Yes, I feel cheesy enough right now to write an embarrassing blog title.
I can’t remember a time when we lived close to family. Visits to see my grandparents and cousins were special occasions – holidays or birthdays, always bookended with long car rides home. In some ways, the distance forced us to make the time together more meaningful with longer hugs, more elaborate meals, more “I love you”s. I’ve always felt a deep love for and from my family…but I’ve also felt far away from them.
As an adult living half a country away, with (wonderful) in-laws living in a whole other region altogether, it’s only gotten harder to bridge that gap.
But sometimes, amazing nuggets of opportunity to connect with family pop up – like this last weekend. I got to spend time with my cousins Bianca and Laurel, Laurel’s boyfriend Adam, and our baby cousin Nichole. And, for once, living in Southern California worked in my favor because we all met here so we could go to DISNEYLAND. Plus, we got to spend that day with some of my west-coast friend-family – Beck, Ben, Mike and Jessie.
You know that feeling you get right after you open a present on Christmas morning and it’s exactly what you wanted? I had that feeling all weekend.
We got to be silly and have fun, and we got to indulge one little girl and make her feel like a princess all weekend.
Nichole and Bianca - The coldest beach visit EVER.
A thoughtful moment.
So much conviction. So much pretty.
The obligatory teacup ride.
Seconds after I took this picture she said,"That was probably my best smile ever!"
The best part is that this is turning in to a full week of family time. Tomorrow, James and I are going to celebrate our second anniversary with wine and scrabble. On Wednesday, I’ll be flying home to Missouri to spend some time with my parents while my mom is on spring break. I’m going to get to play pool with my Grandpa in Nebraska and spend some sweet time with my Grandma in Iowa. My heart is a deep down kind of happy.
(You can see some of Beck’s awesome pictures of the friends on her blog post here. Somehow, I didn’t get many publishable pictures of the friends – I’m guessing since my camera was trained on Nichole all day. The testament of my friendship is that I’m NOT going to post the most awesome picture of Jessie ever, featuring her showing us how to properly eat a bread bowl.)