A Letter To My Wonderful Family

A Letter To My Wonderful Family

"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."

Dear Family,

I do not think that you guys realize how much I appreciate you every single day. Ever since I was younger, every one of you has taught me different things.

Mom, you have taught me to never give up on my dreams and to always prove myself even if I feel like I cannot. You have shown me what it means to truly love someone. You've taught me to always be myself and to never let anyone get me down, for I am the only one in charge of my own feelings. No matter what I have gone through or done, you have always been by my side...from the first time that I told you guys that I was depressed, to wanting to join a sorority and from going through college. I honestly do not know where I would be if it were not for your constant light in my life. You are literally my best friend and I cannot thank you enough for teaching me to love constantly, reminding me to be nice and teaching me to care for those around me. I love you so much and do not know where I would be without you!

Dad, you taught me that even though I am "just a girl," that I can do just as much as my brothers can or other boys. You have never given up on me, even when I had my lowest of low days and wanted to end it all. You have also been an amazing light in my life. You taught me at a young age what it means to laugh and how to know when someone is not treating me right.

Brothers, I am so proud to be able to call you guys my brothers. You guys taught me to not give a crap about what others think of me. I cannot thank you enough for being the best older siblings that a girl can have, especially with our age differences. I appreciate everything that you guys have done for me and for gifting me the most wonderful nieces ever.

Grandma and Grandpa, I know that we have our differences, but I can always count on you when I need advice. Since you guys don't live so close anymore, it was amazing getting to see you during summer break. You guys taught me that no matter the distance, you will always be there. I miss you both so much!

From my first heartbreak, to the day that I developed depression and severe anxiety, you all have been there for me every single day. No matter the time of day, I know that you will all continue to be there for me. I cannot thank you enough for always reminding me to do what's best for me and always keeping a smile on my face. Thank you all for always wiping away my tears, being shoulders for me to cry on and everything in between. Life is short and filled with the most unimaginable things, but with a family like you, it is no wonder why I turned out the way that I did and can handle anything life throws at me. I miss you all terribly, but I know that I can always count on y'all whenever I need you. I love you all to the moon and back.

With all my love,


Cover Image Credit: Mason Mohon

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To My Little Brother

Six things I want you to know.

I am not your mother, but I am your big sister.

I cannot even apologize for it, I am always going to act like your second mom. I am going to keep yelling at you to (please) put down the toilet seat and to clean up the mess you made in the kitchen. It doesn't matter to me how often you say "I am not your mother," because you're my little brother and I'm always going to be the boss.

I never mean it when I tell you to grow up.

I hope that you have taken, and continue to take, full advantage of your childhood. As often as I complain about your maturity level, my wish for you is to put off growing up for as long as possible. The closer I get to real adult life, the more I miss home and all of the worries I didn't have. You shouldn't rush through the years you have left at home, you are doing just fine the way you are.

No, I didn't tell Mom.

All of our secrets will always stay secrets. I may have ratted you out to Mom about being the one to break her new vase, but I hope you know that our brother-sister bond protects all of the private things we share. Please, never forget that I'll always be here to listen to you.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for giving you your first bloody nose, and for laughing at you afterward. I'm sorry for every time I have blown you off for plans with a guy, or to get an extra hour of sleep. I'm sorry for yelling at you to leave me alone and for slamming the door in your face. I'm sorry for all of the times you asked me to play outside that I didn't. I'm sorry for all of my broken promises.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for all of the “little brother" insults you have used. I forgive you for using all of my paints and letting them dry out. I forgive you for embarrassing me in front of every guy I ever brought home. I even forgive you for cutting off that piece of my hair in fourth grade.

I am so proud of you.

It isn't said nearly enough, but I am so proud of you, little brother. I am envious of the passions that you have and the way that you pursue them with no fear! I am excited to see where you go in life (but don't go anywhere too quickly). