Over these past couple of years, I have become quite the crier. If you asked my brother when I was a kid - he would have told you that I cried about something every single day. I distinctly recall him saying that to me and challenging me to not cry for one single day. I was very determined to meet his challenge. Ummm... yeah... I lasted like maybe 4 hours and I cried about something. As I grew up, I became much less of a crier. I would say I didn't cry more than the average teenager or 20 something girl. I became more emotional in my thirties and well since my sweet boy has gone to heaven - forget about it - I cry all the time. Not because I am always sad though. Nope - not at all the reason. Just recently, my niece - Jo Jo - came to visit at Thanksgiving. It was the first time I had seen her obvious baby belly. When she walked into my kitchen to say hello - oh my goodness - I looked at her beautiful face and then I saw the sweet joy of that new life. And then the tears came to my eyes. Oh - so much love! When Rachel - one of my homeschool family - did her floor routine at the gymnastics meet... yep - tears and pride for how well she did! My other niece, Tabi, came to visit us in July. Oh her sweet boys - seeing them with my mom - their Great Grandma - happy tears. And then tears to say goodbye to them. Not exactly sad tears - just tears of emotion. Last night, I thought for sure I would be crying the whole time these lovely young ladies got ready for their dance. Well, I was in super curling hair mode and focused on that. When the beauty work was done - I walked out in my living room and I didn't just see my immediate family - I saw so many families that I love! We were all here to celebrate with our sweet babies. I still didn't let the tears fall although I knew they were right there. Then the picture taking began. This morning I have been sitting here looking at all the pictures and you guessed it - tears. I just love these kids so much and to see their happiness overwhelms me to the point of tears. At one point last night, I had Savannah and her cousin Karis get together for one of just the two of them. That was it for me - the tears they were coming. My mom said, "It's okay. Don't cry momma." I held it together, but the tears. You see these two cousins met when they were just a couple months old. We drove up here from FL in February of 1999. Debi and I wanted our sweet baby girls to meet each other. We dreamed about how they would somehow grow up loving each other even though there was 550 miles separating us. They saw each other a couple of times a year. They were instantly friends from the time they barely could walk or talk. And last night - they were going to a dance together. Oh tears - happy tears. A little bit sad tears, but more joy than sadness. You see I have learned something about tears over these last couple of years. I have learned that tears lessen the pain of grief, but tears also happen when you see how absolutely beautiful life still is.