We had visitors this past weekend. It felt good just to dust off the guest room and prepare it for use–hospitality is a blessing, as much to us as to those we host. My parents came for a nice long weekend–one filled with chatting, exploring, and just plain being.

Christmas is the time of year when we all hold our families close, spending time with one another. But when family is so far away, it’s hard to do. I so appreciated their efforts to be with me for a little bit around the holidays, it makes being so far from family a little easier come Christmas morning.

Of course, I feel it more this year than last–losing Michael has done that, made me think more about family and relationships and time. Because the truth is, we don’t have as much time as we think we do. And we so often put off the things that are truly important in favor of the ones that are so temporal. I see it far too often in my own life.

So while my parents were here, I focused on savoring the moments, the laughter, and the being togetherness.

We went to Smithfield and walked the main streets full of old homes, and even stopped in one for tea…

Smithfield carriage house.

Smithfield Virginia architecture.

Tea cup

Cranberry scones

I’m still getting used to Virginia Beach Decembers: I mean flowers in bloom, really? I’m fascinated.

Pansies in bloom.

Flowers in bloom in December.

And Dad did a little work on my early Christmas present that I mentioned briefly before (more to come, I promise!)…

Dad tinkering


Our pups had a grand time playing together… (FYI, it’s hard to get photos of dogs while they are wrestling/tugging/etc.)

Ginger playing tug of war.

And, of course, we had to go to the beach =).

Taking the pups to the beach.

Ginger at the beach.

Hard to believe it was a full two years ago that I lived along this strip of sand, I miss it.

Sandbridge beach houses.

And we ate plenty of seafood, preferably with a view, like this local restaurant on a Back Bay tributary in Pungo.

Eating at Blue Pete's.

So often we talked until midnight, loathe to give up one second of time together as a family–those are memories I will cherish. It was a full weekend–full of life, love and adventure!

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