We just enjoyed a fantastic weekend with my family down in Silverlake, Washington. My parents rented a cabin in celebration of my dad’s birthday, and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece came up from Portland. Lots of laughing, lots of eating, and lots of watching/holding/falling in love with my newborn niece. She is eight weeks old now and is much changed since I saw her just 4 weeks ago. She is looking around a lot more, doing a lot more wiggling, and has a whole new bank of facial expressions. I caught her smiling just a couple of times, though she refused to let us capture this darling little upturn of her lips on camera. Maybe next time… I caught myself smiling as well several times this weekend as I watched my family enjoy each other – seeing Shane and my brother throw the frisbee around, listening to my parents playfully tease each other over a card game of Quiddler, watching my sister-in-law lovingly care for my niece. And our afternoon stroll in the woods definitely renewed my appreciation of the outdoors (it’s impossible not to appreciate the outdoors on these 85-degree days in Washington). I have much to be thankful for.