It isn't fair to compare my family to my husbands family.
For starters, mine is larger and 3 of my 4 siblings live within 45 minutes of my parents. The siblings who live here have 14 cousins for my kids to see compared to two on my husbands side.
My parents are significantly younger and they live in a small town, unlike my in-laws who are in a metropolitan area and 15 years older.
When we visit my parents we share their home, their meals, their late night talks, and their errands. When we visit my in-laws we miss out on all of those things (because we don't stay with them, we stay in their guest house 25 minutes away).
We haven't done anything spectacular while we have been with my parents. We have done the every day stuff that makes you feel like you are part of a family. We have watched my nieces t-ball games, cleaned my sisters kitchen, celebrated a birthday, went to a school carnival, shopped at Wal-mart, rearranged furniture, ate ice cream, talked, watched late night tv, etc. We have shared a part of their life, or rather they have let us share a piece of their life.
This is what I have wanted all along. Nothing planned, nothing scheduled... just being together. This is what I was missing when we were with my husbands family. This is what we have been missing by living so far away!
Oh, I am well aware that this is really just the honeymoon period. We have only been at my parents for two weeks and have 3+ more to go. Overall, I think I have it pretty good in the family area. Ask me again in another month, I may have changed my mind.
Living close enough to be together for little things and the big things would be wonderful. It is one of the criteria we will certainly consider in our job ongoing job search. Sadly, there are others that trump family, but I am hopeful we can find something close enough to make time with our family more than just a yearly occurrence. I want my kids to know their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins!