We just arrived home from a delightful absolutely perfect Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It’s been a busy month with lots of travel for work but this was all play and no work. We spent the time with my brother and his family in Easton Maryland.

It was beautiful. The first few days were warm weather and then the cold hit in the middle of the day on Thanksgiving. My family and my brothers family traveled an hour and a half to Ocean City Maryland to spend the day with my sister in law’s brother and his family. Their home is like a bed and breakfast on the water and with about 10 kids under the age of 8 running around, the day was full of activity. We had dozens of dishes to choose from along with all of the traditional holiday fare.

Just being with my brother and his family was such a great time. Each of us must have had about 5 super long, ridiculous belly laughs a day. We laughed at the stupid inside jokes that were from years past and silly things we did and said to each other that no one else in the world would get. We talked about serious things such as raising children and how to keep a marriage alive and well. We shared our opinions and our beliefs, and we tried to find solutions to any of the problems that we were facing. We shared business ideas and successes along with our failures.

We watched the kids enjoy hours upon hours of playtime together and we pulled them apart when they had melt downs. We got to go see the cousins at swim practice and run in a 5K the day after Thanksgiving. We went shopping for Black Friday at 5am at Walmart, and we fell asleep while watching silly movies in front of the TV and the warm fire. We opened presents and saw the joy that the little ones felt at their new gifts. The older kids, the teens, contained their enthusiasm, but were equally thrilled with receiving early Christmas gifts. I made sure the whole family was outfitted in Auburn University wear, and that their two teens, who are swimmers, now own Auburn Swimming wear.

Over the week, We cooked together, we laughed together, and we shared. It was a week of lots of down time, and lots of issues were discussed and solved. Together in each of our own way, we touched each others lives, hopefully for the better.

Each time we spend time with our relatives, memories are created. They’ll last a lifetime, and the discussions and decisions that are made as a result, will have life time implications.

I’m so grateful that we have a place to go where drama is nil, and the fun is a priority. It’s a blast to not have to put on airs and to talk about what really matters most in life. It’s comforting to know that if there are problems and concerns that there is a place to really talk to figure it out.

It’s important to nurture relationships like these. It’s expensive to make the effort but costly not to. These relationships make life solid and grounded. It’s family that have known you for your whole life and who know the good and the bad parts of you, and who accept you anyway. Even when there is friction, there is comfort to know that it can be gotten through without any long term damage.

Family matters; especially in this very busy life that we all lead. It’ nice to slow down and to just “be” and to be accepted and to accept others just as they are.

I’m so glad we made the investment because truly, Family does matter!