We just wrapped a long holiday weekend at the lake with the entire Carretta crew. That's 11 adults, eight kids and four dogs, leading to chaos and fun and memories galore. It was the first time all of us had gathered in years and we enjoyed every minute of catching up with each other's lives and watching the kiddos play.
There was the annual 5K walk/run with customized family t-shirts, luminaries to light up Mimi's yard and dock and a fireworks bonanza on all sides of the lake that looked professional grade, but was in reality the result of a few enthusiastic families looking to show the lake an explosive good time.
In between, there were boat rides and jumps from the dock and floating and swimming and games of basketball and cornhole and running and walking and eating, eating and eating some more.
I'm always happiest buried deep in the nest of family, and that intensifies as I age. It's a joy to watch my babies bask in the unique attention and love of a big boisterous group of relatives that couldn't be replicated anywhere else. Family is a blessing, and I try hard never to take these moments for granted.
We decked out to celebrate America the Beautiful and also to huddle for a big family photo that Mimi (and each of us) can treasure, at least until the next time life and time allow us to congregate as a complete group.
God Bless our beautiful country, everyone who serves and the families that love them. Happy slightly belated 4th, and cheers to the rest of summer stretched ahead.