If Someone Told Me That I've Turned Into My Mother…

If Someone Told Me That I've Turned Into My Mother…

...I would take it as the highest compliment.
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In so many sitcom shows, characters joke about the fact that someone is growing up to be like their parent, as if it’s a bad thing.

Well, if I grow up to be half the woman that my mom is, I will be an astounding woman.

My mom and I have always been very close. My parents always joke about the fact that, even when I was an infant and crawling around, I would cry when my mom left the room and I would try to chase after her. This has continued as I’ve grown up; when I’m home from college, I’m like her shadow.

No one understands me quite like my mother does. She is my best friend and my partner in crime. We have inside jokes and nicknames for each other. We have our own ‘song’ and television shows that we always watch together. We share everything with each other; she makes me feel like I can be openly my true self.

My mom is so strong. Not just because she manages to take care of me, my sister, and my dad. Not just because she is an amazing cook and keeps the house squeaky clean. What I respect most is that, no matter what gets thrown at her, she goes through it and comes out stronger. When her mom and dad passed away my junior year of high school, she was upset and broken, but she remained strong for the rest of us. She kept herself together and maintained her composure for our sake. She loves us so much as to battle through her own sadness.

Everyone gets sick, even my mom. But, when she gets sick, she tries so hard to push through it. She always puts her family first, even when she is not feeling her best. Honestly, I wish she would put herself first more often because she is so amazing and deserves to be feeling her best.

My mom loves us so much. She has never missed a single one of my school plays, track meets, volleyball games, or award ceremonies. She was always the mom to volunteer in class to help out with classes and parties.

Personally, I’ve put my mom through a lot. I’ve had boy problems over the years and she has always been my shoulder to cry on and the one to snap me out of acting stupidly. From the summer before my senior year of high school until my sophomore year of college, I struggled a lot with an eating disorder. My mom pushed me to get better and helped me the best that she could -- she made me sit at the table until I finished my food, she stopped me from working out. She cared for me when I clearly wasn’t caring for myself. I also suffer from anxiety. My mom has held me through panic attacks and has dealt with my constant OCD tendencies. In her own way, she tries to help me through it all.

My family has had animals since before I was born and a dog could not have a better home. She takes them for walks to get fresh air. She feeds them good food and gives them the medications that they need. She takes them to the vet whenever they need. She takes them for drives just because. She has little rituals that she does with them, like walking to the mailbox with my one dog every single day, Sedona and Zeus are her furry children and she treats them with so much love.

My mother is a loving woman who spreads happiness where she goes. She deserves respect and gives respect. She is more caring than anyone else I know. She is beautiful, intelligent, funny, and so dedicated.

Everyone tells me that my mom and I look exactly alike. If anyone ever tells me that I am like my mom personality wise, it will be the best compliment that I could possibly receive.

I love you, Mommy. A and F to I and B.

Cover Image Credit: Amanda Topolski

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15 Things You Realize As Your Baby Brother Grows Up

No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother.
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Despite the fistfights and days of locking each other out of the house, a little brother is one of the biggest blessings you can receive. Most sisters can agree that they probably bossed their brothers around a lot when they were younger (and probably still do). Most sisters have also most likely forced their brothers to participate in many games that were only enjoyable for one party (baby dolls, house, dress up, etc.)

As a little brother grows up, you start to realize a lot of things as they become your lifelong best friend. Here are 15 of them:

1. He will outgrow you

Even though you were once able to beat him in a wrestling match, and have a fair game of tag, as you get older, he begins to pass you up in size and you realize it probably isn't in your best interest to pick a fight.

2. Teenage boy sass is a real thing

So many times, girls get a bad rep for the teenage phase, but let me tell you, teenage boys have just as much sass if not more than the average hormonal girl. But you also realize that you will get through it, and he is still your sweet brother somewhere deep, deep down.

3. He will go through a phase when he is too cool for you

Your whole life you have been used to your little brother looking up to you and wanting to be just like you and do all the things you do. This probably really annoyed you at some point too and I know I found the words "stop copying me" coming out of my mouth a lot. Don't wish it away, enjoy these times because there hits a point where he will want to do their own thing for a while.

4. He will begin to form his own opinions, and he is actually really smart

He still looks up to you, but there comes a time when he actually starts to contradict and challenge your opinions, and his arguments are surprisingly really good. You learn a lot from your little brother, so start listening to what they have to say sometimes.

5. No girl will ever be good enough for him

When he brings a girl home, you can't help but judge everything about her (no pressure) because to you, no girl will match up to his awesomeness. You know you are annoying, over-controlling, and overly judgmental, but you can't help it, he is your baby brother after all.

