All four of my grandparents live in Ohio, where my parents were raised (high school sweethearts!). For a vast majority of my life, I’ve always lived hundreds of miles from my grandparents, but I’m so grateful that I’m so close to them, regardless. I try to visit them as often as I can, which tends to be almost any time I have a three-day weekend from work. Ohio is about seven hours away from DC, and I cherish my trips to visit my dear grandparents (and other family & family friends in town, too!). I made the trek over Columbus Day weekend for a little visit, and I had the best time going back and forth between my grandparents’ home for visits. We always eat great meals & spend time just being together and catching up in person.
With my maternal grandparents, we spent one afternoon on a gorgeous drive around the country, stopping for bird watching and a walk through the woods. What a treasure this afternoon was! I learned so much about Ohio history, had some quiet one-on-one time with my grandma and grandpa, enjoyed the radiant trees, posed for some pictures my grandpa wanted to take of me on his original film camera, learned lots about local birds, and enjoyed the scenery all around us. My paternal grandma and I share a deep love of both books and calligraphy, so we always have plenty to keep us busy. She loves to pass along her calligraphy supplies to me (most of them 20+ years old but in perfect condition!), as well as her vintage ribbons! I love being able to share this gift with her, as I’ve learned so much from my grandma. She’s so encouraging and inspirational, and it is so special to use calligraphy supplies that she’s used for decades. What a treasure! We also always visit the local library (I’ve been visiting that library my entire life!), where they have an ongoing book sale. We love going through the books together and digging up treasures to take home. And my grandpa and I share a bond over Jesus Calling, a daily devotional that we both read daily. I love talking with him about what we’ve learned each day. I’ll always cherish the memories, traditions, conversations, and visits with my four incredible grandparents. They’re so full of wisdom, encouragement, and love, and I’m grateful each and every day for their presence in my life.
Though I visited Ohio in mid-October, I went back just a couple weeks later for a surprise trip! Long story short, my best friend since birth (literally!), Erica, is from Ohio and now lives in California with her husband – and she’s pregnant!! I hadn’t seen Erica since her beautiful wedding exactly two years ago, as visits to the East Coast are few and far between. I was having breakfast with Erica’s mom during my first Ohio visit, and she mentioned that Erica was visiting at the end of the month and wished I would be able to be there to see her. My parents and Erica’s whole family (who are our dearest, lifelong family friends) would be there for the reunion… and I knew I just couldn’t miss out! Especially since this was the only time I’d see Erica pregnant! So we decided that I’d come and surprise Erica during their reunion (and two year anniversary celebration). I let my parents and grandparents know that I’d be making the trek back to Ohio, and I was excited to see so many dear people so much in a three-week span. A 1,000 mile roundtrip road trip is nothing when it’s seeing your oldest friend for the first time in two years.. and sporting a baby bump! It was an incredible, slightly surreal evening surprising Erica and her husband, as well as seeing my ‘second family.’ I’m grateful for them and the countless memories we have together throughout our entire lives! Well worth a little extra driving time!!