This past weekend was lovely.
After a long drive through Indiana and up Illinois, Chelsea, Jolie and I arrived in Wisconsin at four in the morning [our time.] Grace woke up to answer the door – we hugged and whispered to each other before leaving our snowy boots at the door and collapsing in bed next to Sheila.
The following morning I woke up to voices in the kitchen – I loved that. It’s such a treat to wake up to the sound of people you love, especially when you hardly get to see them. We sat around the kitchen table all morning and well into the afternoon – sipping tea and talking.
Finally we decided to change out of our pajamas and venture into the outside world of Burlington. Our plan was to walk around the quaint town, but in the end we decided it would be a better idea to stay in the car with heat and Christmas music. We drove around looking at the Christmas lights before stopping at a fancy schmancy hotel to see their indoor Christmas display.
That night we went out to eat – we all ordered the exact same thing. I thought that was so cute. And then we fell asleep watching Elf.
The rest of the weekend was just as charming. We all wore the same fuzzy socks Sheila gave us as a gift (you know, those super comfy ones you wear around the house in the winter), danced around to Nsync’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” (that song will never get old), ate waffles for breakfast and doritos for lunch, looked at old pictures and laughed at what we used to wear, played sporadic games of Mad Gab, ate our homemade chicken bruschetta for dinner as we talked about God, made oreo milkshakes and watched The Family Stone (complete with our own commentary the entire way through), and of coursssssse we had a photo shoot (or two.)
It all felt so right. I was a little unsure of how we would mesh together after so much change in our lives and so much time apart, but the weekend was effortless, like a well-rehearsed dance routine. It wasn’t perfect, but it was life. One of us broke down into tears in the middle of the grocery aisle, and the rest of us were there for support. Another time we all got into a bit of a squabble when making a decision, but in the end we apologized and forgave each other.
We talked about so many things – God, marriage, family, adoption, the future, the past, the present…all good things, or at least all real things.
And then Sunday morning came. Chelsea, Jolie and I said our goodbyes, and once again we climbed into our car and drove down Illinois and across Indiana back into Ohio, where it all began for the five of us so many years ago.