Kelsey and Jake came over for a mini photo shoot. I wish I'd had the foresight to plan pics off site, but I was in the creative zone and did well getting dressed and making myself semi-presentable.
How cute are they? They def nail the cute factor hands down. (Kelsey's dress is from Ross and was a great buy, shoes are mine from Macy's.) The fabulous blooming tree in the background is actually in my across the street neighbor's yard, but I love it.
Sometimes the cuteness overwhelms me...
Note to Kelsey: did you not notice that I have a sprig of some whirligig in my hair? Hello?! (My dress is from Ross too and the necklace is from Charming Charlie's.)
Side note: as always, I hated 99% of the photos taken of me that day. I don't love this one either, but I do think that it's passable. At least my wrinkles aren't highlighted in it and there are catchlights in my eyes... (Grr, I wish I were genuinely nicer to myself when I look at my photos.)
While I won't go into the details here, I was estranged from part of my family for several years. Old wounds + a lack of forgiveness + pride + stubbornness on both of our parts created a rift that lasted for more than a decade. (It really was a shame because I have very little family still living.)The first step toward mending those fences came at Christmas last year when a family member reached out to me to join their celebration. While that first gathering was awkward, I was glad that I followed through with it. When Kelsey, Jake, and I were invited for Easter dinner, we decided to go ahead and join in again.
First, the grandchildren from that part of the family hunted Easter eggs. Then, we enjoyed dinner together. After that, the eldest grandchild celebrated her 8th birthday with some gifts. Finally, we sat around and just chatted. Kelsey and Jake didn't stay long since they had movie plans with Jake's parents, but I stayed a few hours.
The highlight of the evening was chatting with my cousin-in-law or cousin thrice removed or something (maybe? idk the proper phrasing) about his college thesis and some amazing research he'd done. For anyone interested, it's an analysis of de facto racial and economic segregation within the schools in our community. As fellow 'academics,' we ended up chatting about everything from politics to gardening to literature in the couple of hours we spent together. I'm grateful for making a new friend in Nick. Even though he's just 22, he feels a bit like a kindred spirit. There's a reason we struck up that conversation and had so many things to discuss. I look forward to chatting with him again and getting to know more about him.
I'm also grateful for family members who are willing to renew a connection and to make me feel welcome in their home.