Being a Nonbiological Aunt

Being a Nonbiological Aunt

Aunthood is really the greatest thing ever
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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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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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I Learned To Deal With Ending Friendships By Living In The Present

After being bothered by fading friendships and by acquaintances who were once best friends, I've realized why I shouldn't let these ending friendships affect me too much and that I should instead focus on the present.

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I'm very picky about the people that I choose to be my friends. I'm not the type to click with a person immediately after I start to talk to them or to become friends with anyone and everyone that I meet like some other extroverts who I know do. I choose my friends slowly and carefully. I have to be sure that they're the right person as I believe that the friends you spend time with have a huge influence on your life and on you as a person.

But when I do decide that I want to let someone be my friend, I pour my heart and soul into the friendship. I'm a person who gives and needs a lot of love, so I treat my friends well and get attached to them and to every good memory we share.

And while it can be a good thing to take the leap and pour all of yourself into another person, when that person leaves, it hurts and leaves you almost as sad as you used to be happy when you were with them. I've moved twice in my life, once to another state entirely and another time to a different city and school. Both times, I've had friends who stayed friends despite the distance, but I've also had friendships that have just faded over time. As grateful and appreciative I am of the people who continued to put effort staying friends with me, I can't help but feel hurt over the people who let our relationship waste away.

SEE ALSO: To The New Kid With A New Life, This One's For You

Over the years, I've started to notice when people don't care as much as I do about our relationship. I've started to notice when people ignore my texts or put off the chore of video calling me or when the everyday conversations of talking about our days started to become the bland "How are you?" and "I'm good."

The worst part is, I would blame myself for it.

Was I not being a good friend? Was I not putting in enough effort? Similar thoughts would bother me every time I checked my messages and saw my friend hadn't responded or had just sent an "OK." But it took me two years to realize that I was powerless to the friendships that ended like this or to those that didn't even make it this far. It wasn't my fault.

It really could've been that they were too busy or had other things keeping their mind occupied. It could've just been the distance or the absence of constantly seeing each other at school that had made them lose interest in the friendship. Or maybe it really was that the other person never really liked me, but whether or not that was true, there was nothing I could do to change the fact, so I should just learn to accept it and move on.

One of the main things that made me upset about losing my friends was I always wondered how happy I could've been if I had never left, if I ended up staying friends with those people. I'd often look through pictures we took together, cards we wrote to each other, shuffled through memories in my mind that we made together, and it only made me feel worse.

I've learned that in this case, as in many others, you shouldn't dwell on the past.

There comes no good from "what if's" or thinking about the past and what could have been. It probably doesn't occur to you that there's a chance that things wouldn't have stayed the same, anyways. Who knows, maybe the two of you may have fallen out of your friendship even if you never left.

Point being, losing friends is never easy. Like many other things, getting over it won't be easy. You may feel inclined to wish for the good times back or to blame yourself for things going wrong, but it's okay. You've done all you could, and if fate has it that the two of you weren't meant to be friends, accept it. This is what I learned after struggling for a while, and it's what I wish I had been told earlier. Don't dwell over what could have been and instead live in the present. But most importantly, don't hold yourself back.

Don't be afraid of getting attached to another friend out of fear of the pain that the tearing of your bond may cause. Live freely. Give all of yourself to your friend. With strength and courage, don't hold yourself back and just go for it; let yourself be completely happy. While you may have gotten hurt over losing friends in the past, who knows? Maybe you had to go through that pain just to find someone else who you love even more and who loves you just as much.

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