After Jack was born, one of our best friends sent him the most perfect gift. Collectively, Jeff and I have practically known her for all of our lives. Jeff and his friends used to chase after her in jr. high. I’ve known Kelly for 22 years and have remained close friends throughout every phase of life. So, leave it to her to find the perfect baby gift for us. In line with all Kind of a big dealthose shirts with catchy sayings, Kelly got Jack a onesie that reads, I’m Kind of a Big Deal. If you’ve seen Anchorman, you must know that Jack is our very own Ron Burgundy. I mean, minus the mustache and dog. I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. I’m very important.

That onesie pretty much summed up our whole weekend.

For his first trip to Va., Jack was Mr. Popularity. I’m not saying this because Jack’s my kid, I say this because that’s what it felt like this weekend! Since Jeff was a groomsman in Joe’s wedding and I had a last minute assignment out in Newport News, time was really tight in between visits with our families. Though we only ate one Thanksgiving dinner this year, it didn’t feel much like years past, especially since it was in the 70s and we had to have the AC on! Sadly, we only had the chance to see a small handful of friends. And only a few friends got to actually meet Jack since we had so much running around.

In between the turkey and snacks, Jack met the rest of the family that he hadn’t met, including Lola Tess, Uncle Jeff, UncleMichael and Jack Mark and his cousins Michael and Ashley. Michael, one of Jack’s biggest fans, was definitely one of the most excited to meet the big guy. Michael has dubbed Jack as his “little brother” and promises to teach him to love books and baseball.

Jack was pretty fussy at the beginning of the trip– I’m sure it was because of over-stimulation and not being familiar with all the attention from family down in Va. At only 2 months, he’s used to the simplicity of our little home and the loudness of his city surroundings. By the end, Jack was “talking” his little head off and causing my dad to speak in tongues. (Jeff’s description of my dad baby talking with Jack.)Lolo speaking in tongues to Jack

For the most part, Jack was a gracious passenger and didn’t have too many tantrums on our 350 mile trek to Va. and back to NJ. He slept a majority of the way and talked to his little birdie toys. Jack, however, is a heavy traveler, or rather, his mommy and daddy packed quite a bit for him! It’s amazing how much stuff an infant requires, not to mention how many outfit changes he goes through!

By the end of the trip, as much as we love our families, Jeff and I aren’t used to the constant time with family anymore. As much as we loved seeing everyone, it started to make our heads spin by the end. When you mix a new baby in with the usual dysfunction on my side, things got quite interesting.

BFFsall the kidsJack and cookie monstergobble gobbleBritney and the boyjack's luggage

We learned quite a few things on our trip home: how much Jack is loved by all of his family, just how much we appreciate our little family here in NJ and even though Va. will always be home for Jeff and me, NJ is where Jack calls home.  But most importantly, what a lucky baby Jacky is to have such a dedicated fan club already.

In between all the hugs and kisses that Jack got, it was pretty humbling to share our baby with family, have him soften their hearts and then pack up and leave once the weekend was over. When it was just Jeff and me, it got harder and harder to say goodbye after every trip. Now that we have Jack, I can’t even explain how heavy our hearts were on Sunday night. When I left Va. almost 8 years ago to pursue my career, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Now that I’m a mother living away from where I grew up, it’s a hard pill to swallow knowing my kid lives far from his parents’ family and friends. And then I look back, knowing that both sets of parents did the same thing and left their homes many years ago to pursue different opportunities and went on to create great homes for our families. It gives me a sense of relief that everything turned out just fine. Just like our parents did for us, Jeff and I know our main focal point is to provide a privileged life for our son… and for us, that just happens to be in NJ.

For friends and family back home, it’s our plan to visit often and for Jack to learn to love our home just as much as we do. Ultimately, we will stay “close,” even if it means sharing our must mundane details online for the whole world to see 🙂

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