Warm Weather and Warm Fuzzies.

Is it actually February? Or did I miss something? Over the past few days temps were up. Like one day I rocked a tank top and drank my afternoon coffee on the deck “up”.

Coffee tasted a little better that day.

Coffee tasted a little better that day.

For three days I felt totally transported to a time of long afternoons spent at the park followed by exhausted, sweaty kids collapsing into bed while the melodic sound of a good rosé being poured filled my ears. I forgot how quickly the time passes when you’re outside in the sunshine rather than hibernating indoors under harsh lighting because to go outside means you have to bundle up and any place worth going is a cold (or worse) waiting to happen as your kids roll around in an overpriced petri dish.

Duck pond strolls for the win

Duck pond strolls for the win

Even mealtime felt easier as dinner was gobbled up ravenously without any cajoling since they worked up an appetite rather than spending an afternoon aimlessly grazing on whatever they found in the pantry. The kids were loving it too – the vitamin D was downright restorative for all of us and I swear not a tantrum or whine was to be heard so long as we felt the perfectly warm breeze on our cheeks. Each day was an outdoor adventure that had us yearning for more. But, since it’s February and we’ve still got all of March, I know it’s a bigger tease than Bravo’s promo promises that something is actually going to happen on the Vanderpump Rules after the commercial break. Sigh. It was nice while it lasted though, right?

weekend4 weekend5

Then there was the flip side of the past few days. The weather on Saturday was still warm enough to go on a long walk and allow this to happen:

Please note that I paid dearly for this 15 minute stroller nap as she refused to nap in the afternoon. Awesome.

Please note that I paid dearly for this 15 minute stroller nap as she refused to nap in the afternoon. Awesome.

And it was also my nephew’s 4th birthday. Yet here I was in New Jersey, he in Ohio, missing the whole thing. I sent a gift (thank you, Amazon) and we FaceTimed to sing “happy birthday” yet it was another milestone in my nephew’s life that I wasn’t there to partake in firsthand. It still makes me sad that I had to wait 10 whole days to meet him when he was born.

I don’t know if any of you live far away from your family, but I live hundreds of miles away from 95% of my family. We are so lucky to have my husband’s parents here but I can’t help but ache a little bit for the family that isn’t here with each passing holiday. And it’s not even the big holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving – it’s the smaller ones: Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, birthdays, etc. that hit a little harder. I grew up surrounded by family at every function worth celebrating. My mom is one of six kids and my dad is one of five, so there was no shortage of loud booming voices and screaming kids running around.

There's a photo from a few years later where my aunt and grandmother are literally sitting in the exact same spots at my mom's house.

There’s a photo from a few years later where my aunt and grandmother are literally sitting in the exact same spots at my mom’s house.

I have fond memories of many parties with my mom’s family that all featured the same things: peanuts and M&Ms mixed together (not peanut M&Ms), a bowl of ruffles, a box (or two) of Franzia, my aunts and lone uncle sitting in a circle all talking over each other with increasing volume trying to get a word in, and all of us cousins running amuck in a basement or separate room of the house sneaking said M&Ms and peanuts and drinking Pepsi to quench the sweaty kid thirst you get from running around excitedly without any parental guidance. I loved those parties. They were simple because it wasn’t about creating a Pinterest worthy event, it was about getting together to laugh and celebrate. They were happy occasions. They were loud.  So so loud. And they were such an integral part of my childhood – and probably why I have issues controlling the volume of my voice. Listen, in my family if you want to be heard you can’t wait for a pause in the conversation because it’s never going to happen. Ever.

family

It’s unfair that my sister looks downright radiant with her golden glow. Even her braces look good.

I have two incredible nephews in Ohio and sensational niece in New Mexico. I am grateful for technology because even though we only see each other a handful of times per year, FaceTime allows us to connect weekly. It’s so much more than having to be a long distance aunt, it’s that I’m mostly sad for AJR and Olivia. I want those loud, silly parties to be a part of their childhood, too. I want them to have an evening with their cousins eating cake and developing callouses on their fingers from playing Super Ninetendo. I want to go to their games, recitals, or just have a cousin sleepover on a random Saturday night. Instead, we will settle for our once, maybe twice, a year trips and jam in as many activities and photo ops to catch some of that same magic in a brief few days that go be entirely too fast.

And here I am. Looking pale with greasy bangs. Sigh.

And here I am. Looking pale with greasy bangs. My family loved me anyway.

Before you start thinking I’m a total Debbie Downer, I am beyond happy that my nephew survived another year of life given how crazy he and his brother are. And it makes me so happy and proud to see what an outstanding little person he’s becoming. But there will always be a part of me that will feel sad to be missing so much of his, my other nephew, and niece’s loves. Sorry I’m not sorry that they’re awesome and I want to be around them all the time.

In short (okay, was this really that short?), the weekend was good but I’m definitely hankering for more 70 degree days and family time. How was your weekend?

 

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