weekend trips, family and saying goodbye


recently, eric and i flew to chicago to meet my parents and two of my three sisters for a weekend trip. the weekend was an absolute blast filled with food {lots of it}, laughter, lazy morning drinking coffee together and crisp fall weather. we watched sunset from an amazing rooftop patio, had the tastiest dinner at my new favorite chicago restaurant, wandered around aimlessly window shopping, went on a food tour, played tourist at the bean, listened to live country music and soaked up each others company. we were also able to squeeze in a visit with my cousin erin and her husband jc {thanks for picking us up at the airport at 11pm!}, grab drinks with three amazing friends of mine from OU and watch my amazing friend caitlin run the chicago marathon. i loved the city and weekend so much that i compiled a few favorite spots {and some on my list to visit next time} in a new chicago adventures pinterest map! this is one of my favorite trips of the weekend of me, mom, kerry and katie – my sister hope was very missed over the weekend!

the weekend, of course, was not perfect. it never is, at least not with my messy, hilariously crazy family. there were mini arguments and hurt feelings and awkward conversations. when i’m around my family, i most often feel loved and accepted like no other. i feel warm and safe and filled with joy. but my parents and sisters know me better than anyone in the world so they know what bothers me, how to annoy me, what things to say and what not to say. and i’m the same with them. it’s not exactly intentional, it’s just that we know each other so well and how and when we push each others buttons. we are imperfect and often hurt each others feelings in little ways. but despite all of that, the weekend was amazingly great. i guess what i’m trying to say is that even when things don’t go perfectly according to plan or someone says something that hits the wrong way, family is a place of safety, unconditional love, joy. i felt like i was walking around all weekend in some sort of blissfully happy cloud – i was with my people. my home. the little things that annoyed me over the weekend quickly fell away when i remembered how great of a gift it was to spend time with them.

when it was time to say goodbye on sunday afternoon and eric and i were about to head to the airport, i got really teary. i’ve lived in san francisco many many miles from home for 3.5 years and before that, lived four hours away in college. i’m used to not being able to see my family as often as i’d like and very well versed in the art of phone call catchups, FaceTime, nonstop text messaging to make up for the loss of hours spent in person. but this trip – something about it – just got to me. i was crying before we even officially said goodbye, i cried the entire way to the airport, through security and while sitting with eric waiting for our separate flights. i always get a little teary when saying goodbye, but this trip was different.

i think it was the mix of this perfectly imperfect weekend spent together in chicago, knowing that it would be another 2.5 months before i saw them again and realizing that it will never be the same. growing up is tough. i was having the realization that as i grow older, life is going to continue to be different than my childhood and in so many good, positive and amazing ways. the weekend kind of reminded me of my childhood: playing {this time at anthropologie and h&m}, laughing hysterically, arguing {about who was going to wear what, naturally} and togetherness. things aren’t going to always look like childhood and i think i was feeling emotional about that and the bittersweetness of it all.

this post is probably a rant and i don’t have any wise, profound or particularly inspiring things to say except soak up moments with people you love as much as you can. if you have the opportunity, pay for the plane ticket to visit in between holidays. embrace the arguments and the drama and the annoying things that make the people you love so lovable in your eyes. spend time just being present in those moments with people you love. the world can be a really lonely place {for me, i find waiting in airports particularly lonely} and growing up and trying to figure out this whole life thing is tough. embrace togetherness – the blissfully happy and good moments and the not-so-good ‘you’re so annoying to me right now!’ moments – in any and all ways you can.