If you had told me 3 years ago that I would become dear friends with people I met online I probably would have laughed at you. But about 2.5 years ago I started reading Kathleen and Brianna Wachter’s blogs and today they and their family have become so special to me. Last March Brandon and I were able to spend an evening with them when we were in Maryland and have been itching to spend more time with them ever since.
Earlier this summer, I got an email from Kathleen mentioning that they were going to be celebrating Brianna’s graduation in August and would I consider coming out and surprising Brianna. Given that I was planning on spending the month in MN, it didn’t seem like an option – but after a month or so of carefully watching and comparing flights, the perfect opportunity fell into place. Unfortunately, about a week and a half before I was supposed to fly out a certain Wachter (whose name won’t be mentioned but rhymes with Stan…) happened to let the secret out at the dinner table. But that ended up being just fine because I loved sharing the anticipation of the trip with Brianna!
With the graduate!
And so I spent an incredible weekend with the Wachters. The graduation ceremony was beautiful and the party decorations looked like something out of a Martha Stewart magazine. But my favorite part would have to have been the hours spent just talking, playing, and working alongside the Wachters.
When Brandon and I left the Wachter house last March, we both looked at each other and said “I want our family to be like that someday.” The busy household of 11 is truly one of the most joyful, loving, and Christ-centered homes I have ever been welcomed into. The instant I am with them I feel part of the family.
Highlights: Getting to meet Cassie (who was also visiting for the graduation), Coffee by KK – offered morning, noon, and night according to your personal preference (and her iced coffees are much better than Starbucks!), snuggles from Addison, Carmella not running away from me, Ellie’s constant entertainment and cuteness, girl time, food (cheese balls, Italian pizza, lox and bagels, amazing cupcakes, the best muffins ever, meatball subs, fried green tomatos, etc….), after lights-out talking with Gracie, Emma, Nana, and KK all lined up in a row during which we were asked (and failed) to be quiet multiple times, meeting Aunt Dawn, getting to know some of the quieter Wachters, Joey Maria, and playing a rousing game of flashlight tag, during which I confirmed that the electric chicken fence was working just fine!
Gracie, Cassie, and myself
Not long after I got home, I got a text informing me that the kids had taken a vote and I was officially dubbed an “honorary Wachter.” This is probably one of the best titles I’ve ever received – although I made sure to clarify that this wouldn’t interfere too much with my first-dibs on baby holding rights. It was determined that Brandon needs to spend more time with the family before he can officially hold this title as well, so we are heading back out in October.
One of our amazing meals!
I love this family – all 11 of them!
Just be warned, if you ever visit you will be convinced in believing that everything Italian is the best (and anything British comes in 2nd place), potato chips taste best after 10 p.m., and your own childhood (if you grew up with only 2 siblings like me) was extremely boring!