"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

As Kat walked into the room, her eyes widened as she realized all of these people were here for her - this was her surprise bridal shower and she was, in fact, surprised. As I stood watching her look around, our eyes met and she let out a scream and leaped at me with an enormous hug. Although we'd done nothing more than talk on the phone a few times and exchange emails, she knew exactly who I was (can't say it's a difficult thing - I look just like her future husband).

The expression on her face is permanently imprinted in my mind. That was the moment I met my new sister, and it was a great moment to add to my memory bank. She hugged me before her own mother, best friend, or cousins. I'd flown into NY just for this, and her appreciation in that instant was worth the lack of sleep, hassle of a missed flight, and the five hours I'd be stuck at Newark Airport waiting to get home later that night.

The bridal shower itself was great, and everyone in the bridal party banded together to make it a huge success. Centerpieces, games, prizes, and favors were all wonderfully coordinated and Kat was greatful for the effort.

The gift pile was enormous, but between the five of us us we had it down to a fluid system. I think we make a great bridal party! We moved through them with ease and before long we had two SUVs filled with housewares and assorted gadgetry - mostly for the kitchen, so one of them needs to learn how to cook!

It was great to see my family after so long, even if it was only for a few short hours (or minutes, in the case of Heath and Kenny). When I first moved to Texas I'd fly home three or four times a year. Over time, it has become increasingly difficult to find the time and money to get back up there. Buying the bike is partially to blame, but I know it's just an excuse. Is there such a thing as a mid-year resolution? If there is, mine would be to see my family more and rely less on the internet to keep us close.