you hop on a plane so you can squeeze them and take selfies with the ring.
no but seriously, you change your plans, use some of your mom's travel points, and book a flight.
all after happy crying, jumping up and down, creating a new "sister" group text that includes your new sister-in-law to-be, and bumping the diamond ring emoji up to the top of your "frequently used" section.
but when you get to baltimore, you are welcomed by unsympathetic employees who tell you your second flight was forced to take off without you (due to bad weather) and hand you a new boarding pass for a flight the following afternoon.
you are told you can fly standby and try to get on an earlier flight in the morning. you are told you can call a number and get a discounted rate on a hotel room, if you want one. you are told you have no other options.
you are told "the benches are pretty cushiony."
you ugly cry on the phone with your mom, unable to pull it together, until the man at the counter calls you over and you're handed a voucher for a hotel.
you sleep only a few hours and take an early shuttle back to the airport, hoping to get on the earlier flight.
you don't get on the earlier flight.
you buy toothpaste and brush your teeth in an airport bathroom.
you finally, finally get on your flight and land in connecticut, where your brother and his finacèe (and her ring) pick you up from the airport.
you make it in time to go out with old friends for new year's eve.
you take almost no pictures the entire night.
you wake up the next morning and drive 45 minutes to attend a first birthday party for a sweet little girl you haven't yet met outside the womb.
you become instant friends.
you get to hang out with her mama.
and her auntie.
and snuggle her seven week old cousin, who even in his sleep thinks you're cool.
you also get to catch up with a friend who, in the time since you've moved, has gotten married and moved to texas.
later, you finally have some down time to hang out with your people.
you hold both of their hands and relish the time you get to spend sandwiched between them.
you also lay on your pull-out bed and watch the video of them getting engaged. in hd, J will emphasize.
the next day, you stop at starbucks before getting manicures and have your tall peppermint mocha snatched up by susan, who wasn't paying attention and grabbed a drink that was four ounces less than the one she paid for.
you become susan for the day, as you sip on her grande peppermint mocha, and tell anyone who doesn't ask that they can just call you suz.
you get your nails done and take maybe the most appropriate photo of your entire friendship, with a background consisting of a wall of nail polish.
next, you meet your aunt and great aunt for lunch.
and then you shop at tj maxx and take pictures in mirrors that make you look really tall, and really short.
you stop for coffee and a donut before your aunt has to drive back home, and you end up taking a selfie in which she is unintentionally (and hilariously) modeling a donut.
back at home, you try (and fail) to have a selflie photo shoot with your best friend and the ring that promises to connect you two as actual sisters.
you finally get one you like.
you post the photo to instagram with a caption expressing your excitement about getting her for a sister, but can't help but feeling like those words don't hold the weight of how you actually feel.
you play the new records your sister bought at the record store, have fun with the album covers, and end up singing "i got you, babe" to each other.
you can't help but think about how funny it is that you're singing that song, but she and your brother are the ones who finish all their sentences to each other with "babe."
you cuddle on the pull-out couch with your sister and sister-in-law to-be, J in the chair next to you, and watch a movie with an ending that is not the one you wanted to see happen.
you cuddle with achilles for as long as he's willing, before he gets bored and jumps down.
the next day, you visit with your cousin and her family and forget to take a photo documenting the time you got to spend with them.
later, you make up for it by having a photo shoot with basically the only people you'd ever willingly go back to connecticut in the middle of winter for.
you all pile into J's two-door car before you have to go to the airport and take a drive past the apartment he'll be living in come mid-january.
you take selfies because that is what they do, and you're an honorary squad member for the weekend.