Thicker Than Water

Over the weekend, my older brother D and his girlfriend E drove down from Wisconsin to visit. The last time my brother saw Nellie was in March when she was about 8 weeks old. It’s always nice to have members of my family come to visit me, but the visits go by so quickly that once they leave, it’s almost surreal. Like it’s hard to believe they were actually here. But of course, they were here.

Whenever a family member of mine visits and then leaves, I find myself looking around at the aftermath and feeling wistful & sad. A glimpse of a Chinese food takeout box brings back memories of the night we sat around the table laughing and eating. The leftover chili that my brother made reminds me of the three of us watching the Miss America pageant on TV and making fun of it for two hours. I think about our trips to Starbucks, and E pushing D into a huge pile of snow at Rock City.
It brings to mind the old quote, “Don’t cry because it’s over – smile because it happened”.
I always forget how refreshing it is to be around my blood relatives. I love my in-laws and they are family to me but there’s just something about surrounding yourself with people who have known you since birth. People who share your DNA. People who fit into a place in your heart and soul like only those you’ve grown up with can. I’m an odd person. I have an odd sense of humor and when I’m with my family, it’s like I make a little more sense than usual. I only get to see my blood relatives once a year – if I’m lucky – so I cherish the time we get to spend together.

I find myself looking back and feeling happy that it happened, but sad at the same time because I know it’s going to be months before we get to have fun times and make new memories again. It’s harder since I’ve had a child. I want my father and my brother to be a part of her life as her other family – Josh’s family – are. I want them to be around for her birthdays, for holidays.. And just because. I haven’t mentioned my mother, and that’s because she and I have a pretty strained and complicated relationship. She lives in Chattanooga but as I said before, our relationship isn’t great. Maybe another day when I have a lot of emotional energy & the fortitude to go into it, I will. Let’s just say I don’t crave her company like I do my other family which is frustrating, because she lives so close.

I have my family here in my husband, I do have a blood relative here, of course… And that’s my Nellie. My daughter. She’s more a part of me than any other person on the face of the planet. She possesses a piece of my heart and more than just a little bit of my soul. When I get to feeling sad, or lonely, or longing for my Northern relatives all I have to do is look into those eyes, gaze upon the chin dimple that she inherited from me and realize that she is my blood. She’s my everything. I still miss my other family members terribly, but she helps soothe the sting quite a bit.

My Heart.


  1. I have family in Ohio that I miss and want to see so badly. Some days I get to feeling guilty because it's been over a year since I've been up there to see them. But then I realize that over the last 12 or so years I have had to make every single one of those trips. They've never bothered to drive down to see me. I love them, but well right now I'm saying "it's your turn!"

  2. We miss you all too. You know you three are welcomed up here any time, no matter how short of the notice! Claire and Nellie would have a blast together!
    Megan recently posted..Fun at the Bouncy House Play Place

  3. Natalie,

    I know what you mean. My mama, sister, niece, and nephew are all 350+ miles away from me (in Knoxville, as fate would have it). I definitely crave that family time too. I always spend so much time looking forward to visits with them and then while the visit is happening, I'm wishing that time would stop and I'm already regretting that it's almost over. Sigh.

    On an unrelated note, I realized yesterday that I never read your blog from start to current (interesting with this post, since you mentioned your mom … I always wondered why you never talked about her but I read a post that explained a bit) and I got totally sucked in. The aftermath of losing Green Bean and the agony of TTC unsuccessfully. I am lucky to say that I haven't suffered a miscarriage, but it did take us 8 months to conceive baby Theo so I definitely re-lived the ups and downs of all that anticipation, waiting, and disappointment as I was reading through your journey. It made me re-appreciate that my current pregnancy was so easy to achieve after all of that difficulty. Makes me appreciate both of my little nuggets that much more, and I just wanted you to know.

    thanks :)

    Candice recently posted..snowy in the midwest

  4. Nellie is so stinkin' cute!! I'm glad you had a great time with your brother. With my family it's me that lives away from them, but only like 2.5 hours… and I like it that way. They have more drama their way than anyone I know. I like being outside that circle and not being stuck in it…

    Quick visits are good for me…but my family is disfunctional, so….
    Mae recently posted..I Cant Hear What Youre Saying- Your Actions Are Too Loud

  5. Love that quote.

    What a cutie pie!
    Becky recently posted..Wine

  6. Your brother looks like Buddy Holly and that is AWESOME.
    Katie recently posted..Better than a Golden Globe

  7. Both of them looks so beautiful! I like the last picture too much. I am now waiting for your next post. Thanks and keep up the great work.

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