There is nothing I love more than my family. I love being home, in the house I grew up in, doing the same things, the familiar things. I love sitting around the kitchen table in the kitchen that hasn’t changed since we moved in. it has orange linoleum (which I’m sure my mom would love to rip out) but I secretly love it and love that we got to roller blade and skateboard on it when we were kids. I love the picnic table that can feed an army and often does, I love the family room with grandma till’s infamous “green couches.” I love that the same foods still stock the cupboards and the fridge. I love the conversations and the rooms, the pressure of the water in the shower and the cold cement floor in the garage. I love the walks with my dad and the sliced apples on the counter. I love that my mom still stays up later than everyone else and we get to talk alone once everyone has gone to bed.

The Christmas decorations were still up, so I got to see all of the ornaments on the tree and the nativities on the shelves, the elves and the santa dolls, the books and the jingle bells. It was a perfect trip, I couldn’t have asked for anything more (except that I wished my whole family could have been there. I missed them!) 

We all spent time together, walked, talked, laughed and ate. The family got to know the man better which was nice and he is a great fit. (we all love him!) the little one was spoiled and held and admired. We blessed her, which I’ll write more about in another post with pictures. We enjoyed flying and the little one did great, she slept most of the flights and when she wasn’t sleeping she was just smiling at all of the people around her. She truly is a blessing! She slept at least nine hours every night while we were visiting (there is something to be said about blackout curtains!) and tolerated being passed around and loved the other kids and her aunts and uncle and grammie and gramps. We had a great time visiting, but it sure is nice to be home with my little family in my little home!   

 sleeping in the airport. we had a layover in seattle and the flight was delayed to oregon. delays with a baby are a lot different than just delays. i was trying to reconfigure feedings and whether to pump another bottle or just feed her and then where. i am now a proponent of public places having rooms for nursing mothers. airports at least!

 the little one got to meet most of her cousins and i think they all loved every minute of it and all took such good care of her.

 even the littlest of them!

 love all of these girls!

 her cousin is going to be a big brother soon and it was so fun to see how excited he was to be around a baby girl. he is going to be a great big brother!

 he adored her!

 the little one had her first bath in the sink...as you can tell neither mom nor baby really had it figured out! it was fun though and she LOVES the water!

 her new warm bear suit from her aunt! we loved it and it helped us californians cope with the colder weather!

 there were lots of wrestling matches. uncle and nephew. i think they both enjoyed themselves! the man got to practice his moves on the nephew and vice versa.

 we all just sat around and talked. one of my favorite things to do!

 and of course we ate! and ate and ate and ate. this was actually really funny. it was my sister in laws birthday and so i told her i would make a cheesecake for her, so i searched and found a recipe. checked the ingredients, thought to myself this can't be too difficult, put the ingredients on the shopping list and thought "perfect, cheesecake for dessert tonight!" i set the recipe aside and went about talking and playing and then mom and i began dinner and the cheesecake, i thought it can't be too hard it only had 3 steps. well we divvied it up and my mom began to make the cheesecake while i made dinner. i felt horrible, she started making a double boiler and then baking it in a pan of water and i thought (the three steps were a little more than just 1. pour 2. mix and 3. bake) next time i should really read the recipe. but mom did it, it took a long time and had to chill over night, but the next day we were all grateful because we got to eat a thick, rich, delicious cheesecake with strawberries and blueberries! thanks mom!

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