Meeting Family!

SO, you met a LOT of people while we were in the Midsouth for Labor Day.  I tried to get as many pictures as I could but because your mama wasn't feeling well while we were out of town, we didn't get to meet everyone I had in mind.  Also, there are some family and friends you met that I wasn't able to get a picture of... but the memories are there and those are better than any picture!

Here are some of the wonderful, crazy, loving, beautiful people you met while we were in Mississippi...

You know you're Grandmommy, already!  But we were so lucky to get to see her again so soon!  We've been SO fortunate & have seen your Grandmommy about every 2-3 months since you arrived!  She is surely no stranger to you. :)  Grandmommy is your daddy's mama.  I absolutely love sharing stories with Grandmommy about you because she is just as obsessed with you as I am!  It makes me so happy that there is someone else out there who can match the amount of love that I have for you.  (I know she's not the only one, but there aren't many who I can confidently say love you in a similar way.)  She loves you so much!  We are all lucky to have Grandmommy Selena in our lives.

This was your first time meeting your GREAT Granny!  She is Grampa Mike's mama and she was so comfortable holding you for the first moment she picked you up.  Granny is great at a LOT of things (she is strong, and supportive, and independent, and loving - among those things) but perhaps something she is a PROFESSIONAL at is raising kiddos and helping take good care of them and I could see she is still such a natural.  Your Granny is a spitfire and I have yet to meet someone quite like her; she has got so much LIFE inside of her.  I just hope you get to know her as well as I have!

You met your cousin Riley.  I'm not sure the exact relation (second cousin? someone help me out here...) but she is about 3 months bigger than you and such a sweetie.  I have never seen you react so strongly to another tiny person as you did with her - you must be getting comfortable with little girls who are 3 months older than you thanks to your weekly playdates with Alli and Molly!  Anyways, you and Riley were just loving on each other and it was so sweet.

There you are!

You already know this guy -- it's daddy!  You are just knocked out on him here... we were in Eudora visiting Grandmommy, Grandaddy and the pups!  You met Sandy, Samantha, & Bandit for the first time.  Did you know daddy has known his pup Sandy longer than he's even known you or mommy?  I wish we had a picture of you and Sandy together, but you were a little nervous around dogs on this trip.  You were definitely overwhelmed during our trip to Mississippi, but I am so happy you got to meet so much of your daddy's family members.

Here is your GREAT Aunt Kelly.  She is your Grampa Mike's sister and Granny is her mama which makes her daddy's Aunt.  She has some funny stories about your daddy that I can't wait for her to tell you someday.  You liked looking around the room at your Aunt Kelly's house and out of all the faces in the room you seemed most comfortable focusing on hers!  I don't blame you - not only is she gorgeous (obviously!) but she is one of the kindest people you may ever meet.  I hope the two of you will make lots of memories as you grow.

This is your Aunt Shareese.  Her mama is Aunt Alice - who is Granny's sister.  (I believe this technically makes Shareese your 1st cousin, twice removed... but all of that confuses me... so we are going to recognize her as your GREAT Aunt Shareese for all intents and purposes.)  Just like your Aunt Kelly, Shareese is so kind-hearted and so much fun to be near.  She is also somebody I would love for you to get to know as you grow.  She's married to your Uncle Roy and they have a little girl Ava - who is an absolute sweetheart.

You also got to meet your cousin, Lexi - who's mama is Aunt Kelly - so this makes her your daddy's cousin.  This year is her last year of high school and then she's onto the big leagues!  I first got to know Lexi when she was much younger and sometimes I still see and think of her as a little girl, but she is much older and more mature (although she's always seemed more mature to me than other people her age) now and was so good with you - which was no surprise.  I hope you grow up to love sports and be confident in yourself in the way that Lexi seems to be.

Oh my word.  This is Lexi's little brother, Bobby.  That makes him your cousin as well.  Mommy used to watch Bobby when he was a little boy - and if I still see Lexi as a little girl - then I certainly see Bobby just the same way.  I would easily say Bobby is my first little person love and while EVERYONE I have mentioned here has a ginormous piece of my heart, Bobby's got such a soft spot in my heart.  He is funny and loving and a million other wonderful things... he is just a good person.  I can not wait to see how much you love him as you get older!

