The older I get, the more my definition of the word "home" has broadened. Home is no longer just the place that I live, but all the places I have left a piece of my heart. I never thought Minnesota would be one of those places I'd consider home (let's be honest, those Winters are pretty brutal) but because of two sweet little girls, MN has become as dear to me as my hometown in Colorado.
Since moving to Seattle a year ago I've found it harder to jet off whenever I find an opportunity, turns out being an adult and having bills to pay isn't as glamorous as I would have hoped. But since Kassi was having Everly, there were no ifs, ands or buts, I HAD to make a trip to MN to meet my newest niece. I couldn't wait to see Lyla, especially since the last time I saw her was over the summer when she was still a waddling little baby. Lyla and I have always had a special bond, even in the limited time I've been able to be around her.
I got in on Friday, March 7th, my flight from Seattle left so early that I pretty much only had a nap before I had to wake up to leave for the airport. Lyla was of course even sassier than I remember her and we had so much fun running around Target and playing with "Kevy" and "Car Car" (Kevin and Carlos, what kind of animal names are those anyway?). That girl wore me out and I fell asleep on the couch at 7pm. True story. I woke up around midnight and couldn't go back to sleep, when Kassi came downstairs to tell me that her and Ryan were going to the hospital. I kid you not, she was so calm I had to ask her a few times if she was going to the hospital to have the baby, it just didn't seem like someone that relaxed could be about to give birth. I got a text a few short hours later that Everly Joy had come into the world. I like to think she waited for me to get into town before making her grand appearance.
My mom and I tag teamed watching Lyla until Kassi and Ryan and Everly came home from the hospital. The most exciting thing we did that trip was take Lyla to Build a Bear, which was probably more exciting for me because my parents deprived me of this when I was a kid (not holding a grudge or anything..). But even staying at home in sweats, watching Frozen countless times, and changing poopy diapers, I wouldn't have changed a thing because I was able to spend those moments with my family.
On the last day of my trip, I was thinking to myself "I probably won't cry saying goodbye, I'm too used to it by now", in fact it takes a lot for me to shed a tear. But I sat there in the rocking chair holding little 4 day old Everly, finding tears streaming down my face thinking about how the next time I'd see that little baby she wouldn't be nearly as little. Having so many places to call home is a huge blessing but I also find my heart breaks a little more each time I have to say goodbye to those "homes". Feeling that heartbreak only reminds me how thankful I am to have a family that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Right before I left for the airport, my sister and I had a tear filled conversation (once I start crying there's no going back). I told her that besides my own mom, she's the best mom that I know and seeing her be such an amazing mom to her little girls gave me comfort to know that someday I'll be a better mom because of her. And even though that won't be for a LONG time (emphasis on the word "long"), I'm so thankful for her example. Although we don't get to pick our family, I would choose mine a million times over and this distance only reminds me of that all the more.