I survived...barely.

Ok well I did more than survive Ohio...
I really enjoyed getting to see the people I love so much.  That part was wonderful <3
I ate my beloved Ron's pizza 3 of 4 days...I refuse to have guilt about that.  It will be years before I get to indulge again.  I had to get my fix ;-)
Did you know Ohio is somewhat of a "pizza mecca"...no really I am not even kidding. 
They take their pizza seriously and it is delicious.  When we are in NY this Summer I am going to have to compare it.  
There is definitely a constant theme with me...I have mostly "hand picked" family.
I  did get to have a wonderful night with my Aunt Marsha (absolutely my favorite aunt ever...sweet as they come) but she was the only "family" visit that was the old fashioned bloodline sort.

Ohio Part I

Then there was a wonderful night spent with my stepsis at her house in Cincy...oh how I love her sweet neighborhood.
So much fun getting to lay around with my sis and my daughter and gab about all the things we have missed over time.  I felt like a teenager again for a night...

Lindsey


And then there are my adopted parents...the ones that scooped me up after the loss of my own.  They never hesitated in that. 
I gained not only a sis but two amazing examples of the kind of grandparents I want to be one day.  They cuddle and nurture bigly.
Their love has no bounds and their kindness, love and hugs for me and mine will never be forgotten nor unappreciated.  This crew can love like no other.
We should all be so lucky as to know just these kinds of humans.
Absolutly blessed.
Heck, they have known me since I was a kid and you guys...I was NOT an easy kid 😂
Yet here they are...showing up.
Isn't that the biggest part of being a family?  The "showing up" part?
Lucas was heartbroken to leave them.  But alas he will Facetime with Nana just about everyday as always <3
What did we do before Facetime?

Family

And then there is the family my mother married into...so technically she hand picked them for me ;-)
I really didn't get to know them until mom got sick and then with her passing I just fell in love with them and their love of her.  
I mean seriously...these folks know how to love.
My step sisters became like my own...and so the real reason and occasion for this visit was this guy! 
Little mister Pax needed to meet his "auntie" and her camera.  
I needed to give him a squeeze and tell them all I wish I could be there more.
In life sometimes you can be there with the folks you love and sometimes you have to settle for that Facetime but I totally saw my Spring break opportunity for a real baby fix.  Except a wrench called "the tummy bug" was thrown and I lost a day with him....but alas quality trumps quantity sometimes.
I mean look at this little cutie <3
If I HAVE to go to Ohio then THIS is the best reason why!
(side note...favorite new blog feature?  The gallery slider!! Hello!! You can see lots of pics of my lovely crew)

 

Now as far as me and Ohio.
I can't lie...fricking Ohio weather, landscape etc (not the people but the place)...
Well Ohio weather and I are never going to see eye to eye.
It snowed one day...then tornadoes the next...and snow the next.
I ran. 
I am one that needs sunshine and warmth.  Granted this Spring is being stubborn as my cat stuck in a tree BUT Virginia just sings to my soul.
I think there are probably other states that would as well...I always think I would love to live anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
I need mountains, oceans and a city...Virginia gives me all these things within and hour or two in any direction. 
My soul craves it...needs it to survive I am pretty sure.
So here I am...back in my happy place.
Hand picked soul sis still in tow.  Because family isn't always who was forced on ya.
It's the show up folks. 
We were asked bunches about whether Aunt Jill will be moving to the new house with us.
Always makes us chuckle because she has been with us 12 wonderful years now.
No way would she not move with us.
We would all need abandonment therapy if she opted out.
While talking with someone about how the kids are all growing up and leaving Jill gave me a knowing look and said "No worries!  I won't leave you guys even if they all will!"
Bahahahaha!  We laughed so hard and I promptly said that I know for a fact that the first kid to have a grandkid and she will bail and take over helping raise and love their kiddos.
Loving others children is her life's work.  And she is amazing at it <3
She's pretty much my hero.
 

Jill

So we are back...
I am back too it.  You may have noticed the shiny new website.
I have actually been working on a new gig in the background and should be announcing more about it next week....but for now I will leave it at...
If you need me you can find me buried behind a computer.
I have big plans to start doing actual classes for Bramble and Poppy this Spring.
It's time I start sharing more of this homemaker knowledge with the next upcoming batch of mama's.  The knowledge has survived our family well and I want others to know "all the random things" as well.
Random is fun and learning something new on the daily should be required.
Back to it I go.  If you have any problems with the new site be sure to drop me a line....
You guys are my best testers on new websites ;-)