20 hugs and then some.

For the past several weeks, my sister Kerry and I have been trying to coordinate a free day when I can come over to hang out with the family. We’ve been out for a few family dinners at restaurants recently, but it’s been a long time since I’ve actually been over to the house. Finally, tonight I was able to come over for dinner and I was really looking forward to spending some quality time with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew.

Kerry and I

I love seeing my niece and nephew. I’m always greeted with most enthusiastic shouts of Aunt Lauren, immediately followed by the best hugs in the world. After my warm welcoming, Mitchell headed out the door to play, while Kayleigh sat down to finish up her homework. Kerry was just pulling a homemade beer bread out of the oven that she’d just whipped up after work. I cut off a huge slice (and a few more after that- it was delicious!), poured a glass of wine and we sat down to finally catch up.

Our schedules are so busy and so opposite, that we rarely have time to just sit down and talk. I really enjoy those little breaks when we do have time to fill each other in on what’s going on, versus hearing it through the family grapevine. Now that we’re living in the same city and, at least I, feel closer to her in age, I can share so much more. It’s nice to be able to spend some time with my sister and just have a really great conversation.

In between filling each other in on school, work, past and upcoming trips and everything in between, I was trying to help Kayleigh with this one math problem she was stuck on.

It was so difficult!

I love my niece!

I knew how to get the answer, but to try and explain to her how I go to that answer was beyond me. Recently elementary schools have implemented a new way to teach kids math and it’s a whole different ball game from the way I was taught. It’s so frustrating and it made me feel so dumb that I couldn’t help her with this simple math problem! When I have kids, I hope the schools either go back to the old way of teaching or at least give us our own workbook, so that we can sharpen our math skills and not look helpless in front of our children.

Once Kerry’s husband Mitch arrived home from work, we all sat down for dinner. Meatloaf, steamed veggies, a little pasta, stuffing and some more beerbread. Normally I’m not a huge fan of meatloaf, but this was SO good! If I hadn’t filled up on so much of the beerbread, I probably could have had a second helping!

After we cleared our plates, Kayleigh, Mitchell and I headed outside to my car. I’d found a lot of leftover toys in our garage and wanted to see if they were interested in anything.

Interested? I think they felt as if they hit the jackpot!

Mitchell playing guns

Art supplies, sports equipment, an awesome fanny pack (ha) and the winner of them all: laser tag! We must have played guns for at least half an hour after that!

Unfortunately, our time was cut short as it was starting to get late and the kids still had their homework to finish. We ended our game, I poured a cup of coffee and helped them with a few homework problems and then we said our goodbyes.

Although I don’t like goodbyes, I love goodbye hugs. I get at least 10 hugs each and they are the best hugs in the entire world!

After my 20 hugs, and then some, it was really time to head home. I shouted one last ‘I love you’ from the car, waved goodbye and drove off.

I love these little moments of family time. Although we tend to get caught up in our busy lives, it’s important to always set aside some time for family. Before I realize it, I’m going to be halfway around the world, and no one can make you feel quite as loved, as your family can.

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