Holidays are getting really hard for me.

I miss my family tremendously but even more so on holidays, today included. It doesn’t help that it’s been so dry out here that fireworks were cancelled, what’s the Fourth of July without fireworks? Kind of lame, that’s what. But then again there’s thousands of people who aren’t at home tonight because their homes are in danger of burning down from wildfires.

Somebody always has it worse.

Which is why I feel awfully ungrateful pouting about missing my family. At this very moment they’re finishing up a dinner of my dad’s perfect cheeseburgers, my step mom’s potato salad and a dozen other things that taste better when sitting around the table in my parent’s back yard. They’re filling giant bowls with cake and ice cream and moving their chairs to then end of the driveway where they’ll watch the neighbors set off fireworks and then watch the big fireworks show at the park through the trees. They’ll then stay up for another hour setting off more fireworks before heading off to bed in a sunscreen and smoke scented stupor.

That’s how I spent every Fourth (and pretty much every Sunday night, minus the fireworks) before moving to Indiana, six years later it’s still hard to forget.

When we were living around so many other students we would all get together since we were all far from home and it made being on our own a little less lonely. Now that we’re in a house and far away from where we started out in Indianapolis, we’re alone. I truly to enjoy being just the four of us, most of the time. But when holidays come around and our neighbors’ driveways and backyards are full of family, friends, and the smell of barbeque, I get sad. We spent the afternoon together at a park then went out to dinner, there was another family of four leaving the restaurant as we went in and I wanted to ask them if all of their family was far away too.

I have very good friends out here, but they all have their own family, their own traditions.

I realize we could start our own traditions, and that we should, but being together is really good enough for all of us.

The reality is that nothing we do out here will ever compare to being able to spend a holiday afternoon with our family in the places where we grew up, doing the same things we did as kids with our own.

At least not for me anyway.

Comments

  1. but zomg those thighs. look at those and you’ll forget the rest of the world exists!

    Casey Reply:

    @Bridget, Close. CLOSE.

  2. melissav says:

    I am in Indy too. Our family always goes to the fireworks downtown.

    Casey Reply:

    @melissav, Downtown is too much of a trek for us with this teething baby, our local fireworks were booted for safety reasons.

  3. I’m alone in Texas. And Texas is big, but it sure does feel extra huge when you’ve got no one. Everyday is hard when they are there and you are here.

    I pray about it every night that God will grant a miracle and my family can be reunited again. I want more than anything to have July 4th eating my mom’s potato salad, or Thanksgiving with my siblings. Duuude, I’d be happy just getting to have lunch with my dad every once in a while. But it hasn’t happened and it’s only made me bitter. (Pretty sure Jesus hates me.)

    I, too, have lots of friends but here I am laying in my bed crying and listening to my neighbors laughing as they shoot off their fireworks. I just feel terribly alone.

    Casey Reply:

    @Stefanie, Yeah. Pretty much.
    I get you.
    Texas is big.
    Jesus loves you. Swearsies.
    It will get better (double swearsies.)

  4. I feel ya. Our family is back in NY (while my BF and I live in CA,) and today my cousins posted a bunch of pictures from the family picnic. They all look like they had so much fun, and I haven’t seen them in over a year (flying 3,000 miles is SO expensive). But I always assume things will get better… I mean, they’ve simply GOT to, right?

    Casey Reply:

    @Cathy @ Savory Notes, Thankfully my family has no idea how Facebook works, but we do get to skype which helps a bit.

  5. I so totally get that feeling. We’re moving back to Texas in the heat of the summer to be closer to family. I hope y’all are reunited for at least a visit soon.

    Casey Reply:

    @Joules, I am visiting them with just Vivi next week, but all four of us haven’t been out there for over a year, if not more.

  6. oh, this makes my heart hurt. We are about five weeks away from moving to Florida – seven states away from my family and everything I’ve ever known. Most of the time, I’m excited about the adventure, but sometimes, these fears hit me right in the gut.
    Hugs to you! & thanks for sharing.

    Casey Reply:

    @Krista, 90% of the time I am so happy here, but the 10% is really obvious when it shows up. (And hopefully your family is down with coming to Florida, I AM.)

  7. I’m in the same boat. Sending hugs your way. xoxo

    Casey Reply:

    @Julia, Which is why I love the Internet.

  8. I know the feeling. When I got married we immediately moved 13 hours away from everyone. I haven’t seen my mom in over 2 years and I have a new nephew that I have never met. I haven’t found a group of people to call family here. Hopefully, soon I will.

    4th of July was hard for me yesterday as I missed my family, but at least we had fireworks.

    Casey Reply:

    @Rie, Oh yes! The babies! I’ve only seen my nephew once for three days after he was born. ACK!
    And yes, the no fireworks thing, it’s really weird.

  9. I feel you. We, too, are so far away from family that getting together on most holidays is just not an option. Luckily, when we moved to Indy, we met a great group of people in the same situation. we’ve become each other’s family. You should join us sometime. :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Alison, I would love to, my husband on the other hand has social, um, problems, so he would need some convincing.

    Alison Reply:

    @Casey, I get it, I struggle with that sometimes too… especially now that we have added a newborn into the mix. and this 100+degree weather? The couch and I have become bffs.

