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Earlier this year, when my husband and I decided to move back to the United States, we agreed on one thing: we wanted to spend the whole summer with our families before settling down somewhere. We didn’t want to work much (I knew I’d be editing videos as part of a long-term contract, so we’d have income). And we wanted to really get to know our nieces and nephew.

We were lucky to have the luxury of choosing time over money, and we are happier for it, just as the research shows – and as these pictures show. Of course, the photo thing that happens whenever my husband and I go away together happened this summer, too: it looks like he hired a professional photographer to document all his fun times. But I had fun, too! Walks in the woods, outdoor concerts, one-on-one chats – what a wonderful summer.

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Niece and uncle in New York on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl