September 11, 2012

nashville meets vegas for old folks...and a little bit more

if you've been around me long enough, you've heard me refer to branson as...

"nashville meets vegas for old folks"

...and while that's definitely true, there's also a lot that gets missed in that description. like the incredible views of the ozarks and the sunset from my little spot on sunset inn atop mount branson. or the community that rallies to meet needs that haven't even been verbalized yet. the way this community serves each other is unparalleled. it's a special, quirky, little town that stole my heart. forever.

there's something to be said for the safety and familiarity of your biological family. you can be mean, and ugly, and a downright pill, but 15 minutes and an apology know you're still family and you're still loved. because you're family and that's what you do. that's part of sharing your dna. you love the good, the bad, and the really really ugly. and they know the real you. from day one to your current state. they know you. and they love you.

but i also think there's something maybe even slightly more special about friends who become that kind of family too. because they don't have to love that way. that's not the expectation or the norm. instead, they choose to love unconditionally. they see the ugly (and are ever so quick to call me out on it) and then go on loving me just the same. they choose to stand in the trenches with me and choose to fight my battles with me in prayer. not because that's the expectation, but because they've chosen to become my family of friends.

if i've said it once, i've said it a thousand times, my k-world branson fam knows how to speak my love languages better than anyone else on the planet. it takes all of 0.2 seconds into a conversation to feel the warmth, acceptance, love, encouragement, and sharpening take place. it's uncanny. and man, does it make a girl feel like a million bucks!! and it makes me a better person, because i want to look for ways to return the favor. i've learned so much from the men and women in that little ozark town, and i've only begun to scratch the surface on paying my debt of gratitude to each of them.

so in the meantime, as i sit here and bask in my moment of overwhelming gratitude, enjoy some pics from my trip to b-town over labor day.

no trip to branson is complete without some quiet time in the mountains.

devouring andy's with LB and shay after the vb matches. if i had children, they would be my daughters.

proof that my legs are much longer than trish's legs. she graciously loaned me her car all weekend before i could even think to ask. her generosity blows me away.

catching up with dan dan the army man is always a treat.

brunch with my girls. T and LB bring the humor to my life (among many other things).

lunch with my SJVC kiddos. slightly more grown up than when they were 14 and 15. love them!

branson fam: thanks, once again, for welcoming me into your homes, your cars, your lives, and your families. this florida girl aches with every humid breath i take, but i'm grateful for the opportunity to still walk through life with each of you. i'll be back soon because i left my heart and soul with you. my heart can only take so much separation.


live unashamedly :: laugh uncontrollably :: love unconditionally.

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