Everyone has that one place they love to visit - their "happy place." For me, it's my Aunt & Uncle's farm in west central Illinois.

Imagine this. You drive down a long cornstalk-lined gravel driveway to a stunning and masterfully maintained brick farmhouse built in 1835. As you exit your vehicle, your charming and gracious hosts meet you on their porch and welcome you with a warm hug and a plate of freshly baked cookies. As you enter the kitchen, you are immediately enveloped with the delicious aromas of supper roasting in the oven. The quiet calming sounds of Oscar Peterson gently play in the background as your host busily kneads dough by hand for the bread that will soon be passed around the dining table during supper. You are shown to your room upstairs, a rather large bedroom with windows on both sides allowing for a delicate breeze to gently flow through. The centerpiece of the room, a large cloud-like bed covered with fresh linens, fluffy pillows, and soft blankets entices you to rest, though there is much to see and do outside.

As the man of the house prepares his new tractors and farm equipment for the tour of the property later, you help gather eggs in the chicken coop for the next morning's breakfast. The dining table on the sun porch has been set with antique plates and silverware and a bouquet of fresh flowers awaits you.

... Shall I go on?

Reading this back sounds like an exaggerated dramatization but I can assure you, it's all true. And best yet, the "hosts" I speak of, are my family. Beyond the magnificent exteriors and beautiful interior decor, the people who live in this home, are some of my most favorite people in the world. My Aunt is one of the most understanding, selfless, and encouraging people I know. She loves fully and welcomes all. She listens when you need her to, and offers advice, not because she thinks she knows more, but because she loves to help and serve others. She is the true embodiment of the Godly woman I aspire to become.

Because of my Uncle's farming schedule, planning trips away can be difficult for them. Especially in the warmer months. That's fine by me since visiting the farm is truly one of the happiest places on earth! I make it a tradition to spend the weekend with them at least once a year. A few weeks ago, my husband, kids, and I loaded up the van for a quick weekend trip to the farm. This trip was extra special since my cousin and her family were able to spend one of the days with us while we were there. After watching a silly juggling performer put on a show at the local library, we all met back at the farmhouse for a fun family session near the back pond.

Grab a cup of coffee and a snuggly blanket and cozy up as you scroll through these images. I am so lucky and grateful to call these beautiful people family.