Here's the thing...Southern Hospitality is more than just a beautiful home for hosting parties or the perfect table setting. It's not the sweet as a Georgia Peach accent or even the amazing food, and I mean AMAZING food! Southern Hospitality is a state of mind, a way of being, and when you experience it firsthand you realize that it oozes out of the pores of those who are fortunate enough to call the South home. That is what we got to experience this week when we visited my sister in Kentucky. We had so much fun that there is no way to capture it all in one post so the high-lights will have to suffice.
We did things like this...
And lots of this..
And even a little of this..
And, on the very last day, Ian discovered the joys of a good 'ol Southern Moon Pie
There are just no words to describe how incredible it felt to be apart of my sister's world for a week. Many mornings found us sitting together either on her back deck looking out over the horse fields, or on her front porch in the wicker rocking chairs, drinking our coffee and catching up on life, revisiting our childhoods, discussing the challenges of parenting and just enjoying being together. Her beautiful home, endlessly amazing meals, wonderful friends and her effortless hosting style made us feel so relaxed and like we were truly on vacation. My niece and nephew are 2 of the most wonderful kids you could imagine. They played endlessly with the kids and it was a joy to see them flourishing in their world! The four grown-ups even got to go on a double date together! I was thrilled to get to see my cousin Aimee and her family as they overlapped our trip by a day. We haven't seen each other in 5 years and the kids had so much fun together.
They did a lot of this...
My sister's in-laws bought this golf cart to help them maneuver around Heather's very large driveway and property and the kids couldn't get enough of it! Lauren reacted the same way to the golf cart as she did to the rides at Disneyland. I'm thinking this would be cheaper! Speaking of her in-laws, let me just say that Bob and Arlene (Mimi and Daddy-Bob to the kids) are like my family too. These folks know how to show grace and love and to draw you in like you have known them forever. They even send us an Anniversary card every year! My sister's in-laws send us a card! They have known me since I was 16 and I treasure them! Ian and Bob were fast friends after discovering a mutual love of anything with knobs and electricity and Ian even got to talk on Bob's CB radio! This boy will never forget this trip!
Lauren looked like the quintessential Southern girl as she got ready to watch the most amazing Fireworks show I have ever seen which happened to take place literally across the street in the neighbors back yard. I have never been that close to that kind of a Fireworks display and it was something we will never forget!
And, as our plane soared past Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens, drawing closer to the Portland airport, I realized something about myself...I like to travel and have new adventures. But, I LOVE coming home! I really am a homebody in my heart of hearts and when you work hard to make it warm and welcoming, it is a treat to walk through those doors. That being said, this really was one of the best weeks we have ever had as a family and we will treasure our memories always! Or, if you are Ian, you will ask every day "When can we go back to Auntie Heather's and Uncle Lee's?"