Background: The Crowe family lives on the San Juan Islands in the most Northwest region of the States. My family used to camp there every summer, and when my grandparents lived in Washington, I’d see them a few more times than just Christmas. However, now that we’re all getting older and meeting together only happens once a year in December, it gets tough!
I have said before, family is the BEST gift I could ask for. I know what it’s like for family not to care, spend time with you, and ignore you, so I’ve made it my mission to be a part of my cousins’, Hailey and Bjerre, lives. Hailey is now a whopping 15-year-old and Bjerre is a 4-year-old turning 15 :)
Hails, or more affectionately known as Booger, and I try to stay in touch as much as possible. Facebook, phone calls, texting, you name it! She’s called me when friends are evil to her, she confides in me about her dreams, among other things. I know she looks up to me, which gives me that much more pride and joy to be there for her....and let’s face it, keep myself in line!
|"Trees aren't supposed to be hot..."|
I’ve been telling her I’ve wanted to steal her for ages. Every December we “plan” it out, but this last one, I asked the head honcho, my wonderful aunt, Lisa! I asked her if I flew Booger down to Phoenix, could I actually steal her for a weekend? I was SUPER stoked when she said yes! The first thing I told Hailey was that I’d introduce her to sushi. She thought I was kidding.
Well, time flew and it was almost surreal that Booger was actually here! If we counted the number of messages between December and July, there wouldn’t be enough fingers and toes in the country to count them. I’m pretty sure we were more excited than a child on Christmas morning!
While she was here, I introduced her to tons of things. New foods, new places, new lots of things. The day before she got here though, she was extremely adamant about ZERO sushi. It made me chuckle. Yet, when she was here, she was all about new things and came to trust my judgment on what I was introducing her to that once she tried sushi, she wanted more!
|Crazy Monkey Roll at Ra!|
|Our two movies :)|
We shopped, we played in the water, we saw movies both in 3D and in recliner chairs at iPic. We went to JumpStreet (room full of trampolines) and took silly photos at an outdoor mall. Best of all, we had some of the most amazing conversations! I was astonished that when I’d listen, she sounded like a friend of mine in her 20s, but I knew she was only speaking with 15 years of experience.
Spending time with Hails reminded me how much I missed her and how much I wish I could see her even more often. I was so impressed by how incredibly strong, tough and savvy she is at 15. She’s dealt with tough friends and such, but through it, she found her calling in horses. Without horses, she’d be lost. It would have been so easy for her to find the wrong path, the wrong friends and make every wrong decision. Yet, she put all of her eggs in one basket knowing it would keep her happy, safe, and smart.
|Silly photo session|
I sit here crying (pull it together Britni!) because I’m so happy I have some of the most intelligent, inspiring, and straight up fabulous family members many people dream of. The thing is, if you don’t stop to realize the small things, you’re probably missing out on life’s gems. To me, those are the most precious, meaningful, and most tangible means to happiness.
Look to the people you surround yourself with, but look to the people who mean the most to you too. What is it about them that makes you yearn to be around them? For me, it’s two things. Selfishly, I love my family and I want them in my life as much as possible. But most importantly, it’s because we all have something to learn from one another.
Don’t ever forget that.
Boldly challenging status quo.