We hadn't all been together since last January on that bone chilling day when we buried my Papaw. In July, I sent a group message to our family on Facebook and told them that we have always gotten together four times a year — Father's Day, Papaw's Birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas — and even though Papaw wasn't with us anymore, we still needed to make time to see everyone. Plus, I want AC to know my side of the family... even the crazy ones. Ha!
We decided on a date that everyone could meet, and that was a challenge in itself. We decided on this past Sunday, and we had everyone present! I don't remember the last time all of us were together. And yes, we can be a rowdy bunch.
Uncle Bob, Aunt Beth and Callie were already at the camp house when we arrived late that morning. And then everyone started trickling in. We made AC a pallet on the floor with all of her toys, and everyone crowded around her to watch her play, and some even got in on the action.
The guys stayed outside and grilled the food while the ladies stayed indoors. Once Aunt Beth finally sat down she had to hold AC, and she decided to tell her a story. I've never seen anything more precious that AC watching her so closely!
Once the food was ready everyone gathered around to pile their plates to the sky. This was the first time that Papaw didn't lead the line. Usually he went first, and by the time the older kids and aunts and uncles were going through he was back in line for more. So many memories of him, and I'd give anything to have one more!
After everyone was stuffed, we gathered outside for the group picture, and some friendly football. And just so you know, the Mississippi State team always won!
The picture above makes me smile. They are now the elders of the bunch, which means they have taken over being responsible for the Henson side of the family. But this picture also makes tears fall down my face because three people are missing from this picture — Papaw, Mamaw and Uncle Jim. Can you just imagine what Sunday would have been like to have them in person with us? I know they were looking down smiling at us all together having fun.
This is the first cousin picture we have taken in a long time. It seemed like for the longest time it was just Jennifer, Brian and myself. Then Calvin, Amelia, Callie and Zoie came along, we added a few spouses, and now this year we added AC, too.
And everyone wanted to hold their newest cousin.
Of course, a few decided to hijack my camera...
We love each other... can't you tell?
I took family pictures outside, and when we came back in Uncle Bob and my dad were looking at old pictures they found at Papaw's house.
We had a great time being all together again!! Hopefully we can make this a yearly tradition, and add a few more get togethers in between!!