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we ended the trip with a little surprise birthday party for c. mom and i picked up decorations and a cake and set up while milton took him to see a few more sites downtown. my brother and sisnlaw and nephew came over and we grilled and ate watermelon and cake and a batch of the homemade grape soda ice cream i grew up on. i've talked it up to the boys for ages and ages and i don't think they were too disappointed when they finally had a bite for themselves. and after all those days of shy peeks and stand-offish curiosity, eli finally came 'round and decided c was his new best friend.

sometimes we think about moving to mississippi and what it would be like. trips like these make it seem like it'd be pretty ok. life is certainly a lot different than what we have where we are now and though i'm not so sure we'd miss columbia in general, but maybe just the quick access to certain places and things that aren't available in a smaller mississippi town. i spent so much of my youth wanting desperately to get away from that place that it's difficult to wrestle with the feelings of sometimes wanting to move back. one thing's for sure - i do miss my family something awful and leaving them each trip gets harder and harder.

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