Sometimes we’ll be finishing up dinner and JJ will quickly drop his fork and declare “I win!” This declaration of superiority serves as both the invitation to compete as well as notification that I have, indeed, lost. Typically such activity warrants similar undeclared double-or-nothing competitions, such as first finish a glass of water, first to itch a left eye, or the first person yodel. You know, meaningful displays of superiority.

If I were to invite you, the reader, in a similar contest comparing blessings, I would reflect upon today as one of my many cases exemplifying that I win**. Now, I realize that counting blessings is a bit of a subjective task, but I still think I could make a case based on sheer numbers: I have a large extended family and I am hugely blessed by them.

Case in point: today is B&E’s wedding anniversary. But when we arrived home from church and remarked what a gorgeous day it was, husband mentioned heading to the lake for the afternoon because, well, that’s really the only appropriate thing to do with the given weather conditions. So we called up, seeing as how the entire Bob-Clan had been there for the weekend, and all but invited ourselves to join. Upon hearing this, my parents followed suit.

So we grilled out, laid out, the boys swam out and now we’re all worn out. Oh, and we ordered out – 3 cheers for Padrone’s! The boys played some cornhole, the girls chatted and relaxed, Aunt Bea hit a trifecta of naps for the entire weekend (stellar performance, I must say) and the wee ones splashed around. Mine even napped! Are you even able to keep up with counting these aforementioned blessings??

Not only are we lucky to have such a wonderful family whom we actually enjoy spending time with – we even choose to do so, not just on the holidays – but we have a spectacular place to do it at the lake. EHW’s friend Jackie asked today, “do you think when your grandparents bought this place that they knew it would be used like this, with your dads watching their grandchildren frolic about in the lake?” I’m not sure that when gramps put down the money for the place that the 3 generations following was on his mind, but I’m pretty sure they’d be ticked pink about it just the same.

And the kicker: I’m supremely blessed that it was my husband’s idea to go. He doesn’t just put up with my family, he chooses to spend time with them. Even Brad (j/k my fav cuz). And not just any day – on precious Sunday time, the day we get to choose to do whatever we want. I don’t have to beg or reward him to go – he actually asks to make it happen. Too many families in this world can’t see eye to eye for a dinner or a picnic. But here we are soaking in the extra opportunities.

Yup. I win.

**This post wasn’t actually written to show superiority but rather to remark and give thanks for the many blessings we have. I hope that you took me up on my little challenge to count ’em up. And honestly, I hope you feel like I was a bit presumptuous and demand a recount. Because that’s a lot of blessings. But the world needs more people who feel as blessed as I feel. Maybe there would be less fighting. Or drugs. Or war. Yes, maybe I’m on to something: if we want peace in the middle east, just give every [extended] family a lakehouse.

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