The Best Minutes

No photos today.

We had a biggish family party yesterday. Including my immediate family, 59 of the many many *insert mom’s maiden name here* relatives enjoyed a fun (and hot) and relaxing (and hot) afternoon at our house. The zip line was loved by kids and adults alike. I was feeling extra prideful because I made a good amount of the food we served. I didn’t have time during the preparation process to photograph it and I completely forgot to get a picture of all of my creations lined up on the buffet table. I made lots and lots of pulled pork, macaroni salad, lemon bars, sangria punch and helped with german potato salad and ooey gooey peanut butter bars! Mmmm, so good!

But, as has been the case for the better part of the past nine months, the best part of the day was watching my niece experience so many new things.

She shared her water table with some of the other little kids and even got to go swimming in our pool with her daddy for the first time!

But the best part of my day (and life) was the bouncy house.

We rented a bouncy house, as we do each year, and I was so excited to see her jump for the first time. She’s loved to jump ever since she realized she could do it herself. I had a feeling she would go crazy for the bouncy house, but there was always this tiny part of me that knew that there was a chance that we would get her in there and she would just bawl.

My mom laid down and bounced her on her stomach a few times and, oh my gosh, I’ve never seen that little girl happier. Then it was my turn to bounce her. I let her stand on my stomach while my mom jumped around us. J would always find someone to look at before squealing with delight and doing her cute little baby giggle. Most of the time, that lucky recipient was me.

Now, I’m not a fan of big parties. I don’t like being the center of attention and normally, when the adults enter the bouncy house or there’s squealing coming from it, everyone looks.

I didn’t even care.

At that moment, my world consisted of that giggly little girl above me, my mom behind me, my brother and sister-in-law on one side of me and my dad on the other. But mostly, the giggly little girl. I swear I could have cried. I felt this overwhelming gratitude sweep through me.

I feel so blessed to be able to love someone this deeply and be able to express that love so freely.

Those minutes in the bouncy house, looking up at that sweet baby girl and her radiant smile and hearing that little baby giggle, were the best minutes of my life.

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