  10. This is exactly how I feel! I actually found the fourth (one of my very favorite holidays) easier to bear than some days because we do live in a place where a lot of our church friends are also far from home.

    But, Tate’s birthday? Don’t get me started. Even thinking about planning a party just made my heart hurt. Who would we invite? Why would any of our acquaintances want to watch our little guy toddle around and eat cake. We did it on our own, and I’ve never missed home so much.

    Casey Reply:

    @Madeline @ über chic for cheap, OH! Yes. It may sound selfish but I’m so thankful I had the entire Internet to share Vivi’s birthday with, I’m not sure I could have handled it without the constant support all day.
    *sob*

  11. big hugs to you, casey. my 4th of july traditions have changed a lot over the years. growing up, our church had an annual picnic with a good ole country store, ruben’s toy stand (his name & everything was under $2, but you saved up all year for the goodies), an ice cream booth, a water dunking booth, softball, watergun fights & a church dinner made by the ladies. my childhood was filled with wonderful memories there.
    it’s hard to create new “traditions.” a mom of one of my son’s friend from school invited us to their annual parade in their subdivision that they started when they moved in (being away from family). all the kiddos ride bikes or play music, the dad tells a story about our freedom & then there are icy pops for all. she said one year it was just her family that did it, but that the # changes from year to year. i thought that was a cute tradition to start!

    Casey Reply:

    @sara, I would love to, I need to quit not liking my neighbors so much. So many of them are…well, we have troubles with them. Hopefully next year will be better.

  12. Chrysta says:

    I guess after moving all over the country as a child and then marrying a soldier and continuing to move all over the WORLD, I’ve learned to find family wherever we go. Some places are harder than others, some assignments leave less time for friends. It does help that our actual family is so enormous and spread out that we tend to have at least SOMEONE within a day’s drive if we have the time to travel.

    Bottom line on this post, though? I don’t like when you feel lonely and sad. :(

    Casey Reply:

    @Chrysta, It just hasn’t happened where we are for several different reasons. A majority of the time? I’m fine, but when I’m not? I’m so not.

  13. Alaska is far away too – it’s too light in the evening to have fireworks. And my introvert husband doesn’t enjoy inviting friends over. We don’t have any specific traditions – but we always spend the day together. Yesterday it was a parade, lunch at olive garden, a hike in the beautiful mountains, followed by burgers and fresh watermelon. It was a great day, but didn’t feel like the 4th of July.

    Casey Reply:

    @Vickie, I’m familiar with this introvert husband you speak of…
    Yes, felt like the entire country had a much different day than me yesterday.

  14. Ugh! I feel ya, sister!
    From Ohio and now we’re in Texas. I can barely call on holidays b/c I know they’re all at Grandma’s eating her potato salad & laughing at Grandpa’s jokes.
    It will always be home & the place I want to be on holidays!

  15. I watched a fireworks display over the same park. Has that been four years? I miss Sugarhouse Park.

  16. Sunshine says:

    Oh, do I get this. I’ve been away from Pennsylvania for 10 years..and now that my mom is 60 I feel a strong need to get back. Soon.

  17. I don’t much care for fireworks, but I sure do love you.

  18. Jenn Bo says:

    Amen!

    Fortunately, I have a little bit of family in the area. Also, we live in an area with lots of transplants – so we are often invited to join other non-family group celebrations around holidays. But the “every Sunday” memory, those are what I miss creating with my daughter and her extended family.

    Last – Vivi’s photo is adorable. My daughter is a month younger and it is so fun to see the milestones reached by Vivi that my little one will learn soon (on her own schedule, of course!)

  19. I hear you. We used to spend weekends and holidays with family, but it seemed to stop when the womenfolk died. I don’t know, they just kept us all together. Now, my husband, baby & I live in Indpls, the rest of my family lives in CA, and husband’s parents live in northern Indiana. We’ve had to make our own little family from friends and create new traditions.

  20. My family and my inlaws are all in IL, so only 2-3 hours away so thankfully we get to see them regularly and on the big holidays, but this year we decided to stay here in Indy for the 4th and I felt the same way. It seems like everyone already has their family traditions going on and we didn’t have a thing to do. It’s always the minor holidays that get me. Labor day, Memorial day, 4th, etc… where we’d like to do something fun, but we don’t want to make a whole weekend of it with 3 kids 4 and under. So… next time you just message me and we can get together and our introvert husbands and sit next to each other and not talk while we become friends, because in a 6 degrees of kevin bacon kind of way we sorta almost know each other.

  21. July 5th marked six years living in Mexico for us. I totally get this post… To the core. It’s so hard. Doesn’t get easier. After having babies its a million times harder. Holidays are lonely for us too. We try to distract ourselves with a special outing or treat. But it’s still tough. Xoxo

  22. This was the first year since having the kids that I came home for the 4th and it was really great. Being able to sit outside my house and watch the 4th of July parade just like I did as a kid but with my kids was great. I mean I couldn’t even explain it. Its strange though how home feels so different now. And when I see my kids making memories places where I already have memories as a child has been surreal. My last post was all about this.

  23. Holidays are definitely the hardest part of living far from home. We were lucky enough to have family in town this 4th of July, but usually we are on our own. I don’t know if I can bear another Thanksgiving by ourselves – I might try to convince my husband that we need to go on vacation or something. If it doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving anyway, you might as well be in Florida or something!