We are currently in another one of those sweet spots, but it didn't take a three-week absence to get to it: just a two-day play-date. Ashley had a friend over for a sleepover that turned into a double sleepover. She wasn't physically absent but she was completely engaged with this friend. Mackenzie wasn't able to work out a similar arrangement with one of her friends, so she spent the two days moping around the house, complaining about being bored and asking when the friend was going to leave.
After the friend did leave yesterday afternoon, we had some outdoor family time, walking around in a park (well, my husband and I walked, at least; the girls ran ahead of us); then we went out for dinner. When we returned to the house, Ashley and Mackenzie spent the rest of the evening with each other, laughing and having fun until they eventually fell asleep together on the pull-out couch in our living room. The happy harmony has continued into today, knock wood.
It's always especially heartwarming for me to see these two sisters getting along well because they got off to such a rough start. There was so much tension between the two of them in the months after Ashley moved in with us. I'm so glad to be in a different place now. In any case, this a nice way to start out a week of school vacation.