How do I even begin  to recap the few weeks in Pennsylvania? I feel lost for words (even though I could talk for hours about it if you’d only listen! :)), and am afraid to even start listing all the wonderful people I saw, and met, and spent time with, for fear of leaving someone out!

In the almost-6 years since moving away, this trip back “home” was the best one ever. The no-work for Ben was really a huge blessing in disguise, because otherwise we never would have been able to spend almost 3 weeks reconnecting with friends and family! I left with a happy smile on my heart, the warm memories of time spent with precious people… Sadly, I have few pictures of my time up north. What I do have is mostly of my children, and I now regret not carrying my camera with me everywhere, as I often do!

An incomplete list of lovely persons seen…

… My dear family, whom we stayed with. And we also got to be in on the exciting new beginnings of my sister, Jana and Anthony! :)

… Ben’s two sisters and brother, and two beautiful little cousins, Josephine and Mariana! Mary Jo gave a darling little tea party for the four girls one morning, and the girls were all waltzing around like princesses! It was so cute!

… a morning with my good friend, Rebekah, and our 6 children!

… THE Thelma Musser, of fruitloops115!! A very fun playdate for the kids, and a very lovely time with her and other old and new friends! And I even got to see her house, which is even MORE amazing than her amazing before/after pictures! That was such a treat to be with you, Thelma! Thank you!

… an incredibly delicious dinner, and even more wonderful time spent together with Shelly… a very dear friend of mine!

… lunch spent together at Aliza’s beautiful bed & breakfast, along with my dear friend Ruth. 6 years ago the three of us met monthly for Bible Studies and there were no children present. Okay, take that back. Aliza was with child, but no children out of the womb! On this lunch date, between the three of us, there were seven children present. And we’re not finished having kids yet. ;)

… then there was Barnes & Noble with my brother David, and Prince Street Cafe and Rachel’s Creperie with my mom and sisters, and a double date with mom & dad, and Goodwill shopping with mom, and a date with just Ben, and a visit to Jen Smucker’s lovely Pottery Barn-style home, time spent with Grandma…

… and I was invited by sweet Janelle to a most amazing spring luncheon, hosted by Jeane’, and lovely Rachel was present as well!  Fan Smucker, a mother of four, who has “gone before us” on this mothering journey, spoke to the 11 women present about being a wife and mother. This was pampering and inspiration that spoke to me in the very depths of my soul! I have rarely had the opportunity to be in the presence of an older (not meaning ‘old’!) woman IN PERSON who is encouraging and inspiring younger women. Online, yes, and that is a huge encouragement as well. But there is something about being in the presence of a godly older woman, and in the presence of other young mothers, who are nothing but life-giving!

… and I’m realizing how many of my friends blog, after linking them here! Such a great way to keep in touch with people so far away!

… and I said that was an incomplete list, because it is. :)

My soul was nourished by the time I spent with all those dear people! My 2.5 weeks were packed with relational joys, and I feel like an incredibly, incredibly blessed woman to have spent time with so many wonderful people!