Indiana {Summer 2011}

Our week of leave was filled with many highs and lows. And LOTS of driving. 35 hours in less than a week, to be exact.

We hadn’t seen most of our family in over a year, so it was wonderful to reconnect!  This was the first time we’ve ever been able to connect both sides of our families, and they all seemed to like each other quite nicely! 🙂

This is the whole Dittman family, plus appendages! My parents, sisters, brother-in-law, nephews, husband, and all of the kids.  Colt is even in there – though he’s a bit hidden currently. 

These 4 people – my immediate family – mean the world to me. They are the reason I am who I am, good and bad. Love you all!

The Marine on leave. You can’t top that relaxed smile and facial hair!

One of my new favorites. Laughing with my Mom isn’t something I get to do often enough, and I haven’t done enough in the past.

These people – my parents and my in-laws – are … irreplaceable in my life! There was a moment during this trip when I suddenly realized the amazing wealth of wisdom I have been blessed with through these 4 people.  I couldn’t ever express my thanks to each of them for sharing life through their eyes with me. It makes all the difference.

Rhyan decided this was the visit in which she would stop sleeping in a port-a-crib (thank you, Aunt Bel-ay-ay for your help!), was going to endure the heat only slightly patiently, steal everyone’s flip flops, and mow the yard for Papa!

Chloe, my girly-girl, loved her moments in the wood shop with Papa, having a younger sister to “take care of”, and shared some very memorable quotes with me.

Faith continues to grow into a beautiful young woman, always surprising me with her quiet strength, beautiful love, and compassion. She will probably forever have a thing or two to teach me about loving.

Noah challenged me in ways I never expected this visit. But, challenges are not breaking points, and that is one lesson I am thankful for being reminded of. Noah Dale – no matter what, forever and ever, I LOVE YOU. Nothing can change that.

A very special moment for the four of us, playing in the waterfall together.

If you ever wonder how I continue to smile, even when things like the challenges I mentioned above are thrown at me – it’s because I received very real proof in my life that God is good and hears the desires of our hearts. I am SO BLESSED.

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