charlotte | because life is short.

five days after flying home from connecticut, i hopped in the car and drove to charlotte.

not because i missed my family––i'd literally just seen them for an entire week, but because T and lee moved into their new house, and i just didn't feel like waiting another month to see it. much like that time i went to charlotte for less than 48 hours when luca learned how to give high fives, life was happening and i wanted to be part of it (and also i happened to have extra time off work).

i've been listening to that new switchfoot song, "live it well," a lot recently and each time it feels like, YES. THIS. because i think life is less about YOLO and living it up and more about trying your best to live well, because you only have one shot at it.

sometimes, that looks like spending the weekend unpacking boxes, and shopping at babies r us and buy buy baby and ikea, and letting your nephew dump out all the toy bins in his play room. because he has a play room.

i've since been informed that pop's rule is that luca can't dump out another bin until he cleans up his first one. to which i replied, what are aunties for if not for letting him dump out all the bins at once?

on friday, i watched luca while T got some work done. on the one hand, it was a bummer that she had to work an extra day that week. on the other hand, i soaked up all the luca time i could get.

it didn't occur to me until like three days after i got home that this was the last time i'd visit where it would be JUST luca. i don't know why i didn't think about it before, but it makes me extra glad i went, and extra glad for the one-on-one time.

this dinosaur costume is a favorite of his. he likes to wear it and roar and chase you. "run away!" he'll tell you.

on saturday, we did all the baby-prep things. shopping, room rearranging, pack-n-play building. as an aunt, and also a nanny, i found the whole thing to be quite enjoyable. i could talk to you for hours about bottle and pacifier and stroller preferences. i think it's a mix between being super into baby things, having babysat so much and using lots of different brands and products, and having a sister who is pregnant.

whatever it is, i can't wait until i'm a mom and think, HAHA remember how easy it was when i didn't have to make all these decisions myself?

luca and i made sure to check out all the bed situations. can you imagine sleeping in a pirate ship? can you imagine trying to get your kid to sleep in a pirate ship?

on sunday, we had brunch at my parents' house.

where i made the pancakes and T and lee got to have three other people entertain luca while they napped on the couch.

kidding. neither of them were actually sleeping, but they look cozy like they could be.

later, luca and i had a bit of play time before his nap, and before i left.

we put this puzzle together, and it turns out, he's never actually sat and participated in this kind of activity before. which i sort of knew, because he was always pulling out this spiderman puzzle, that is the hardest of all the puzzles he has (but, spiderman), and he would have me put it together while he remained interested for .3 seconds before he started playing with other toys. but it's been a while since we've attempted a puzzle together.

maybe it's because this one was a cars puzzle, and much smaller. maybe it's because he's older and more focused. maybe it's because i had a few pieces put together to get him started. whatever it was, he stuck with it and put together like 90% of the puzzle by himself. telling me where each piece should go AND putting it together.

i couldn't have asked for a better way to end my trip. the first one i took to their new house, and the last one i'd take while they were still a family of three.