Family is something I become increasingly more thankful for every year. When I was a kid we really didn't live that close to many of our relatives, plus we don't have any first cousins, so while all the adults in our lives really worked hard to make sure they were a part of our lives (love my aunts and uncles!), many times we only got to see each other once a year or even once every other year.
Now that my sisters and I are adults (don't tell my Mom - we grew up!), we don't live that close to each other - which honestly sucks. I hate living so far away from my younger sister, Molly, who is out in Indiana. I live closer to my older sister Kate and her family, but we still don't see each other often enough because we're about 2 1/2 hours apart (thank you rising gas prices - ugh!). My parents also moved away from the DC area and out to Oklahoma about 4 years ago, so they aren't nearby either. Thankfully we all keep in touch through the magic of e-mail, blogging and Facebook - not to mention regular phone calls, but I can't help but wish we all lived at least in the same state!
Since Aaron and I got married in October, so many people have told me how lucky I am to get along well not just with my husband's parents, but with his brother, sister and their families too. I have to say, I feel like I was welcomed into the entire family with open arms and immediately gained 2 extra sisters, 2 brothers, 2 more nephews and 2 more nieces - it has been fantastic. I love my extended family and unfortunately for us, we do live about 3 hours away from most of them...but sometimes we get to have impromptu visits...like this weekend!
Aaron's younger brother Adam, his wife Christina and their kids (Jade (2) and Thatcher (9 months) surprised everyone by driving down from PA to visit for 3 days. It was so much fun having the house full of laughter, Jade's piping high voice and music as Adam and Aaron both play too many instruments for their own good. Those are the types of moments I always look back on and smile...those moments that help me keep my sanity until we get to see each other again.
I can't wait til April - BOTH of Aaron's siblings and their families will be staying with us. It's going to be a packed house, but I can't wait til we're all under one roof again. It's going to be loud and crazy and fantastic...and I'll be sad to see everyone leave again.
I know it probably won't happen, but I still hope that one day we'll be lucky enough to live close to both sides of our family...that our future kids will be able to grow up surrounded by their cousins and the kids of some of our best friends...I can dream right?
"A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold." ~Ogden Nash
"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together." ~Erma Bombeck
"In a houseful of toddlers and pets, you can start out having a bad day, but you keep getting detoured." ~Robert Brault
"The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us to become our best while looking our worst." ~Marge Kennedy