Outstanding weekend

Jason and I traveled to Illinois this past weekend to help celebrate my cousins big day on Oct. 4.

After Jason worked an eight hour shift, he drove us to Des Plaines, an 11 hour trip. We hit the road about 10 p.m. Thursday night and drove straight through. Yes, this man drove the entire way, which was only on about 6-7 hours of sleep from the night before. Of course I took multiple naps along the way, it happens every time we travel long distances. Every time I woke up, Jason was in good spirits singing along to the endless music coming out of his MP3 player.

We arrived at my grandparents house around 8 a.m. Friday morning, just in time to eat breakfast. This was definitely a great way to kick off our mini vacation … sitting around the table, talking and eating some great food with my grandparents, mom and little sister.

I have to admit it was great seeing my mom and little sister. I have missed them over the past months … hopefully I can see everyone else soon.

We hung out for a while and had some great conversations, while going down memory lane.

I love looking at old photo albums, I learn a little more about our family each time.

An incredible memory for all of us was a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn. in 1999. A trip where all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins gathered to celebrate my grandparents 50th anniversary. We had so much fun that trip, endless great times were had. It was great looking through those albums because our memories were triggered of what those days entailed.

Next year my grandparents will celebrate 65 years. They are truly an inspiration for all of us, they have so much love for each other and for each and everyone of us.

Before Jason and I headed to our hotel to get ready for the wedding, grandpa and I had a conversation about my grandmother. The amount of love this man has for his wife took a hold of me as he shared how she was doing. The great part of their story is my grandparents met when they were little kids, more than 80 years ago. I love seeing them together, they have something very special, truly special.

Friday afternoon kicked off the fun filled weekend. My cousin Pat got married at a beautiful church in Glenview to his stunning wife Karen. The service was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun.

Whenever you get my crazy Italian family together many laughs will always be had.

I will always remember walking out of the reception into the hallway and spotting Pat. We instantly gave each other a hug as he expressed how happy he was that I came. Pat was glowing, his whole face lit up as he talked about his wife and how beautiful she is. It was great to see how happy he was, how in love he was.

Saturday was also a ton of fun. Aunt Lisa put together a beautiful party for everyone to get together again before we all left and others went back to work. The amount of food spread out on the U shaped tables was endless, snacks of every variety was laid out before us. This beautiful afternoon and evening was another great way to catch up and get to know a few of our new family members.

I love being a part of such a large, loving and fun family. I’m glad Jason was finally able to meet my mom’s side of the family.

I am beyond grateful to have Jason in my life. All the driving he did, so I could spend time with my family, was incredible.

Another weekend full of memories, another weekend I will always remember.

A few more days

The excitement is definitely building as I count down the days to see some of my family.

Jason and I are meeting my mom and younger sister at my grandparents house Friday before my cousin gets married later that afternoon. It will be a celebration that will certainly attract the majority of my mom’s side of the family.

A weekend of laughter will be had! I’m excited for Jason to meet my aunts, uncles and cousins. He’s already had the pleasure of meeting my wonderful grandparents.

Before mom and I got off the phone yesterday, I said “see you in a few days!” I absolutely loved saying that. We both giggled after the words were shared.

Today marks six months since Jason and I arrived in Kingsport. It’s hard to believe that much time has already passed. Overall, I have to say I haven’t been too homesick.

I’ve moved away from my family before when I traveled to Arizona. I remember always being homesick, always wanting to travel back home.

It just goes to show when you have a strong relationship and you’re happy with where you live, that overwhelming feeling isn’t as intense.

I honestly haven’t missed Fort Myers … but with that said the emotions have finally taken over … I definitely miss family. I’ve had my moments of missing them over the past few months, some moments hit me harder than others. With that said, it’s been pretty intense these last few weeks. I know it’s due to the anticipation of seeing them soon.

This weekend is going to be a great time, four full days with Jason and time spent with Mom, Emily and relatives …