The Sister in Law

Tonight, J is on a plane to California. I knew I was going to miss her, but it’s only now dawning on me just how MUCH I’m going to miss her. This place doesn’t feel the same!

I waited these extra couple days to sit down and write because I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much time with her as possible. My other sister in law and I planned a little surprise party last week and everyone got together to sing and eat cake and say their last good byes. I made J a calendar full of pictures for her to remember us by (It came exactly on time, too! Shutterfly is the best!). We also had a last romantic breakfast (Patisserie Florentine in Englewood- so adorable!) and last romantic comedy (How to Be Single, finally) together.


“The Last Breakfast” at Patisserie Florentine. J ordered their Tartine de Saumon

J is a couple years younger than my husband and a couple years older than me. She’s always been very close to and protective of her family and I used to be intimidated by her like all the rest of them! My friends used to see pictures of J and I on family vacations or little outings and say, “You and your sister in law seem really close.” and a puzzled look would come across my face. I mean, to be honest, I didn’t feel that close to her before (blame it on the pressure of being an inlaw, the language barrier, tension over different opinions about things, who knows exactly). But NOW, I can say with certainty that after living next door to her for almost 9 months, I’ve grown to absolutely adore her! We’ve talked more than we ever used to and learned more about each other we never knew. While she was living here, we had a couple of arguments but we have grown to understand each other and grown closer through them.

J has changed a lot since we first became inlaws 7 years ago. She has matured in so many ways, probably more than she knows. The woman she is now is empathetic, understanding, reasonable, reliable, responsible, hard working, determined, and brave.  She’s also pretty funny (and I know funny! 😜) 

And that’s not all! J’s patience and motherly instinct has grown in leaps and bounds (I must say she has my kids to thank for that 😉) In fact, she’s excellent at handling my (often rambunctious) kids. She has spent several days and nights feeding, entertaining, dressing, even putting to sleep both my 2 and 4 year old! Anyone who loves and understands my kids wins me in a second.

I’m so impressed by you, J! I’m going to miss sneaking over after my kids fell asleep to watch movies and gossip on your bed. I’m moping around asking myself Who’s going to make pumpkin pie with me?, Who’s going to do my nails?, Who’s going to massage me?, and most importantly, “Who’s going to go to the gym with me?” I’m seriously dismayed at the thought of losing my gym buddy.

I love you, J! I hope you’re welcomed with open arms in Cali, and that you feel completely loved and taken care of because you so deserve it. You’re beautiful and strong and you’re going to do great things over there! Until we meet again (really, really soon!!!) 😘

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Late Night Thoughts


To my fellow parents:

Have you ever stopped and stared at your little one(s) and thought, “Man, I have it so good. My life is just the best, the absolute BEST!”

Sometimes I’m going about my day and I’m suddenly just overtaken by this overwhelming sense of joy. Like my heart is going to burst because I love them so much more than I ever thought it was possible to love someone.

Children are phenomenal, sensational, inexplicably priceless.  They are mini versions of us, extensions of us, beautiful little messes coming into their own. It’s fantastic to discover the resemblances physically, emotionally, and in personality.

Every day life is so hard sometimes, but all in all we are simply blessed. Our little ones look to us for love, attention, recognition, acceptance, explanation/understanding of the world, calming of their fears, lifting up of their strengths and their dreams. We have an awesome responsibility. We are shaping the future one little being at a time. I am humbled, honored and eternally grateful. And I pray that my patient, kind, God-centered parenting (#goals) will allow my children to grow up to leave a positive imprint on this world!

You’re doing great, moms and dads. You’re doing the most important job in the world. Keep it up.

Maryland

I just worked out for an hour and a half, so now I can eat chocolate for an hour and a half, right? The math checks out, yes?

It’s so nice to have munchies to eat while you write.

I never got a chance to tell you about my little Mommy Daughter road trip to Maryland to see my bestest friend! C moved to Maryland like a half a year ago, and I have been PSYCHED ever since, counting down the days that I could actually go visit her. Maryland is so much closer than North Carolina!

Little girl and I left the house  bright and early- around 6 am. I was hoping she would fall back to sleep after being in the car for a bit, but no such luck! She wanted to be in on all the action! Thankfully, she was pretty satisfied with the random toys, stickers, snacks and/or animated conversation I threw at her every twenty minutes. Part of the time, she was satisfied just to hear me singing (Yes!).

She did finally start to get restless when we hit like the three quarter mark, so I let her have a nice, long break while I got gas around 8:45.

I arrived at my final destination at 9:30 am! Not bad, I say! C and I went to church together, where I saw lots of people I haven’t seen in a while, so that was really nice.

For the rest of the day, we did what best friends do best- blissfully enjoyed each other’s simple company. We strolled leisurely around adorable downtown Annapolis right by the marina- drinking coffee, listening to the water, taking pictures, picking up trinkets at a street bazaar, and chatting as if not a second had passed since we last saw each other. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to recharge my batteries and “fill my bucket” (If you’re scratching your head, check the children’s book “How Full Is Your Bucket?” out at the library)

My little one was smitten with the dogs at C’s place, but not enough to want to be within 2 feet of them. She seems to like the idea of dogs better than the actual dogs. She enjoys keeping a safe distance and watching them from afar, squealing “Mongmongy mongmongy!” (Doggie, doggie!). Once I shuttled her off to bed, I was able to enjoy a little grown up time with C and her hubby and in laws- playing Bananagrams of course! Super fun. I have so many good memories playing that game. A big thank you to C’s mom in law for a DELICIOUS dinner of veggies and dip (I’m going to text C for that recipe right now!), scalloped potatoes, roast lamb and apple pie!

I honestly want to make this a regular thing! Driving down like once a month or so? Traveling is good for my soul.


Honey, I’m Good

I cannot believe I missed this one when I wrote that list of current favorite songs.

“Honey, I’m Good” by Andy Grammer! 

To me, this song represents a glimmer of all that’s left that’s good in the world (ok, there are lots of good things left in the world. I’ll change that to “left in pop culture”)

I won’t say I agree with every detail of the video, but the main idea is magic: Love is real, love is strong, love is worth fighting for. It should be exclusive (read: monogamous), loyal, committed. For all the disappointing songs out there about being loose and promiscuous, thank God there are a few with a moral message.

Honey, I’m Good by Andy Grammer

Thanks, Andy 🙂