We’ve reached the final day of our celebration. It has been so wonderful don’t you think? I saved one of my absolute favorite posts for last. Not that all of the posts haven’t been fabulous but, well…..you’ll see why when you reach the bottom of the post. ☺Make sure to scroll down to see if you’ve won a giveaway prize too!
We are rumbling down the airport toward our gate.
I’m impressed with how well everyone is doing.
I’m especially impressed with myself, thank you very much.
It’s not easy traveling by myself with four kids under the age of twelve, but I have become somewhat of an expert. And by expert I mean that I’ve done it a few times. I am in no way implying that I have mastered it. Or even prefer it. I just have experience.
This time we are going to visit my ninety-year-old grandmother in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
As we fly over the Grand Canyon I recall the time I went there with my family when I was much younger. I can say “much younger” because my 11 year-old son is close to the age I was at the time. I don’t remember details, just a general feeling of togetherness, being with my family and taking in the marvel that is the Grand Canyon.
We arrive at the airport first. My children wait anxiously and then squeal with delight as Mummu and Pappa emerge from their gate. They run and hug and kiss. I notice that a few people in the crowded airport are smiling at us. One lady pulls out a tissue because the joyful reunion is that genuine.
Then we all proceed to the next gate. And wait.
Soon there are more hugs and kisses. My dear sister and her children walk out of their gate and are overwhelmed by mine. More people smile around us and I think, this is a definition of happiness.
When I put together my own dictionary, I will insert this moment, this reunion, under: hap·pi·ness.
After we meet at the airport, we drive through the dessert with all it’s hazel shades. I watch the sky and wonder aloud at it’s beauty.
“Yeah…it’s incredible,” my daughter agrees.
This small moment, admiring the sky with my daughter will also be included in the book under: con·tent·ment.
We finally stop at my grandmother’s house. I’ve only been there a handful of times, yet the place seems so familiar. She has a huge lighthouse in her front yard, an old swing on the front porch (perfect for watching lightning storms), and a familiar living room filled with many more lighthouses.
My grandmother is ninety years old. She welcomes us, asks us about our flights and tells us how glad she is to see us. Later, my son learns that my grandmother’s brother was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed and survived. He is so impressed and asks her more questions.
That moment of connection, growing love and respect between generations is going in Sonja’s Dictionary of Things My Family Taught Me, under: kin·ship.
Later, at her party, my grandmother dons a grass skirt and some coconuts and does the hula! Ninety years of raising eight children, sending a husband off to three wars, growing up during the depression, living in three different countries, burying loved ones, worrying about loved ones, taking care of so many people….now doing the hula and laughing her head off at her ninetieth birthday party.
Oh! How this moment will stand out to me in the halls of time. This moment to me, is the definition of: per·spec·tive.
So many life experiences. Countless little moments that have created her “dictionary” of wisdom. Of course her laughter is richer, her joy more full, her example, more penetrating. She has the experience to back it all up.
Our visit is short and sweet.
On our flight home I wonder what I’ll be like in fifty-six and a half years: ter·ri·fy·ing.
Nevertheless, I am overcome with gratitude because of the family that surrounds me and take comfort in knowing they will continue to surround me. I look forward to meeting all the new people that will enter my family in the next fifty-six and a half years.
During this reunion, four generations were represented. When I reflect on our happy state, I can’t help but think to whom we owe everything. We are reminded of how to make happy families here:
“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Is our family perfect? Absolutely not. Do we struggle? You betcha. But for the most part, we are happy. Some of us even dance the hula. The common thread, woven through our generations is the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The more firm our grip on the iron rod, the happier we are. I’ve seen it. I can testify to it.
We rumble down the airport again, my little tumbly crew and I. We exit the doors and wait in the blazing heat. When the white van pulls up that tall, handsome boy I fell in love with so long ago opens the door. I realize how much I missed him and then I remember how ridiculous I can be and then I think of a new definition: joy.
And that’s what it’s all about.
Sonja has been rather fond of her husband for nearly fourteen years. Together they are raising four stripling warriors. Three of them happen to be girls, but they still consider themselves warriors. Sonja finds her family quite entertaining and enjoys documenting their adventures on her blog, Wonder Years. She also enjoys reading, photography, hiking, bird watching, laughing with her family, playing the piano, anything sweet, really deep conversations, taking naps with her kids and learning new things. She will be forever grateful to the LDS missionaries who taught her parents the gospel and gave her family the knowledge that families can be together forever.
Don’t forget to visit Jocelyn’s blog, We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ to see what they are talking about today.
This Girl Loves to Talk won the custom silhouette art print! They are created to best display the look of your family and are an amazing art piece in any home. Each print is custom designed by Gretchin Anderson of ishootnouns on Etsy.
Kate from Kate’s Mommy Diaries won the custom handmade journal from The Anomalous Star. This handmade journal is 4 1/2 x 9 inches in size. It is bound with 3 rings and filled with cream non-lined paper. The cover features an image of the Salt Lake Temple.
Red Couch Recipes won the Alice Green Paisley Headband from KellyCrunner. This particular headband has a beautiful collection of greens, blues, aquas, and browns that compliment each other very well. Made from designer fabric and vintage buttons. Perfect for any outfit or season!
Lisa from, Life and Times of the Thomas Tribe, has won this beautiful Modern-day Mother in Zion © Anita Mae Hart-Carroll an 11 x 16 print depicting a contemporary mother fighting against a dark world for the survival of herself and her children. Prints can be purchased by contacting Anita at email@example.com