Today, I am incredibly grateful for the "village" surrounding us.
We live in the middle of both sets of families. 30 minutes in any direction and our kids are surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. I feel so fortunate to be able to give them the gift of family. The bonds they are able to create will benefit them for the rest of their lives. They have such a strong support system, a loving foundation with relationships that they will always hold on to. For me, it is one of the most important things we can and do give our children.
After the most recent election, if it wasn't for the close proximity to family, I would have absolutely no problem moving out of California. The taxes are ridiculous, the cost of living is sky high and the traffic is getting more and more annoying each day. I'm sure we can find the same beauty anywhere else in the country for a lot less, but we would leave these people behind. And I could never do that. I could not imagine taking away Sunday dinners with grandma and grandpa (and several aunts and uncles) or weekly dinners with nana and papa (with aunts, uncles and cousins). It is beyond worth the payoff.
I also believe that because we have so many family members so close, it helps both girls create important relationships with family far away. They get to hear stories about far away relatives and get so super excited about visiting with them. And obviously, going back to yesterday's gratitude, facebook helps a lot with that too.
Near or far, I think I speak for the entire family when I say how grateful and thankful I am to have such amazing family surrounding, supporting and encouraging the health and well being of our little ones.