It’s hard to believe, but my husband’s youngest brother, who was 8 when we started dating, is now 19 years old. We spent Friday evening visiting and having pizza and cake, then spent the night at my mom’s house.

With Brandon back from DC and having recently finished his master’s, we had something of a celebratory lunch at my mom’s Saturday afternoon, where she made a few of my grandma’s staple recipes.

In general, it was a weekend with family, and Charlie got to see both of his cousins. We also discover that he thinks my mom’s dog playing is absolutely hilarious. We’ve been able to tickle a few deep belly laughs out of him before, but nothing like what watching a beagle chase a ball does, apparently. And baby laughs are infectious and addicting–you always want more.

And since he works for a local hospital system sort of out of a satellite office, he’s eligible for the COVID vaccine and had his first shot yesterday. He’s probably the closest person to us that’s gotten it, but we do have other friends and relatives who have. Research is indicating that vaccinated people can still carry the virus, but it doesn’t spread as easily. It does offer some peace of mind knowing that more and more people we know have gotten it, especially since we’re not likely to get it anytime soon.

I had a hair appointment on Sunday, and that was as far as Valentine’s Day plans went. I’ve been a longtime Valentine’s Day hater, and that hasn’t changed, so it was just a regular day in our house.

This weekend, we intend to stay put. As much as we’re comfortable with seeing our immediate families–and with my brother now partly vaccinated–we still think weekly visits carry too much of a risk for all of us, so we’re aiming to keep it to every other week.

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