For weeks, my dad and I have been planning my surprise trip for my sister’s graduation. That really meant that for weeks I had to keep a secret. And let me tell you, I’m terrible at keeping secrets. My dad knew, but I didn’t want to tell my mom or sister. I had to lie to my mom a million times which is next to impossible because she normally knows exactly what I’m doing/thinking/feeling at all times and can read me like a book. I almost blew the surprise a handful of times… One time I was on the phone with my mom and almost said something about her not needing to send up a package to me because I would be home in a couple of days. Another time I called my dad to talk logistics and he starts going on and on about taxes and Quickbooks and I was SO confused… turns out my mom was in the car with him so he couldn’t talk. Then my sister read some not-so-nice comments on my blog and she was texting me about them all upset and I swear I almost just told her then because it was so sad and I was so frustrated! (But I really wanted to pull off the surprise so I kept my mouth shut.)
My heart was POUNDING on the other side of the door waiting for my mom and sister to come in the door. My mom came in first and she was looking down at Teddy with the strangest look. (She later confessed she thought he was the cat and she was concerned that Pookie “looked different.”) Then she looked up and was shocked! Next, my sister came up the walkway and saw me! Oh, it was so fun to surprise her on her big day!!!
One of our family rules and standards growing up was to always eat dinner together every night. When I graduated high school, it was sad thinking that all being at the same table at the same time would be more and more challenging. On one hand, it makes me super nostalgic. But on the other hand, I’m more thankful every time we do get the chance. Whether it’s a family vacation or a special event that brings us all together, it’s extra special.
Stacy was jetting off to Paris on Monday, but we definitely squeezed in some quality family and sister time before she had to leave. A big graduation dinner on Saturday night. Brunch and dinner on Sunday. Sitting in pajamas and watching Madeline on television. Problem solving serious iPhone issues. Have I mentioned how much I love her and how thankful I am to have her in my life? Literally, a built-in best friend… no matter what and without any kind of restrictions or boundaries.
Teddy wanted to go to Paris too. He ran off, grabbed his favorite toy, dropped it in the suitcase, and sat patiently among her clothes waiting to go with. (If Stacy had her way, I’m pretty she would bring Teddy with.)
My dad golfs every weekend and when he finishes his round on Sunday, we all meet him at the country club for lunch. Everything was perfect… from having all four of us there to the weather to the grouper sandwich I’d been craving for months.
Saying goodbye to Stacy was hard, but I know she’s going to have the best time in Paris/London. (Her Instagrams are already making me jealous!)
My mom and I spent a lot of time together too. Always a good thing. I won’t be home for Mother’s Day so it was nice to be able to celebrate with her a little bit early. We did what we do best… shop. (And run errands. Even grocery shopping or making trips to Michael’s every day is something I look forward to!)
Oh and look who we ran into one day while we were shopping… Emerson! Can you believe how much he’s grown?! (Then someone thought he was my son and I melted. #IWish)
I actually went to my doctor while home and one of the things she recommended was that I need to be out in the sun more, with SPF of course… but I think this winter just totally messed with me! Thankfully there was so shortage of sun in Florida. And look! My mom has a little garden where tons of monarchs make their cocoons. One hatched and we watched the little guy dry his wings and then fly off!
Teddy had the time of his life too. There were no shortages of walks, people to play with, or cats to (attempt to) befriend. I think my dad has a sweet spot for the little guy!
I love Abby and Izzy and it was my first time meeting Aneska. I was absolutely upstaged by Teddy… and he was in heaven with all the little friends to play with.
This is how we both felt when we had to leave. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love my family and I am incredibly lucky to have the best family ever!
Have you ever pulled off a big surprise?
The whole time my family was here, I totally felt like I was in a different city. It’s so easy to forget how cool New York City is when you wake up, go to work, go home, and go to sleep. Even the weekends are a challenge because my friends and I frequent the same restaurants because, well, they’re our favorites!
It was so great to have my dad, mom, and sister here for the holidays. I haven’t slept or eaten this much since I moved here. It was awesome.
It was cold. And these Floridians could hardly handle it. Not one block went by without some mention of the cold or the wind.
See what I mean? LOTS of eating.
And Newsies viewing.
The coolest thing in the entire world.
And touristy stops along the way.
I hope your holiday celebrations were filled with lots of family time as well!