Adventure: A Kentucky Cabin

Adventure: A Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky CabinMy brother has a cabin in Kentucky, a small, two-bedroom, *mostly*-finished cabin in the woods. It doesn’t have an address. He needs to call the post office about that. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t have a bathroom, yet. Someday it will. March snowfall has made the road to it nearly impassable, but he has four-wheel-drive and he can pick us up at the bottom of the hill.

Kentucky Cabin

We came from all around — Peter and his family from Ohio, John and his family from Georgia, myself from Virginia, my parents from another place in Ohio. Only one couldn’t join us this year, the brother in Washington, D.C. I guess it’s a city that never sleeps, or takes a vacation.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Nieces and nephews were everywhere, tumbling over each other in the tiny space. They’re all getting so big.

Islay is nearly 11. I was her nanny when she was a newborn. Hard to believe how time passes.

Ian is nearly 10. He wears glasses now, and looks so studious.

Tessa is 8. I remember being there when my sister-in-law learned she was pregnant with child #3.

The twins are 9, they hang on every word Ian says, fascinated by the boy. Their only brother is 2 years old. It shows.

Sarah is 6. She just wants to be included with the big kids.

And little Peter (little Peter to differentiate from big Peter) is two. Adorable. Precocious. He tries his mother’s patience, but makes the rest of us laugh a lot.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

I want to treasure the memories. Islay showing us her gymnastics skills and recently-won medals. Tessa sitting on my lap to play Battleship. Sarah playing Sorry! over, and over, and over. The twins sharing their love of reading with me. Little Peter putting on a “show” (ie. turning the lights out and singing one line of “Let it Go”). Big meals shared around a giant table. Warm fires in the wood stove. So many wet boots, hats, mittens, and snow pants. Knitting and talking and more knitting. Hikes, walks, tromping through the snow. A truck stuck in the mud. Laughter. So much laughter. These are moment to cherish.

Kentucky Cabin

I desperately hope Husband can join us next year at this Kentucky cabin, and my DC brother. To be complete. It would mean so much.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin

{Moments of Inspiration}

{Moments of Inspiration}

“Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them;
for those experiences have left an indelible impression,
and we are ever and anon reminded of them.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

So many moments of inspiration this week after spending several days with all my nieces and nephews in a two-room cabin in the backwoods of Kentucky.

So many “moments of inspiration” this week after spending several days
with all my nieces and nephews in a two-room cabin in the backwoods of Kentucky.

Good times and heartaches

Good times and heartaches

Family is something special…something to be held onto for all your worth, something to be treasured and cherished, something to be grateful for and never take for granted.

Ohio holds so many special memories for me–starting when my brother Peter moved there when I was just 16. I took my first solo road trip to Ohio for a long weekend visit. My sis-in-law and I spent days chatting, laughing, loving, watching movies in bed all afternoon and picking blueberries at a nearby farm. We discovered a great little coffee shop and the best pizza in town.

Over the years, my sweet memories of Ohio have grown. I helped Peter and Kelly move into their first house. I was there just two weeks after the twins were born to help with middle-of-the-night feedings. I helped my parents move to a nearby town and set up their new home. I lived there for a summer enjoying family time and taking the twins to their first ever Twinsfest in Twinsburg, OH.

With the twins when they were newborns

Swimming in the lake.

I helped Peter and Kelly move to their second house. I slept all night with a very (very) sick 3-year-old in my bed when my sister-in-law went into early labor. I was there to visit little Sarah when she was mere hours old.

With Sarah hours after she was born.

Ohio is where I got my first full-time, real career job as a newspaper reporter.

Working as a reporter.

Ohio is where I rented my first apartment all by myself. And where I made life-long friendships, like my future maid of honor.

I met my best friend in Ohio.

It’s incredible to think that all of the time I spent there doesn’t even add up to two years.

I love living in Virginia, but when I visit Ohio, there is something special waiting to greet me–family.

This time, I went to visit my newest little nephew, Peter James Jr. At two weeks old, he is the sweetest, most adorable and cuddly little thing. I spent hours just holding him…feeding him, burping him, changing him… I hardly let anyone else have a chance =).

Holding my new nephew.

I also spent precious hours entertaining my nieces, they grow so quickly when I’m not there! Little Sarah is talking in complete (or near complete) sentences now, instead of toddler gibberish that only parents understand. Abby and Julia are reading and writing on their own.

My brother and his middle child, Sarah.

Celebrating my birthday with my nieces.
Celebrating my birthday with my nieces.

Next time I visit, little Peter will have changed so, so much. It makes my heart ache to realize how much I will miss. There are so many wonderful things about my life in Virginia that it’s easy to forget how much it’s lacking. Baby Peter won’t be a baby for long, and I dread missing that wonderful stage.

I love you, baby Peter.

But for now, I carry with me the feel of his tiny body in my arms, the smell of his newborn skin, and the memories of a simply delightful visit with family.

TC 16: Nieces and Nephews

There is so much I could say about this one. I first became an aunt when I was 17. That summer I had the privilege of nannying for my very first niece, Islay, starting when she was only 3 weeks old. I still treasure that time I spent with her, although I know she has no recollection of it. Then came Ian, and then the twins, Abby and Julia.

me with twinsI came home from college on Christmas break right after they were born and stayed with my brother/sis-in-law to help them. For a month I slept in one hour spurts, waking up to feed, change, etc. one of the babies every other hour. Very little sleep, but still an experience I wouldn’t give up for the world. Then came little Tessa and baby Sarah (though she is definitely not a baby anymore).

Caleb and HannahThen I married into a wonderful family and became the aunt of two more beautiful toddlers–Caleb and Hannah. Then just recently came baby Rafael.

Baby Rafael

The count is nine (so far), and the oldest is only seven.

I love every minute of being an aunt, even the diaper changes, tantrums, and babysitting that comes along with it. I remember sharing my bed with a 3-year-old Julia when she had the stomach flu. I remember the twins’ first camping trip. I remember putting a four-year-old Ian in front of me in the saddle and going “faster.” I remember holding sweet baby Sarah for an entire Superbowl Sunday.

With nieces

I wouldn’t give up being an aunt for anything in the world. I am so thankful to have each of these special children in my life. I love you guys!

Husband and I with Abby, Julia, and Sarah

me riding with Ian

Ian and Tessa