Most of you know that I have a younger sister who I’m very close with who has lived in Germany with her husband and two kiddos for the last 2.5 years. On Saturday, after a wild few months (for them) trying to figure out when exactly they’d be moving back to the States, they finally landed in the good ole’ US of A to stay.
To say that our entire family was ecstatic is the biggest understatement. Even though Jenn (my sister) and Josh (my brother-in-law) had a really fantastic experience being stationed abroad, they were also just as satisfied to close that chapter and move on with what life has in store next for their family.
They arrived in town late Saturday evening, and since we knew they’d be jet-lagged, we decided that quick hugs was all that was in order that night. I cried when I saw my niece and nephew because they are just so big now (and because my hormones are probably still all over the place haha), and because I’ll finally get a chance to get to know the amazing little people that they are in person. It was so good to hug my sister and brother-in-law too. Jamie said that my mom’s smile was worth a million bucks. My parents were so happy.
On Sunday my parents threw a big family party to celebrate my sister’s family coming home as well as the birth of Jillian. My whole family was there plus my grandmother, aunt, uncle, several cousins, my mother-in-law, and Jennifer’s in-laws.
It felt good to actually curl my hair, put some makeup on, and wear normal clothes for the first time in 10 days. 🙂 I also busted out a cute outfit and headband for Jillian instead of her normal onesies she’s been wearing around the house that are more practical than anything. 🙂
My parents catered Gibson’s Barbecue, which was so smart and so tasty!
My dad got really into hosting this event and cracked us all up with his homemade drink sign saying “sample only/show only”, directing guests to cold drinks in the refrigerator. So funny and so cute.
The cousins immediately hit it off playing, which warmed everyones’ hearts to see.
My brother David waited to come to town to meet Jillian until Jennifer got into town (smart idea), so he had a lot of nieces and a nephew to love on and see!
Despite the heat and humidity, we eventually moved the party outdoors where the kids played on the waterslide (remember when we bought this for Sadie for her birthday a few months ago? We’ve used it three times – haha!) and the little kiddie rollercoaster.
We didn’t think to take a family picture until three hours into the party, but we ended up quickly gathering the troops anyway and getting a real-life shot full of everyone just as they were: bare feet, swimsuits, towels, and all.
It had been three years since my family had all been together like this, so all felt right in the world Sunday afternoon.
As for how our week is going so far, we’re all hanging in there thanks to my mother-in-law who flew in last Thursday and is here for a few more days. I’ve still been in recovery mode and have felt junky for one reason or another most days since delivery, so having her extra sets of hands to help out has been an absolute lifesaver for all of us. We are so grateful for her visit.
Also… we are quite obsessed with Jillian. All of us. She is a precious little gift, that’s for sure. Hadley starts Kindergarten in a couple of weeks, so we’re buckling our seatbelts to tackle that transition soon. It’ll be a big one for all of us! This summer has flown by faster than any two months have ever flown by and I can’t believe where we’re at: parents of three with our firstborn heading off to Kindergarten. Aren’t I only 18 or something? How am I old enough for this? I’m so confused.
Have you or a loved one ever been stationed overseas? How was the transition to moving back to the States?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo