I met Harper Delaney right when I got home, and the little peanut was just too sweet. She didn't worry about being passed to a stranger, and she started to wiggle her lips, trying to make sounds like everyone around her was doing.
Ella bean ran over, apple in hand, to give me a hug and grabbed my mom's legs as she tried to get away from my 90-pound bulldog. She warmed up to Novie quickly though and the next day declared "Novie is my favorite."
We had a little sleepover, and Ella stayed up way later than she should have asking each of us to come up for hugs before she went to sleep. Who can resist though?
The next day included family pictures where we re-created a photo all my cousins' took 20 years to give to my grandparents for their 60th anniversary. Then my mom and I headed to visit my grandma, who has been struggling with stage four colon cancer. The perk of that visit though was that it ended in prayer, and we saw my uncle and cousins that I haven't seen in quite a while. My uncle has become a Christian, and one of my cousins talked about walking to church the night before. That much talk of Christianity and God is an unexpected pleasure with my extended family.
My dad and I ended up sharing lunch at our favorite rib place, which I think will be some of my treasured memories of times spent with my dad as an adult, and then my mom and I did a little shopping. The day concluded with time at my sister-in-law's house and dinner with Nate's and my two nieces on that side of the family.
The next day I got to see my in-laws and then headed to my grandparents' house for their anniversary party. Sixty years together is something to be proud of. It doesn't matter if those years haven't been perfect, because the more difficult, the more surprising that a couple can make it that long together. Think how many people just give up.
The party was full of my extended family, including my aunts and uncles, cousins and their children. The generations just keep going and growing. It's a different group of people than were there last time we were all together, which was for Nate's and my wedding three years ago, and there are several new members. Life keeps going.
The trip ended up being full of fun and time with loved ones, and I got the unexpected pleasure when I returned home of a quick visit with some of my best friends and their kids and foster children.
Life changes, but those who you love will always be there, and that's so nice to know.