We are family, my brother and my sister and me!

Siblings Elizabeth, Alisa and Walter.

Siblings Elizabeth, Alisa and Walter.

Okay, start humming We Are Family by Sister Sledge. I can’t help myself and for only just a moment, I am truly sorry! If there was a song to describe the summer of 2013, it would be this one and a blast from the past as they say.

It all started with me doing what I am sure all big sisters do, which is to open their homes up to their siblings in need. My sister decided, after much trepidation and planning, to move to Sugar Land. Many things needed to come together to make her transition work, and I knew I would be a key player in smoothing things over and assisting her in this life change. What I had not quite expected was to also host our brother, his wife and their two children as well.

By mid-June, Brian and I found ourselves at the helm of a family ship so to speak, with exactly six adults and six children under our care. And, although it seemed a little overwhelming at times and a little crazy too, it proved to be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with my siblings in a way that never could have happened any other way.

I mean, really, let’s be serious. At no point in the past 20 something years had Brian and I had more than a few days at best with “family.” This was not done necessarily on purpose but actually just happened since we moved to Texas, and they stayed in North Carolina. The dependence that coming into our home placed on them proved to be both a great chance to connect, as well as a hornet’s nest to erupt from childhood’s past experiences. Walter thought for a few moments that he would be “in charge,” then Elizabeth felt the need to remind all of us about days from our childhood. You know, how I was always so bossy… blah blah blah… I then reminded the two of them of who was the boss, after all,  who’s house had they moved into? Ahem. Unfortunately, the first few weeks were a little painful, mainly because those two refused to “get it” the first time!

Then, came the pecking order of the cousins with two at 15, three at 10 and one, bless his heart, at a mere 6. You should have seen us at church taking up an entire pew! It was both overwhelming and fabulous, and secretly, I loved every minute of it!

By the end of July, Elizabeth had been hired, her children were starting to get accustomed to a new way of life, and our brother despite all of our efforts, never found a job. He and his wife packed up and headed back to North Carolina in the hopes of finding work there.

The summer of 2013 was one to go down in history. We did not spend tons of time and money away at specialty camps or traveling. My siblings and I spent quality time actually reconnecting with each other and learning who each of us had become as adults. It was wonderful! None of us realize how quickly we are living our lives until we stop and take time to reflect. I am thankful for having had the summer of 2013. It was filled with many God winks! I am also grateful for my siblings, and the moments we have shared. Pictures are obviously very, very important to me. These images we captured I will cherish for the rest of my life!

Happy Thanksgiving and, of course,

Take Care of YOU!