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Friday, October 28, 2016

Villegas Family Fall Visits 2016


We've been so lucky this fall to have visitors galore! As many of you know, all of our family is out of state. In both September and October we were incredibly excited to welcome some of the west coast Villegas clan! And, in November we also get a visit from the Palmieri side for Caroline's birthday/Thanksgiving. Cap it all off in December with a family trip, and we are ending up with 4 straight months of visiting family! This is so special, and we are so thankful for each and every memory!

In September, Auntie Maria and Uncle Adolfo came to visit for a full week. It was a full week of laughter and good times! After family visits, I am always left wishing we all lived closer. I always feel this a bit extra with Maria and Adolfo, because not only are they family, they are a fun couple to hang out with! Joe and I don't get together with other couples- ever. But we love hanging out with these two and always have a blast! It literally doesn't matter what we are doing, we are always laughing and giving each other a hard time. 


When M&A were here, we did SO much! We pretty much took Caroline on a fun outing every day. She got to go to both the Zoo and the Aquarium this week! We took Auntie and Uncle to visit the creek that Caroline loves so much at Daddy's course, and we had them tag along for gymnastics. We went on walks and to the playground. We were on the go a lot! 

Caroline warmed right up to M&A, and had them reading to her as soon as they got in the car from the airport. It was nonstop after that, and she just loved having them around. She seemed to pick up immediately that we love and trust them, and she followed suit. She held their hands, and even stayed with them for some fun without Mama and Daddy at times. When Maria and Adolfo had to leave, Caroline was sad. In fact, it took her a good day and half to get out of her funk and always asking where they were. She'd say "Auntie, go", and get super whiny and pout about it. It was heartbreaking. We all missed them the second they were gone. Such great memories, though!.

On this visit, Caroline started to just explode with words! She was copying our words and trying to say everything. It was fascinating to watch, and it was so special that M&A were here to share in it this week. Auntie and Uncle got to see our faces when Caroline said "I ga ga" for "I got it", instead of simply saying "ga ga". Sounds so silly when I type it, but it was suuuuch a big deal! She also said "auntie" and "uncle" for the first time!

They were here to see Caroline's first time feeding a giraffe, and they got to experience the amazement that I experience every week at gymnastics! They were here for Caroline's first try at T-ball, and to see her chef skills blossom with the play kitchen they bought her. Such a special visit.

Oh, and Mama got to enjoy some sushi for the first time in a VERY long time, since I had visitors that also enjoy it. And when we were done with our wonderful lunch, they got to come with me to pick Caroline up from school...on her first day! It's always fun to sneak up on the class and watch them in action. Caroline was playing in a blue car and just having a blast. 

Maria and Adolfo hadn't seen Caroline since February 2016, when Caroline was only about 15 months old. The same is true for Grandma and Papa V. Luckily, they also got to visit last week!

During Grandma and Papa's visit, Caroline also warmed up to them immediately. Grandma must have read the same book in the car about 1000 times! Our fun outings included going to the petting zoo, visiting Daddy and driving around the golf course, daily walks with beautiful fall weather, and we took a trip down to D.C. to visit the national postal museum! 

Caroline also had her very first night without Mama and Daddy! Grandma and Papa graciously offered us a child-free night. They fed Caroline dinner and even put her to bed. We got to enjoy a night of painting and fondue! Caroline is so flexible and understands so much, that she did amazing with this huge transition. She went right to sleep for them and was the angel that she always is. 

My favorite memories from this week are the simple ones. Every morning, when I'd go into Caroline's room, she'd ask about Grandma and Papa. One morning, I went into her room before I'd let the dog outside. I asked if Caroline wanted to go downstairs with me this time. She asked if she could see Grandma and Papa. I said "of course!". She jumped right up. When we went downstairs to let Moose out, she immediately climbed on the bed with them and woke them up. She had no desire to come back up with Mama, so she stayed downstairs with them until it was almost breakfast time!

Every evening was fun and games up in Caroline's room. Caroline's favorite games were "Doo Doo" (playing shark attack tickles with Daddy and Papa), and "I'm Back!". She'd go in the hallway with me, and we'd decide on a name to say. She'd push the door open to everyone and say "I'm back, Grandma!". We'd repeat over and over!
And the week ended with the best memory of all- a kiss. Caroline is stingy with her hugs and kisses. At the airport dropping Grandma and Papa off, however, she gave them each a kiss. I think she brought us all to tears. So glad that we get to see everyone again in December. It can't come soon enough!