Today I’m battling the missing-my-family blues, as I returned yesterday from a quick-but-so-good trip to Portland. My grandma and my mom’s cousin were visiting from Florida, and I was able to slip away from work on Thursday afternoon so that I could spend the evening with them before their Friday flight home. As we ate dinner together that night, with four generations of family members present at the table, I was indescribably thankful for the stories that were told, the laughs that were shared, and the love that filled that cozy kitchen.

Saturday was spent dawdling around Portland with the kids. We enjoyed a stroll down Alberta street and then popped into Helser’s for lunch. We waited longer than we expected for our food, but both girls were pleasantly patient – Elise was happy to color, and Morgan was happy to chew on Mitch’s keys (hey, whatever works…). And I embraced the opportunity to be in a restaurant and photograph something other than food (although my fluffy peach-laden German pancake was awfully pretty…).

After lunch and nap time and a number of persistent requests from Elise, my mom and I walked her over to the neighborhood park late in the afternoon. Temperatures were pushing 85 degrees, which is a bit of a heatwave for us Northwesterners, and so conditions were ideal for splashing around in the little water park. Mom and I sat on a bench and watched as Elise frolicked through the fountains, filling up her little plastic cups with water and then dumping them on the ground over and over and over (kids have the oddest forms of self-entertainment). Then we pushed her on the swings, teeter-tottered for awhile, and eventually let that little bundle of 3 year-old energy wear us out, before heading back to the house for dinner.

Friday evening and Saturday morning were full of mellow family-time at home. There’s so much joy to be found just in sitting on the couch and reading a book to Elise, or laying on the floor with Morgan while she giggles and chews on whatever toy she has at hand. She is quite possibly the sweetest baby in the entire history of babies. She smiles and cuddles without limit – one look from her and you will feel like the sun has changed its course to shine directly on you. I find myself surprised by how much I have come to adore these girls; I knew that being an auntie is a special thing, but I don’t think I realized my heart’s capacity for loving these little people that I only see every couple of months and that are just coming to know me.

And with one last round of hugs, it was time for me to hit the long, dusty trail back to Seattle. These dang good-byes just keep getting harder and harder…

One Comment

  1. Michelle says:

    Great pictures (as always)! 🙂