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December 29, 2007

How Sweet It Is

...that's what the sign reads as you enter Brooklyn via the Verrazano Bridge. And last night, after driving over eight hours it was soooo sweet to see that sign.We had been down in North Carolina for almost two weeks...two wonderful weeks, filled with nothing but absolute joy- and lots of amazing food. As you can see from the flickr pictures on the right, Little Miss B got to go horseback riding several times- and learned several new words during our visit...one of them being "Daisy"- the name of her favorite horse, the other one being "Gan'Daddy". (Luckily, she said "Gan'Daddy" first!) My dad's face just beamed when he heard such a big word come out of that little mouth.
Since we were fortunate enough to spend so much time in NC this time, we had the opportunity to see damn near everyone in the county. The first weekend we were there we ventured down to Swan Quarter to see my Grandmom, Aunt, Uncle and my cousins. Almost a month ago, my grandmom, Mama Clair, fell in her driveway and has had a hard time recuperating. Since she lived alone (well, with her 30lb cat) at the time, she is staying with my Aunt and Uncle until she feels more like herself. It was hard to see her not moving around. I was amazed at how much she looked like her mother- something that I never really noticed before. We spent the day with her- and she couldn't have been happier to have all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchild all together. It was great to see all my cousins- but this was really the first time my cousin, Mandy and I had gotten a chance to just chat it up with each other in quite some time. Aside from looking shockingly alike...to the point that both Mama Clair and Aunt Donna called me Mandy at least twice- we have such similar personalities, I just love her.
Christmas day Mom fixed enough food for a small army and it was all so good. It was sad to look around at our one full table of people eating Christmas dinner. I thought back to when I was little...our house was always packed with family. We had multiple tables full of people stuffing their faces inside our house and outside. This Christmas had its own excitement, watching Little Miss eat her turkey and squish the jello salad through her fingers...but it also had memories of Christmas pasts- with loved ones who have gone on. I had to fight back tears when I took pictures of my aunt playing with Little Miss's Christmas toys with her. I'm amazed at her strength each day- but especially on days like Christmas.
After Christmas we got to visit with another set of cousins that I hadn't seen since last Christmas...and that turned into a reunion down at the marina in Wanchese. (There is no place like the Wanchese Marina for burgers...or chicken sandwiches, mmm) It was great to visit with Tabb- I just wish we would've had more time together. We bonded over babies, blogging and those incredible chicken sandwiches, haha. I could not believe how tall Dawson has gotten...one thing that never changes about that little one is how sweet he is. He is the most respectable little boy I have ever been around. Again, I just wish I had gotten to spend more time with them...but hopefully that will just push them on up to NYC for a visit!! ;) (hint, hint)
It was such an enjoyable trip. Even though the drive home was long- it was fun as well. We spent most of the trip just talking, while the munchkin napped and watched her movies. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful family...both here and in NC. (and VA ;))

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