Saturday we spent an almost perfect day with my family. I say almost because the dang mosquitoes were out in droves. Unfortunately it seems that Chickie is just as tasty as I am to the blasted little bloodsuckers! I counted 10! bites on her while giving her a bath this afternoon. We spent the afternoon and evening sitting on the deck, talking, eating, watching Lily play in her little pool, just doing what we do best. I asked my mom no fewer than five times if we could move in. I just love being at the house I grew up in, surrounded by my family.
I seriously have the greatest family in the world. We are loud. We are boisterous. Occasionally we are crass. Often we are funny. We talk, we drink, we eat. Any one of the aforementioned may be done in excess at any time, by any member. We laugh. A lot. Sometimes people get pissed. Very rarely someone crosses the line. We tell it like it is. A stranger would be terrified, possibly even horrified. But no one remains a stranger long in my parents' house. If you tolerate people interrupting each other, good company, even better food, and being amongst people who truly would choose to hang out with each other, even if they weren't tied together by blood, then you are welcome with open arms.
Dad: This former jock did pretty well, despite being blessed with three daughters and zero sons (biological anyway...he does have one pretty kick ass son in law!). All three of his daughters can throw spirals like no one's business. He is one of the hardest working people I know and just a ridiculous source of information. The man knows everyone and everything. He would give you the shirt off his back. We butted heads a lot when I was growing up (because he was uber strict!) but I love hanging out with him now. He loves his family and I think being a grandfather is one of his biggest joys. He has a special bond with Lily and has since she was born.
Mom: This lady can cook like no one's business! She is the best cook I know, hands down. My mom knows how to do everything. I can't remember calling her asking how to do something and her not knowing. She is creative and grows a mean garden. My mom has a huge heart and great ears (you know, for listening). I am sure we also butted heads when I was younger, because I was a brat to be sure, but nothing comes to mind. She is never more than a phone call away, but even that seems too far sometimes. I think I am a lot like my mom, and while some people might cringe being told they are just like their mothers, I take it as a huge compliment. My mom is truly one of my best friends.
Jackie: Middle Child. Independent. Doesn't take crap from anyone. Funny. Hilarious. A total clown. Whatever you do, don't interrupt her sleep! Opinionated, but in a good way, because she knows what she is talking about. She is the grammar nazi and has her finger on the pulse of current events. She is tough as nails, but beneath her iron exterior, she is really very sensitive.
Steph: The Baby. I don't think she will ever move far from home. Shares my love of celebrity gossip. We talk all the time. She talks all.the.time! Lily's godmother. Compassionate. Huge heart. A born teacher - I see her with Lily and teaching is just what she was designed to do. Sometimes a drama queen but a lot stronger than I think anyone gives her credit for.
That's them. In a nut shell. I could write volumes about the people that mean the most to me in the world, beside Lily and Matt. We are an ornery bunch to be sure, but fiercely loyal. You won't get far talking smack about one Smith in the presence of another. We are a goofy group. But on a Saturday afternoon, in the middle of summer, there is no one I would rather be surrounded by, and no place I would rather be, than with my family on my parents' deck!