“I had the time of my life, fighting dragons with you.”
– Long Live, T-Swift (Duh)
This is a season of my life that is sparkling in its goodness.
I’ve just finished my second semester of grad school. I survived with the help of my cohort, otherwise known as my academic support system, partners in MBA crime and the best of drinking buddies. I started this program with the main goal of furthering my education, but in the process I’ve gained a second family. Graduation is a year from this August, and I know most of us will be a messy mixture of emotions when that time comes. It will be the most bittersweet of days.
With an entire week of freedom before summer classes start again, this is when I greedily binge on books, family moments and Netflix. I’m in the process of watching Mad Men for the first time and everyone can find me crying in a corner when I finish season 7. But I digress. This has also been a week for reflection, and I’m reflecting on the pure magic that has been the month of April.
Out of town best friends have visited, and the laughter and long talks are still lingering in my mind. There was one evening spent in a hotel room that quickly led to the kind of laughter that makes tears form and stomachs hurt. I’m so grateful to have people in my life that induce the happiest of crying and belly aches.
We also celebrated Bryn’s second birthday earlier this month. My talented, practicing photographer grandma snapped some family pictures pre-party. (I think I just made a tongue twister.)
I’m still constantly amazed by this little person that my favorite guy and I created together. Bryn is sassy and goofy and wildly independent and even more extroverted than I am. She’s this fierce little firecracker who sees the wonder in absolutely everything. I’m forever grateful that she calls me mom. And also that she sleeps until 9 every morning. You’re my bae, Brynlee Mae.
The ‘rents hosted Bryn’s party at their house, and it was a day to remember. My mom made her famous peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and my friend Amy drove out to the boondocks of Texas to spend the entire day with us. We drank mimosas and celebrated my cute kid whilst my sweet pal got to know the entire fam. By the end of the day, she was gossiping with my grandparents and trying to trap my brother in a closet. It’s safe to say she’s one of us now.
Speaking of ‘us’, a family girl’s trip to a gorgeous resort in the Texas Hill Country was another April gem. This trip wouldn’t have been complete without the usual Cirotto shenanigans. My cousin and I both suffered burn wounds from our attempts to light the outdoor fire pit. It attacked us, really. I lost some arm hair but heartfelt conversations around said fire made it more than worth it.
There was a hot tub and late night jumps into icy cold pool water, because my fam knows Tina simply can’t turn down a dare. There was also a lovely winery and tasty three course dinners, and stunning sunsets with the loveliest of company. And trying to teach Jackie how to take a selfie. And prank calling other members of our family at all hours of the night, because isn’t that what mature adults do at family gatherings? Let me not forget the last night at the resort, when my aunt, cousin and I attempted to scare my poor grandma in the next room. I thought I might die of laughter-stifling when Jackie started army crawling across the floor towards her mom’s- my grandma’s- bed. My cousin and I followed not-so-stealthily behind until we were discovered and yelled at to go to bed. More manic laughter ensued.
So much of who I am today is a result of all the ladies I grew up with. Woman power runs strong in my clan, y’all. I got really lucky, being born into this crazy, beautiful family of mine.
I can already tell that this is a time of my life that I’ll be wishing I could have back one day. While it’s here, I’m just doing the best I can to treasure every precious moment.