Was from my niece Amanda yesterday, who flew to El Paso to drive a friend back to Charleston and came through Austin for the day (see pic...she's a short stack, so I had to squat down a little for a photo hug). It was wonderful after seven-plus months being in Austin and limited to Skyping and phone calls with family to see her, and of course she brought all the love from the multitudes of sisters, nieces, mom, nephew, brand new niece, and everyone back home. We spent a great day together in Austin, went to lunch, drove around downtown Austin, and they had some rest time back at my place in the afternoon before mucho driving to try and make it out of Texas and into Louisiana before they stopped for the night. I wish she could have stayed for a week, sans her friend Tiffani's 3-year-old, who is extremely entertaining for a day, but also exhausting. On a positive note, my dog absolutely adored the child and they chased each other around the coffee table for an hour. I think Lulu would have squealed the whole time too, but, you know, she's a dog...either way, I had one worn out puppy last night.
I thought I'd get hit with a wave of homesickness after Amanda left, but I was left instead with a feeling of love and happiness. Sometimes it seems like family is so far away, but then they pop up and you can put your arms around them and they're closer than I imagine. The only one who cried a little when they left was Tiffani's daughter, and that's because she wanted to stay with Lulu.
Wishing my niece safe travels back to Charleston!