Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two weeks ago, I flew home to Washington. It had been eight months since I had been home and, even worse than that, since I had seen my mother. EIGHT MONTHS. In my world, this is pretty damn unacceptable. You see, my family is very close and being away from them - especially those sweet little boys I call my nephews - was heartbreaking. So, needless to say, this trip home was much needed and long anticipated.

I was lucky enough to fly in just in time to celebrate my sister's 40th birthday with some of our closest friends. As our girl Karen (accidentally) put it in her celebratory birthday toast, "It's great to see all these old faces!" Sure, she didn't mean it the way it came out, but it had me rolling nonetheless.

(Thanks for the laughs, Karen!)

I got in late Friday night and was GIDDY to see two of my closest girls, Katie and Carina. We stayed up giggling way too late and I woke up (very) early the next morning to coffee, laughs with my family and snuggles with my nephews. It was absolutely perfect. Since my mom's birthday is two days after my sister's, we had a lot of celebrating to do that afternoon. The ladies in the family indulged in crepes and mimosas before treating ourselves to manicures and pedicures. After a much needed nap, we all headed to one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle (or anywhere), Marjorie, for a birthday celebration.

After enjoying a fantastic meal and great conversation with people I hadn't seen in a very long time, came my favorite part of the evening - the dessert train! Marjorie brought out five or six of the most delicious treats and - being the close bunch that we are - we ignored the extra plates, grabbed our spoons and passed the desserts down. It was deliciously amazing.

(Can you see the happiness?)

Our next stop on the birthday train was a few hours of singing and laughter at Rock Box, a Japanese style karaoke club in my favorite neighborhood in Seattle, Capitol Hill. 10 years earlier, we celebrated my sister's 30th at a different karaoke club in town and, let me tell you, the venue options have vastly improved in the last ten years. For three hours, we sang (I rocked "Run to You" by Bryan Adams, thank you very much) and fell over laughing at the enthusiasm of my sister's friend, Rich.

The person who stole the show, however, was my sister, the birthday girl herself. I'm kicking myself for not getting a good photo of her, but - honestly - the whole time she was singing she had me so mesmerized, I forgot everything else. Every number she performed, had the whole crowd cheering. I even think a tear might have rolled down my face during her rendition of Pat Benatar's "We Belong."

(Luckily, I got a good shot of her husband, Michael.)

The rest of the trip included a lovely brunch with my oldest friends, Carina and Danny, more quality time with the family and some special time with just my mama in my little hometown. As much as I loved all of my time in Washington, the time with just my mother and the quiet of my childhood home was needed more than I can say. (And - for the record - I have no idea why I never get a good photo with my mom. I promise to fix this when I'm home for Christmas.)

To my family and friends, thank you. This trip - although too short - was just exactly what I needed. Sometimes the only thing we need is home.