "in the moment" and not once (not once!) was I self conscious about how I looked.  That is something that is never true for me in a social setting.  And as I put on my pajamas last night, I thought it was a compliment to my family that I feel so loved and accepted by them, that I wasn't worried about my appearance one bit.

The boys (all three) played beautifully all day, and everyone was having good food & conversation.

 There was even a touch of adventure!

 When poor sweet Milo fell in a puddle!
These pictures kill me!

His daddy got him rinsed off, though, and he was no worse for wear!
He didn't even cry!
(I just know those pictures will go down in family history for him!)

Everyone there had babies.  
Little people.

Our "batch of babies" started in June 2011 with Indie, and wrapped up in October 2011 with Milo.  Between those two are Wyatt, Xyleena, Simon & Sidney.  Six babies in five months.  Oh, it was fun!

Here is Sammi holding her little sister, Sidney.  And if you look hard on the left, you can see my cousin Heidi throwing Sid's twin brother, Simon, into the air! 

In addition to driving and showing off my kids, I missed the green.  I missed the sun peeking through the trees.  I missed standing underneath trees.  Being surrounded by them.  I missed the smell and the way that green lights up.

It just feels spectacular to be seeing it again.

Wyatt at this age (nearly two) is so different from the twins.  Attending something like this with the at this age would have been a nightmare.  Two kids in two different  directions!  But Wyatt just moseyed around, sticking pretty close to mama.  He even played music with my Uncle Jon, and frisbee with my dad & cousin Savanna.  I love watching him develop into his own little person, and I love seeing the differences (some subtle, some not) between he and his older brothers.

They are all so unique. So different. And yet so the same.  All boys. All like their daddy.  

Being around my mom's family, her sisters and cousins, is so much fun.  I get to see our similar mannerisms and the ways the genes are expressed in each of us.  I also love getting to "talk mom" with other mama's of littles.  I spent a lot of time Sunday talking with Amy and Erica about the ins and outs of parenting.  The good, the bad. And there is just such comfort in knowing I am not in this alone. That other moms, my own family, face the same struggles I do daily. Waking up overwhelmed with the dishes, laundry, to-do lists... while also trying to do best by our kids, providing them quality time, snuggles and patience.

It is a balance, and knowing we all struggle to keep it makes it a little easier for me to try.
Once we got home and the kids were down for the night, Jack woke up near midnight and threw up.  He was one sick pup.  Super feverish and miserable.  In reflecting on the conversations of the day, of the kind of mom I want to be, I was able to pull out an extra reserve of love & comfort and take care of Jack the way he needed to be cared for.

And today, I reflected again on this post I read (and this one) and resolved not to yell. Just for today.  I was not successful. I yelled twice.  But it's a start. And I feel really good about that.


S-J said...

Beautiful pics thanks for sharing. It so nice to know I am not the only one who feels uncomfortable about my body in ALL social situations, although I feel for you as it sucks BIG TIME!!! I just remind myself that my kids, husband and family love me unconditionally :))) and I'm sure yours do too! Just think, if we let go of our insecurities what we could be capable of??!!

Barb Miller said...

Oh, Shelly, the post was great, but when I got to the picture of little Milo covered in mud, I just started laughing. I think it was because your post was leading me down recollections of a very pleasant day, and then bam, the little guy covered in mud. He is so stinkin' cute.

I love the picture of you with your three boys--it's just beautiful!