We've discovered the best part about living far away from family and friends....having them come for an extended visit. We hosted Dean's parents the weekend before Christmas and members of my extended family the weekend after. Ben called it a "family sandwich". After they left we pulled out one of our favorite books to remember how it felt with all the hugging and breathing and being together. Cynthia Rylant really said it best. Some of our favorite sentences from the book include..
"It was different, going to sleep with all the new breathing in the house."
"We were so busy hugging and eating and breathing together."
"We watched the relatives disappear down the road, then we crawled back into our beds that felt too big and too quiet."
"But they thought about us, too. Missing them. And they missed us."
I'm happy we have words and pictures to remind us how we felt and what we did with all our relatives. Those relatives, happy and helpful and hungry. How wonderful to share a house and a bed or two with them for a few days. It really does make up for us not living so close, kind of.