M.! Not the M. you saw cuddling a skunk a couple weeks ago, but her older sister, M. Confused? How about if we call the younger M.A., and the older M.J.?
This is M.J.:
Isn't she beautiful? She doesn't always wear a tiara, btw - this was taken on our last movie might, which I will blog about later. C. refused to wear his for more than two seconds.
M.J. lives in another state, but came to visit us for a week. It was wonderful!!! I had not seen her in person in six years. That's a long time, you guys. Six months is a long time. Six weeks is a long time. This was forever. No need to dredge up the past, we'll just say that when we last stood face to face, neither of us was very happy with the other.
We have since been in touch over the internet, but of course that's a poor substitute. What would a whole week be like, back in the same house all the time?
As I said: wonderful. I am so incredibly proud of the young woman she has become, even if I can't really take any credit for it. She is about to earn her degree, working two jobs, active in her church, mature, responsible, funny...amazing!
The kids absolutely ADORED her. S. was thrilled to have a 'big girl' around who enjoyed pink and sparkly and all things Hello Kitty just as much as she does.
And who taught her how to play poker online.
The boys were equally smitten. L. went absolutely ballistic once when we dropped her off to spend time with an old friend, and drove away without her. C. was quieter in his adoration, but acted goofy around her, and tried to sit next to her whenever he could.
We went hiking (as much as you can call it hiking with toddlers in tow)
C. reminded me of M.J. many years ago - while everyone else is on the trail, they are climbing up and over whatever is at the sides!
Need more room for rocks - I'll just toss the iPod and wallet.
we shopped, we cooked, we watched movies, we talked. She got us hooked on Greek yogurt with granola for breakfast, I got her hooked on Bountiful Baskets. Even just companionably trimming green beans or peeling apples was fun. She would play music on her notebook, and I would keep doing double-takes to see if she was playing my MP3 Player - I swear 90% of our playlist is exactly the same!
In other words, it was nice just having my daughter around again, and we have no intention of letting another 6 years go by between visits. She is already looking at plane tickets that would put her here for both Christmas and the baby's birth. With 2013 ending like that, 2014 is going to have a lot to live up to!