Blending In with Family

By Holly Giles | Family


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Blending In with Family

No, this is not an ad for camo nation, but a symbol of family coming together, to blend in.
The months have been so busy in our house.  I was given the opportunity to speak at a regional convention here in Florida, and it pushed me to finish a book I have been working on. It seemed to consume my time and was way more involved than I had anticipated.

Laundry began to pile up, the refrigerator was bare and the boys were looking rough around the edges.  My extended family and friends began to pitch in where they could with the boys and the book.  As the days drew closer to the event, my anxiety to finish all the projects were coming out in irritation for everyone.  I was feeling like it was not going to come together in time, and all would be a flop.


Also, the event was the week of Grayson and Grant’s birthday.  I love organizing birthdays, however, both the boys said they just wanted family dinner with the cousins, grandparents, and aunts and uncles.  That was doable, yet it was for Sunday, the day after the convention that I would be at from sun up to sun down!!!  My anxiety began to grow even more.

I am a do-it-yourself kinda gal.  I don’t ask for help very much because I want to make sure it gets done the way I want it done.  This personality trait can leave me very tired at the end of the day.  I had been in prayer about my workshop speech, my book, and the party.  By the Thursday before the big weekend, God graced me with peace to let go of it all, and give it over to my family and trust it would all work out.

Calling in favors

I called my sister-in-law and asked if she could make a big salad for 19 people, I called my uncle and asked if he could bring a relish tray he is so famous for, and I asked another aunt who was visiting from Tennessee to make a chocolate cake that Grayson had requested, and my mom’s husband Randy, who is a fantastic chef,  volunteered to make a spaghetti dinner he used to make for his family’s Sunday dinner and a carrot cake for Grayson.  My in-laws were stuck in the northern ice storm trying to get home, but volunteered their much larger and cleaner house for the event, even if they couldn’t make it back.

It WAS all coming together.

Friday arrived and the convention began and I was tied up until late on Saturday.  The events that transpired at the convention were overwhelming and one of the most exciting times of my life.  My husband and boys came late in the day to support my big day, and it ended with exhilaration and utter exhaustion.   Yet, I knew I had to celebrate these two blessings and give them the time they deserved the next day.

Pulling it together

My wonderful family pulled it all together to celebrate my two children, even among their busy lives. They all pitched in their part to bring together a family celebration of love for my two sons. I was so grateful that they would take the time to help me, yet that is what family is all about.

Sometimes, it is hard for us to let go of things and ask for help.  God did not create us to do this alone.  Although we moms think we have to do it all by ourselves.  It would have been impossible for me to pull that off yesterday.  Yet, I probably would have tried, unless I had asked for God’s grace to let it go.

There were no balloons at the party, no fancy decorations that I would have created in years past.  We didn’t even have candles for their cakes!  Yet, they were not even missed.  We were all together, about nineteen of us, and we just enjoyed the beautiful day and two boys who we all have watched grow.

The camo request

The photo above is of all the cousins and the required attire for the birthday party, camouflage of course.  That is the daily uniform around here.  We brought a bag full of camo items for those who did not have any!  What you don’t see in that photograph is the love these kids have for each other.  My niece who would not be caught dead in camo did not even complain, she just took the overalls and put them on right away.  One of my nephews is morally opposed to camo and when I handed him his outfit and sweetly said it is what the boys requested, he did not have a snarky comment at all.  These kids don’t get a lot of time together, but the bond is there. They all blend when they spend time together.

A room full of love

In years to come, when I look at the photo below, I won’t see the fancy decorations that I did not have time to make, I won’t notice that there are no candles on the cakes, but what I will see is a room full of love.  From 8 years old to 91 years old, standing there with a smile.  A family pulling it all together, blending it all in, to make one meal happen for two little boys.

blending in family birthday party



About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.