My sister-in-law left this morning and I was so sad to see her go. It’s been great to have her and Emma here for the last few days and get so much one on one time. Jennifer is a great conversationalist and I feel like I am really able to talk to her and speak my mind without any fear of judgment. She has a lot of complex thoughts that I would like to say she enjoyed getting out of her own head for a little bit. She fit right in here with everyone at the housewarming party last night and I was so glad she was able to stay for an extra day to be a part of that and Elle’s “birthday party.”

Jennifer brought up so many interesting topics that I am excited to think about and get my thoughts out here on paper just to reflect on them further.

I am continually reminded here that despite the fact we live considerably further away from everyone in our family, when they come to visit the quality of time we get is SO MUCH greater than anything we ever got back in NE or Kansas. It is so easy to take each other for granted when you’re so close together. Jennifer and I have never had the chance to just spend 4 straight days together doing random things and trying not to lose our minds with two toddlers (she does much, much better than me – could be because she had twins or could be because she’s just substantially more patient. I am guessing the latter). In what situation would we ever have that come up? I can’t think of any that we’ve been presented with in the past 6.5 years.

This type of quality time is also always a good lesson for me and my notions about people. I have characteristically always thought that my in-laws are such good people (don’t take this the wrong way – keep reading). They’re not quick to anger. They never appear phased by anything. They don’t seem stressed out. It’s like their kids don’t drive them crazy sometimes and I am over here in a perpetual state of stress, I don’t hold my tongue well, I need to practice my patience level with people and I am direct in a way that none of them are. It’s something (for me) to aspire to be on a similar level. Sometimes I feel alone in a lot of these thoughts. However, I am reminded in these moments that there is so, so much more to people than I see on the surface level and we just have to work harder to build that connection. Jennifer shared some things with me that she was insecure about and I was dumbfounded almost that strong, independent, super mom Jennifer was ever insecure about anything. She has always APPEARED to have everything together (and I’m not saying she doesn’t). She has a great life, an amazing one, but that doesn’t mean she is impervious to her own feelings of insecurities or frustrations. In many cases, it was like staring back at myself and my own thoughts and realizing I am not the only person in the world who worries about those same exact things. It’s a great reminder that we’re all just trying to survive sometimes and nobody has escaped those types of thoughts, insecurities, judgments – you name it. We’re all doing the same thing, we just present it differently.

And so we’re clear – I still think my in-laws are better people than me. I just learned that we probably have a lot more in common than I actually realize.

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