5 Ways Your Cousins Are Actually Your Siblings

5 Ways Your Cousins Are Actually Your Siblings

Wishing a Happy #NationalSiblingDay to my cousins, who have always been more like siblings.
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Among all of the made up "National _____ Days" is the ever important, National Sibling Day.


Do we truly celebrate these 'National Whatever Days' ? No. But we acknowledge them on our social medias. And I truly think the most important one to acknowledge is National Sibling Day.

It's important to acknowledge this day because I know you've heard, 'As we get older we forget our parents are getting older, too'. Not only that, we forget our siblings are getting older too. Speaking as the oldest child with a younger brother who is only months away from graduating high school, you can really take for granted the time you have with them.

Before you know it, they're not really your 'little' brother anymore. They're 6'7, 19 years old, growing facial hair faster than some 40 year olds and driving off to college every morning in their new car. You find yourself wondering,

"Where did time go?" Well.. While I was busy getting older.. So was my brother. And he's grown up into an amazing young man. He surpasses my expectations each and every day as a brother and especially as an Uncle. God truly blessed me with the best.

He also blessed me with the best cousins. If you're like me and you grew up with your cousins only a few minutes down the road, you can probably relate to the following 5 reasons your cousins might actually be your siblings;








1. They were your first best friends;

And as you get older you realize, you've known the definition of true friends all along. It's your cousins. They don't judge you, they're always there to listen and they're always the first to clinch their fist and bite their lips when someone does you wrong. They'd give anything to see you happy. So you don't really have to learn the definition of true friends because you've had true friends all of your life. True friends that really have YOUR best interest at heart.

2. They've seen you at your worst, and they'll still never judge you;

My cousins have seen me at my absolute worst. Bed ridden in the Burn & Wound ICU, doped up on pain pills to rid me of the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. (I'd tell you to google brown recluse bite, but you probably don't want to see the pictures. Especially if you just ate breakfast) I was barely able to walk and had just found out my life was going to change in the biggest way. But they weren't afraid to come straight to the ICU and see me. They sat right next to me, literally, and figuratively stood right next to me throughout the next few crazy months embracing the big life changes that were coming our way.








When your cousins are your best friends, when your cousins are your siblings, you're never truly alone.

3. You fight like siblings;

If you've been close with your cousins your whole life.. You can probably count on both hands how many times you've been in a fight, but you always make up. They've never been significant, but you really know how to get to one another.

This is because you know each other probably better than you know yourselves.

4. They are an unwavering support system;

Some people hardly talk to their cousins. But if your cousins are more like your siblings, you probably talk all the time. You text, Snapchat, Facebook, Tweet, creepishly drive past each others houses (Yes, Brielle and I used to do this all the time) No matter when you call, they're always there. And they're your biggest cheerleaders.

They always have faith in your abilities and they always remind you of what you can do, rather than what you can't.

5. You stick together like glue at family gatherings;

I am blessed with a big, loving family. It's never boring when our family gets together, but you still out of habit, go right to your cousins. You can joke with them about things you might not be able to joke with Grandparents about. You can tell them the latest gossip from the night before that your Aunts or Uncles might not necessarily care about. But you know your cousins will always be ready to hear the newest juicy info on some rando on your News Feed.

While I technically only have one younger brother; really I'm blessed with two younger brothers and a younger sister.

My cousins and my brother were the first kids I ever babysat. And I babysat them quite often. But it never felt like babysitting. It felt like I was getting paid to just hang out with my siblings. We established our own group of 4 family traditions together and made our own group of 4 family memories. Some of which unfortunately are caught on tape, but we'll save those for a rainy day. (Or not, they're mostly a bunch of horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE, Disney sing-a-longs).

This is my Happy National Siblings Day to you, Brielle and Trace.

I hope you know, that no matter where life takes us, I will always be there. Watching you two grow up into an amazing young man and an incredible young woman has been a blessing for me.

No matter where you go, or what you go on to do, I will always be proud of you. I will always beam with pride when I talk about my cousins.

I love you both so much and I hope you never forget I'm always ready to be your shoulder to cry on, ear to listen or whatever it is that you need.. I'm always here.

I'm proud of you both and no matter what, I always will be. I love you more than you know, and I want to thank you for being more than just cousins.

Thank you for being another younger brother, my first younger sister, and my first best friends.













































































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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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Be True To Yourself And Stay Real With Those Around You

You're not being rude, hopefully.

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It is important to not be fake or easily swayed by others' opinions. Being true to yourself and having a set of values that people acknowledge as respectable can get you far. Doing the right thing and being reasonable allow you to keep it real. Keeping it real is constantly seeking the truth. However, there is a fine line between being real and being rude.

If you say you're "just being honest" and following that with a rude comment, you're not being real. You can't tear down the people around you just because you're trying to be real with everyone. Being real with the people around you means being respectful. Think about others before you think about yourself. Think about what you're going to say before you say it. Also, think about how you're going to say it.

Tone plays a critical role in keeping it real versus being rude. There are many ways to phrase a statement, and many meanings can come from one statement. By putting emphasis on a different word each time you repeat the statement, it can drastically change the tone. Tone is the intonation of the voice as expressive of some meaning or feeling. If you are aware of your tone, it can stop you from being perceived as rude. It is important to be heard and say what you need to say, but it is also important not to hurt those you care enough about.

Intent also plays a role in being real versus being rude. It is obvious when my mother is telling me something with her best interest at heart. It is obvious when a guy in my elective is telling me something with malicious intent. The fine line between being real and being rude is the intent. The purpose of the phrase coming out of the other person's mouth has a profound effect. Once you learn how to tell the difference between the two, you will have an easier time in life. Make sure to think before you speak. Analyze whether what you're about to say will benefit the person and take into consideration why you are even phrasing a statement. There is a real reason for everything you have to say, and there are also real consequences for what you say.

Context is also important when it comes to maintaining the conversation. Conversations are situational and it is important to only say what is relevant. In order to keep it real and not be rude, you have to dissociate from other outside conversations. You have to know that comments taken out of context can be hurtful and used against you. The circumstances are different for each person involved, so it is in your best interest to keep it real.

It's definitely easier said than done. However, taking context, intent, and tone into consideration will stop you from being perceived as rude. Everyone wants to keep it real, but not everyone is capable of staying within the threshold. This line between being real and being rude has consequences, when the line is crossed. Keeping it real is truly an admirable quality to have.


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