Home Away From Home

Almost without fail, whenever I come back home to Minnesota these days, I bring along an entourage. This time, however was different. I came All. By. Myself. Yep, that didn’t go over too well with the grandparents who haven’t seen the girls for months. I think my parents were thinking of blocking the Minnesota border for this infraction. I blame it on my poor planning, realizing a little too late that my 20th high school reunion would coincide with my in-law’s trip to visit us. Oops.

It was really one of the quickest trips to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and 10 million mosquitoes I’ve ever made. I arrived on Friday afternoon and left Sunday at 8 a.m. While the trip was really to reconnect with old high school friends, I did get some quality time with the family.

Being away, I miss out on seeing my nieces and nephew grow up, literally and figuratively.

Nope, I'm not bending down. My nearly 10-year old niece is about to sprout right past me. Did I mention she's not quite 10?

My almost 10-year old niece is now almost as tall as me. I know, not a tough feat, but it’s still a bit shocking. Seeing pictures really do not make up for face-to-face contact, which makes me feel even more guilty for not bringing the entire family with me on this trip.

The last time we saw my nephew, he was a newborn. Now he’s a walking, talking little blond dude who is full of smiles.

Since I don’t know when I’ll be back to visit, I can only imagine what he’ll be doing the next time I’m in town.

Jonah’s sister barely spoke the last time I saw her. Now, she’s more than capable of commandeering my iPad.

Big Eyes Must Run in Our Family

And while I never, ever thought my little brother would look good as a girl, here’s to proving me wrong.

There's no mistaking, he's her Daddy!

Yep, his youngest daughter is a spittin’ image of him, and she’s as cute as can be. Go figure.

Being home makes me nostalgic, and a little bit sad that my girls don’t get to see their Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins nearly as much as I would like.

Thank goodness for technology, and once my parents figure out the iPhone facetime feature, they can video chat with their California grandkids.

But for all the things I miss, I don’t think I could ever get used to the steamy summer days, or the nose hair freezing winters again. I nearly passed out while running with my brother in the horrible humidity. And let’s face it, humidity is not a curly-haired girl’s friend.

So that means I will continue to put up with the high cost of living here in the Bay Area, as well as California’s sorry state of education, and keep dropping not so subtle hints for my brothers and their families to come out and visit us!

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