A couple weeks ago we drove a couple hours north to visit my family for Conference weekend. It was just a normal, great weekend, all hot with LA heat. We got there at night to avoid traffic (which you can never truly do), and my family - especially my mom - was thrilled to see Henry. He's getting more and more fun, what with all the smiling and cooing and gaining weight (so he's sturdier and not so fragile). The next morning, everyone was gone except me, Conrad, Henry, and Jasper, so we decided to go on a little walk around the neighborhood.
We spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday watching Conference, eating yummy food (Mormons treat Conference weekend like a family holiday) and lounging in the basement and outside in the sun. Our summer was one of the most sunless, beachless summers we've ever had (not because there wasn't sun or beaches, but because my whale of a pregnant body didn't have the energy to go enjoy them). It was kind of the last hot weekend before it started cooling down, so Conrad was happy to go swimming and spend time in the sun.
Visiting home is always bittersweet for me. I miss seeing my family whenever I want. A couple hours is no big deal compared to a couple states, but it's still far enough. Home smells like home, you know? Their laundry used to be my laundry. Their meals used to be mine. That room upstairs used to be mine. Visiting home always brings this nostalgia to my heart. I love when all my siblings are together in the same house. It's only happened a handful of times in the last five years. When I was 18 I moved away to college. When I moved back, we were all together for 6 or 8 months, but then I got married and moved out again. Then my sister went away to college. Then my brother. And he went on a mission to Bolivia. Now my youngest brother is the only one still at home with my parents. Visiting home is different when your whole family isn't there.
There's this skinny little tree outside my parents' kitchen window (and I'm sorry the pictures don't do it justice) that started turning yellow and brown, and it's so vibrant right before the leaves all fall off.
I looked at it a couple times throughout the weekend, just appreciating how pretty it was. And I thought about how the changing season fits well in time with the huge change of having a new baby. About how my sister's far away for a couple months, and how my brother is really far away for a couple years. About how my whole family won't be together for a really long time. Christmas can't come soon enough when we'll all (but one) get to be together and skype our missionary!