Here's another familiar face!  This is your Grandaddy - your Grampa Mike.  The last time you two were together (besides when this picture was taken) was when you were a fresh, brand new baby and still in the hospital.  I'll never forget that your grandparents made that long trip to be with us on your first days here with us.  If you haven't gathered yet, your Grampa Mike is your daddy's daddy and one of your daddy's best friends.  And I hope he will be one of your best friends, too, as you get to know him over the years!  He's such a great man - he's such a hard worker, someone who loves his family unconditionally, and always has a listening, caring ear for the people in his life.  Everybody who knows Grampa Mike, loves him instantly.  :)  He's also the only Grampa you've got left on this Earth.

Your Grandparents - I hope you learn to cherish every moment you have with them because life is very short and these are two people who would lay down their lives for you - that is how much they care about you.

This is your GREAT Uncle Bob!  He is married to your Aunt Kelly and is a very special person in our family.  People flock to both Bob and Kelly.  They are so inviting, always welcoming, and definitely some fun people to be around.  Your Uncle Bob loves you very much and we love him, too!  I don't think Bob has ever met a stranger in his life - he is so friendly and will strike up a conversation with just about anybody.
This is one of daddy's best friend's, Chris.  I'm not sure if you will call him Chris or Uncle Chris - whatever makes you comfortable.  He is so silly and he will make you laugh a lot with his lame jokes over the coming years.  In addition to his silliness, he has got a big heart and is a very humble person.  You can learn a lot of great things from him just by being near him and with how important he is to mommy and daddy I know you will be getting to know him yourself as you grow up!
This is Kristen!  She is dating "Uncle" Chris and this isn't the first time you've met her (or Chris).  We got to see them over Memorial Day Weekend in St. Louis!  And Kristen was around while you were in mommy's belly, too!  I remember Kristen saying how light on my feet I was despite how big my belly was around Christmastime... I would flop down on your Uncle Chris' bed just like I always have and she thought it was hilarious because my belly was pretty big at that point!

This is another one of daddy's best friends - Tyler.  He has one of the biggest hearts of anyone we've ever met!  And he is magic around kiddos... I haven't seen any kid that hasn't liked your Uncle Tyler, including you.  I can't wait until you are old enough for your Uncle Tyler to be able to lift you over his head and toss you around in the pool - because Tyler is very strong! :)  He'll be one of the many protective men in your life who helps chase away the boys who bother you over the years.  Even though we currently live pretty far from each other, I would be shocked if we don't end up living close to your Uncle Tyler in the long run.

You got to see Tyler's girlfriend, Marsha, again!  She is a kindergarten teacher and is so great with kids.  She also has such a sweet spirit and is so easy to talk to and get to know - I don't think she has a mean bone in her body!
This is one of daddy's oldest friends - Damen.  You also met Damen's brother, Peyton, but we didn't get to snap a picture of the two of you together.  Both your Uncle Damen and Uncle Peyton have such important places in your mommy & daddy's life and you will be hearing so many stories involving them as you grow up.  They both had a lot to do with your mommy and daddy getting together and both of them have been such loyal and dear friends to us for so many years.  Damen and Peyton have always been more like brothers to us than anything else.  Though time and distance have made it hard for us to stay as close - nothing will change the bond we have with them!  You are going to grow up to love both Damen and Peyton and have MANY people to meet from their family who have been like our own family for a lot of years.

And that's everybody - at least everybody that I have a photo of with you.  That's a lot to remember and a lot to take in - so it's a good thing this won't be your only time to get to know all these wonderful people.  The plan is to visit again around Christmas or New Years, but considering what a long trip it was and the toll it took on you emotionally, I'm just not sure if we will make it at Christmastime or not.  If not, maybe we can talk some of our friends and family into meeting halfway for a few days in St. Louis again.  But ideally, we would be going "home" for Christmas to spend as much time with everybody as we can!  We will see what happens... in the meantime, know that you are so loved by so many people.  It's because you are such a special girl yourself.  You are so important, Presley, and I hope you always know that.  I love you so much!

PS, Next I will have to write a blog about all your special family members who live near you!  I don't want them to feel slighted - because we love them so much!


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