10 Stages Of Being An Aunt

10 Stages Of Being An Aunt

You think you've got it all under control, until you don't.
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My nephew Jace was born just two and a half years ago and since then I've learned a lot. From taking his first steps to saying his first words, it's been a journey I've shared alongside my family. Becoming an aunt came with many perks, consisting of a little human that was now my responsibility to change, feed, and entertain on days I'm called up to babysit. Watching him grow up and learn different things so quickly is fascinating as well as saddening because he won't be a baby forever. I've learned a lot of different things becoming an aunt; things I was not made aware of until after the messes were made. What's a girl to do?

1. When you first find out you're becoming an aunt

At first, you're all like "Omg I'm getting old," but then you're like "Oh crap I'm going to be an aunt"!

2. When they're born and are all delicate limbs and everyone wants to touch them and you need to set the record straight

So you stop everyone with the hand sanitizer sign- NO DIRTY GERM HANDS!

3. When you have to learn how to change diapers

It's all fine and dandy when they're newborns until you realize you need to become a ninja.

4. When they learn to call you “tia” (Spanish for aunt)

You then proceed to have a proud aunt moment consisting of telling everyone how they are truly the smartest kid in the world, courtesy of being related to you.

5. When you take them to the park and people think they’re your kid

Nope, not this one ladies and gents; I just get to take him out on loan.

6. When you know almost all the new kids shows on Nick Jr

You try your best to be sneaky and switch the channel to SpongeBob, but he really isn't having it. So you settle for watching him be all smart, learning about centripetal force at the age of 2. (Thanks, Blaze and The Monster Machines, you've ruined him).

7. When they won't stop crying and you don't know how to make them stop

You freak out until you realize you're the adult so you take out the ice cream and start crying with him.

8. When they know you’re having a bad day and give you hugs and kisses

Then you realize just how fricken cute they are and hug them really tight until they start to complain.

9. When they ask for your boyfriend more than they ask for you

At this point, you end all further communications between the two and lay down the law.

10. When they trade you in for another aunt and don’t love you anymore

They really just think they can make these kinds of decisions for themselves and completely disregard all the time and devotion you have put into their lives. But despite being betrayed you still love them.

Cover Image Credit: Cynthia Rodriguez

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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Enjoy Your Family While You Can, Because Family Is Everything

Make as many memories as you can with them.

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We often hear family means everything. And it is. There's nothing like family. They're your automatic people. They're stuck with you and you're stuck with them, whether you like it or not. Sometimes, or a lot of the time, they annoy the crap out of you. You fight. You make up. They annoy you again. But the commonality with all of these things, the reason why you can never stay mad, they're your family. And you love each other unconditionally.

My family and I are incredibly close. We always have been. For as long as I can remember, my entire family has always been there – parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. We truly embody the big family. And I couldn't be more grateful for that.

I have always been the type of person to hang out with my family. From movie nights to Disney trips, even game nights, I more often than not choose to hang out with my parents, sometimes more than my friends. I will always choose the road trips, filled with laughs and spontaneous bursts into song. The truth is I want to make as many memories with my family while I can because no moment is promised. There's no doubt that I also love my friends, and thoroughly enjoy my time with them too. But if I'm home or have the opportunity to be with family, I'm definitely biased.

Throughout my life, I've lost loved ones. I've seen those close to me lose the ones they cherish the most. It's easily the most difficult thing to go through. I know the pain of letting moments slip through your fingers, of wishing you have more time with your family. And I don't want to waste a second.

My parents are dorks. They drive me nuts sometimes. They embarrass me from every once in a while. But they're my dorks. They're my favorite people in the whole world. I wouldn't trade a moment with them for anything. I choose to spend my nights, my weekends with them because I value them, I cherish them. They have sacrificed everything for my sister and me, and I don't take that for granted.

I dread the day that I won't be able to call my mom and tell her all about my day. Or to laugh until I cry from my dad's unparalleled humor. This is why I want to indulge in all those little moments, those things that are not promised and I will not have one day.

If this last year has taught me anything it's that we need to embrace our loved ones while they're here, laugh as much as you can with them, make as many memories as you can with them. That's what I will be doing. Family is the most important thing to me and I will love them until the end of time.

Cover Image Credit:

Nicole Cantore

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