Friday, December 17, 2010

Eight Long Years

My dad loves to give me a hard time about the "two years" we spent in England. It was actually just five months, but apparently it was bigger in his mind. It doesn't bother him that we then lived in the Dallas area for 3.5 years. It's just that we had the audacity to exit the borders of our lovely state for any amount of time. My response is always, "Have you forgotten that your other daughter left Texas eight years ago and still hasn't come back? And does it mean nothing that I have now given you two grandchildren? Who live 15 minutes from you?" Nope. There's no way I can make up for the treason of leaving Texas for a European country where they sip tea and have strict gun ownership laws.

As far as I know, my dad hasn't given my sister much of a hard time about her eight years away. Isn't that typical for the baby of the family? The baby gets away with everything. Not that I'm bitter. Now that I have two kids I feel compassion for both sides.

I'm here today to tell you that after eight long years in the midwest and the southeast, my sister Melissa has finally come home! And Colin is on his way with the U-Haul! My big sister heart is very happy. Colin has just changed jobs and his new one will allow him to be in Houston for the time being. Praise the Lord!

Mom flew to Atlanta on Wednesday and Melissa picked her up from the airport in a packed car. They headed straight for the highway to Texas and didn't look back. I know Melissa was sad to leave her friends and her little newlywed nest, but she was also excited to come home. I'm unspeakably grateful to Heather and Janet, who made Melissa and Colin a part of their families while they lived in Atlanta.

Last night I went to my parents' house just before their arrival so I could greet Melissa in the driveway with balloons and party horns. It was so much fun. Dad got home a few minutes later and we had a little celebration - just the four of us. The highlight may have been the group hug during which we simultaneously blew our party horns. Dad had just been on a big hunting trip and he brought in a fresh deer head (on ice) with trophy horns for us to admire. I nearly puked, but I think it was a great deer as far as deer go. After our appetites recovered, we went to a favorite hole in the wall Tex-Mex restaurant that is decorated with tinsel perennially and leaves the smell of fajitas in one's hair overnight. On the way home we begged Mom to drive us through the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights like old times. The evening was a great gift.

Mom took this with her phone and I'm not sure we have pupils, but here's a pic of our party in the front yard.


I'm excited for my kids that Aunt Melissa (AB calls her Sassa) and Uncle Colin will be a regular part of their lives for this season. I can't wait to do all the things that sisters do when they live in the same city. The last time Melissa and I both lived in Houston, we were teenagers and we got along about as well as Tom and Jerry. I'm ready for a do-over!


62 comments:

ForHisGlory said...

That is so exciting!!

Sarah said...

So happy for you! YAY! :) Maybe we'll see Melissa posts a bit more often as well? :) I know our Siesta Mama is WAY excited! :)

Rhonda said...

So exciting! We four girls have a blast when we get together! Love having my sisters close!

Jennifer said...

That's sooo exciting! I have 2 sisters who are my very best friends and we have lived together in Houston for many years, but one of them just moved to Lubbock. We can't wait til she and her hubby get to move back when he finishes school!

Alex and Jill said...

So happy for you guys! My sister is my best friend and we live 15 mins from each other - there is nothing like having her close by!!

Merry Christmas to your sweet family.

Kelli said...

I just started crying from this post! Hormonal much!?

I am SO SO HAPPY for you and Melissa! Enjoy all the fun sister outings and fun stuff!!

My sister Megan has been gone for 3 and a half (Indiana and Ireland) and we are beyond excited to have her in TX even if it is in Dallas!

Maine-ly Me said...

My big sister heart is so happy for you! My little sister is 1,000 miles away (though I'M the one who moved!), so I can only too well feel your excitement!

Ashley said...

I was about to say, oh I hope my kids will love each other one day and get along as well as you two...until I read that last couple of lines. Thank the Lord for do-overs, right?

Longmeadow Mama said...

Psalm 37:4 comes to mind as I read this! So happy that He has indeed given all of you the desire of your hearts! :)

Becky Roode said...

So excited for your fam, Amanda. I lived in TN for 5 years (the baby) & when I came back home in 2002 you would have thought I had come back from the dead. My family never lets me forget how happy they are that I'm "home" & that's 8 years later. :)
Enjoy this time with your sister! So many new memories to make. :)

Marc and Charity said...

That is so fun! Enjoy her!

Becky Roode said...

So excited for you, Amanda! I left home for Tennessee for 5 years & my fam will never let me forget it. :) Even after being "home" for 8 years now they still make it a point to tell me how happy they are that I'm home.
Enjoy this time with your sister!
So many new memories to be made :)

HisTreasuredPossession said...

again, this is so exciting. my little sister currently lives in FL and I'm all the way in Orange County. We've never lived closer after my HS graduation than the 4 months we shared the same college. I miss her. I understand your joy and hope everyone has a BLAST this season of homecoming!!

blessings,
rachel

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Yay for the Moore-Jones-Fitz clans! Can't imagine how incredibly happy your entire family must be.. :)) Merry Christmas

Kim Safina said...

