I just returned from visiting family in California for the past week and a half. Had such a nice time! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to really appreciate family and the power that it has in our lives. I’ve always considered myself fortunate to have the family that I do, but it takes on a greater meaning when we age. Also, going through a profound loss can remind us of those things that we sometimes take for granted, and help us to remember to take the time to stay connected to our loved ones, even from a distance. Life happens so quickly, and we’re all pulled in so many different directions. It’s easy to forget to slow down and simply reach out and say hey. I so love my family, but I also really like them too!
I stayed several days with my cousin, Julie, and her daughter, Taryn, who just turned 14. My mother’s side of the family was very close when I was growing up, and Julie and I were inseparable. It was so nice just spending some quality time with her and my 2nd cousin. We celebrated Taryn’s birthday by taking her to Disneyland, and then with a family gathering the next day on her actual birthday. My other cousin, Julie’s brother, Greg, and his wife, Patty, hosted the party at their house. We swam and played bocce ball and just all caught up. It was the first family gathering since my mother’s passing and it was really special. It made us all think of my mom and how wonderful she was and how much she’s missed.
After my stay with Julie I went and had lunch with a dear friend of mine from LA, Tracey, and then saw my therapist, Kathy, in person. We do mostly phone sessions right now as she’s in Santa Monica, California, and I’m in NYC. Love both of these women! Spent that evening with my sistah’s Tim and Bob, who I just went to Paris and Amsterdam with. They are so wonderful and such dear friends. Had a blast.
Then I headed out to Palm Springs the next day to shoot with Rufskin. Going to do a social media promotion with them. The owners, Hubert and Douglas, are great guys, and I’ve been wearing their clothes for a while now, both in my personal life and when I’m performing. They’re brand is growing and it’s very well deserved! Love their clothes.
From there I headed down to San Clemente to stay with my closest brother in age, Devin, his wife, Denise, and their son, my nephew, Tyler. Devin and I share the same mother. Denise, Tyler, and I went down one day to the San Clemente pier and had lunch. So gorgeous down there, and it took me back to when I would go down there as a kid and try to surf! We took Tyler to a trampoline place afterwards, so he and his friends could bounce off some of that limitless energy kids have at that age (he’s 8).
Then I shot up to Irvine and had dinner with several friends of mine from high school whom I’ve stayed in touch with over the years. We were in drama and choir together, and periodically connect when we’re all in the same place. So great to have people in your life whom you’ve known for that many years. Crazy.
I stayed a couple more days with another brother of mine, Linden, his wife, Sandy, and their daughter, my little niece, Haley, who just turned 2. Linden and I share the same father. Oh my God is Haley cute, and she has completely captured my heart! I got her this stove/sink/oven play set with all sorts of sounds that she can generate when she turns and presses certain nobs and buttons. She was all over it! I love being an Uncle. I definitely have the daddy energy in me, and even though I haven’t fathered any children, I get to play dad for the moment when I’m with my nieces and nephews, especially the young ones. So much fun, and so great to bow out when they start acting up. They’re adorable, but so much work! Being a parent is a 24/7 job. You can’t turn your head for a second! They’re quick, curious, and single-minded. It’s a trip.
Well, now I’m back from vacay and back to the ol’ bump and grind… okay, get your minds out of the gutter y’all!