We have spent this week visiting family in “Vree-gin-ee-ya,” cuddling the newest nephew. It has been quite a visit, one we’ll be talking about for quite a while to come. Here are my top seven reasons to “vacation” in Virginia:

Trying new recipes for an appreciative crowd. When I told my brother I would cook while I was here, I had no idea that I was setting myself up for success. Of course, it’s no secret that Saving Dinner saves the day for me all the time. But being told that I’m an awesome cook is a temptation, let me tell you. My pride just inflates and I start to believe it. 😉

Baby feet. Nestled in blankets, admired by little girls, snuggled in the car seat. I just can’t get enough. I’m enjoying them and savoring them and snapping pictures and pictures of them.

Pool time. That pool in my brother’s back yard is awesome. The weather’s cooler than normal, from what I understand, but we’ve made good use of it. It seems that every time I turn around, my four-year-old is asking to go swimming.

Friends near enough to visit. Today I’m going to visit with a dear, dear friend. She’s going quite a bit out of her way, offering me hospitality, and cooking for us. Well, that’s no surprise. She’s The Saint, after all. I’m excited, lemme tell ya.

A mom’s work may never be done, but changing it is good for her mental health sometimes. I was hesitant to take this week “off” from my summer work of writing and sabbatical-ing. It felt extravagant. It seemed unnecessary. It was a bit of a risk. But I’m so glad I did, giving myself permission to not doing any serious writing, to enjoy my family, to help in the little ways I can.

My girls with their boy. I’m not sure how, exactly, my girls are such baby people. They didn’t get it from me, though I’m finding myself a Baby Person with this baby. I snuggle him and soothe him and snatch him away from those others who get to admire him everyday. And then I take more pictures of his feet as I admit that my four-year-old should, in fact, have a chance to hold him. I wonder if the toddler thinks his name is Careful?

The consequent sugar high. Grandma-who-lives-with-Uncle-Sailor (which is what we call her, though it is cumbersome) works at a candy store. Need I say more?

The official Quick Takes round-up can be found at Conversion Diary, hosted by the lovely Jen.