Since our NJ trip was now a full month ago, I suppose I should wrap up this "New Jersey Is..." series. For our final installment we bring you: family. Going to New Jersey for us means hanging out with family above all else. We stay at Mom Mom and Pop Pop's, Joe's siblings come over for late night Risk games, cousin Ryan comes over to play, we visit grandparents and other various members of the (huge) family, you get the idea. There are plenty of playmates for Isota and a whole lotta love to go around. One of the best part of this trip was she learned everyone's name. Some came out a little funny - Courtney was "Der Der" and Cory was "Der" - but she was saying them. Constantly going around the room pointing and repeating names. Waking up every morning asking, "Pop Pop? Mom Mom?"
This was also part of the hardest part of the trip. As Sody gets older and more aware of people around her, realizing who everyone is, knowing she is safe and loved and adored by this part of her family too, it is just so hard to leave. It gets harder every time we go east. And it feels unfair taking her away and only being able to make the trip once or maybe twice a year. And it's a huge thing Joe and I struggle with, wondering where we can live so that everyone is happy. Where everyone who wants to love this little lady can do so, where will be best for her to grow up. This is the stuff that keeps me up at night because there are no easy answers to any of it. But I take comfort in the fact that all of this means that there are just so many people that want to love our little girl. So much family, so much love, and for that we are thankful.