I am a firm believer that every parent needs a weekend away a year. I know that sounds terrible - like I'm trying to escape my family, but I swear to you it's true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder. And the mind grow clearer: the bottled emotions to unjumble, thin out, then clear away.
Last weekend I flew to Seattle, then stayed at my older brother's house. In the morning, my nieces, sister-in-law and I had coffee at my favorite coffee shop. We played outside. We had an enjoyable, relaxing morning. Then my younger brother and I drove to Portland, stopping for lunch (and wisps! I forgot my toothbrush. I swear Steve is the one that keeps me organized when traveling. I basically throw a few things in a bag and hope for the best).
My mom, aunt, Joel and I showed up at my sister's 30th birthday party. Amber greeted them - Aunt Laura, Joel, mom, and then...wait...HOLLY! She was definitely surprised - no one blew the secret (including me which had one person asking me if I was OK due to my two-day absence from Instagram). We ate, drank, danced.
The next day I got another full day with my family. We got coffee, had a delicious brunch, took the kids to the park, had another coffee (vacation), played outside, then had a family barbeque. Amber got the day off work and drove down to Puyallup to celebrate with us. Then for some inexplicable reason, Chad, Amber and I went on a run. Then I showered and we were off to the airport. Wham, bam, forty-eight hours with my fam.
I attempted sleep on the redeye and was home before ten. Steve went into work late and the boys and I were back to our usual lives. Steve got 100% on his test and finished out his latest class. It was good for all of us - Steve has a new appreciation for what I do each day, I have a renewed jolt of energy from seeing my family and getting some very precious alone time (I wrote! I read!). Last night we got groceries and today I have a nice soup in the crockpot. Home sweet home. But for me, I have two of them. Home sweet homes.