This past weekend, I took Oliver to Portsmouth, Ohio to visit my sister and her family. Krista graduated with (another) degree with honors. She is so smart and super creative, and I am of course so proud of her. She does so much, especially for other people, so it was lovely to be able to celebrate her! Her oldest son Charlie shared his ninth birthday with the event, plus my mom closed on her new house and is moving into a much healthier, more joyful time, so we had much to celebrate.
I took plenty of pictures of my sister’s house, which is so quirky and artful and colorful! It’s funny how differently we decorate, but I also see the similarities: lots of plants and art and plenty of books! My sister’s use of bright, cheerful colors in her home is inspiring for a neutrals-lover like me. I took note and have some ideas…
I love the old found stoplight in the living room! The couch is the perfect shade of purple and quite comfortable (I finished my latest book, Lilly King’s Euphoria right there) and my brother-in-law Eric’s record collection is epic. They both have the best taste in music (I hope to obtain “Krista’s Top 100” at some point in the near future).
The above painting is one my mother did a long, long time ago. She finds it embarrassing; I absolutely adore it.
Oliver was such a pleasure on the trip and really enjoyed one-on-one time with me on the plane and car ride over. He was very chatty and more hilarious than usual. I will cherish the memory of him taking my hand gently on the plane ride over, kissing it, and saying, “Thank you so much for bringing me on this trip, Mama.” Melt my heart.
Friday was a lot of fun. The cousins instantly picked up where they left off, enjoying a squirt gun fight while Krista knocked my socks off with her fish taco recipe (which I will share on Thursday). Seriously, life-changing!
Uncle Roger came in from Baltimore and kept us all on the edge of our seats. Such a funny, interesting man! Not a dull moment with that one!
We spent Saturday afternoon and evening at a cabin in Shawnee State Forest. It was beautiful and such a blast! My brother Jon came in from Dayton to join us, and a bunch of Krista and Eric’s friends joined us later. We grilled out, ate birthday cake and watched Charlie open presents, and went swimming before Oliver and I crashed pretty early that night. My mom and I squeezed into a bed together and it was so cute waking up next to her on Mother’s Day!
On Sunday morning we drove back into town and checked out different parts of Portsmouth. There are some really beautiful parts of town with big, old trees and lovely old homes, and Shawnee State University is becoming more and more beautiful every year. Eric and Krista took us down to the river to walk the amazing murals (my pictures didn’t do it justice so I left them out, but if you’re ever in that neck of the woods, it’s worth checking out). I also found the old run-down buildings in the downtown area really beautiful in their own way (above). There’s a lot of history there.
Oliver sat on the wall by the murals for a couple of minutes to watch an enormous barge traveling down the river. He was talking about it the whole way back.
It was such a good trip for my family. We seem to all be entering a positive stage in our lives, and growing and sharing those experiences together just really tugs at my heart. Plus, the amount of laughing I do around this one…
My sides are still hurting, no joke.
Thank you, Krista, Eric, Mom, Jon, and Roger for making our trip just dynamite!
P.s. — Check back later today for my latest book recommendation (I promise it’s not a murder mystery!).