We had a smashing weekend celebrating our niece Caroline’s fifth birthday. I was out of town for her birthday last year, and the difference between the third birthday and the fifth is striking. On her third, it still felt like a party for a baby, but this was a little girl’s birthday and it was a ton of fun. Surprising her with balloons and flowers and cookie cake and presents she really gets into is supremely gratifying. The biggest hit present-wise was a karaoke machine and Disney Princess karaoke CDs. The microphones hardly got a break all weekend, with back-to-back Colors of the Wind and Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo. Watch your back, Carrie Underwood.

The best part is being with family all weekend. Along with Mike, my parents and brother are my favorite people in the world, and I am seriously fortunate to also have some incredible in-law family. We have lots of fun together, and it’s always so relaxing and fulfilling to spend time with people you love and who love you. I know how lucky I am to have two families to love and be loved by.