Taylor-Made: Covington, Ky.

The cousin crew explores Covington, Ky., with a view of Cincinnati, Ohio.  

During Labor Day weekend, my fiance, Keegan, and I and my sister, Nikki, and her husband, Don (along with my somehow now 5-month-old niece, Alexis), finally made it to Covington, Ky., to visit my cousin, Meg, and her husband, Chris.

We had plans to go last Labor Day but, as you can guess, COVID derailed those. So, we went a year later and, instead of Nikki being pregnant, she was able to truly bring Alexis with her, and now Meg was the pregnant one.

One of the first things we did upon arrival was see the nautical-themed nursery of the baby boy who is yet to be named. The room fits in perfectly with their beautiful home, which is decorated with blues and grays.

Also with us on the trip were my cousin, Mitch (Meg’s brother); his wife, Asia; and their 6-year-old, Finley, who divided her time between doting on “Baby Alexis” and showing us her newfound gymnastics skills.

Similar to most of our cousin hangouts, the weekend was spent eating, drinking and being merry. We explored Covington and walked near the river and bridge that connects Kentucky to Ohio. On Sunday evening, we returned to the house to grill and all enjoyed dinner together on the deck. It was a feeling of comfort and bliss.

We’re a tight-knit crew, and, as Mitch put it, “No matter how much changes or how far away we are, we’re continuing to grow together.” Or something to that effect.

Meg’s Illinois baby shower is today, and her mom — the organizer of the event and one of my all-time favorite people — incorporated a shower trend I love. Instead of bringing a card, we were asked to bring a kid’s book so Meg and Chris can start building their baby’s library.

I gave some thought to what book I would bring and was coming up with nothing. Then, one night I had a dream I was in my elementary school for a book sale (not quite the excitement of the Scholastic Book Fair of yore but the dream version of that) and found myself searching for an “Arthur” book for the baby.

I took this as a sign and ordered “Arthur and the Baby” the next day. When I was a toddler, I was obsessed with the “Arthur” television series and loved the books that inspired it.

I even learned the concept of time through “Arthur,” as when doing an “are we there yet?” in the car, my mom would say, “We’ll be there in two episodes of ‘Arthur,’” and I would then have an idea of how much longer. That was my first memory of someone speaking to me in a way I would grasp.

To this day, the best way to give me an example of something is in the form of a pop culture reference. I digress.

I’m thrilled to get some extra time with my cousins this month, especially since they are more like my friends. To sum it up with Chris’ favorite toast, “There are good ships, and there are wood ships, and there are ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.”

Taylor Leddin is the Life editor at the Daily Journal and is the editor of Lifestyles of Kankakee County. Her column, “A Taylor-Made Life,” publishes every Saturday in the Life section. She can be contacted by phone 815-937-3369, email tleddin@daily-journal.com or via Twitter @leddinlife.