That should be family values and greener pastures.
We had a family gathering at my niece's house this evening.... a send-off party for her brother (my oldest nephew) and his wife, who are moving to Calgary to be dinks for a while. They leave in about 10 days and will be sorely missed, but.... someone else to go visit!
(That would be double income no kids kind of dinks.... they are actually extremely nice people. But I am not biased or anything.)
I love getting together with my family. My niece and her husband and their two little girls (ages five and a half and almost two) are great at organizing and hosting these shindigs.
(And yes, that IS a sea-lion kissing my great-niece on the head!)
My youngest sister and her hubby were there. They are off to Vegas tomorrow for a few days - it's their 25th anniversary this year (in August) and they have planned a nice little get-away.
(My brother-in-law hates having his picture taken. This is a rare shot. What you usually get is something like the hand in the previous picture, as he hides behind my sister.)
My youngest brother and his girlfriend also came - lovely to see the two of them.... often months go by with no contact, but that is just because of work scheduling conflicts, and nothing more.
One of the things I love most about my family is how openly affectionate we are with each other. All the women hug everyone, and most of the guys (all the ones related to me by blood, anyway) will hug everyone (other than the non-blood related guys, that is), including each other. The ones related by marriage just haven't gotten into the hugging thing... yet. You never know.... we may convert the younger ones yet!
But the best part of the evening was when it was time for the great nieces to head to bed. They both got changed into their jammies and then came out to the livingroom to say goodnight to everyone. The older of the two hugged everyone without hesitation.
The little type, who had looked at me when I got to the house earlier as if she'd never seen me before in her life, ran over, gave me a big hug with her head on my shoulder, and a nice big kiss on the smacker for good measure! What a doll...
What a family! I am blessed by whatever gods you want to thank for having been born into this family. I am proud and I love them all.
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