Melting snow, sunshine, and late winter visits

This past weekend, my dear friend, Jessica and one of her little boys came to visit us, all the way from Texas. It had been over a year and half since we had seen each other last, but there's something about the friendships that just don't skip a beat—this is one such friendship. She hopped in the truck at the airport, her little boy in tow, and we both thought (and voiced) this just feels right, It just felt right to have her as a passenger in my car, the little boys passing stuffed animals back and forth in the row behind us.

Their visit was such a lovely balance of downtime and activity close to home, with a few quiet adventures.

On Friday, we went for a little neighborhood walk and played in the backyard (and melting snow) with the boys, then made crispy orange shrimp with (cauli)rice. (This recipe is a longtime favorite. I sub coconut aminos for soy sauce, tapioca flour for the cornstarch, and I go ahead and use the full two eggs, instead of just the whites). We got the boys settled into bed and the three of us stayed up chatting and cozy on the couch.

Saturday, we made eggs and bacon for breakfast, the boys played, Nicholas read to them, and we got out for a walk and time to play in the (melting) snow before lunch. While the boys napped, I knit on some slipper socks for Nicholas, Jessica read, we drank half-caf coffee and talked. After naps, we got everyone bundled up a bit, loaded in the truck, and then drove to our downtown so the boys could watch the ice skaters at the park. Lots of dancing to music, jumping in puddles, and inquisitiveness about the music coming from speakers. The sky was bright blue and the late afternoon sun warm, and it was the kind of weather that makes you nostalgic for warm days in the past and yearn for all the warm days ahead. Dinner was our favorite local BBQ that I had picked up earlier in the day, and some roasted asparagus.

After the boys went to bed, we wound up yarn on my ball winder and swift, drank tea, and just spent more time catching up.

Sunday, after breakfast, we played church online on the TV, and the little boys danced to worship music. I think we had leftovers for lunch, and since the boys are on slightly different schedules (Coop does everything somewhat later in the day, including his nap), Cooper helped us make cookie dough for these yummy grain-free chocolate chip cookies. While the boys napped, Jessica knitted on a gauge swatch for a new project, and I knit some on my sweater. We went for a grey, chilly, blustery walk on a local trail, and then hurried home to warm up and make a dinner of quiche and roasted sweet potatoes. That night we talked about tea and life, and knit some more, packed snacks for their flight the following day, etc. And then on Monday, we dropped them off in at the airport, and Cooper nearly cried when Weston got out of the truck, already missing his little buddy.

P.S. Completely forgot to bring shoes for Cooper. Again.

Some favorite little things:

  • Not feeling like we needed to rush any discussion of any topic. Between walks and naps, and relatively early baby bedtimes, there was so much time for Jessica and I to talk and laugh and just enjoy each other's company.
  • Winding yarn and creative chat
  • Driving around town, showing her our home
  • Seeing Jessica have a chance to snuggle and hold Cooper, and me having a chance to snuggle and hold Weston
  • the ease that comes in sharing a kitchen with someone else who enjoys cooking
  • All the fresh air we got, some each day
  • juggling watching the boys and getting ready, preparing and cleaning up meals, etc. So nice to take turns and help each other balance everything.
  • Sharing clothes/accessories/whatever was needed with Jessica!
  • Seeing the boys interact. They chased each other, laughing and screaming, shared their toys, carried around wooden tools from Cooper's tool set, etc. They loved jumping in the pack n play and trying to open the gate for the fence. Weston kept saying "Snow mama," and narrating so many things. The curiosity and sweetness of their ages is wonderful.

I couldn't have asked for a better time spent with a dear friend. So thankful for such a sweet visit and even more thankful for this friendship, and the privilege of an in-person glimpse of motherhood alongside a sister-friend. I love you, Jessica!

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