My daughter, Lucy, cannot stop talking about how much fun she had, “dancing in Chicago” during my brother’s wedding on Friday, July 22. All of our kids were troopers at the wedding and truly enjoyed themselves. I don’t have the heart to correct her by saying the wedding was technically in the suburbs, because it’s so cute the way she says it. Lucy danced so much that I was shocked to hear that she struggled to fall to sleep that night in the hotel. You would have assumed the girl would have been exhausted!
The reception was held at the Hoosier Barn in Streamwood, Illinois, and we had a really good time. My biggest takeaway from that weekend was this; I have a huge extended family that we haven’t seen much of in person in quite some time. Now, it’s easy to excuse everything from January 2020 up until recently, with the pandemic making it hard for a lot of families to see each other. However, it was when my Aunt Maripat told my wife, Kasey, “I don’t think I have seen you guys since your wedding!” that I was shocked. Kasey and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage on September 22.
Now, my aunt isn’t 100% accurate, considering there were a few things that would have put us at the same place at the same time (like my grandma’s funeral in October of 2012) but, she’s right in the sense that it’s been at least five years. Isn’t that wild?!
Prior to COVID, it seemed that the times we had plans to venture into the Chicagoland area (typically around Christmas), we would have a kid that got sick and forced us to cancel our plans and remain in Muscatine. I did remind a few of my relatives that Muscatine is just about 197 miles from them and that they’re always welcome to drive out and see us.
What I’m getting to is this; we’re all busy people, and it is tough to find the time. With full-time jobs, kids, and activities, you’ve really got to be thoughtful and strategic when it comes to getting together. My wife and I were looking at the calendar between now and the end of September, and I think we have something every single weekend.
At this point, we should probably just plan on trying to see both sides of my Chicago family over the Thanksgiving holiday. We will see folks on my dad’s side later this month when my other brother, Brian, gets married in Colorado. Maybe during that trip, we’ll work to get something lined up with them, or I will offer to put them up at The Merrill here in the Pearl City. I’d have to imagine that would make the drive that much better.
I found this quote online about family, and I really like it, “family: small moments in time creating memories that last a lifetime.”