With My Family in the Upstate

A busy weekend of a whole lot of laughter thanks to a long-overdue visit to Pickens (my parents house).

Side note: it was a weird and kind of sweet moment when I realized I no longer thought of it as going home. I thought of it as just going to visit my family. I liked that though - my home is now a small brick cottagey house nestled on a teensy woodsy yard, housing one very small and very intense Mr Baby.

But I do love my parents house. It is in the country, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which you can see as soon as you pull out of the driveway. The neighborhood is cozy and beautiful, surrounded by rolling pastures and silvery ponds, old-fashioned tractors and Carolina blue skies.

The boys went on a whitewater rafting trip with my Dad all day Saturday, and I got to sit curled up on the couch enjoying my Mom enjoying Will. He was so ridiculously excited to be surrounded by so great an audience (I am the oldest of 6), that he hardly ate or slept for me all weekend, but he was so happy and show-offy I couldn't be too frustrated with him.

He especially got excited when the guys came home early Saturday evening, and commenced a short game of frisbee in the front yard. Will didn't know where to look he was so wound up.

That last pic gets me a little choked up... The tall handsome uncle holding Will expertly as he chucks the frisbee for our crazy-foaming-at-the-mouth lab, is my 19 year old brother Malachi, who just signed the papers last week to enlist into the Marines. This was the underlying reason we did the trip and whitewater rafting adventure, even though it has been a hectic month for us w Jason's school. It could be the last time we're all together for a while.

Okay I can't handle thinking about that anymore. I hate how emotional I've become.

He's in the Marines, officially, and may leave for training as early as November.

Pray for his safety. He is one of those gentle souls... Always thinking of others, always a people-pleaser, always ready to join in a laugh - even at his own expense. A little too laid back at times, and more sensitive than he'd like to let on... Chi has always been someone you just like to sit on a porch with and relax. He's the least stressful person I know.

I will miss him terribly, even though I didn't get to see a whole lot of him this past year anyway.

We toasted him with champagne as a family in the home I grew up in. My dad's eyes glistened suspiciously and his face was red with pride and love as he said in his classic, over-excited Stansberry way, "Wow, now I really get to say Semper Fi!"

Semper fi, little brother.

I love you!

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