Those people, up there, in that photo? They're my family: my mom, dad and younger brother (who just graduated from college and is not supposed to be grown up yet if you ask me! Where does the time go?). They're some of my favorite people - the ones I go to with my big questions, the ones I seek advice from and want to have fun with. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I shouldn't want to hang out with them quite as much as I do, but I just can't help it. They're fun, what can I say?!
This post, however, is really about someone who didn't quite make the cut on getting into that photo (okay, it's only because he had to be a responsible, working adult while I ran off to New York City for three days to watch a graduation ceremony. Otherwise he'd be right there in the middle of it all!), my husband.
I really like my husband. He's smart and funny and up for having random adventures and is far and away the best friend I've ever had. But one of the best parts about him? He loves my family.
I'm learning that most people will admit that in-law relationships can be challenging, especially in a world where we tend to live hundreds of miles from the people we grew up with and have to do things like alternate which state we spend Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July in, but they can also be incredibly fulfilling. And I think I've gotten to see exactly how that can play out in both my husband's family and my own.
It's so much fun to see how Shayne and my family interact, whether it be a random phone conversation with my brother where they'll spend a half hour only talking about fantasy baseball (that's love, I tell you) or dinner with my parents, laughing and chatting and investing in each other's lives. I love that I get to see how much my husband cares about my family, the people who are important to me, on a regular basis - and I love that I get to see how much they care about him in return.
In fact, one of my favorite memories of the past almost-year was a conversation with my Dad where he simply said how proud he is to have Shayne as a son-in-law.
There is probably nothing in the world that could have made me happier at that moment. And it's even better knowing that the feeling goes both ways.