Full House, Full Hearts


Our house and our hearts were full last weekend. My mom and sister-in-law from Iowa came for a visit! We hadn't seen them since last fall, before Adam was even walking, so we had a lot of catching up to do.

Oh! I just can't even tell you how much I miss them. Terribly. I do. I miss being able to call my mom to say, I think I'll drive over tomorrow for a visit. I miss holiday get-togethers and mom's cooking. I miss seeing my niece and nephew grow up, and I miss having family around my house to keep me in line and remind me of those things in my life I somehow stored away....way back there in my brain somewhere....

I had a pacifier, a Nuk, until a few weeks before I started kindergarten. Mom would threaten to tie the Nuk around my neck with a pink ribbon and send me off to school. The concept of humiliation didn't quite sink in and I think somehow I'd convinced myself a Nuk around my neck wouldn't be bad. I had quite a stash of Nuks around the house. Some I liked better than others. In those weeks right before school started, one by one the Nuks suddenly started developing small pin holes so they would collapse when I sucked them. I'd just toss the bad ones and move on to another in my stash. I remember when I was down to just one. And I remember when it finally collapsed, too. I could write a stunning metaphor here about how I also collapsed, but it would be over exaggerating the situation. I never did have to bring a Nuk to school. Let's just leave it at that.

For most of my time on this earth, I have been terrible at directions. My mom likes to remind me how I'd ask, "Have we gone through Mason City yet?" when we were on our way somewhere in the opposite direction of Mason City. At least now I manage to find my way home from work every day, but some days it is a small miracle I don't end up in Tennessee or Mississippi.

Speaking of Mississippi, I got knocked out of the 3rd grade spelling bee with that word. I practiced and practiced but just got going to fast. I spelled it M-I-S-S-I-S-S-S-I-P-P-I. Those S's will get you every time.

I just can't tell you how sweet my sister-in-law is. She's been married to the younger of my two brothers forever and a day, and has been teaching remedial reading just as long. She knows a little song for nearly everything in Adam's world, from brushing teeth, to monkey toes.

You can read a little more about my mom here and here. She turned 80 this year and I think it's just great that she'll make the trip half way across the country for us. You never have to wonder what my mom thinks, or where you stand with her. I'm a lot like that. She doesn't mince words, and she also won't chat you up unless she knows you really well. She was a wonderful mom, and she just gets more and more precious to me all the time.

We enjoyed dinner together Friday night, serenaded by the cicadas. I made Baked Blueberry French Toast (with a side of real bacon) Sunday morning. We shopped, got massages, and I introduced them to the Chick fil'a Chicken Biscuit.

I'm counting the days until our next visit.

It's really what makes the world go 'round, isn't it?


Lori :

What sweet sentiments and memories of your mom and sister-in-law. You are so blessed.

I'm thinking you need to post the baked blueberry french toast recipe someday - it sounds yummy!

justabeachkat :

Great photo and loved this sweet post about memories, your Mom and your sister-in-law. I agree with Lori...we need the recipe.


Nadine :

How good to have them visit with you and spend time with them. My mom is 82 and I miss her too. Thank you for sharing part of your background.

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special :

Hi Jill,Thanks for sharing your memories with us.My Mom is 85 and we are like 2 peas in a pod.We look alike,talk the same,and enjoy our times together.We are going to lunch today.She doesn't what much,just my company..... Baba

Leah in Iowa :

What fun ~ a visit from home! It sounds like you had a great time, reminiscing about the old days. It's good to keep those memories alive! =)

Annie :

I enjoyed reading this post Jill. Your story about the nuk brought up memories of my oldest, Amanda. She is about to turn 17 years old in a week or so. She too had a stash of mam pacicifiers. I still don't know where they were kept, but one by one confiscated them because my mom and MIL were terrified she would try to take them to kindergarten. She was only 2 and a half. If I could go back I would let her keep that stash as long as she wanted to.
My parents live close, and I love it so much. I'm so glad you had a dose of family. It's great medicine for the heart.

Bella :

How wonderful that you have that kind of connection with both your Mom and SIL. Glad you had a great visit.

*carrie* :


Sounds like you had a great time. It is really special when family gets together, especially when it takes separated by distance.

Knit-Wit :

You are blessed to have such a sweet family.

Tammy :

I loved reading this, Jill...I could so relate on many levels.
And my own mom just turned 80 this year, too! I keep forgetting that both you and I are apart of that "sandwich generation"....older parents and young children.

The women in your family are just lovely!

(P.S...I'm doing a little book giveaway this week...)

Sonya :

Yes, those things really do make the world go round! I'm not sure how you manage to be so far from your mom. I'm three hours away from mine and that's far enough! Glad you were able to spend time with your family and that sis-in-law of yours sounds really cool! Glad they got a chicken biscuit! Those things rock!

Susan :

Great picture and I loved the story about the nuk's!!!

Talk..to..Grams :

I loved readng about your family and your Mom sounds a lot like mine! My Mom was born in 1903! She expected us to do the right thing and most of the time we did!!

Lyndy :

Great picture and I am so glad you had a wonderful visit. The blueberry french toast sounds yummy.

Hugs, Lyndy

Shawna :

I can just imagine how much you miss your family. They sound wonderful!!

Sue :

I'm glad you had such a nice visit. It's hard being away from family (my sister is 500 miles from us). But it does make you appreciate the time with them so much more.

Loved your nuk story.

Dianne :

This is a sweet post Jill. I went back and read the other posts about your mom and growing up...my childhood was somewhat the same about entertaining ourselves (my sister and me). Those were some sweet days...too bad we didn't always realize it then! :-)

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality :

Great memories with your mama & SIL! So nice that they could come for a visit. I'm glad I only moved from Atl. to B'ham & can still get over there often to see them. In fact, we are going over on Friday to celebrate my dad's 80th this weekend!

Have a great weekend with your brood!


Susan :

Awwww...I love it that you were able to visit. This is a great photo...everyone looks so happy. Thanks for visiting my blog while I've been away. I'm home for a night and heading up I-75 to Ohio starting on Saturday. I'll think about you when I pass through Atlanta....

:-) Susan

Vader's Mom :

CFA Chicken Biscuits...welcome to The South!! Those things rock!!

I'm so glad that you had a good visit with your family. Beautiful photo too!! :)

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