Lately I’ve been thinking about my extended family and how much I want to see them. We love living in San Diego but California is one long state. It’s hard having so many of our loved ones hundreds of miles away. Missing my family made me think of our last joyous get-together.
In October my brother Rob married his amazing wife, Leah. They had an incredible wedding in Calistoga, in the Napa Valley. It was during crush and the weather was perfectly beautiful. Our entire little family was in the wedding – bridesmaid, groomsmen, flower girl, and ring bearer. It was the most fun!!
The wedding was on Sunday and we arrived on Friday, so we had the whole weekend to enjoy hanging out with our family. First we met up with my mom, sister, brother-in-law and nephews for a barbecue. It was so awesome to watch all the cousins play together – my sister has two delightful little boys – Lane and Cody. Teo is 6 months younger than Lane. Great ages for playing! The following day was the rehearsal lunch at a great restaurant in adorable St. Helena. Rounding out Saturday, the kids were champs at the late afternoon rehearsal and evening cocktail party.
The wedding day was delightful! Watching my little brother marry someone we love so much, getting to dress up and dance with my husband (who’s a great dancer!), soaking up all the cuteness of the kids and the love of our family.
We’d been on a weeklong trip – starting with celebrating Dennis’s birthday at Disneyland (using up the last few days of our annual pass). We’d LOVED our year of Disney and having it come to an end was bittersweet.
Then we continued the birthday celebration by spending a couple of days in Dennis’s hometown – staying with his best friend and visiting all of the family in Marysville. The wedding weekend capped off a fun-filled and family focused trip.
It occurred to me as we drove home that this letdown was normal. I’d just had the best time celebrating with my family. We were together, dancing, drinking, and celebrating Rob and Leah’s love and commitment. Now I was in the car for 9 hours, driving past long stretches of brown hills and plains, looking forward to returning to work and our regular routine. It should feel different!
The thing was, I realized, before this awakening, I would have told myself that I was just as happy driving down I-5 as I was during the wedding. I’d “achieved” such a state of contentment that I didn’t notice the difference in my emotions – I basically didn’t feel them. When I was honest with myself, this meant that the highs didn’t feel so high back then. If this wedding had occurred a year earlier, I wouldn’t have been present and experienced all the special and unique feelings that this event had in store. Sure, that meant that I had to also feel the letdown of the wedding ending.
This year has taught me – you can’t feel the highs without also making room for the lows.