I love family. We started out our two week vacation by driving to NC. My Dad, very selflessly, offered to fly up to PA and drive with the kids and I back to NC. It was an incredible blessing and I'm so thankful that I was able to share the ride with another adult! The kids and I spent the first week of our vacation with my sister and her sweet family. Holland is completely in her element when she is with her "cousies" and seeing her so incredibly happy brings my heart a huge amount of joy. Jackson is still getting to know his loving cousins and will have to get used to being around 3 wild girls! It is a good thing that he is so laid back:)
Our stay with Mimi and the gang surfaced a lot of different emotions within me. While I was so very happy to spend such quality time with them, it brought into light just how much of the "little" things I am no longer apart of and just how much I miss being 8 hours away. My nose tingle and eyes water just thinking about how much our nieces change in between visits. It does make me grateful for the time that we had when we were closer and for the strong bond we made early on in both of their lives. For me, this is the hardest part of being away from family.
We were also able to visit with David's Dad's side of the family. They are amazing people. The amount of love that is within the walls of his grandmother's house is indescribable. Generations are able to sit, talk and laugh for hours and it only feels like minutes. I think that it has inspired David and I to have close relationships with our siblings and their families because we truly desire a close knit family even against the distance of miles between us.
The last half of our summer vacation to NC was spent at the beach. We were able to meet our nephew, Henry and spend some quality time with the other side of David's family. While I did not spend more than an hour on the beach the entire week, Holland and David had a blast together (along with Uncle Hank) making memories on the beach.