scenic hike in AZ
I went to a family wedding this month in Arizona and I've come back with 2 main emotions;
1. I feel really refreshed and pumped full of genuine love from the people who had a huge part in raising me. I laughed so hard I *cried* more than once in 48 hours--what an awesome, awesome feeling.
2. I feel incredibly homesick and nostalgic for my world back east. Spending a short but fairly intense amount of time with my family reminded me of how powerful our bonds are and how deeply I value them in my life as not just blood relatives but also as friends.
I loved being teased about the length of my dress (yep, totally on the short side, which I didn't remember it being until it was out of my bag and onto my body...my bad!); I don't think anyone besides an Aunt can get away with saying "c'mon, hoochie mama, let's dance!" (and dance this hoochie mama did).
I loved my mom being asked "how did she get so goofy?!" after I teasingly tried to get my Uncle to dance with me by performing ridiculous moves. For the record, "goofy" was often a way of life in our house. In my humble opinion, more people should take themselves less seriously.
I loved when the photographer, in her haste to pose us all for a group shot, turned to my other Uncle and said "I'm assuming this is your wife?" while pointing at me. We laughed so hard I nearly had to excuse myself to pee.
I loved watching my Aunts fearlessly cut a rug on the dance floor. Girlfriends have some serious moves! I also loved when my Aunt had to take a break, saying "The mind is willing ladies, but the body is weak..." (I'm still giggling thinking about this).
I loved that one of my grandmother's best friends was there. It felt good to have a piece of our Nanny present.
I loved staying up in our shared hotel room with my 2 cousins (I have 25 of them total!) having a heart to heart about life, love, spirit and forgiveness. They are both remarkable young women that I'm so humbled to know and love.
I loved watching the Penn State football game with my Pop and sister in the hotel lobby while eating cheese doodles (the Wise kind that I can never find in Cali and it kills me).
And I love the reply from my sweet cousin Liz when, in discussing a past romance, I stated how I felt like a failure; "No. I'd never call that a failure. It simply evolved to the place it was meant to be. You're still friends! How could that ever be a failure?". Lizzie- you have no idea how much this resonated with me. It was like finally, after 2 years, the light bulb finally went on. Thank you so much for saying that.
It's been so rewarding through the years to see my family step up for one another over and over again. It doesn't matter what we've been through; someone will always, *always*, be there for you. This is a huge blessing and flow of committed love I never want to take for granted.
I love my family.