It’s nine pm and everyone is asleep except myself and my parents. We woke up early and spent the day at home, enjoying each other’s company, telling and retelling stories, laughing, eating good food, and playing games. It was perfect in every way.

At one point I walked into the living room, shortly after my parents arrived this afternoon, and couldn’t help but being overcome with crazy happiness at the sight of my family conversing and enjoying each other’s company. There was a football game on the TV, though it didn’t seem anyone was looking at it at the moment. My beau and dad and Boy were all sitting around a card table we’d placed in the middle of the room, playing cards. They were speaking loudly and laughing occasionally. My grandmother was sitting on the couch with my sister, both engaged in conversation with each other and my mom, concurrently. It was loud and chaotic and perfect in every way.

We haven’t been lucky enough to be stationed near family, in the sense that we can’t drive over to someone’s house just because. If we’d like to visit family it entails a plane ride or two day car ride, at least. So having everyone here is such a treat. I’m loving cooking and tending after them, organizing activities and baking. I live for these moments and I savor them. I”m so thankful that we’re all here, right now, to help welcome Brooks home.