Visiting my aunt in Pennsylvania is always a treat. And a bit of a retreat. I get to go there and sample my uncle’s homemade beer (and most recently wine and honey mead too), hang out in the kitchen chatting, and usually see some family too. During my most recent visit, my aunt suggested that we visit my younger brother on a whim.
Now, this isn’t always an easy feat. In the past 5 years my brother has changed his number about twice as many times – and almost never tells me what the new number will be. So tracking him consisted of writing to his wife on Facebook (he isn’t a social networking type of guy) and hoping that the timing of things would work out. Imagine, then, how bummed I was when, the morning we were supposed to visit, I couldn’t reach my sister in law. I knew they had a Halloween party the night before, and that my brother had to work the very early shift that day, so I was afraid they’d be sleeping in like – pardon the pun – zombies. I decided to try my brother’s most recent phone number after all, just in case and – miracle of miracles – it worked!
My aunt and I made the 1-hour drive to my brother’s home, and were immediately greeted at the door by my brother and my nephews, Tommy and Aiden. “Natalie’s down for a nap,” he said. That’s right. Three little ones. (Despite the fact that he’s got three kids and is 10 inches taller than me, I still call him my “little brother.”) Their house was fully decorated for Halloween. Remnants of Halloween makeup and hairstyling aids were further evidence of a late night. But we were all there, if barely functioning.
After hanging out a while, we decided to take a walk to the nearby Taylor Arboretum. The boys were full of energy, and needed to get out. My brother, still in work gear, dressed the little ones and out we went. Here are a few of my very favorite photos from the day.
I have a photo of my brother with his younger son from years ago that closely resembles this image. I was thrilled a similar moment happened with the younger one during this visit.
This tree was simply gorgeous. Despite the poison ivy on the trunk (we didn’t let the boys near it!) and a rather large garter snake we found nearby, I just had to snap a few photos. This one was my absolute fave.
Told you: work gear and all.
Had to set up the auto-timer for a group shot.
Solemn moments with the boys, but still adorable.
My aunt, walking with the boys.
I just can’t get enough of his eyes…
So, this might not be the greatest “photograph” in the world, but I had to share it. Tommy was just enthralled with my aunt’s camera. Wouldn’t put it down. Think he’ll follow in his Auntie Ann’s footsteps? Tee hee…
Natalie’s awake! (Don’t you just get lost in her eyes too?)
And finally… meet Pathic. His big sister’s name is Psycho. (Put it together. Go on. Yep. You’ve got it.) He was just the sweetest little thing. I put him down on the floor after snuggling with him a few minutes, and he came running back to my lap. He was the last to bid farewell to us that day.
I always look forward to seeing my family, however far apart the visits might be. And I do savor the moments I spend with my brother. Partly because, well, he’s my brother. And I kinda like him. 🙂 Partly because I see him only once a year on average. And partly because, how could you not LOVE spending a day with (and taking pictures of) these little munchkins?