Peanut and I had lunch today with my husband’s family at his Memaw’s house. His mom has four sisters and all of them live in the same town (as do all of the grandchildren with the exception of us). Most of them attend the same church, and they all congregate at Memaw’s house every Sunday for lunch. They take turns making the main dish and everyone brings a side, making special dishes and desserts when it’s someone’s “birthday week.” It’s always very laid back and informal, with lots of talking and laughter. They’re a loud bunch of folks which means I fit right in. In the 10+ years I’ve been a part of their family, there have been births and funerals, weddings and graduations. We’ve celebrated many holidays and birthdays together and watched the children grow and flourish. Whether it is a crisis or a celebration, they are always there for one another. Several years ago when John’s first cousin was having a baby, the family congregated in the waiting room of the hospital, awaiting his arrival. That same evening, there was a family of Irish Travellers (or Gypsies as some people call them) in the waiting room with us. They were dressed in extravagantly tacky clothing, especially the little girls who wore full makeup and armfuls of bracelets. There were at least two dozen of them, and they had brought coolers of food and drinks for everyone in the group. My husband’s family thought the Travellers were odd and commented that they had “taken over” the waiting room. When I had my daughter, though, I had to wonder if people thought the same about “my” family as they swarmed the waiting room and—eventually—my hospital room. Though they don’t dress in flashy clothing or bring coolers, they definitely travel in a “pack” and definitely leave their mark wherever they go. They are an incredible group of people and are blessed to be related to one another. Today I am so thankful to have married in to such a close-knit family who treats me like I’m one of their own. I often hear people gripe about their in-laws and the families into which they married, so I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a family who has made me feel welcome and loved.