Last weekend I visited Norfolk for my nephew's first birthday party. It had been almost a year since my last visit, and I still believe how quickly this year has flown. I arrived late on Thursday, and first order of business on Friday morning was a run to the Chesapeake Bay. My sister lives just a few miles from the beach, and I ran there Friday morning. It was one of those mornings where running was hard. I rocked 20 miles a few weeks ago, and yet four miles felt interminable. Despite the challenge I loved being at the beach and having the ocean breeze accompany one of my last taper runs of marathon training.
After my run I headed to my niece's school to join her for lunch. She's a student at St. Patrick Catholic School in Norfolk. The last time I was at St. Patrick's it was for the groundbreaking when I worked for the mayor. I wrote his speech and accompanied him to the event. It was one of many groundbreakings I attended during my job there, and I never occurred to me that eight years later I would be visiting my niece there. It is one of my favorite things about visiting Norfolk - seeing the realization of the community leaders' vision.
|Visiting my niece at St. Patrick's|
|Hey look kids! Light rail!|
On Saturday I once again ran to the bay, and this run was much easier. After I got back I ran a mile with my niece who is in the running club at her school. She told me she wants to run track and cross country when she gets older. There are fewer things that could make this aunt more proud.
My nephew's birthday party was Saturday afternoon. I'm so glad I made the trip to celebrate the little guy's big day. The hardest part about living so far away is missing all of the little moments with my family, and I make it a point to make as many of the big events as I can. There have been times in the nearly eight years that I've been gone that it's nearly unbearable to be away from my siblings and niece and nephew. That's why I cherish these visits. That's also probably why they feel like home.
|Celebrating one year with the world's cutest nephew|
|With my siblings at The Bistro|
|With my SIL at Streats|