Today’s picture was from Hadi and it was photos from when she was younger and is adorable. I love that my nieces and nephews are growing up together and see each other often. Beyond holidays and family dinners, they are able to just hang out when they want. That’s an experience we didn’t have growing up. As promised, here are more photos from my trip to the Omaha Children’s Museum with her and her sister. What you don’t see in the photos is how well-behaved both of them were. When we were in the doctor’s office play area and in the store, there was another little girl that kept coming over and taking whatever they were playing with. Rather than getting upset, they would just move on and play with something else. However, I’m pretty sure that’s why Hadi is protecting her grocery cart in the one photo. The girl was coming over and taking things out of the cart. I eventually moved us to another area until the other girl left.
Today’s card is from Macli and when I opened it and saw the rainbow, it made me smile. And then I read her card and I feel her love coming off the page. I miss my family so much right now. When I left home after high school, I lived about 2 hours away so I could travel back whenever I wanted. After about 10 years, I moved back in with my parents to attend grad school and saw them every single day and had dinner with them a couple of times a week for three years. Then I moved a couple of hours away again for the next 8 years. Then I really moved away and it became longer between visits but I was still able to have long visits because of the nature of my job. I don’t have all summer like I once did but I still have the ability to travel home for long visits several times a year. Before this year, I would go back at least 4 times a year and often more. I’ve never gone a full year without seeing my family. I’m thankful for FaceTime and Zoom and the ability to talk to them frequently. But it’s not the same as being with them and getting their hugs and cuddling with them, reading a book with them, watching a movie with them, or doing crafts with them. But Macli-I’m with you. I will be having Christmas with all of you in my head and these cards are definitely helping with that. I look forward to talking to you on Christmas day too.
My gift to you today Macli is one of my favorite memories with you and Hadi. I’m going to start it today and finish it with her card tomorrow. Two years ago, I was able to come home for Easter break and while everyone else was in school, your mom asked if I wanted to take the two of you to the Omaha Children’s Museum. I hadn’t been in a long time and it sounded like fun. I was nervous because I hadn’t taken you and Hadi anywhere by myself before and because I had to drive your mom’s suburban which was really tall and bigger than the car I normally drive. There was nothing to be nervous about though-you were both great all day long and we had so much fun. The grocery store was completely updated from the last time I had been there and there were so many new exhibits to explore. You were both full of energy and I loved playing with you and listening to your stories-I love your imagination. You played in the water, rode the carousel and train (multiple times), camped out in the tents, went fishing, went grocery shopping, made cakes, played with face paint, played doctor, explored the logs and canoes, and made a chair in the maker space. I got tired just trying to keep up with you!!