What a blessed weekend.
I am simply in awe at the work God did right in front of me.
Though I wasn't always in the brightest of moods.
Which is lame of me.
But it happens.
I cannot lie.
I had been praying hard for this weekend.
I had asked many to pray with me.
Plans were laid precariously.
I was anxious.
A month ago I booked a family photo session with Smith Gallery Photography.
Having such a fantastic photographer capture my most beloved family has been a dream of mine.
I've always been obsessed with "family pictures."
Not sure why.
I guess the photo is just a representation of an unbreakable bond.
So I booked with Emily.
I knew this would mean having my parents visit--which is always great.
And my sister.
My favoritist sister in the world.
I hadn't seen Ash since December.
Of last year.
How awful is that?!
It wasn't on purpose.
It's not like we hate each other.
In fact we have a crazy awesome bond.
But she's all grown up and living in Columbus.
And we're all married and living in Michigan.
With one car. And incompatible schedules.
So when I say this was "precariously" planned I mean it.
Ash could have cancelled for any number of reasons.
But she didn't.
She came through.
I was absolutely, positively thrilled beyond belief to see her walk in our front door.
She was at our home.
For the first time since our wedding she was seeing us as "married."
Seeing the house we have spent the last year making a home.
The half hour photo shoot went fabulously.
I absolutely love Emily to begin with.
And she's an even greater photographer than I had imagined.
She's quick. Efficient. Kind. Fun. Precise. Fantastic.
In so many ways we had a blast, the five of us did.
Thank you, Emily & Cassidy, for a memorable experience.
I can hardly wait to see the results!
After our chilly fall photo session, we headed back to our home.
Where we greeted the other half of our family.
Two cousins (one on mom's side. one on dad's.)
Mom & Dad.
Then the 14 of us carpooled over to Pete's Garage--Kevin's choice for birthday dinner.
Besides having to wait an hour for food...
and the loud atmosphere...
and the hair in both mine and my sister's food,
we had a great time.
Our food was fantastic (except when I discovered the hair near the bottom...)
(They took our plates off the bills. Good!)
My family and I laughed together like we haven't laughed in years.
It was good and healing for our hearts.
After that we drove back to our house to enjoy the boys' antics while they opened their gifts.
And then there was their requested desserts.
And New York Cheesecake.
Everyone raved about both of these desserts.
They were made by moi on Friday.
The cheesecake was a first for me (to bake that is.)
As was the graham cracker crust, believe it or not.
You have got to try these recipes.
Sunday morning was blessed as well.
My entire immediate family was sitting beside me in the pew.
My heart soared.
It's been years since that last happened.
Something so simple.
Yet so touching.
Thank you, Precious Jesus, for pouring out your healing salve on our hearts.