*I love any sort of alliteration. Let’s make that clear.
I went home this weekend and it was grand. It’s been in the plans for quite some time – I didn’t go home for Thanksgiving because Atlanta traffic back to Rome on Black Friday just seems irrational and my great extended family (my grandmother’s siblings & families) had planned a Christgiving celebration for the 7th in deep South Georgia where I-75 doesn’t quite reach. Needless to say, I decided this weekend would be a good one to pack up little Sandy and make my way south.
661. No bad traffic on the way home to Perry.
662. Surprising my Auntie (from whom I get my middle name and the majority of my personality traits) for a late lunch out in Macon & a bit of thrifting at the Macon Rescue Mission that included a new-to-me 70s green Samsonite suitcase and some cute glass votifs for candle floating. I am so thankful for this lady. Not only is she funny and overly enthusiastic at the sight of me (she showed me off to all her coworkers even though I looked a straight mess), but she’s my Auntie. Not much gets past her.
I got home late Friday afternoon to find my cousins, Lauren & Cassi, standing in my driveway long before my mama came home. Seeing these precious loves always makes my life a little brighter. They’re two of my all-time favorites. I don’t have sisters, but they might as well be. I ended up spending the majority of the weekend with them – putting up their Christmas tree, stuffing our faces with delicious foods, and trading clothes.
663. A weekend of Lauren & Cassi memories that are unlike any others. Let’s be real.
Saturday we made our way down to Abbeville. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it. Downtown includes the Dollar General, the Library, and the Wilcox County Courthouse. that’s it. If you blink, you’ll miss it. Over the creeks and through the woods we drove to my great Aunt’s house. We arrived to the excitement and love of so many aunts, uncles, and cousins, many of whom I haven’t laid eyes on in two years as we don’t get together more than once or twice each year and I’ve missed out on them for several at this point. We swapped stories and i was told that I look “like I’m not 15 anymore” which is such an accomplishment. After being away for so long, family is a sweeter blessing than it ever has been. I take not a moment for granted.
664. Family – my big big family – and their cooking.
665. Reconnecting with family and meeting some of the cute little ones that I haven’t ever met before (namely Meg, who is my new favorite. She is the spitting image of my great grandma and the cutest little doll you’ve ever seen).
The rest of Saturday was dreary, but good – filled with a parade (that brought back way too many memories and was way too slow for anyone), seeing a few old faces, bargain shopping with my mama, and tree assembly with the girls.
666. My floating bro & sharing an umbrella with three people (it’s nigh impossible).
667. Always finding the good deals, like $0.70 shirts and $2 leg warmers.
Sunday I slept in for the sake of sleeping in – traveling and family = exhaustion. But I woke up to a plethora of tea selections and had one that made Sunday morning practically sing. We had lunch in – Duke, our 70+ pound lab – managed to snatch my piece of cold pizza out of my hand as I was cleaning my car out. I guess he couldn’t resist the urge. It was the funniest thing. We took family photos in the dreariness of the day, but our spirits were high – it’s hard to get us together and not have some sort of fun. I’m sure I’ll cameo those photos in a few weeks. You’ll get a good laugh because I’m sure Kaitlyn managed to catch my ridiculous between-shots faces. We had a grand dinner at Cracker Barrel. You can bet your life I got hashbrown casserole and fried apples!
668. Holiday teas like this one.
669. My goofy family.
The real magic happened on the way home. I managed to reconnect with two of my favorite people during that 3 hour drive. Before leaving Perry, I stopped and saw my favorite teacher in the universe who also happens to be one of my closest friends & mentors. We’ve been estranged for a whole year due to my travels and I lost her number in the process so it was an act of the Lord that we were able to find each other and meet up for a few short minutes. She is my hero, by far. We have walked through so many things together. When mom “kicked me out of the house” in high school, I went to her house for a few days. When she went through her divorce, I handed her tissues. When she found a brand new house, I helped her move and told her that her bf wasn’t good enough (he so wasn’t.) and when she got remarried, I was right there. Her kids are practically my siblings. There is nothing in my life like a hug from her and a song here and there. She’s the Julie Andrews in my life and I’m so blessed to call her friend!
670. Catching up with Mrs. Joyce for a minute & seeing Sam and Carissa, too. Carissa is almost 2 now – I can’t BELIEVE it.
THEN – I drove to Macon and met up with my Amen Sister and her family for a little catch up after three years. Needless to say, this weekend was full of reviving old friendships. I loved it. Chad is taller than me and Leah looks like a legitimate teenager.
671. Memories of that fateful trip to Passion 2010 when my stomach issues started and Amen Sissa threw up on the side of the road in traffic and I missed Beth Moore.
672. Driving home in the rain/wind/fog … and making it safely. It almost didn’t happen, y’all. That weather was insane.
673. Awkward hashtags that make their way into group messages with Sar, Madi, & Suz.
674. Discussing everyone’s insta-photos from the weekend on Monday mornings at work. Really, I love it.
675. My pillows – I miss them when I have to sleep on other ones.