My little back story - I spent part of my childhood in Mountain Home / Gassville Arkansas....from the age of 4 - 8. We moved there shortly after my dad left the military. Not knowing what to do in Washington (where he was last stationed), naturally he migrated back home. Looking back, I have mixed experiences with my time there. I always felt a little out of place...I was teased a lot for my VERY awkward appearance ( chubby, big frizzy hair, I could go on and on...seriously, I was a train wreck, lol) and also I would assume a little of the race issue. Either way though, I always loved spending time with my grand parents and my family.
Every time I visit, it just makes me wish my family was closer. I seriously have some awesome family members and I feel a little cheated that distance can play such a big part in seeing them.
These are my cousins Jennifer and Ashley...
Jennifer (left) is our newest college grad. We both majored in Finance, so it was nice to talk about business-ee stuff without her eyes glazing over. :) She is such a smart cookie and since she's fresh out of college, she's still driven :) I actually remember when I saw her for the first time right after she was born. My Aunt Tresa brought her over to my grand mother's house and I just remembered thinking "her eyes are so blue!" They still are :) I always thought the combination of dark brown hair and really blue eyes made for such pretty people.
My cousin Ashley (right) is married to my cousin Dusty (Jennifer's older brother). I would say we clicked immediately. She has such a fun spirit and super sweet. We're both into crafty things and tattoos, lol. I told her if she lived closer, we would attend those quilting bee clubs with all the other older women, then go get a tattoo afterwards :) I really got a chance to see her interact with her kiddo's and Dusty while I was there and you can tell her world is her kiddos and she's still head over heals for her husband.
This is Ashley's tattoo. I love the idea of a family tree...and the girl swinging is so adorable. She has her kids names in the tree.
From what I hear, my cousin Dusty was considered easy on the eyes to many of Jennifers friends growing up :) That's what every little sister wants to hear from her friends.
This is my Aunt Tresa and Uncle Dewayne. Seriously, if you met them, you would want to put them in your pocket they are so cute. My Aunt Tresa has one of those voices that could calm the wildest child. She's like the child whisperer...which is good since she's been running her own daycare for 20 years now. My Uncle Dewayne is the nicest gentle hearted man ever. He always has a smile on his face and for whatever reason I find that comforting.
Such a great looking family :)
Oh my goodness, my parents took a good photo!!! My mother has this allergic reaction to the clicking sound of a camera. Her eyes immediately shut once she hears that sound.
The next day we took some photos with my grandparents. I love this one of my grandpa and my dad...it's like looking into the future! My grandpa is cute as a button.
3 generations of beautiful women :)
I love these girls...and I'm sure if I were able to spend time with my other cousins, I would want them close by as well. I think when you're young, the first thing you want to do is move away. Not always to get away from family, but just to see what is out there...and when you're young, single, without children, is the best time to do that. Now that I am married with a child, all I want is for my family to be closer and for Christian to be able to spend time with them. It probably helps that I love my family and I think they are super awesome...I know some people do not have that luxury.
Just a great photo of Dusty and Lela.
Last, but not least is my grandparents and I. I know the family resemblance is uncanny, but I swear they are my grandparents :) I always remember my grandmother as being full of life - sassy, smart, and funny! I think its hard for anyone to see their grandparents get older and/or suffer through ailments. When you're a child you look up to them and put them on a pedestal. My grandmother is still all those things, but just a calmer version. She's always been someone I look up to - more so now that I am a mom. How she managed 4 boys is beyond me. After being married 55 + years, they rarely do anything without the other. I love them and wish they were closer.
Overall, our trip went well. The next time we visit, I would like to stay long and see some more sites. Arkansas is beautiful and all I saw were like a 1000 places that would make for great pictures :)
Can't wait to see them all again. Who's up for a family reunion!? Anyone? Anyone? :)