Cousins Are for Life


Is there anything in the world quite like holding your baby sister’s first baby in your arms? I’ll go ahead and answer that for you — no. No, there is not.

I just got back this past weekend after nine days out in New York, the purpose of which was to do just that — hold my baby sister’s first baby in my arms.

And, you know, help out, however I could.

Chris and Kate and the girls joined me for the first few days, but they left on Monday and I stayed through the week. Just me, my sis on maternity leave, and Rosalie. My brand new, amazing baby niece. It felt so nice to be able to help, and while I of course missed my family immensely, I realized something with them gone … I sure do have a lot of brain space when they aren’t around! I mean, the week was full of a lot more work than I was hoping it would be, but somehow, without the girls around, I managed to write nine stories with relatively little trouble, three of which got jubilant praise from my editors.

So I have to wonder — am I smarter without my girls?

I mean, obviously I cannot even begin to imagine my life without them, and I want one million more little Lotte & G’s in my life, but still … ? This weekend did get me to wondering just what I could be accomplishing if I didn’t have kids. Would I have written the next Great American Novel by now? Would I have completed my children’s book series and be auctioning it off to the highest bidder for movie rights?

The fact that I hadn’t accomplished any of that before my kids but that I obviously still have at least some mental capacity for career-oriented things leads me to believe that not only am I right where I’m supposed to be (which I have no doubt I am), but that I still have plenty of time to accomplish anything else I want to in life, as well.

Anyway, on to the travel gadget that’s revolutionized our adventures 😉 We knew we had to bring Lotte’s card seat on this trip, so we were looking into all those products on the market that have wheels that you can attached to the car seat, but they were all so expensive. So instead, Chris did a little research and found this car seat travel belt:


And my review is this: For $15, this genius travel gadget is … well … genius! Not only did Lotte feel like a rock star traveling through the airport that way, but I even got a, “wow, you’re a bad ass!” from a man passing by when I was pushing G in her stroller in front and pulling Lotte in her transformed wheelie car seat behind and waiting for Chris to come meet us after parking the car.

It was seriously easy for Chris to assemble, too. My only caveat would be to never pull it when it’s caught on something. We had no trouble pulling Lotte through the airplane to get to our seats while she was still in it, but on the way off the plane it got stuck in some seats and Chris kept pulling anyway and, well, our suitcase handle broke right off. I wouldn’t blame the product for that, though — I would definitely call it human error 😉

^^ Is that not the face of one happy traveler?!

^^ We arrived into Newark to pick up our rental car, and seeing the city all lit up at night was so glorious.

By the time we collected our car and drove to my sister’s it was about 2:30 a.m. on Friday morning, so we didn’t actually get to meet baby Rosalie until everyone woke up. When we all finally did, though, it was everything I could have hoped for and more — the whole trip was, actually. At 2.5, Lotte is old enough to understand babies, and to know that she has to be gentle around them and that it’s exciting to see them. It really was just such a special time.

^^ I. Can. Not. <3

^^ We met up with some family at a brewery one of the days that we were there and they had a live band. One of Lotte’s favorite things in life is dancing, so that was pretty much her dream come true.

^^ Aunt Kate is actually leaving us next week, which we simply cannot believe and cannot talk about. So it was extra special that she got to join us on this trip to New York, as well!

^^ It was my nephew Rory’s birthday last Sunday, so you know the girls had to turn on the charm and send him a special birthday picture.

^^ Lotte was even lucky enough to get to watch Uncle Brian play in a basketball game for his team!


I spent most of the week with my sister, helping her out and doing laundry and cleaning and cooking, but on Friday I had a chance to head in Manhattan to meet up with a friend. I hadn’t been into the city in so long, and it’s been even longer since I took the train from Beacon into the city. As I sat on the train on the way in, I wondered how many hours I’ve actually spent riding those rails. It’s probably a couple days’ worth by now, with all the times I would ride it back and forth to visit my Mom and Robert when I lived in the city. I got to thinking about so many memories from my time in the city, too. I wonder how many memories I’ve already forgotten, and which ones I’ll be able to hold on to forever. That time I spent in Manhattan was so fleeting, and yet so amazing. I feel so special that I even got to do that at all.

^^ A view that never, ever gets old.


And that was our trip in a nutshell, my friends. Why, oh why, oh why does life have to move so quickly? It feels like yesterday that Steph told us she was pregnant. Like yesterday that we flew out for her 30th birthday when she told everyone else in the family. Like yesterday that Grace and I took our first-ever Mom-daughter solo trip to New York for Steph’s baby shower’s, and like yesterday that we planned our trip out to meet baby Rosalie when she was born. Slow. Down. Time. Please.

Until our next trip — bis bald, friends!

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