On Thursday afternoon, Taylor and I got in our car and made the trip (over? down? up? geography isn't my strongest suit.) to South Dakota for the homecoming of my little brother returning home from his mission in Brazil!
As we drove, I would turn up the music up while Taylor turned it down, then I would call him a grandpa and the scene would repeat as I ate an entire bag of Sour Patch kids and he read boring things (I had to drive on account of his license expiring and him taking one million years to renew it). We ate way too much junk food, stopped to take pictures that I'll refrain from posting because every single one of them turned out particularly hideous (at least of me and that's all that really matters right?), and later arrived in all kinds of safety...whatever that means?
Friday morning came and we were sure to make welcome home signs, that said things like, "Hi!", "Welcome to the U.S.!", "Free Hug Coupon!" That last one was for Taylor to hold since he and my brother have never met, and well, what better way to break the ice? Duh. And then on the last poster, we made an attempt to write something in Portuguese only to have him later tell us that it was wrong. Thanks for nothing Google translator.
He walked off that plane and came to greet us in somewhat impeded English and handsome as ever. I mean the boy, well, see for yourself!
He endured way too many tearful hugs from mom's and sisters alike, participated in several of those back-patting/slapping embraces from dad's and brothers, because as we all know, no two men can ever give a normal hug, and upon his request ate at least one million bowls of cereal. So there was that.
Later that night we begged him for stories and therein enjoyed his recalling of the country with weird-looking dogs, the most beautifully kind people, farts and bowel movements (because if you know anything, you know that no two years spent with another 20-year-old boy is ever complete without those recollections), mistaken interpretations of the Portuguese language, and experiences of the life-changing kind. It was really a rather perfect kind of weekend.
And THEN, in other, but equally important, news, my sister is pregnant and decided that she wanted to wait until most of us would be together for my brother's homecoming to announce the gender of her baby. So for both your enjoyment and mine, I have posted the moment of reveal.
Note: My favorite parts of the following video:
1. The kids plugging their ears.
2. The baby crying in the background because the screaming is scaring her.
2. How stupidly excited, over reactive, and supportive my family is of each other.
And so, without further ado...
And then all the dreams in the world came true and there was nothing left to say because brother's coming home to you and sister's having babies pretty much sums up all things good in life...along with the new shoes that were waiting for me on my doorstep when I arrived home.