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Cold, Snow-Blowing, Extended-Family Joy


Kamel and I are so lucky to have people in our lives who are truly extended family as well as our closest friends. I am blown over every day at those who don’t just choose to love me, love my husband, but then also love my child. The people who travel for us during our big life moments, and little life moments, and who choose to share their lives with us and want to be included in ours.


That’s why we bundled up and took off to Chicago in January. I hadn’t been back in four years. FOUR YEARS! Time, how does it do that? I used to go every year, every other year, some times twice in 1 year!



And there are so many amazing people who I miss and would love to see while I’m in Chicago (and thankfully I did get to see and catch up with a fab group of ladies Thursday night!), but this time was about visiting Maris. One of my people! Who I miss terribly especially now living back at home without her.



One day I’m going to have the bulk of my people in one place. One day it will happen and the universe will shudder with a big sigh and everything will be as it should be.




But until then, we travel. We get bundled up and shield our faces against negative degree wind chills, blowing snow that feels like daggers. We throw snowballs at Kamel who is still fascinated by the frozen white fluffy stuff, we eat ridiculous amounts of food, we snuggle the baby, we watch as the people we love snuggle our baby and we love them even more for it.



We do the tourist stuff because the tourist stuff is ridiculous and amazing.



And even though home is never quite as good when your people aren’t all there, the traveling and the packing and the airports and the strange beds – they do make us appreciate sleeping at home.


Until we wake up and  go to work, or (in my case) start another day on my living room floor with the baby, and we remember our people are still not all here.


And we can’t help but start plotting the next time we can all be together again. Blowing snow and all.


  1. That picture of Maris and Gabe on the couch. Love love love!

    It was so fun to see you, Kamel (for reals) and meet baby G! Love your little family! :)

  2. Gabe is totally checking Maris’ assets :) Hehehehe

  3. How FUN!! The sleepy pics make me squeal. So dang cute. So much space taken up by such a little person, haha! Next stop….bay area for a certain Baby Shower, maybe!?! ;-) Xo!

  4. i wish you guys could come back RIGHT THIS SECOND! if anything, because carrying Gabe around is the most exercise my arms get, ever :)

  5. I KNEW IT! I saw that pic of you guys in the glass box and did a double-take. But the background didn’t look familiar so I was all like, “nah, that’s not Chicago…” ;-)

    • Next time we come I really want to come visit with you Grace!! And play date it up. :)

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Who the hell is she?


Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.