Our family started a new tradition last year that during the last week of August we all meet up at my aunts cottage for a family vacation. The tradition carried on this year and it's one that I love. Somehow when my family gets all together, we're transported back in time to when we were kids and many memories of the times we spent together growing up emerge.
This year there was added joy with the new addition to our family, my nephew Timothy, joining us. He's now eight months old and it's amazing to see his personality emerge and our personalities change with him being there. Where before we only knew our mom as a mother, now the Oma (grandmother) side of her has made itself known. I see the changes in my brother as he's a dad and have witnessed the changes in my sister and I as we are now aunts. They say kids change a family and only eight months in, I can attest that it's true and it's a wonderful thing to experience.
It was a fantastic week filled with so many precious moments. A few highlights:
-standing outside with all the lights turned off, looking at the blanket of stars that filled the evening sky. Then being filled with wonder as shooting stars streaked across the night sky.
-playing board games at the kitchen table, teasing each other and laughing so hard that our eyes filled with tears.
-going for bike rides around the lake and being floored with the expanse of God's beautiful creation.
-playing with my nephew and learning what makes him laugh. Having him sit on my lap and mimic my breathing and laughter.
-fishing below the dam and reeling in my catch.
I feel so blessed to be a part of the family that I call mine. While we like any family have had our struggles, the trials that we've gone through have refined us and made us a stronger unit as a result.
In my family I not only have people who love me unconditionally, but a team of people who are extremely protective of me. People who inspire me to dream and believe that I can accomplish great things. Having that kind of home team is something that I used to take for granted, but these days I'm learning to stop and be grateful for what I have.
I'm choosing to allow each moment to truly soak in my heart and soul, to reflect on the goodness of this gift from God and ultimately I'm aspiring to be the best sister, aunt, and daughter that I can be.