When we planned our trip back in March, Nick mentioned how nice it would be to see the whole family since we would be in Florida for an entire month. But, he quickly responded with, I don't want everyone to get together just for me. Well, I knew I couldn't leave it at that because I know how much his family means to him. And since we live in Texas, we usually miss out on any and all get together's. I emailed my MIL and Aunt Karen to see if there was a place we could meet to eat between Venice and Gainesville and anyone who wanted to join could gladly do so. Well they did me one better. They invited everyone to spend the weekend in Gainesville (many of them live there anyway). Nejay (Nick's brother) was able to come from Alabama, his sister from Tallahassee, and many cousins from all over, even out of state. We had not seen most of them in 4 years. That's just too long! It initially was suppose to be a surprise for Nick and it was up until the last couple of weeks. But he was still pleasantly surprised and was so glad everyone was getting together.
We all arrived on Friday night at Uncle Steve's house (he graciously opened up his home for all of us). And what makes a family get together even better?? A fish fry of course!!!! Fried Talapia, shrimp and hushpuppies.........yes please! It was delicious. The next morning we all came back together for breakfast and then had dinner together again that night.
Saturday was a hang out do as you please kinda day. Nick and I had the opportunity to meet some cousins that we had never met. His mom had not seen this cousin in a long time so it was a wonderful treat. There was also plenty of sports watching and sports playing. Wrestling, football, baseball, watching Nascar, tennis.....and the list goes on and on.
We had a wonderful weekend together. There were some crazy times but we all enjoyed each other's company. I mean, you have to expect a little crazy when you have 12 kids under the age of 8. ;) And that wasn't even all of the "baby" cousins. Look how cute they are.
I think my MIL said it best in her email, "I thank the Lord for our heritage, the legacy that our parents left, and for the love and unity that we share. Thank the Lord that the love and unity continues through the cousins. Mom and Dad would be proud." This is definitely a tight knit family and I am so proud to call them mine. I know their parents/grandparents would be proud of them. I was grateful that I was able to see where this heritage, legacy, love and unity began. Nick always talks about his grandaddy's church and this weekend I was given a chance to see the place he has been talking about.
I am so thankful that those that could make it did. And for those that couldn't, we greatly missed you!! Nick and I are so blessed and so thankful that you all took time to get together for us. I couldn't have asked for a better extended family.