Amanda,
Loved your sweet story and heartfelt words!
THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
WELCOME HOME MELISSA!!!!!

That is why I always say the phrase,
"The Journey Continues" With "Heaven Bound" blessings!!!

Our Journey does continue and I pray "Heaven Bound" for my future~ future blessing!

Jingling the bells from Cali
with love and ((((HUGS))))
Kim Safina

Michele said...

So happy for you and praying y'all have many happy times together!

Lauren said...

Amanda, I am just so so thrilled for y’all!!!!!!!!

{Thirty} Little Piggies said...

This is WONDERFUL! What a perfect early Christmas gift! Enjoy it for all it's worth!

Lynn said...

I'm so happy for you! No kidding! I have 3 sisters and one of us had the audacity to move out of state a little over a year ago. I guess we finally adjusted, but sometimes I miss her so much...and her family. She and her husband have 3kids that I adore :) They will be coming home for Christmas next week and be here for a whole week! I can't wait :)

Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your sister time :)

jamie b said...

so exciting! my sister and i are apart now and it's hard. we both have 1 child each and they are 7 weeks apart. i so wish we were closer. have lot of fun! :)

jenn said...

yay!! i moved back to my hometown in july and i love being around my family again...especially my sister!!!

so happy for you and your family =)

Julie Anne said...

Hurray for sisters!! looking forward to seeing 2 of mine next week... even if it is only for 2 days!!!

Tara said...

Oh I'm so happy for you Amanda!!!! This makes my heart smile.

Like you and Melissa, my sister and I live states away. I'm in NC and she is in GA. We are best friends now, but the last time we lived in the same state, we were like Tom and Jerry too! Maybe one day God will give us a do-over too!

So, so, so happy for all of you!!! What a Christmas gift!

HIS Child said...

My heart is filled with overflowing happiness for you two!!! I to, am the first born in our family and I have 2 younger sisters that live just 1.5 hours south of me.
When we get together as adults I cannot describe the love that floods me.
So happy for you and your family.

The Johnsons said...

I am SO thrilled for you and Melissa! There is nothing like having a sister and even better one living in the same city. I told Dana the other day the only reason I wish I had another daugter was for my Liz to have a sister. Enjoy this season!

debra said...

i LOVE this.

R said...

ah, gun ownership laws...we had to travel to michigan for my mother's funeral over TG week, and my husby had our whacked out route all planned out based on which states have reciprocity with texas' concealed carry laws. i love my little gun geek! :0)

Renee said...

This is awesome! Welcome home Melissa!

Amy said...

How exciting for your family!

Ashley McWhorter said...

That's so great! I know y'all are so excited!!!

The Timberlake Family said...

That is exciting! I only live an hour and a half from my sister, but I would give just about anything to be closer to her!

Spicy Magnolia said...

Very exciting news! I love the analogy of "Tom and Jerry". I know the Lord will bless the 'do-over'. Merry Christmas!

Kristen @ Moms Sharpening Moms said...

You are an absolute riot! Love your sense of humor.

I haven't lived near my sisters in 15 years, so I can certainly understand your excitement! YAY for happy reunions (and YAY for do-overs!)

Merry Christmas!

Whittaker Woman said...

I think I am going to cry. Deep down I am excited for you guys, but I'm dwelling in a little self pity!
Can't wait to visit you guys!
Hope you have so much fun as a family! H

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

OH I'm SOOO happy for you guys!! Sisters are the best! I have two of my own in my home town and it truly is a blessing to have built in friends all the time!!

Enjoy and God bless!
Courtney

Angela said...

Oh my heart is so happy for you all! There is nothing like having family close! ;-)

His Jules said...

so excited for you both!! Praising God for bringing Melissa safely home and praying for Colin's journey as well!! Merry Christmas to all the Jones/Moore/Fitzpatricks!

Susy said...

Congrats that is so exciting!!! I want my sis in law to move to Austin, bc she's like my sister!

Alison said...

Yay!! SO fun to have your sister back in Texas!!!

Kristin said...

Christmas come early!! Yay for you guys!!

Catrina said...

Very fun!! A pretty great Christmas gift :) Blessings to you all!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

yea!! might actually get to meet her now :)

Sandee said...

Makes me long for a sister! So nice to live close. I pray my little ones will do that when they are all grown up!

Sitesx6 said...

