I love my family.
Love them to pieces and pieces. And not just my little family.
I'm talkin' 'bout the whole famn damily. The sweet aunts, crazy uncles, naughty cousins, and yes, even the in-laws (mine just happen to be the most awesome, by the way).
I love them so much that I am torn to pieces when they leave.
Even after spending a few days crammed into a 1600 sq ft townhome, most of that time the 10-14 of us (plus two dogs) were all squished together around the breakfast bar/kitchen/dining room/family room "great room" area. Even after three nights on an air mattress and an aching back. I would gladly do it for another week to be able to spend more time with them.
My Aunt Mare is the coolest. She is one of the most gracious, generous, sensible, fun, sincere people I know. Being the youngest (and only daughter) of seven, with six of the most rambunctious, mischeivous, antagonizing, and over-protective brothers, I am amazed and awed that she turned out to be so tolerant and loving. With everything they put her through (especially my dad), she had every right to be a total princess or be-yotch and she isn't close to being either. She is the glue that holds them all together.
I strive to be a little more like her and hope that some day I am half the wife, mother, sister, and friend that she is.
Her husband is also ubercool. Impeccable taste in the categories of (but not limited to): music, beer, and literature. He educated my little sister in "Tequila" (the song, people!) and had her singing and doing the PeeWee Herman dance in public when she was three. He does crosswords in ink. He has had some hilarious socially awkward moments but is also very charming, gracious, and likable so he can get away with it without being thought of as a jackass.
The kiddo dances to a beat all her own. At sixteen, her highlight of this trip was the visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To each her own. But she totally embraces her geekiness and kudos to her for that! She is a thinker, a writer, compassionate, unique, and funny. A beautiful and thoughtful girl.
This visit was all about spending time together. No pressure to entertain or anxiety over whether they were bored or uncomfortable. We ate, laughed, walked on the beach, drank wine, watched movies, played games...
simply enjoyed each other.
And Dozer soaked up the extra attention like the thirstiest of all sponges.
And looked very sad to see the packed bags going back into the rental car. He even cried. Hard.
Broke my heart.
Must work harder at convincing them to move south.