My mom's family, the Murrays, got together on Saturday at my parents' house in Virginia. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and two 2-year old second cousins poured into the house. Joe was actually able to join me and meet my mom's family so they would finally believe he was a real live boy :) I was beyond happy.
His family gatherings are a little different from my family gatherings. While his Yankee relatives lay out course after course of Bon Appetit-style masterpieces, my family lays out God's gift to southern cooking. Between the aunts, we had baked beans with ham, North Carolina pulled pork barbecue with homemade vinegar sauce, coleslaw, K&W's legendary macaroni and cheese, sausage and cheese balls, macaroni salad, and honey cured ham. It was a beautiful feast, all buffet style and cooked from the heart.
Mass chaos ensued when we had to line up with our plates for the dinner assembly line. Wine and beer were flowing. And sweet tea, of course. We played our traditional games of bunco, a competitive gift stealing game that will work you into a sweat in no time! For the first time in years, I walked away emptyhanded.
It was so nice to be with family. No matter how crazy they are. And my parents' home is such a warm, welcoming contrast to the modern loft apartment we live in. At home, you can sit on the back deck and see every star in the sky because you're surrounded by a national forest. At home, you can walk outside in your bare feet with a cup of coffee and not worry about stepping on anything but gravel and grass. At home, you can look out the window in the morning and see a doe grazing beside your driveway. At home, we're reminded of what's most important above everything else. Love.