Grateful for Home

        Home. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you see a picture of the house where you grew up as a kid? Or how about the face of someone you love? Maybe it’s even a certain smell or feeling that comes over you with the memory of “home”. I distinctly remember a moment in time where my mom, sister, and I decided that “home” was wherever we all three were together. Up until that time, at 12 years of age, “home” had simply been representative to me of our physical house…the place we lived. You see, the pain of losing my Dad had caused us to realize that no matter what our situation was or how challenging our new normal had become, we were going to lean into each other to keep that sense of “home”. We started realizing that we could experience that feeling and place of belonging even while traveling the world. Why? Because we had navigated the roughest waters of our lives together and were learning how to swim above the surface instead of letting it take us under.IMG_2359

        This past summer, I was able to take my three littles down to Auburn, Alabama, to visit my Mom for a week. After the crazy rush of meeting deadlines and making sure all of the schedules are kept through the end of the school year, we were all in need of some time to slow down. While my Mom does not live in the same house that I grew up in, or the same city either, I could not wait to get there because SHE was there. I could almost feel my blood pressure lower and my muscles relax as we pulled into the driveway. As she greeted us in the driveway with arms open wide, I felt that deep sense of “home”. We walked in the door and followed our noses straight to the kitchen to grab a slice of her freshly baked, cream cheese poundcake. Are you with me? I’m sure you are wanting a piece, too! The memories started flooding back of all of my favorite things she did and continues to do to create a beautiful, hospitable place of belonging.


        That week ended up being such a peaceful respite from our busy life. We took daily trips to walk my Mom’s dog around a little pond at the park, cooled off with a swim in the pool, went to story time at the library, took a day trip to visit an awesome Wild Animal Safari in Georgia, had afternoon tea parties, went exploring for bugs to put in Will’s bug catcher, visited my sweet Grandparent’s graves, and the list goes on! Most importantly, I slowed down enough to watch my Mom continue to create those unique memories of “home”. Of being together. I watched her foster the curiosity and adventurous spirits in my children as she dug her beautiful hands down in the dirt to help Will catch bugs (something I don’t remember ever seeing her do as we only had girls in my house growing up!), and as she offered space for them to run and play.

As the week came to a close and we started our journey back home to Tennessee, I was reminded of an E.E. Cummings quote that I love…”I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart. I am never without it. Anywhere I go, you go, my dear.” The sadness of saying goodbye for now was comforted in knowing that the memories we had made that week and the love we shared will be carried in our hearts forever. My children will be able to look back on “that one summer at Ami’s” where they felt loved, celebrated, and encouraged to see the world with adventurous eyes. Do you have any memories you can recall where you were able to experience a deep sense of “home”? Have you been able to help create those kinds of memories for your children? Is there a certain person in your life who helped model this for you? I am so grateful to my Mom for her ability to center me and to help me remember what really matters most when spending time with my children. I spent less time looking at screens that week and more time looking into the wonder in my children’s eyes. Turns out, the old saying is true…home really is “where the heart is.”


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