She grew up in a tiny town in Southern Alabama on a farm. Her dad was a farmer, her mom was a teacher, and together they raised eight children. There's quite an age gap in some of the kids, so my mom and her little brother were like their own family unit with her parents. My mom's little brother, Mark, was her best friend, and tragically she lost him when he was only 15. In his memory and her honor, we chose the name Mark for Wesley's middle name. I have always wished I could have known her little brother who I can't help believe would have been one of my favorite uncles.
We made a recent trip back to Southern Alabama to be with my mom and her brothers and sisters while they buried another one of their brothers. It was a sad reason to get together, but I'm thankful for the time spent with my mom and Sam, and my aunts, uncles and cousins.
There is not a lot to do in this tiny town, but some of our extended family has a small house on the lake. For a week of every summer during my childhood, we traveled to AL to see my grandmother. We stayed in this lake house, and I learned how to ski on this lake. So, it holds some neat memories for me. It's fun to take the boys there and to relive some of those memories. It's especially neat to do that with my mom.
Not a lot of excitment awaited me as a teenage girl on a 12-hour car ride to that small town where my mom was raised, but now I'm beginning to learn there are many lessons to be learned down those red clay roads. I hope my children will grow to love them as I now do.