Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memories and Mansions

Dearest Lily,


Daddy and I took you to the east coast last weekend to visit your great aunt Denise. I am always amazed at how easy you are to travel with. You hardly make a peep on long flights and long waits in airport lines, you do wonderfully on road trips, and pretty much you just go with the flow..


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We squeezed as many visits as we could in one 4 day trip...we landed in Philadelphia, drove to New Providence to visit your friend Verity, and then to Macungie to visit your great aunt for a few days. You were content to sit on our laps and listen to stories of all our relatives from the last century, as we poured over sepia-toned photographs with Aunt Denise and cousins Lynn and Laurie.




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On Sunday evening we drove two hours to southern New Jersey to see your cousin Elli, who is just a few months younger than you.


We were there to witness her arrival in life last year, and as with all babies whose births I was present for, she holds a special place in my heart.


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You and Elli picked up right where you left off last year- two little princesses entertaining us with your cute little antics...


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Traveling didn't seem to effect your voracious appetite. You ate a huge bowl of oatmeal every morning, another huge bowl of macaroni and cheese or some other sort of pasta in the afternoon, and then whatever we were having for dinner. As usual you had to have three baths a day wherever we went ....


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..we're working on table manners.

You felt right at home at your cousins' house, with the ratio of boys to girls 5 to 2. The twins loooved playing with "Baby Lily" as you are affectionately known...





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On Memorial Day we went to a special patriotic ceremony featuring the boy scouts and the Civil Air Patrol.

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Your cousins Brandon, Trevor and Joshua looked so handsome in their uniforms...

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It was a beautiful day, Lily... I kept wishing your brothers and sisters could have been there with us. Maybe it was because New Jersey is the state I was born in, or maybe it was just being with my brother and his family, but I really just felt so at home somehow. Crazy, because we live as far west from New Jersey as you can get, and yet everything seemed so familiar and lovely. If only I could bottle days like that up, to be opened throughout the year whenever I missed them...

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*your cheerful Uncle Chris

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I miss your cousins and Uncle Chris and Aunt Lori more than words can say, Lily. If someone would have told me when I was growing up that one day I'd live on one side of the United States and my brother would live on the other, I might have been a little bit nicer to him.



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And if I would have known that my brother would marry someone who would become one of my very best friends in life, I really would have been nicer to him :) I wish so much that you and Elli could grow up next to each other, because I know you would be best friends as well.


Saying goodbye is never easy, and your poor daddy had to endure mama's tears as we headed to the airport Tuesday morning. The hard part about visiting the people you love is realizing how very much you miss them when you leave. It's hard to explain, Lily, but it's like I'm more me when I'm spending time with the people who've known me all my life. I guess that's why it feels like we're leaving a little part of our hearts with those loved ones when we say goodbye.


So I put in a little request to God as we left New Jersey and headed for home....

In my Father's house there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. John 14:2




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Praying our mansions are right next to each other :)

Love always,

Mama oxox

16 comments:

Rochelle said...

Looks like a fabulous visit. Glad you were able to make the trip!

Rachel said...

Beautiful, as always. I feel the same way about my mansion sometimes and it keeps me going to know that someday, we'll all be so close together:)

nicole said...

Sometimes I have so many comments, I just want to call you! Elli is adorable! The pictures of her and Lily together ~ too cute. And those little twins, who could say no to anything they want? The picture of you with Chris is so good ~ your happiness is shining through. I totally understand how it is so relaxing to just be yourself around family ~ such a blessing to love the people you were forced to grow up with, even Race!

Mrs. K said...

Darn, darn, darn, looking through tears the whole blog. Once again, I love, love, love the pictures. Yes, sometimes I am sorry we ever moved from NJ but then we wouldn't have Sam and Lori in our family and that would be a tragedy, a huge loss for us.

Every time I see Brandon in uniform I cry. Can't believe he is so grown up. The girls are so cute together. Finally get to see more than one picture of your non-smiling brother. I told you to be nice to him growing up. "Mother's know best." (must see the movie Tangle to appreciate that phrase) Great picture of Denise and you girls.

So happy you had a great trip.

patsy said...

oh my...elli and lily...too much cuteness! thanks for sharing all of beautiful photos :)

Lori said...

Reading this out loud to the twins and Elli and Joshua and choking on the words....our house seems so empty without you all here....love all the pictures (don't forget to email them to me!!) We have all declared that we miss that little macaroni and cheese encrusted Lily soooo much!!! Many prayers about our mansions being next door to eachother have been shot to heaven throughout the years....I have so many plans for playdates and tea parties....we love you guys, still praying to move to the East coast so that the cousins can grow up together....kiss them all for me! Love you!!

Lori said...

I meant still praying to move to the West coast....so hard to believe we live on the East Coast....

Susanna said...

Beautiful pictures of two sweetie-pie girls!

kecia said...

looks like a fabulous visit!

Ashley said...

Gorgeous pictures! It's so hard to leave the people you love....I cried quite a bit after leaving you all in January, so I could not begin to imagine how it would feel leaving your flesh and blood. I'm so glad you all had a wonderful time though :) I hope we can all see eachother again soon!

cara said...

Tears again!! You continue to do that to me with these posts.

Your family is just beautiful!! I know the feeling of being so far away from family. But even harder when they are your closest friends. It looks like you had a WONDERFUL visit. I know you cherished everyday. I LOVE all of the pictures. Thank you for sharing Patti.

PAM said...

Love the pictures!! Lily is just so cute and I loved seeing her mimic and do things like her cousin. So sweet!

Where in South Jersey are you from? I'm from South Jersey. :) I grew up in Cumberland County, but now live in Gloucester County.

cathy said...

Patti, What a wonderful trip-so happy that you were able to go. All the kids look like they have kind, gentle spirits. Even your brother!!! Bless them all

xoxo
cathy

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! where do you start with commenting on a post like that, perhaps by saying how gorgeous lily looked covered in food and how i laughed out loud, or how lovely all those kiddies looked on memorial day, or how lovely it was to see the pic of lily standing so strong and playing so beautifully or how amazing the family shots are. so glad you had a great time, even if tears did come with goodbyes xxxx

Anna Theurer said...

Dearest Lily,
You and your cousins look like two peas in a pod. The distance, while great, will not matter so much. That, I have learned. I do need your help though, sweet Lily, how can I get my Ellie Bear to behave so beautifully on long car rides and airplanes?

Anna

Race Bannon said...

Dern, that is one good looking family!

Pat's from North Jersey, the closest she came to Cumberland County was watching Hee-Haw as a kid! (Haha, just kidding, Cumberland County is great...unless you not in a gang...kidding again).