I am so happy for you. I have one sibling, a sister, who is my best friend. We live far away from each other and we are sad about it, every single day of life.

I think back to the days of growing up where we played Barbies together for ours or played school. Then later in our teen years, I chased her around the table with a scissors because she wore my shirt.

Sisters are a GIFT! Glad yours is by your side.

Amber Cessac said...

Eight years is SO long! Almost a decade!! I can't believe you stayed sane. Happy for you!!

Toknowhim said...

How exciting for all of you... I love that your family went out to celebrate and then went looking at Christmas lights...so sweet :)

Merry Christmas to all...

Dana said...

So excited for you and Melissa! There are so many wonderful gifts God has given us but very few rank more blessed than that of a sister.

Erica said...

That is very exciting! I know about the "leaving the border of TX" thing! How fun to have your sister home!

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Amanda,

I don't comment often here, but just had to on this. Really, I think it was the gun ownership issue that really sent your dad over the edge when you moved to Europe. It is just a basic part of our American rights and to be somewhere you can't have a gun...well, it just makes me nervous.

I felt as naked as a plucked chicken the whole time I was in Israel in November without my friends, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson. I feel your daddy's pain.

My husband is a hunter and he's always dragging in some trophy that I must owww and ahhh over. The worst yet is the deer antlers with the skull attached. Nearly made me lose my religion. Don't know why men like those hideous things.

Anyhoo, I am glad Melissa is back with ya'll. We will miss her here in GA, but being near family is so important.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Leah

Nesha said...

Thrilled for you guys! Let us know that Colin made it there in the U-haul just fine when he gets there.

Oh, the stories to come now that Moore-Jones-Fitzpatricks are back in the same town! Can't wait.

Barbara Head said...

I am with your Dad, can't believe anyone would want to leave the borders of Texas for any length of time. I am going to have to get used to it by this time next year. I will start my mourning now.

Jennifer said...

How exciting! What a blessing.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

My big sister heart just split with happiness for you!

My sister was far away, on the other side of the continent by the coast, for seven very long years before she came home, and the day she finally packed her, her new husband and the wee baby up and moved back east, I wanted to call in the Calvary and have a grand parade for her!

Nothing in the world, really, like having a sister come home -- because sisters are born with a cogenital heart disease: JOINED. Our hearts are joined and we don't breathe well until we are close again.

So happy to know you are breathing well and deep in Houston today, Amanda! :) And welcome home, Melissa...

All's grace,
Ann

Shellie Paparazzo said...

My sister and I used to get along (before I came to Christ), and now get along about as well as Tom and Jerry. She can't stand that she's not my "boss" anymore. She really actually thinks she's the boss of our family. When Josh and I were getting married she told my mom that she was worried about Josh, because he didn't seem to understand that "this family already has a boss and I was born into it!" Yes, she actually said that. She likes being in charge and she can't stand it when she's not. I'm really happy for the two of you and a little jealous. I could use some sister love. And I think it's perfect that AB calls her Sassa, cause she is just a little sassy isn't she?

Missy said...

SO, SO, SO excited for you!!!

Carrie Beth said...

Amanda,
I live about five minutes from my middle sister (I am oldest of 3 girls). I know what a blessing it is to us to have one another. Our kids may as well be brothers and sisters. We have "stair steps" with my 7, 5 and 2 year olds and her 6, 3 and 1 year olds. It is so much fun to share life and have our kids be so close. I pray you will get the joy of that experience as well.
Enjoy having your sister near!
Carrie Beth

Fran said...

So so so so happy for you!!! :)

Hugs,
Fran

ThirtysomethingMom said...

That is wonderful! Home just in time for Christmas! What a wonderful gift for all the family! You are a great big sister!!!

Laurie said...

So jealous. My mom, dad and one sister live in Jerusalem. My other sister and her husband in Dallas. Cherish every minute girl! I miss my family so much! I am in good ole Nashville and too far to do much of anything with them, thank goodness for Skype!

Allison said...

Yea that Mel is back in the great state of texas!!! I know you will have so much fun. I think your dad thinks your trip to G.B. was so significant not just just because of their lack of a NRA, but also becuase he is PROUD of you for making such a big move and leaving the nest with your new hubby in such a bold way! I know I was! Merry Christmas!

Marla Taviano said...

Thrilled for your do-over, girl! One of my sisters is 90 mins away, the other 8 hours. We're all together this week though! Have a blast!!

connorcolesmom said...

REJOICE!!!
I know you are just thrilled that your sister is home. I am so happy for you! We moved away from my family almost 7 yrs ago (I had a 4 yo and a newborn) I have prayed that God would allow us to move "home" again one day.
Maybe He will but in the meantime we are enjoying where He has us :)
Enjoy your SISTER!!!