6. Regardless of how old or big he gets, if anyone messes with him, you will "beat them up"

I am not a fighter, but somehow anytime someone messes with my little brother, I get the ego of Muhammed Ali and believe that I can beat anyone up. Even now that he has outgrown me by about six inches and 50 pounds and is definitely a lot stronger than me, I still threaten to protect him because for some reason I feel like I can defend him better than he can himself. If anyone shoves him on the soccer field or says something mean to him at school, all of the sudden the big sister is the most intimidating and feisty little 5'4" girl there is out there.

7. He has your back

The once quiet and shy boy you outspoke as a child is not afraid to stand up for you. Even if he knows you're wrong, he is just as protective of you as you are of him and he will always be there for you whether you need a shoulder to cry on, you've had a fight with your friends and need someone to talk to, or a guy blows you off and you just need dairy queen and a movie night.

8. People will think he is your boyfriend and vice versa

As little kids, you were obviously the big sister, but now that he has outgrown you, hit puberty and matured, people mistake him as your boyfriend all the time. When you go to dinner and get the "you are such a cute couple" comment, you can't help but laugh.

9. All of his academic success is obviously all thanks to you

All the days you forced him to play "school" with you and tried to teach him everything you knew paid off because he actually knows what he is doing now. You're welcome.

10. Every year he turns another year older, you freak out because you remember how old you felt when you were his age, and it is not possible for him to be that old

No, no, no. He is little. He cannot drive just because he is 16. That is scary. [Only you were mature enough and ready to drive at 16.] There is no way that he is already 18 and can vote. You will never get used to the fact that he is growing up at the same pace as you are.

11. He is the one person who defies your theory that you are never wrong

He always has your best interests in mind, so if he disapproves of a guy, or questions a choice you are making, he is most likely right, just listen to him. Seriously, it will save you time in the future.

12. You will always worry about him

Yes, you are annoying and you know he can handle himself, but the thought of him ever getting hurt kills you. Every time he goes out or takes a risk, you worry about him. However, you also know and trust that he is smart and makes good choices, and if he ever doesn't, you will always be here to save the day, duh!

13. You are his biggest fan

And you are absolutely obnoxious at sporting games and other events. You are the first person to yell at the referee when he gets fouled and the loudest person screaming when he scores a goal. You also find yourself bragging about him to your friends because you are just so proud, and you taught him everything he knows (duh again).

14. He is your best friend

You can tell him anything and he can tell you anything. You guys have a pact and he won't tell your secrets. He's your person, and you have come to find out that he actually gives great advice when you give him the chance to talk.

15. No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother

No matter how old my brother gets, we still say "I love you" every night and he will always be my little baby brother who I watch over and protect, always. I know I have a lifelong best friend who I can lean on during hard times, and celebrate with when the times are good. Bless up.

Special shoutout to my baby brother, Luke, for teaching me so much about myself and always being there for me.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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When You're As Proud Of Your Parents As They Are Of You, Tell Them

We tend to think that only the parents can be proud of their kids, but not the other way around.

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My entire life I've wanted to make my parents proud. I always did my best in school and in whatever activities I participated in so that I could hear those magic words, "I'm proud of you." Don't worry, I heard it plenty of times, but I don't think this ever stops. I think that no matter what age we are we still want to continue to make our parents proud. We want them to know that we are working hard and that everything they taught us is going to good use.

While I continue to work hard in school to not only make myself proud but my parents proud as well, I sometimes forget to tell my parents how proud I am of them. Actually, I think most of us forget to tell our parents how proud we are of them. We tend to think that only the parents can be proud of their kids, but not the other way around.

I want my parents to know that I am so proud of them.

One of the proudest moments of my life was when my dad won CFO of the year for a small business in 2015. My dad is the definition of a hard worker. He works hard night and day to ensure that my family is able to live the best life possible. Not only is he the hardest working person I know, but he's also one of the kindest, funniest and overall greatest person I've ever met. I am so incredibly lucky that I get to call him my dad. He's so great that my mom has told my friends that she hopes they can find someone like my dad because he's that great.

My mom makes me proud every day too. Since day one she's been one of the strongest people in my life. She has always taught me to stand up for myself even when it is really hard to. She's always encouraged me to be myself and follow whatever dreams I may have, no matter how big they are. She's helped me through some of the toughest times of my life and has always ensured me that everything will work out in the end.

Both of my parents should be proud because they really did do a great job of raising both my sister and I. I might not always show it or say it, but I really am proud of my parents. I'm proud to be their daughter and I hope they're proud of me. I don't think they realize that by just doing everything they do for me on a daily basis makes me incredibly proud.

Now go and tell your parents how proud you are of them. They just might need to hear it.

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