I just got back from a long weekend in Nashville with my siblings and I am struck with an overwhelming appreciation for the Big Dreamers and the Big Thinkers of the world.  

The town is filled with people singing their hearts out and putting it out there for the world to see. So many talented and brave people that get up and show their hearts to total strangers that may or may not receive it with kindness is a mystery to me and a real privilege to witness.   Their bravery is something I admire even though I can’t quite grasp having the guts to do what they do. I am thankful for the music they make and the happiness and joy it brings into my life everyday.  

I am also thankful to the Big Thinkers of the world who can sometimes see things beyond the everyday that give us that same sense of belonging and connection that rises above the normal and goes beyond what will just get us by.  My dad has always been a Big Thinker with big dreams and ambitions. He left home for work at 16, started two businesses, had six children and lots of grandchildren and great grandchildren. This morning I am incredibly grateful for one particular big idea.  Twenty-five years ago, my dad had an idea to give the six of us kids a trip away together in lieu of a traditional Christmas present. This has grown and morphed over the years into the Sibling Trip, an annual weekend away together with our respective partners that each of us takes turns planning.  When we tell people about this trip we usually get one of two reactions; “Oh no, my siblings and I would never make it a weekend together.” or “I am so jealous, that is a great thing.” The reality is that it represents both of these ideas and that is where I give Dad credit for his big thinking.  

The Sibling Trip has acted like a glue that has kept us close through the years. We have this one time a year that we have uninterrupted to just be together, a time and place where there is no other option but to work through the often complicated feelings that come with being family. In general, in life,  we fight and we get sick of each other. Sometimes we are in each other’s business too much, sometimes not enough. We love and support each other fiercely. We are each other’s biggest critics and biggest supporters. Over the years on the trip, we had fights and arguments, supported each other through major life changes, welcomed new members and said goodbye to some, created countless inside jokes and references that only we understand.  We even had an unexpected baby in the middle of the night on one of them. Each year we recount these things and every time we do, we strengthen our collective history and deepen our connection with each other. I am forever grateful to mom and dad’s generosity and love over the years that has allowed us to keep and grow our sibling love as adults.  

So as I start my week this week, I am going to take with me the spirit and bravery of the Big Dreamers and forethought and generosity of the Big Thinkers that together give us more.  

Have a great week 

 Love you mom and dad.  

Photo credit to Bailey Brothers Photography

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