Living out here, so far away from where I grew up and from where most of my extended family resides, I am particularily thankful for the family ties that we do have near. Ryan and his brother, Aaron, grew up in Pennsylvania but now we are all here in Los Angeles. We do not have to pack our bags, drop our car at the long term lot and hop on a plane to get in a bit of family time. Nope, we just have to hop on the 405 (which isn't a picnic, but the needles and yarn are always in tow). In the past few years we have been drawn even closer together as our children arrive. Rylie and her littlest cousin Reagan are only 6 months apart and we can't wait to see what these two have up their sleeves.
These photos are from our most recent gathering for Thanksgivng, but we are together quite a bit. Well, it was at the cousins where Rylie had her first trick or treat. They are lovely people these inlaws of mine. They do especially nice things for us like babysit so Ryan and I can go on dates once in awhile. My sister-in-law, Kristy, threw me this amazing baby shower, remember that? She made it so special for me. She is gifted at pulling off very cozy, beautiful affairs, all the while making it seem effortless.
For instance this turkey, would you look at that? To ask her she would say "Oh, yes, just a simple herb roasted turkey."
Kristy is a native and her parents and sibilings all live nearby. They are a lively, friendly bunch and have become something of a surrogate family for us. We have spent many rollicking holidays together.
Photo by Kalli
Ryan and Aaron, can you tell they are related? Photo by Kalli
It is nice, this family connection that we have here. Admittedly, it is something that I have far too long taken for granted. As my years increase, and as I raise a child, I have often thought about the role of family and what it means. These are the folks that will always be with us, forever. We will not lose contact if distance comes between us. We will check in on each other and be genuinely interested in each other's happenings and happiness. These are the people that know where we've been and where we are going. These are the ones that we celebrate with (and commiserate, too) year in and year out. They are strong, stable mainstays to be counted on.
We feel lucky to have them, and though we contemplate moving out of this great big city and possibly even this great big state, it makes me strive for full presence during all of the moments we have together now. Because I know the day is coming when we gaze upon all of these photos in wonder and say - remember? Remember? Remember?