First stop, a good kinda half way point from our southern location to our northern destinations. And incredibly convinent that my step sister, a long time good friend, and two great friends we met in Florida all live there. Made for a nice two day- half way rest.
My husband is a Cheesehead. And I have grown to love this state that lies on the other side of Lake Michigan, mostly because it holds all my adorable nieces and nephews. First stop in Wisco is always Nanas work. After all, she is the one that is dying the most to see the kids.
Fiona is a great road tripper. Considering we did almost all night driving, all three of the kids slept most of the time. But even when she was awake, girl was happy. Loved playing peek-a-boo with her in the rearview mirror.
Other then my own kids, I live for my nieces and nephews. It is the hardest thing about living so far away, not seeing them. I had the privilege to grow up close with some of my cousins, and it breaks my heart my kids don't have that. Maybe someday... for now we will take what we can get on the week visits here and there.
My heart always beats faster when I get close to Chicago. I love this city. I am a midwest girl, this is my New York ( and I really think Chi-town is way better then the Big Apple). Its also home to my longest and bestest friend. Just four months older then me, she used to lay on my mom's pregnant belly with me inside. I love her more then I love Chicago and was glad to spend a day with her and her husband. An extra bonus- my brother in law, his fiance and my youngest niece drove down to Chicago for the day as well.
My home. Or was my home. Last year we spent our week in Michigan enjoying Lake Michigan and the great town of Grand Haven and all its summer small town beachiness. This year, we went home. To the East coast. To my childhood and familiarness and old friends. Two years ago my family grew by three... a step mom and two step sisters. Our family dynamic has changed, but enjoyably. And I love these opportunities to get to know them all more. July 1st is my week. The week I look forward to all year. Because ever since I was a little kid, I have thought those fireworks were for me. My birthday. July 5. People always have work off this week, family comes together. Boats are brought out, grills lit, and sparklers galore. My only wish every year is to be with loved ones, and once again my wish came true.
It kills me that a lot of these people I see only once a year. I dread the good byes and avoid them when I can. I like the places, but I love the people. And I wish it was as easy as we all could be near one another.
The longer I am gone from the north, the less it feels like home. And with each return to Florida, this feels more and more like where we are to be. Tonight, as the boys were bouncing around our living room, Breiden turns with a huge smile and says, " I am happy to be home." Me too, kid. Me too.
tRIP fOTO dUMP