I’m officially back on the East Coast. In all its 34 degree glory. Le sigh.

At least things seem to have continued plodding back to normal. My in-laws have power, the gas shortage is mostly over, and you can get fresh food at the grocery store. The curfew in my town is apparently still on (yay…), and there is still a ton of damage in some areas, but things are definitely going in the right direction.

The only complaint I could possibly have is that my usual train still isn’t running (despite all the other trains on the same line running…?), but I’m keeping that in perspective. There are other trains.

Anyway. Let’s talk about happier things. Warmer, sunnier, happier things. Our trip to California!

We went to see my brother and his newly enlarged family (now plus two twin nephews), and we had a really great time.

Joey and I joked throughout the long weekend that this trip was our peek into parenting. My two nieces are six and four, and combined with two brand-new babies, we got a glimpse of the first few years at least. (Though, in our case, we most likely won’t start out with four.)

We spent most of our time with the girls (lacking a few vital abilities required to keep the boys happy), taking them to a movie and the zoo and playing a few hours of tickle monster.

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I had tried to warn Joey before we left that this wouldn’t be a relaxing trip. The kids are high-energy and looking for as much attention as they can soak up, meaning there wouldn’t be a lot of downtime. We fell into bed utterly exhausted around 9:20/10:00 every night. I’m not exaggerating.

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Of course, we carved out a little time for grown-up stuff too, visiting a brewery for a beer tasting and eating Thai and sushi just the two of us. All in all, it was a great trip and we had such a wonderful time reconnecting with everyone.

Out general conclusion was (not surprisingly) kids take a lot of work, but they’re still pretty great. (And we definitely want to ease into things with one at a time when we’re ready to start having kids of our own.)(Though watching Joey holding a tiny baby was definitely among the top five cutest things I’ve ever seen.)

For now, we’re very okay with just being the fun aunt and uncle.

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