I come from a household of five. I’m the oldest of three children; two girls and boy. Melissa’s in the middle and Rob is the youngest.
Melissa was born a few months before I turned 4, which means that when we lived in Lodi, her older friends and my younger friends were the same people. Half way through her high school experience, though, our family moved to the Gulf Coast and she finished her time as a high schooler with an entirely new crowd. This of course means that Rob, my “baby” brother who turn 21 late this summer, has lived half of his life in Texas. And half of those years I’ve been in New York, oh-so far away from him. Melissa went back to the Midwest after high school. [She works at the same school as our dear pal, Megan, as a matter of fact!] We’ve all grown up and become adults in totally different regions of the country.
I like to think that my family is unique but when I really stop to think about that sentence – My family is unique. – I ask myself, isn’t everyone’s? Every family has their own history and experiences which make them different from the next. My family and your family and his family and her family – we all have families that are extraordinary.
Here are a couple of things that I find extra special about my family:
- Though we are all spread out all over the US now, when I was a small child, almost all of my extended family lived in the Chicago-area. Now I have close relatives [grandparents/aunts and uncles/cousins] in Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Minnesota. And I’m in New York. If you’re including second cousins, we can add Arizona, Florida, and Ohio.
Why, yes – of course it is a royal pain to be so far away from so many loved ones – but being so spread out from one another makes the times we are all in the same place so extra special. And – because our families home base is considered to be Chicago-land we have this great love for all things [okay-okay; most things] Chi-town that we all seem to celebrate when we are together.
- My parents were high school sweethearts. I love this about them. I love that they married young and have stood the test of time and, you know, life, and have made such an example for what a real, working partnership looks like. Furthermore on the “making my family special” front, Dad and his two brothers, Brian and Blake, and all three of their wives [Mom, Aunt Shelia and Aunt Christine] attended the same high school in Illinois – even though Uncle Brian and Aunt Shelia and Uncle Blake and Aunt Christine didn’t start their relationships until years later. It’s always fun to hear the six of them start talking about the things that went on in the halls of their high school and swap stories of the past when we get together. And, of course, I love how our family fits ever so nicely into a romantic comedy plot.
Celebrate Family Activity: Connect with your family in some way today. I’m feeling really great about my 2013 focus on family right now. I contribute this to scheduling my family time the same I would a conference call, which proves that I’ve been choosing to make my relationships a priority this year. I really enjoy having a weekly standing date to Skype with my grandparents and parents and suggest that if you have a busy schedule, you set a reoccurring date with your loved ones. I also have a G-chat date on the books for this weekend with my sister while we’re both being productive. We’ve worked side by side growing up, and when I’m able to multitask by chatting online with her it reminds me of times we sat next to one another working on homework, projects, and the like.
Celebrate Family Bonus Activity: Take a moment to consider those who don’t have family members in their lives to support, love, and help them when they are in need. Act as the family that someone needs; visit or send gifts to a senior center asking that they be given to residents who don’t often have visitors, become involved or support World Wide Orphans, or come up with your own activity for celebrating family with kindness!
Celebrate Family Extra Resources:
- DIY Pet Bed; a feature from my little sister.
- I would like to recreate one of the photos above a la this the next time we’re all together, again.
- Did you know my cousin Aimee has a delicious-recipe filled blog of awesome, Shugary Sweets? I add a recipe from her blog to my must-make list just about weekly. Currently my mouth is watering over Lemon Cake with Creamy Filling and Lemon Curd, Jamaican Jerk Pulled Pork Tostadas, Reeses Pieces Shortbread, and Gouda Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
- Family Photos – Siblings from Lovely Indeed
- Highly suggested: In the Midst of All the Emotions, Chaos, and Commotions with part 2 and part 3, of course.
- I love this photo collection oh so much: Family from adrianam
- I’m considering this awesome tree necklace displaying my immediate families birthstones.