The family and I just returned from and almost 3 week vacation and honestly I'm glad to be home after all the traveling. We did have an absolutely amazing time.
10 days were spent in Florida with my mom, who I already miss. She moved almost 7 years ago and I only get to see her once a year, twice if I'm really lucky. It was a great 10 days though. We spent a few days at the beach near where my mom lives, took a trip to Orlando and spent the day at Universals Islands of Adventure (really cool place), spent a day at Daytona Beach which was a first for all of us (except for my mom) and spent some time with my grandfather and great-grandmother.
I think out of all the family time though my favorite day was the day I spent with just me and my mom. My amazing husband stayed at my moms with the kids and our dog and hers so we could have a mother~daughter day. Something we haven't done in many years. It was really awesome we didn't do anything super exciting just some shopping, including drooling of Coach bags at the Coach outlet,picked up some clothes for the princess at the Justice outlet, and the little prince at the Carter outlet, and a few things for myself a Rue 21, after shopping we went to Old Saint Augustine and wandered around and had a late lunch. What was so great about it was just being able to spend time with her and not have to share her attention with my kids or anyone else. Maybe that sounds selfish, but I don't care how old we get sometimes a girl just needs time with her mom.
When it came time to leave we had all had a great time, but it was so hard to say goodbye. My mom, the princess and I all cried, and the princess and I continued to cry for a good 100 miles after we got on the road. I know it was hard for mom too, but she swears she's coming up no matter what for Christmas. I sure hope nothing happens to stop that from happening, I may have to hurt someone.
After we left Florida we headed up to Tennessee to visit with my dads side of the family. Our trips there are a tradition that started the summer I was pregnant with the princess and have continued every year since. I have a huge extended family there and I love them to pieces. We say with my great-uncle (my grandmas baby brother) who I've always been fairly close to but really became a special an important part of my life when my grandmother passed away. He's absolutely amazing he's like the keeper of the families stories. While we were there I was able to spend time with some of my cousins and an aunt who has always been a favorite. There isn't a ton to do in the small town they live in but it doesn't matter much when you get to see family that is able to give you pieces of your past back. While I spent time with them I was told story after story about my grandparents when they were young, when they were older and I was already around, my dad both as a child and adult, even things about my childhood I only vaguely remember. It is always so amazing to hear these stories and have them brought back to life for me. I miss my dad and grandparents so much and they are able to make me feel a little closer to them. Of course it makes me sad that their not here, to see me and the life I've built with the hubs and the beautiful children we have, or for those children to get to know. But at least I have these wonderful people in my life that loved them too, and can help me teach my kids about their grandpa and great grandparents who would have loved them with every breath in their bodies.
I was pretty emotional during the time we were in Tennessee from already having had to say goodbye to my mom, and then from my walk down memory lane. So when it came time to say goodbye to my uncle I was a wreck. We both cried (we always do) but my heart felt like it was breaking to walk away and get in my car this time. I sobbed over having to leave him, over missing my mom, over the deep ache that will never go away from the loss of my daddy and grandparents and over the distance between so many of our family members (and I don't mean in miles).
I realized on this trip that not only does family mean everything to me, but I need to do more to try to fix a few relationships that I've allowed to become splintered and broken, while there are some I may never be able to do anything about, and some I need to let go. But for my heart and my babies sake I need to make things right or at least try and if I don't make the first step then chances are no one else will either.