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I'm frequently asked how often I go to the east coast to visit family. The answer is simple: certainly not enough. With the long flights (9 hours if you're lucky), expensive airline costs, business scheduling and two pups, Marshall and I never ever get the opportunity to see family together. Like, ever. Despite the fact that in Virginia the majority of our family members live only 30 minutes between each other! So when Marshall had plans to stop in Appomattox between, you guessed it, softball tournaments, I made a last minute decision to pack up and shell out, venturing to Buckingham for some long overdue quality time.

It had been over a year since my last trip. A FREAKING YEAR! I won't lie, while the lack of wifi (seriously Buckingham, GET WITH THE TIMES!) and 'business guilt' tried to weigh me down (tips on how to shake this appreciated), it was absolutely well worth it. Hearing my nieces who hopped in my lap, twirling my jewelry proclaim "last time I saw you your hair was black...." was a real wake up call. I brought Korean character masks to treat the girls and my Mom and I made a day trip out of Ikea. Marshall and I even got to spend the day with my Dad, his girlfriend Lucy and Izzie, our once 3rd pup who now lives the good life in the lap of my retired father. Kristi, Marshall's mom cooked up a delicious meal (complete with my brother in-law's famous crab legs!) and hosted both our families under Laura's pavilion. We dined till we couldn't possibly eat anymore then topped it off with lime sorbet. We shopped. We laughed. We ate endless bags of Jenna's kettle korn. The kids hopped in and out of the pool a hundred times. Carolina showed me her karate moves and June got into my make-up bag. We basked in the unlimited a.c. and just as the last bit of light escaped the sky, I wandered outside, reveling in the shimmering flight of the lightening bugs. We hugged and we loved, and we vowed to return more often, together.