Our nephew Joel pretty much had celebrity status in Jude's world. He gave Jude uke lessons over Skype this year and a special friendship developed out of that connection.
We helped Joel get set up with a laptop and phone for college and were absolutely floored/amazed/humbled when he presented us with this drawing that he made.
Isn't it incredible?! Can you believe he drew that?! It's based off of a clip from Band of Brothers. We were speechless.
Our niece Sarah was nicknamed 'the baby whisperer' as somehow she was able to quickly forge a bond with Iris. Iris cries if anyone other than Dan or me holds her. But with Sarah, Iris crawled into her lap and even let her carry her. It was really amazing to witness! Evie absolutely adored Sarah as well. It was so wonderful for my kids to have such beautiful memories made with their cousins. Given their cousins are teenagers, it was cool that they took so much time to play with the kids, especially since they were jet lagged.
Dan's brother happened to be in town (from Florida) for a work conference here. Serendipitous, I know. Having three of the four siblings together at one time doesn't happen often and the incredible blessing of time together wasn't lost on any of us.
My niece Ellyn celebrated her 20th birthday while she was staying with us.. As part of the celebration I bought a dairy free/gluten free brownie (since she avoids both) and 20 candles. Her mom suggested we wait to sing and do the cake until after they arrived and we were happy to oblige.
Making a wish...
When it came time for them to leave, Jude cried. Joel sat down next to him and sympathetically said, "I'll miss you too, bro." I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. It was hard to say goodbye. It always is. But we are thankful for the time we were able to spend together.