This past week Piglet and I went to Oregon to visit my family. Unfortunately, Match had to stay behind for work, and we really missed having him with us. Oregon is his happy place, and I always feel so bad when he can’t join us. A part of my heart is missing whenever I travel without him. We still had a great time, and I soaked up all of the quality time with my family. We were also able to skype with him, which made being apart a little bit easier.
We were gone for 5 nights, and each day was jam packed with visiting loved ones. I feel like the whole week is kind of a blur. Traveling with a running toddler is so exhausting! He was great though, and even though he’s going through a bit of a clingy phase, he was such a trooper. The drive wasn’t bad at all, and we had fun at the rest stops.
We broke the trip up into two days, making a pit stop at my cousin’s place with his girlfriend and little one. The baby cousins had a blast playing in the park.
We finally made it to my home town the next morning. We got there just in time to meet up with a few old friends from high school for a play date. Then it was off to meet my mom on her lunch break. She got to show Piglet off to all her coworkers whom he instantly charmed.
That night we enjoyed some quality time, just me, my mom and my Pops. The next afternoon, Piglet and I went to visit a few friends from my high school class. Turns out there were a bunch of my old classmates in town for the weekend. It’s so awesome how easily our friendships fall back into place, even though we hadn’t seen each other for years.
We had so much fun visiting and watching our kids play together. There’s something pretty special about growing up in a small town, and the bonds it makes with your school mates. There’s a part of me that wishes I could give that experience to Piglet.
When I got back to my parent’s house, my brother had arrived with his new girlfriend and his two kids. I am sad to say that it has been far too long since I last saw my brother and nephew, and even longer since I saw my niece. The last time I saw Big Bro and the nephew was 4 years ago, and five since I last saw my niece. The last time I saw them all together, the kids looked like this:
To say I was overjoyed to see them was an understatement. I soaked up every bit of our time together. I also promised that we’d never go so long between visits again.
So my brother brought home his new girlfriend, and we were so excited to meet her. You see, my brother has only introduced us to one other girlfriend, his now ex-wife. He went through a very ugly divorce and a lot of heartache, so this was a really big deal. We instantly loved her, and it makes my heart sing to see him so happy!
It can’t be easy to date someone with kids. Luckily his girlfriend has older kids of her own, so she understands how they can be. Still, the drama of the ex-wife, the finicky affections of the children, it has to add a complicated element to a new relationship. I think she has a great head on her shoulders, and I can tell she is in it for the long haul. I just hope my brother knows what he has and doesn’t let his past heartache get in the way of his happiness. I hope we get to see a lot more of her!
The rest of the trip was spent playing on the farm, where Piglet got to pet goats and ride the 4-wheeler.
We also went to the beach, where Piglet RAN to the ocean. He has absolutely no fear, and he LOVES the sand and water. I had a mini heart attack when the waves almost swallowed him up. He was just so fast! We definitely need to make more trips to the beach!
On our last night, Miss PhD. stopped by for a visit. I’ve missed her so much since she moved back to the coast, and it was nice to get a chance to catch up.
On Sunday, as we were saying our goodbyes, I couldn’t help but tearing up. It is so hard being so far away from my family, and I hate that we rarely get to see each other. I let a couple of tears fall, and then my niece, being a candid 6 year old, kept pointing at me, and saying, “Why are you crying? What’s wrong with your eyes?” It made everyone laugh, and I was able to get through the rest of the goodbyes without completely falling apart.
On our drive home, we made an overnight pit stop at another high school classmate’s house, Runner Girl. She’s a complete sweetheart, and we had such a fun time hanging out. Piglet got to play with all kinds of cool toys, including their organ (so random that they have an organ in their house!) and guitar. They only live 5 hours from us, and I hope to get together with them more often.
I really wish that Match could have joined us on the trip. So far in 2014, we’ve taken 2 trips without him, and he’s taken 1 without us, and we’ve taken zero together as a family. I think that before 2014 is over, we need to take at least one family trip. We have fun, but it always creates a bit of jealousy on the part of the person not getting to travel, and I hate when we’re not all together. As soon as Match is off training, we’re headed back to Oregon asap! I’m so proud of our little traveler, and he was the best road trip companion.