Being a Nonbiological Aunt

Being a Nonbiological Aunt

Aunthood is really the greatest thing ever

About 4 years ago, I received the news that my best friend was pregnant with, not one, but two babies. In March 2014, I was blessed with two nephews. I was ecstatic to say the least. From the beginning, I have been Aunt Libby, a role I take on with enthusiasm. Even though I’ve lived 1,200 miles away from them their entire life, I have made an effort to be a part of their lives as much as possible.

Fast forward to the present, as of this week, my nephews are 3 and are now big brothers to my brand new niece. In all of my excitement, I have shared photos and details about her with pretty much anyone who will give me the chance. All these conversations have sparked reflection about the joys of being an aunt and how much I cherish it.

I get to spoil them

Visits must include a ride in the Jeep to get ice cream and usually some sort of gift bag with goodies. When I’m not visiting, a trip to Target is not complete until I have scouted the bargain and clearance sections for anything I think they need. This includes things such as punch balloons, Mickey Mouse socks, coloring books, or any other fun toys. I’m always on the hunt for their favorite character clothing or anything else their little heart might desire - because when they receive it, even the smallest gift, watching their pure, complete joy over it is freaking awesome.


I get to do kid stuff again and not look like a total weirdo.

Some of these activities include: going see a “kid” cartoon movie, running through sprinklers, and blowing bubbles. I get to unleash my inner child and play and watch them learn and use their imagination. There are just some things you can’t do without a kid and there’s kids I’d rather hang out with.

I love Facetiming them

I have been fortunate to be able to visit 3-4 times a year, but even a visit every couple months is never enough. I am forever grateful that I am able to Facetime with my nephews and talk with them and watch them grow from out-of-state. Being able to see them and talk to them makes being away just a little bit easier. Facetime allowed me to virtually attend the gender reveal to find out that I would be getting a niece. Facetime doesn’t compare to actually being there, it is a pretty close second.

I get endless hours of laughter, cuddles, and memories


When I visit we spend hours building forts out of blankets, going to the playground, and having tickle fights The hours spent working overtime to afford plane tickets and the time spent actually traveling is all absolutely worth any small amount of time I get to spend with them. I wouldn’t trade any of the time we’ve spent together for the world. Especially the afternoon napping cuddle sessions on the couch.

I love how much they love me

My nephews know that I love to play with them (and bring them cool toys) so every time I go to their house I feel like the most popular person in town. They are genuinely excited to see me. They ask about sleepovers and don’t want me to leave, even when I have to go. They truly love me unconditionally.


Cover Image Credit: Freshley Scented

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It's Not You, It's Them: Signs You're In An Emotionally Abusive Friendship

Some Friendships Are Meant to Be Broken

It’s happening.

Again.

Your friend (yes, that one) is pushing you so hard that you’re about to a hit a record low of stress and negativity.

You’re powerless, you’re embarrassed; as a friend, you should have a better handle on dealing with this, right?

“Maybe I’m too hard on them”

“Maybe I just need to brush it off” (AGAIN)

“This is just how they are. . ."

Before you resign yourself to your friend’s behavior, know this: If you’re in any sort of relationship with someone who is toxic, chances are you’ve been bending and flexing for a while to try to make it work.

Stop.

Just STOP.

You can only change the things that are open to your influence and toxic people will never be one of them. Here are some of the ones to watch out for:

1) They belittle and trivialize you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams

2) They constantly play the victim in order to deflect blame on you rather than take personal responsibility

3) They repeatedly cross boundaries and ignore common courtesies

4) They do their best to put you down

5) They'll make fun of you in front of other people to try and be seen as better than they are

6) They use your friendship to manipulate your beliefs and actions in order for you to do what they want

7) They try and use your friendship to make their terrible actions seem more bearable

8) They make it clear that in comparison to them, your accomplishments don't matter

9) They withhold from spending time with you (but not with others

10) They refuse to believe that they are the ones in the wrong when you bring up previous bad behaviors

As someone who's had multiple experiences with emotionally abusive friendships (some in the distant past and some within the past few months), I know that it's hard to admit that the negativity in your friendship could be coming from the one you want to be close to. You may feel as though by admitting that your friendship is past the point of no return that you've ultimately failed in the whole 'friendship' game. But it's important to remember that abusive friendships are just as real as abusive relationships and emotional abuse can be extremely damaging.

You don't deserve to be anchored down by selfish people; you deserve to be surrounded by those who will lift you up and cheer you on rather than tearing you down for their own happiness.


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To Some Of The People I Love, Thank You For Being You

Just a handful of people who make me smile

Being a writer, you sometimes (almost always) have writer's block. And when I ask my people “what should I write about this week?” the only answer I ever get is “ME!”. So, here you go, a handful of the people who matter the most to me right now (I could list so many).

My family:

They make me laugh, they keep me going, and they never ever fail to love me. I could not handle life without them on my side. We truly are the greatest team.

My mom is my anchor and I would physically die without her.

My dad is one of those people that you cannot help but love. He is the greatest father to our family and the best husband to my mom.

Kendall is growing into the sweetest, funniest, greatest girl I know. She is not only a given best friend but a chosen one too.

Mandalin:

Yes, her name is weird but she is one of the greatest humans I know. Witty, fierce, athletic, and hilarious. We don’t see each other every day like we used to, but whenever we are together, it's like freshmen year never ended. She has been my rock for a while now and I cannot thank her enough for being that. It is a hard job.


Ashley:

My current roommate whom I couldn’t live without. She is kind and generous and smart and incredibly creative and even though she doesn’t believe it, she is gorgeous and deserves a hell of a lot more than what she thinks.


Madeline:

The prettiest human on the face of this planet! I mean, those eyelashes.. come on! This girl is always so positive and bright and just a constant ray of sunshine, even though the past month has not treated her the best. She is always there for me no matter what.

Reilley:

I have known this sweet soul since the first grade. She and I are like two peas in a pod, literally the same person. She is never one to judge or hate and is always there for me when I need to hear her voice. She is the only girl I know who looks good in every hair color and is one of the few people who know me inside and out, back and forth.


Brooks:

This boy should honestly get his own article. He is, without a doubt, the sweetest boy ever. He is not only funny and quite handsome (ladies, wink wink), but he gives me tough love and never lets me forget how much I'm worth. He is the truest kind of friend. (L I V I D that I do not have a picture with him? so here is him with a baby)


Cydney:

This is basically my big sister. She is who lead me to Greek Life, she is who encourages me to be my best and have fun doing it, she is one of my greatest role models. I am so blessed to be able to look up to her and call her my sis.

There are so many people who I could put down, but yall would be reading forever...

I love all of you with my whole heart. Thank you for keeping me sane and loving me no matter what!

Cover Image Credit: Long Beach, WA

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