My cousin Julie and I are fourteen years apart but you wouldn't know it by looking at us or by seeing us together. I have always admired my cousin Julie, even from a young age. She had a horse and was a real-life cowgirl which I thought was the absolute coolest thing. But we didn't start getting super close until I was older, and things really picked up over the past year or so.

I live in Indiana, and my cousin resides in Cincinnati. My family is all from Ohio, so I love Cincy dearly, other than the fact that it keeps us two and a half hours apart! We text back and forth but at our family reunion last year my cousin showed me the Marco Polo app. If you're not familiar with this app, it's basically like FaceTime but at your convenience. You record videos and can send them in groups or as a one-on-one to be viewed whenever you'd like. It started as just a fun way to keep in touch but it quickly became the easiest way for us to keep up in each other's lives.

My cousin and I have pretty similar personalities. I think that is why we are as close as we are. We get each other in ways that some people struggle to. My cousin always gives me the best advice and it's an added bonus that she is older than me because I get advice from a perspective of someone that's lived more life but from someone who shares a lot of the same traits!

One of my best friends is really close to her cousins as well. One even lived in her neighborhood! I remember growing up wanting to be close to mine, but none of my cousins lived close. That's where having a sibling was a real blessing, but when she left for college I was envious of her cousins being so available. My other cousin I was close to all my life lives in California, and I remember wishing I lived there so we could hang out all the time. I never thought that I would end up so close to my cousin Julie as I have, but once it happened I was beyond grateful. Turns out distance doesn't stop relationships from forming!

My mom once said "cousins are the next best thing to a sibling" and she couldn't be more right about that! I love my siblings an I know my cousin loves hers too, but it's super fun to feel like I have an additional sister. I know that even though we don't share the same parents, we are still as close as siblings and it's kind of a dream come true! Family reunions and holidays are more fun than ever. Thanks to Marco I don't feel like I can only catch up with her and her life on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I am grateful to have such an incredible family and through them cousins whom I love oh so much.

To the Carrie to my Miranda - thanks for always being there for me to talk life, Disney, country, and more. I love you!!