I know the cousins miss each other greatly. We do as well; however, I'm beginning to really appreciate and enjoy visits that are spaced further apart but are more in depth and personal. Gone are the days when we'd rush to swap stories about our week while handing out juice boxes and wiping running noses only to rush off quickly to be home before bedtime. Now when we get together we have several days to carry on multiple conversations not only about the current events in our lives but also parenting philosophies, homeschooling, careers, religion, home improvement, politics, etc. So much to discuss with plenty of time to move past the surface... that's what I like.
I also love seeing the changes in our kids. I know they did a lot of growing up when we lived close by, but now that I haven't seen them for a few months I can hardly believe the maturity and development of each child. This picture was take in 2006 when we still lived in Illinois.
|Kat, Lauren, Anna, James, Jared and Emily 2006|
|Anna, Emily, James, Kat, Lauren, and Jared 2012|
The changes in personalities over time are also remarkable. Silly, loud, whiny, and fearful, have turned into studious, mature, kind, and helpful (and I'm referring to all of them as a whole and not one in particular). They're just great kids and I'm so blessed to be able to see them change.
Here's a picture from The Factory in Franklin, TN. This was taken in 2010.
This picture is was taken just two years later.
It goes without saying that the kids have their favorites. Kat and Lauren have been two peas in a pod from the very beginning.
This year it was sweet to see that Anna still enjoys Emily's company best.
Of course that's not to say that all the girls don't get along great together too.
Probably the tightest of the group has to be James and Jared. I know they're both boys, but it's more than that. These two seem to have a special bond held together closely by similar interests and mutual respect.
And finally all those attempts at the perfect group photo. I think neither the kids nor parents will remember them fondly, but there's no denying all the 'ooos and ahhhs' once the picture is taken. I'm so glad we made the effort to capture them together over the years. I must say it is getting easier.
Thanks Nesbitt family for another great visit. In a few months we'll get back together and do it all over again. We miss you guys!