Since my sister in law and her family moved to California shortly after my oldest niece was born, I've missed many birthdays, both my niece's and nephew's. I know that soon they'll both be too old to have any interest in having their boring old aunt crash their birthday party, so I've talked about making a birthday trip for years. This year, with no major plans late in the summer, Andy and I were finally able to make it down to California to attend our niece's 5th birthday party. As a happily childless adult, a 5th birthday party was an overwhelming occasion, although my sister-in-law's genius plan to rent a bounce house for the party kept most of the craziness contained. Happily, our visit was long enough that we also had time to just enjoy relaxing with family. As always, the trip made me dream of the future, when their family will be back in Washington and we can spend time together whenever we want!