My whirlwind trip home sadly came to a close on Saturday afternoon. Kenny was right: it was just what I needed. It was wildly short, but just hanging out with my parents, siblings, in-laws and seeing a few friends really fed my soul. As an added bonus, I slept until 8:45 a.m. on Friday and then 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. No mom can ever complain about those wake-up times – especially when sharing a house with an infant whose cries did not interrupt her slumber. I take this to mean that I have graduated to the next phase of motherhood; I think it’s the one where you only get woken up by your children falling out of bed, crying because they’ve peed or gotten sick in the bed, right? (As a nice surprise, Kenny also let me sleep in until 9 a.m. on Sunday, so he’s really banking some good will – hahaha. I should probably feel more rested than I do…)

I will sum up my trip like this: Within an hour of arriving at my brother’s house on Thursday, I was asked to share my thoughts on the size of Ceelo’s package related to the size of his arm and then to weigh in whether I thought someone was ‘va-jazzled’. (As you might have deduced, we were watching The Voice.) Right there we have two questions that pretty much no one I know other than my brother and his wife would put on the table. We laughed so hard, and then discussed the timeframe during which we might have to limit our topics and language so as not to scar their 9-month-old son for life. (Although, having his first word be ‘va-jazzled’ could be hilarious. But I inappropriately digress, and at the same time, hand over the title for aunt(s) of the year to Kerri’s sisters because I even suggested this as a first word option – no contest there.)

I also ate. A lot. Mostly pizza. I think my new goal in life is to bring delicious, non-specialty pizza to Portland. (I aim high, don’t I?) I had two different pizzas when I was home (Santucci’s and Merc Brothers) and both were equally perfect and delicious in their own way. Even re-heated. I may just decide to solely eat pizza when I head home for Christmas from now on. Mom, feel free to skip the Christmas turkey and serve up some slices. Mom C, same for you – skip the french toast and put out some slices. (Keep the bacon, though. It is Christmas breakfast, after all.) My stomach and intestines are very much looking forward to me pushing the reset button this week. Woof.

To the family and friends that I was able to see – thank you for making the time to visit with me. I love you all. And miss you all. Very much. I think of each and every one of you more often than you’ll ever know, and wish I could be there with you to share in life’s special moments, even the small ones.

I am so thankful to my brother and sister-in-law for letting me crash at their house, allowing me to use their car and smother their son with some cuddles and kisses. He’s a doll, you are very blessed and every time he smiles (which is constantly), take that as proof that you are doing everything right with him. I am so thankful to my parents and brother and his girlfriend and two surprise visitors for taking the day off or finding time to come and see me – you all look happy and healthy and it was a lot of fun to spend the afternoon with you! And the macaroni salad was a nice surprise – thanks, Mom! Thanks to my sister-in-law for bringing her beautiful, happy twins to meet me. They are awesome and so are you. You are rockin’ motherhood x2. I am in awe of you and how you’re doing it so well. I was so happy to see how happy and calm you are. And for my Saturday crew – we definitely did not have enough time together, but I am glad I got to do drive bys. One of my favorite parts of the morning was that the Oreland crew seemed so happy to see me even though I didn’t have the fan favorites (Uncle Kenny, Gavin and Grace) with me. Thanks for a super breakfast – it was great, especially the copious amounts of Dunkin’ Donuts’ Pumpkin Coffee. 😉  Mom and Dad C (and Grandpop) – I had such a nice time sitting and catching up. And to my brother-in-law – your daughter is beautiful and you are doing all the right things. Keep it up. And finally, my best friend – we had the most ridiculous time together (albeit it a different type of ridiculous than we used to enjoy!), but still fun nonetheless. Another trip highlight was trying to get your red Sharpie-d gal back to normal. I am always happy for time with you and your family. I love you like a sister, and am amazed at everything you do – you are such a good person – all around – and I wish I could be more like you!

But, most of all, I am thankful that my pants for the plane ride home still fit in spite of the fact that I ate half a pizza in less than 48 hours.

My only regret is that I didn’t have enough time with everyone I did see nor did I have enough time to see everyone I wanted to see.  But, hey, I can’t complain. I am thankful for any time I can get with those that I love.

I spent Sunday morning catching up with Kenny and the kids and sharing the 1000 pictures I took of the babies and the Oreland crew. They were excited to see everyone…even if only in pictures. And seeing everyone in the pictures got the kids excited all over again to come visit – and they’ve already started their countdown!  🙂

Here are some pictures I took of Philadelphia from the train and car.

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