When your immediate family is as spread out as ours is, it's not always easy to get together. My sister and father both live in Geneva, my mom lives in Colorado, and my brother lives in New Mexico.
But there was a partial family reunion this week, when my sister and mom both went to visit my brother Tiago and my two nieces: Ellie, who is almost two, and Lucia, who will be three weeks old tomorrow.
Unfortunately, I am not in New Mexico. I'm right here in London, quite a few miles away from all the family fun. So tonight, it was time for a Skype date.
And there they all were! My mom, bouncing Lucia in her lap. My sister, Dania, trying to convince Ellie she wasn't the Devil. Because Ellie wasn't so sure. She'd smile and laugh whenever my mom said something, or Tiago, or his girlfriend Adriana, or even Elmo - via the television - but whenever Dania leaned in with an encouraging smile, Ellie wasn't so sure.
"Ellie, you don't like me so much, do you?" Dania asked at one point.
"No," she responded, shaking her head.
This was ay-door-a-bull. Also adorable? When Ellie kept patting her baby sister on the head.
"My baby," she said.
It made me miss them all, and wish I was there too. It's not always easy being scattered across different continents like we are. But on the plus side, you gotta love Skype, and Whatsapp, and all the other gadgets that make it possible for us to share in each other's lives at all on an instant basis. It helps make family and friends feel not so far away.
And it reminds me that I better get myself to New Mexico soon. Before I lose my status as the favorite aunt.