I surprised myself. As we said our goodbyes to my brother-in-law and his family, whose hospitality for two nights we are are so thankful for, I became ferklempt! Unexpected. But my sister-in-law and I had been up past midnight (the day after Christmas hullabaloo) chatting intimately by the glow of the Christmas tree. During the week, I'd witnessed how much N. enjoyed spending time with her ates (older female cousins) who dote on her so patiently and lovingly.
No, N., we don't live in Jersey anymore. In between traveling from Virginia to South Jersey (to spend time with my in-laws) to North Jersey (to spend Christmas eve with my mom and Christmas Day with the extended Torres/Lopez tribe) and back to South Jersey (as well as spending a night in Philadelphia en route back to Virginia for a holly jolly Rutgers reunion with close college friends), we couldn't resist stopping by the home we'd just sold and closed on at the beginning of the month. As we drove by, both A. and I shared, we surely had nine years worth of memories in that home (including marriage, near death, death, birth, numerous health scares in between, and the anticipation/ disappointment of growing our family through adoption), but we really haven't missed Jersey much since we've moved to NoVA. Sure, we miss our families and friends. But that's what makes visits more memorable.
Truth is, I will always be a Jersey girl proud to have been born and raised in Jersey City, Admittedly, folks are surprisingly nicer in NoVA. The intended pace of life is slower and much more manageable. Our surroundings are prettier. And we'd been looking to get out of Jersey for quite some time. Opportunity and timing are key. We are blessed that the stars lined up the way they did. Happy light indeed.
As we wrap up 2015 and head into 2016, my new year's wish: