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Memorial Day Weekend of a different kind

It is Memorial Day Weekend.  The weekend we remember and honor our veterans who selflessly gave their lives to protect and defend our great nation.  I hold in my heart the many names of those who have died, particularly my father-in-law and two dear friends of ours who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It can be a somber weekend, yet it is also a weekend to CELEBRATE the lives of our great men and women.

This weekend I am celebrating with my family in a different sense.  Not just my DH and kids, but (almost) my entire side of the family.  We have talked about the holidays and birthdays we often miss as military families.  Engagements, weddings, births, etc., because we live all over the map.  So this Memorial Day Weekend is very special to me.

I am currently in a hotel room, sans DH and kids (DH has them swimming in the pool).  I am alone, which is rare, and I have finally had the chance to think about what a blessing this weekend has been for me.

For the first time in forever, I am in the same city with all three of my siblings, both of my parents (who are divorced, but get along fine), my 3 nephews (from "my" side of the family), one of my aunts and one of my cousins.  This may not sound like a big deal, but for our family, it is.

I have not seen my aunt in 12 years.  I have not seen my cousin in probably 20 years.  My side of the family has not seen DH in a VERY long time (I usually travel w/ the kids when DH is TDY or deployed).  Sure there are "family dynamics" that have the potential to ruin events like this, but I made a personal vow NOT to get caught up in them.  So far, so good :)

And the coolest part?  My little brother (who stands a head taller than me and is almost 30 years old) asked his girlfriend to marry him yesterday!  And we were ALL there!  So now we have a new addition to our family, too.

And today we will all gather at my little sister's house to give her a birthday party!  She'll be 27 on Tuesday and has not had a "real" birthday party since she was in middle school.  And we will ALL be there to celebrate with her!

This weekend has really been a blessing.  So, as we remember our veterans this weekend and celebrate their lives, if you are with your family and friends, celebrate all the little things.  Because it's all the little things (and the big ones) that matter.

Many blessings to you and yours!  And our veterans and their families!

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