Thursday, June 6, 2013

Home Sweet Home

For the last two weeks, I have been in Santa Cruz, California visiting my immediate family. I always look forward to coming home and being refreshed by the beauty of Northern California. I looked forward to this trip for weeks, constantly texting my little brother about all the awesome things we would do and the delicious things we would eat! (I am pregnant, after all, and the food in Santa Cruz is so fresh and good. It is A MILLION times better than anything you can find in Phoenix!) The trip, however, was drastically different than all of my other trips home. It is hard to articulate why, but I know one of the main reasons: Santa Cruz is no longer my home. It is weird to say that or type it because I love California and I love home, but now I have my own home. I have a husband and a baby on the way and it broke my heart to be apart from him for two weeks. I always missed him before, but this was a whole new level of missing. He is my home. So cheesy, but so true.

The trip was also jam-packed with activity. I flew in on a Saturday afternoon, had a baby shower that evening, went to this awesome town pancake breakfast Sunday morning, drove to Modesto (two hours or so away) for my nephew's 1st birthday, had a few days to breath, attended my brother Joe's Baccaulaurete Mass on Thursday, prepped for a graduation party on Friday which included a run into Costco and picking up a precious package, my sister Mary, from the airport in San Jose, a graduation and HUGE party on Saturday, and then a few relatively low-key days at the end, though we did take one trip to Oakland to see Mary's history exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. See. BUUUUUSY. It was just go-go-go. Usually my trips consist of morning Mass followed by coffee with my mom at a near-by coffee shop: Pacific Coffee Roasting Company. They include a few walks in my favorite forest: Nicene Marks. We enjoy a number of low-key but awesome family dinners. This trip lacked almost all of those entirely, with the exception of a few things I squeezed in the last two days home. And honestly, I was getting a little down about it. I was bummed. On top of that, I had terrible allergies which turned into a chest cold.

As I reflected on the whole week, I realized there were so many good things about this trip. Even though it was hard in some aspects, I really enjoyed my time in a different way. I was here to experience some great and important things. While Santa Cruz is no longer my home sweet home, it will always be my home away from home.

Here are some things I loved about being home:
1. Lunch in Aptos with my sweet baby brother, Joe.

 2. My lovely baby shower with these sweet women who I am so blessed to know and have in my life.

 3. This delicious pancake breakfast under the redwoods.
This guys pancake making skills were an art. So yummy, made fresh to order with eggs, bacon and hashbrowns.
 4. Morning walks with views like this alongside our handsome dog, Odie.

You don't just see llamas on the side of the road in Tempe.
5. Seeing my baby bro graduate from high school! He's the last one of the family!

 5. My sassy little niece, Siobhan! Every morning she would snuggle with me. And who doesn't love this look?
Here she is looking for a gopher (in a beautiful dress, nonetheless). "Don't worry guys, he'll be up in a minute!"
6. Going to Penny Ice Creamery in Capitola with my niece, Shiyah. (Didn't capture that one!)
7. Watching my nephew Aedan play a mean game of T-ball!

8. Our trip up to the Oakland Museum of California to see an exhibit my sister put together with her fellow graduate students. (Followed by lunch at the delicious Chop Bar!)

9. A great, big family dinner on my last night to celebrate the birthdays of Maeve, Mary, and myself. It was so nice to laugh and be together as one big group!
Not the best image, but a great moment. Aunties and Maevers blowing out our birthday candles! 

Maeve is my look-alike. We'll see if our little looks like me or Daddy! 

10. A quick coffee update with our friends, the Fowler's, who moved up north from Tempe after they got married last October.

There were many more little sweet moments, but these are just the first 10 that come to mind! We have to always choose to see the good in this short life of ours. There will be plenty of not-so-good mixed in, but if we choose to focus on the small blessings, life will be so much sweeter and we will see how abundantly blessed we are!

1 comment:

  1. Katie, I know EXACTLY what you mean about your hometown not really feeling like home anymore! When Ray and I decided to get married, and especially after I became pregnant, my trips to Georgia became very different. I struggled so much with that, and sometimes still do. I think I wrote a really similar post about a year ago.
    But I have a feeling you'll end up in California before too long. :)