Monday, June 24, 2019

Fear of Missing Out: Family Edition

Our whirlwind weekend road trips are becoming our thing. Chuck and I just returned from a three day trip in Virginia. My sweetheart helps me optimize our time with my family by driving all night long to arrive early enough on a Friday to spend the whole day at our destination, and driving all night back home so we can squeeze every possible moment out of our Sunday. 

I drove about 10 hours on our way to Virginia, supplementing my non-stop snacking with coffee and Pepsi, just trying to stay awake while at the wheel. Whenever it was my time to rest, I would lie back momentarily, and then I would just sit up, and talk Chuck's ear off, because I was too excited to sleep. 

After fourteen hours in the car, Chuck and I met my brother Danny at the Waffle House in Waynesboro, Virginia at seven in the morning. That is Chuck's all-time favorite breakfast spot. Danny and I jokingly call it Awful House, but we both enjoyed our time together while we ate with Chuck. 

Then we got back in the car to drive to Mom and Richard's. Mom kept saying, "You need to take a nap; I can see it in your eyes." 

"No-ooo. I don't want to miss a thing while I'm here. I'll sleep when I get back to Illinois." 

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out is a real thing when I visit my family. I force myself to stay awake as long as I can, just so I can take advantage of every moment we have together. 

Tuscatube, LLC, Waynesboro, VA

While Chuck caught up on sleep, Mom, Richard, and I went to Tuscatube to visit my brother Danny at his business. Wow. He is doing so well; I know Daddy would have been so very proud of his boy who is an international businessman. We toured Danny's shop, and saw his ovens that can burn off paint and debris off of large iron items. It was fun to meet his work crew, and see our niece Michaela while we were there. 

Mom treated us to a fun dinner at Golden Corral with my sister Kathy's family. There was so much good-natured teasing and laughter while we were together. Chuck was in heaven; two of his favorite restaurants in one day!

After dinner, we headed down Afton Mountain to visit Jackie and Natalie in Amherst for the rest of the weekend. Even though I'd only slept about three hours the night before, we girls stayed up until 11:30, talking and laughing until we had to admit we were too tired to keep going.

Jackie and I enjoyed the cool breeze on the screened-in porch, sipping our hot tea and coffee, while we talked quietly, until Chuck and Natalie joined us for breakfast. 

A caricature of Daddy.

Danny and Becky came to Amherst for supper. After we ate, we went through boxes of Daddy's mementos. We reminisced about some of our favorite memories, and we learned new things as we looked through the papers and photos Dad had saved during his lifetime. 

There may have been many yawns coming from my corner of the room, but I couldn't bear to leave the group's conversation and laughter, so I just hung in there as long as I could. 

Sunday, we went to Jackie's church in Clifford, and stayed afterwards to take photos for the congregation's reception during coffee hour. I love old churches with their stained glass windows, and it was nice to see some of Jackie's dearest friends. 

Bennett & Lynn

Having four brothers, four sisters, and two moms spreads me pretty thin when it comes to visiting my family, but no trip to Virginia is complete without a visit to my friends Lynn and Bennett. They have been two of my dearest friends most of my life, and it thrills me to see my friends so happily married. 

We sat on the front porch, enjoying a sweet breeze and ice-cold drinks. The conversation flowed easily, as we caught up on each other's lives, and reminisced together. The beagles and old Labrador enjoyed the extra attention from the visiting dog lovers. 

My favorite place to sit and visit.

When Chuck and I finally said our goodbyes, I offered to drive first. It's a good thing I did; I only made it a couple of hours, and then Chuck had to take over. I drove another couple of hours after midnight to give Chuck a break. Then I just crashed in the passenger seat for the rest of our trip home. Chuck was such a trouper, listening to his book on Audible, and cheerfully did the lion's share of driving last night. 

As soon as we got home, I started laundry, and then set myself at the computer to revisit the memories we made in Virginia. Scattered throughout this post are some of my favorite shots from the weekend. I'll treasure the memories of these smiles and the laughter for months to come. 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Smiling with Pride

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and Pride Parade participants

The Aurora Pride Parade in Illinois was today. My husband and I had the privilege of witnessing so much love and happiness as we photographed the beautiful people there. The positive energy was contagious, and even though it was very warm and muggy, I hardly noticed the weather. 


There were so many mamas wearing their "Free Mom Hugs" t-shirts, and dads wearing corresponding "Dads Hug, Too" shirts. There were couples, families, politicians, churches, and businesses marching to show their love and support. 

This was my first Pride parade, and I completely underestimated how well-attended the event would be. We had to walk quite a distance from the place we finally parked our car. The sidewalks were packed with people, and the streets were full of parade participants. 

Chicago Pride Guard

Everyone we met was happy to pose for the camera. When Chuck asked the Chicago Pride Guard if they would perform for us while they were waiting their turn to march, they obliged us with an energetic, and well-executed routine!

By the time the parade was over, my cheeks actually hurt from smiling so much. I can't wait until next year. I'm going to have to get me one of those "Free Mom Hugs" shirts. If you know me, you know I'm a hugger. Right now, I'm still smiling, thinking about all of the smiles we captured with our cameras.  

Here are some of my favorite images from today. My husband and I will be posting all of our edited photos to our Facebook page soon. Look for Bennorth Images to see if your photo is there!

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