Too much fun in the California sun

Sitting here on the red eye back is not fun. Owen screamed for twenty minutes while thrashing about like a tuna fish hauled out of the sea and slapped onto the deck. The whole scene was quite horrifying for us. Although, thankfully, Henry remained unalarmed while he watched some shows and snacked on chips during Owen’s epic airplane meltdown. Finally little man gave up the ghost and passed out on the floor between our row and the traumatized passengers in front of us. Henry graciously put himself to sleep and no joke slipped on his complimentary night mask and out he went. And I drank a mini bottle of champagne and stayed wide awake for our cross continental journey. Because at any moment the situation could turn and I needed to be ready to pounce on any screamer!

But the now few minutes of silence before we begin our initial descent has me reminiscing about our SoCal adventure. Every time we visit, I just want to pick up the fam and move out to this coast. It is just so darn beautiful, tropical feeling, and the amount of fun we have with our family slipping into their daily lives for a few days is always beautifully awesome. We were out in the sun everyday exploring SoCal and trying new things with the boys from a visit to Legoland to ocean kayaking and SUPing, we tired ourselves out but enjoyed every minute of the family time. The kids fell even more in love with their cousins and I know they will be missing them super hard until we see them again in November.

spring break

March has become my favorite month of the school year. Why?  It is a month of excellent transition. Not only from Winter to Spring, but from the second trimester to the third. It is a clear turning point in the school year. When March begins Winter engulfs Boston, yet by the last week of the month, Spring’s arrival is upon us and the tempo of life shifts in the city as Bostonians come out of their hibernation.  School becomes exciting as Seniors look forward to their graduation and as underclassmen are convinced that summer vacation is just around the corner. Sandwiched right smack in the middle of the month is our two week Spring Break. It is a decadent, luxurious time that I look forward to every year.  It gets me through the dark, cold winter of Beantown and rejuvenates my outlook on the end of the school year.  Its timing could not be better.

This year, I went to visit my family in Southern California.  After getting 12 inches of snow dumped on us, I packed my suitcase with summery items and boarded a plane for So Cal. IMG_3423 IMG_3427

The flight was an easy 5 hours or so and I upgraded to a “select” seat which meant that I sat directly behind the first class cabin and soaked up the free food, drinks, and wifi all the way there.  Of course, a first class upgrade would have been ideal on such a long haul, but I was content especially when it landed me in a row all to myself.

The best part of the visit though wasn’t the location (although So Cal is beautiful), but rather  seeing my niece, nephew, brother and sister-in-law for a full week was the real treat. I wish in 2013 we had the ability to teleport so that I could visit them more often.  By the time everyone has let their hair down and gotten reacquainted and playful with one another it feels as though the trip was a blink of an eye. I really miss the opportunity to live closer to family and I take for granted that we do live in a modern world, despite our lack of teleporting, and we can visit one another from across the country with a fair amount of ease.  Although even this is never enough!

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It is amazing how fast a niece and a nephew grow. Most of my visit I am just awed that they even exist let alone that they are flourishing! I just want to cuddle and play with them all day long.  And, of course, I secretly, and not so secretly, want to steal them away with me to Boston.

Each time I visit, I am inspired by the loving, empathetic parenting I see my brother and sister-in-law committed to. They set their limits and enforce them but within those limits there is much freedom and constant love. It is clear that my niece and nephew are developing into confident youngsters as a result of the support, love, and independence that frames their daily lives. David and I can only hope to model this when our time to grow our family arrives.

This trip was full of exciting moments coupled with endless quiet times in the home when we got to “just be together.”  My niece turned two, we went to Disneyland, I had the opportunity to visit my niece’s school and tumbling class, we explored the culinary world of So Cal, we shopped, we went on afternoon adventures, and we just existed together and appreciated the closeness of family. I wish so much that David could have joined in on all of the fun, but someone had to stay home to work and take care of the pups. We definitely have to get him out there for a visit next time. Nevertheless, the trip was heartwarming and was truly the best place I could have been for my Spring Break. Planning my next visit out to the littles will consume the last days before school begins agains…