Kristen Bell, her husband, Dax Shepard, and their daughters spent the pandemic quarantined in their home. They took precautions seriously.

Bell told PEOPLE that her mom is a nurse, and stories her mom told her gave her perspective about the pandemic. She explained, “My mother would come home with stories and I was able to glean that helping a person affects so much more than that one person. It affects their families, their friends, their colleagues [and more]. If you help one person, you are actually helping 100 other people. We are like stones thrown in a pond — there is a massive ripple effect.”

Sometimes helping people means staying away from loved ones as many of us did during the pandemic. Now, as restrictions are loosened and vaccinations are more and more common, reuniting with loved ones is high on many people’s priority list.

Bell shared two pictures on Instagram over the weekend. In the first one, she is standing next to her mom and dad. In the second one, she is standing with her dad. In both pictures, they’re all smiles, at least we assume her dad is smiling. It’s hard to tell since he refused to take his face mask off for the photos.

In the text accompanying the photos, Bell explained why these photos are so special. It was the first time she had seen her parents face to face in over a year. She wrote, “Saw my parents for the first time in over a year.It was my dad’s birthday, so we took him out to a nice dinner and he told me that since it was his birthday he absolutely did not have to take his mask off for the pictures I wanted.I get my stubbornness from him.Happy birthday, dad. I’m so glad you’re mine.”

 

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Many of Bell’s followers took the opportunity to wish her dad a happy birthday and to share their own excitement about reunited with their family. One person wrote, “I just hugged my parents this weekend for the first time since 11/2019. Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment!”

Have you reunited with your family members yet? Do you have plans to visit family in the near future?