Saturday, June 23, 2007

The "30" Project #12 & #13

I've kept in close contact with my family and friends - even given the distance between us all.

First, my parents. As I grow older, I have grow closer to them as every year goes by. When I've had surgeries, they've driven out to Baltimore to be with me, and when I had the seizure in Orlando, my dad flew down to be with me and get me home. They are wonderful, wonderful people. I suppose... okay, I know, that not all kids have this great of relationship with their parents. As 've grown older, I've really learned to appreciate and cherish the time I spent with them. When I drove here yesterday, they both waited up for me; and once I got out of the car, I received a few hugs from each of them in the matter of just a few minutes. We stayed up, chatted a bit, and as of right now, we've spent the whole day together. It's been terrific. I firmly believe that the work required to keep this kind of relationship healthy is one of my (and their) greater accomplishments, especially given that we've been 400 hundred miles away from each other for over four years. I talk to them multiple times a week, and a few months ago, when I'd had a particularly sad night, they were the first people I called. It's comforting to know that we can all trust in and rely on each other. It's been challenging at times, but we've put in the work and it will only get better from here.

On the same subject, I have some kick ass friends. Many of my friends live far away, from California and Arizona, to Oregon, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio, to Florida, and up the East Coast. There have been a few friends that have come and gone, and fewer still that I have let fade away by my own mistake (Lezlie - I am totally calling you tomorrow on my drive back to Maryland), but for the most part, I have kept good friends closest and reconnected with others somewhere down the line (Missy, Nicole - that's you guys). Being home and seeing my friends has been amazing. The last time I saw Jessie she was very preggo with twins, and today I met Owen and Rechel for the first time. I also met Gianna for the first time (Angela and JB's daughter) and Jordyn (Cassie and Patrick's second, after Conner). The living room was filled with babies today, and it was so great. (I've also learned than my arm muscles are pathetic - but that's a different discussion.) Many family friends popped in and out all afternoon, and the party was a fun "Hi Charissa" party combined with "Happy Birthday" and also "Hey, your mom invited us." I knew a month or so ago that I needed to come home and regroup, and this day has served me well. I was surrounded by people I love and who love me. I'm lucky, grateful and proud of these relationships... you are all amazing and thank you to everyone who stopped by.

Photo Time!
Owen sleeping. I love his feet.

Rechel and me.

Jessie, me and the boys. (See mom - no hands!!)

Gianna and the smile I finally got from her.

I love this one. That's my nephew, Jude on the right... he was enamoured with Gianna. (Arranged marriages are illegal, right?)

Patrick and Conner, Jordyn and Cassie. (Conner and Jordyn are the kids.)

JB, me, Gianna and Angela.


Blogger Missy B said...

Wow, it looks like you had a great day. Cassie, you family is beautiful.

June 23, 2007 11:33 PM  
Blogger cherylann said...

baby feet... yum!

June 24, 2007 12:12 AM  
Blogger julie said...

What a bunch of cuties! You're very lucky.

June 24, 2007 10:57 AM  
Blogger danielle said...

It looks like you are having a great time. I actually have that exact teal sweater. If we were both wearing it at the same time, we'd be midget twins! :)

June 24, 2007 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Jessie said...

Had a GREAT time yesterday, my friend. Sure makes me miss ya all over again. Congrats on the weight loss... since moving to B-more you have become MUCH more diligent in your goals. Being almost 30 becomes you :) Very, very proud!!!

June 24, 2007 4:46 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

so sad i couldn't be there! next time!!!

June 24, 2007 8:36 PM  

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