Wednesday, July 1, 2009


*I actually have a lot of posts about "Family" and what that means to me floating around in my head. This is just a small part of the float.


I have a lot of them. I have 11 on my mothers side. None on my fathers side that I know of.

Growing up as I did in Alaska which was (or felt like) a million miles away from my closest blood relative aside from my mother and an uncle, cousins were always a real treat when I went to visit my Grandmother in the summer. And by treat I mean pain in the ass.

I hated SEVERAL of them. Biggest Pain was my cousin Jodi. She's maybe a year older than me but she knew all of my cousins and visited them and had things in common with them that I just didn't. She was cool. I, was a spoiled, whiny brat. The fire of our hatred for each other could have warmed a planet, at least while I was young.

When I was 13 or 14 we met up again one summer over a funeral and reconnected. I actually reconnected with all of my cousins that summer and enjoyed them. We hung out. We watched movies and stayed up late and really got to know each other. Dare I say, we liked each other? We DID. I came home from that trip really appreciating Cousins in a way that didn't involve hand me down clothes or sticking my tongue out. (Did I mention I might have been a brat?)

Fast forward a few years and my then husband and I were living in Tucson, AZ. My Cousin Heidi moved out there as she was a traveling nurse and as such, well, liked to travel. Heidi is honest to goodness the best person I know. No, really. She's giving and kind and selfless (and was also a brat growing up but she had 3 brothers so I'm sure God understands) and loving. My (now ex) husband said that if I died he was totally holding out for Heidi because she was of course beautiful on the outside but also beautiful on the inside. I'm pretty sure he divorced me because she got married and started her own family. (I'm kidding. Mostly. He moved on to holding out for Jodi.)

When my mother passed away my Cousins really came through for me. They let me babble and babble and babble. They understood even though they didn't. I'm for all intents and purposes an only child so there really isn't anyone to talk to about "Mom". But, my mother was the favorite Aunt. She was the cool one and so everyone adored her, everyone loved her and everyone knew her. My cousins, and even their spouses still take time to share a random Julie story with me that makes me smile. Ask my cousins Jodi and her sister Jenny about the "bridal" shower that my aunts, grandmother and mother threw Jenny. Where they dressed up in thrift store bridesmaids outfits. I love that story.

While I don't exactly HANG with my male cousins very much I do know their wives fairly well and love them all. Honestly, those guys are very lucky but then, they're really great guys too. And science minded which is nice but sometimes distrubing at family functions because two of them work for a large food manufacturer. I'll never eat another Yoplait Whips in my life.

Because I am an only child and we live no where near any actual blood family my children don't have a lot of cousins right now either. Kylie has one in Alaska that she likes from her birth fathers side and Lulu has 2 from her birth fathers side but they too, live in Alaska. I have literally a ton of second cousins that are the right ages for my children but they live everywhere else, like Minnesota and Ohio and Australia which might as well be other planets at the moment.

Enter Micah and his family. They live here. In the same town as us. And his sister HAPPENS to have children about my children's ages. Well okay, really only one is close to one of mines age. But are they CLOSE. Lulu is only 2 days older than her youngest daughter P. Although P is probably a good 6 inches taller and weighs maybe 10 pounds more. (You know, she looks like a real 4, almost 5 year old and not the product of dwarf parents who don't feed her) They love playing together. Love. It. They love being cousins. And being close. And playing. Did I mention they like to play together? And ganging up on Grandma?

Honestly, my definition of family is wide reaching and all encompassing. I've learned that family doesn't mean a blood relation. But to have THESE family. Right here? It's pretty awesome.

Helping Grandpa wax the car. They were paid $1 for their hard work. I believe Lulu is prepared to declare that $1 on her taxes for 2008.

Cousins on Grandma's fence.
Thanks Family.


My HCG Diet Blog

I cry at about half of your blogs, from sadness (stories of Julie), from joy and especially from gratitude. We are so thankful for you and your family becoming OUR family.


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