The effort for this next picture was ridiculous.
Before I could get out of the car and up the stairs to our room, Jay was already out of his suit and tie with shorts, tee and putting on his slides. I pleaded for him to change back into his clothes with his reply "You never said anything about pictures" I retort, "didn't have a chance to even open my mouth before you went running to the closet." He dutifully(as a 12 year old boy would, including huffs and puffs) put his clothes back on and came out for pictures.
A few years ago, we had a similar picture with a few more cousins.
This year I was having a bit of a pity pregnant party assuming we would have no extended family with us to celebrate Easter. UNTIL Emily called earlier in the week and said "So what's the plan for Sunday? We are planning on coming to your house."
I am so glad she called and that Mom and Dad were able to come as well. We had a wonderful Easter dinner and enjoyable family conversation. And although some may think it a little ridiculous for my parents to drive 3.5 hours each way for dinner, I have always loved the fact that they know if you don't do it now you will miss out forever.
Early in our dating, My family was in Utah during the winter holidays. We decided to meet up with Jay to ski. With all the holiday reunions and activities we were super late meeting him on the hill. We got out our skis and realized we only had time for 2 runs before a family get together. We bought single run lift tickets (yep you can buy those) and then had to leave. Jay was left flabbergasted. Who goes skiing for 2 runs? We do....and we enjoyed those 2 runs. Unfortunately Jay had bought an all day pass and spent most of the day skiing by himself...
Another example of do it or lose it, was when I was in High School. My Senior year we had an opportunity to visit family in Europe. It conveniently became my Senior trip. We only had a short window of time over presidents day to take the 6 day trip which to some after travel etc, only leaves you with a few days, but I will never forget those few days. We were able to see and experience more than expected. I loved every minute.
From these short trips (and many many others) I have learned that a vacation/trip doesn't have to be weeks long hitting every attraction along the way. In fact I think it is better to leave wanting more and wanting to return. Our first vacation as a married couple was to Puerto Rico for almost 3 WEEKS. I swore I would never go back. 10 days in both Jay and I were ready to reschedule our flights and come home, but couldn't. 13 years later I might consider going back for a few days...
I know it is not convenient for Mom and Dad to travel. And I know it is not an easy environment for Mom, but I love to hear Jacob squeal "grandma and grandpa are here". I love to hear the girls visit with both grandma and grandpa, telling them of their books and showing them their lives in their home.
I am glad to have been taught to make the effort. The effects are far greater than the short frustration of making it work.