I've been living away from my family just about 10 years now.
And while I've visited them as often as possible...I miss them like crazy.
So when my brother Nick emailed me saying he'd be in Philly for a week of training and asked if he should extend his stay and come down to Virginia for the weekend...I was STOKED....to say the least. ; )
Unfortunately with flight schedules and such he couldn't stay the entire weekend....it was really a 35 hour visit....so we packed in as much as humanly possible...
We had great burgers and beer at Capital Ale House while catching up on life. I had no idea my brother had turned into such a beer connoisseur. He spoke at length about his favorite beers and one beer that apparently tasted like motor oil. Yum.
We went SUPing on the James through some class 3--5 rapids. That was actually amazing. It was the first time I was able to show Nick why we love SUPing and why we love Richmond. (If you want to read more about our SUP adventure you can check out our SUP blog here: SUP Virginia)
We had a wholesome lunch at Whole Foods, picked out some craft beers and then high-tailed it back to the house for a quick nap before we broke out our ultimate Slip N Slide.
I tell you, I've never seen so much smiling in my life.
It was the perfect afternoon event on a hot summer day.
After several hours of slip n slide awesomeness we headed to Buffalo Wild Wings for food, beer and a Strikeforce Fight. Only BW3's didn't air the fight. They apparently don't have Showtime. In a matter of minutes at least 3 people were on their iPhones trying to find a bar/pub/place that was airing the fight. No luck. So it was food, beer, minus the strikeforce fight. Thankfully, good people make good conversation...so we all survived without the fight.
Next thing I knew it was 8 a.m. the next morning and I was driving Nick back to the train station where he'd ride up to Philly and catch his flight back to California.
I was incredibly sad when I watched him board the train.
I realized in that very moment that I'm stronger....I'm.....whole, when I'm around my family.
I really miss that.
That's not to say that I don't feel "whole" with my husband or his family or our friends...
It's just a different kind of "whole".
And now I'll stop before I start balling because that's how much of a spaz I am about my family and I'll share some of my favorite snapshots of Nick's visit....in no particular order....