This weekend, as most of you know, I made the trek to Georgia to meet Julio's family: his oldest two kids, his parents and his brother. And, as most of you know, I was quite nervous about this meeting. But, as I mentioned in my comment to his post about this weekend, he had built his family up so much that even Mother Teresa would have been nervous!
I got up early Saturday and spent two hours (yes, 2 flipping hours!) getting ready, mind you I took my sweet time. I showered, blew my hair out with the dryer, curled it just a bit, took my time applying my makeup, etc. I just wanted to feel as put together as I possibly could, even though I KNEW the humidity would most likely flatten my hair in a matter of minutes, which it did.
Julio arrived with the kids to pick me up, I scooped up my presents and headed to the lobby where they were awaiting me. The kids quickly got out of the van and came over for hugs and introductions. I was instantly taken, and could not believe they were as tall as I am (or maybe a smidge taller!). I had ordered a couple of books for each one of them, which really seemed to be a hit. Julio tried to make us load up one time during this gift exchange claiming we were "blocking" the drive thru area of the hotel, pfft! I told the kids we were fine for a couple of minutes as we said our hello's...yes, that is pretty typical of me.
We went to the store as I wanted to pick up some flowers to take for his Mom. After all, she was inviting me into her home and I wanted to show her my appreciation. Becky, BJ and Bethanie helped me pick out some beautiful pink/peach combination roses. We picked up a few other things for the feast and were on our way.
It was so much fun in the van. Julio and I could not even get a word in edgewise to each other as the kids were talking to me a mile a minute. It could not have been better. I loved and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. We arrived to his house and he made his introductions first to his Mom, then his brother, then his Dad. Then we went to work. There was so much food! We had shish ka bobs, wings, chicken legs, ribs, brats, grilled pineapple (YUM!), potato salad, baked beans, grilled corn on the cob, cucumbers and tomatoes, deviled eggs, and a delicious pudding. It was more food than you could imagine. All of it was delicious! We had a great time around the table, laughing, telling stories and I jumped right in with the joking around. I also learned I am going to HAVE to learn Spanish. This is also something Julio's Mom told me several times. It's not that they intentionally would begin speaking in Spanish but there are some things they just say in Spanish, which is fine. I will adapt. It was interesting that quite often I could pick up on some of what was being said based on context and my three years of French. There are some similarities. But not nearly enough.
*A fun little side note: Julio's Mom said her very last thought prior to going to sleep Friday night, was "Oh poor Mandy". I guess she knew how nervous I was! To this Cesar (Julio's brother) added that his last thought was, "Oh goody...muah hahaha, tomorrow will be FUN!"
We spent the rest of the evening just watching movies and being together. It seemed the day was over before it began, it went by so quickly.
On Sunday Julio's parents went to church and he, the kids and I just enjoyed a quiet Sunday morning. Julio and I sat at the kitchen table with coffee and just talked about everything and nothing. I found myself just truly relishing the time. I could have sat there with him all day. Time flew by. Before I knew it it was time for me to leave. I could feel the tears in my eyes and as I hard as I tried I just could not fight them. I hid them from the kids and as soon as I could get them to stop flowing said my goodbyes and got on the road...where the tears flowed for about the first hour or so of my long drive home.
It was an amazing weekend. But now, I am left wondering, who hit the fast forward button on the weekend and could you please fast forward the next two and a half weeks so I can hurry and have him and the kids with me again? I cannot wait for his family to become my family and mine to become his. THAT is an incredible feeling (yes, one that was totally worth the anxiety, anticipation, nerves and fright that I had felt prior to the weekend).