Since, Chad and I married, I have been trying to re-create the family vacations my mama and daddy provided us growing up by taking Chad and Darby to northern Arkansas. This year we were able to all go together: Daddy, Mama, James II, Dana, James III, William, Chad, Darby, and myself. Our chosen family Skylar, Mike, and Jeremy even joined us (Sarah and Craig, we'll expect you next year!). In our hearts we all brought our Gayla.
You'd be amazed at how a little two-year-old hand grasping your fingers as he walks down the trail can bring relief to heartbreak. A surly teenager turned hugger causes your heart to soar. A newborn curled into your shoulder brings you comfort. Singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in rounds down the river by canoe with your siblings and children makes you feel young. Out-fishing your husband even makes you feel sheepishly proud, especially when your Daddy and Brother brag on you.
Gayla used to really hate coming back from vacations...now I see why. It's the only time we really live with our loved ones and the "real world" is held at bay for just a little while.
NOTE: I really need pictures of Dana, who was always behind the camera, and Mike and Jeremy!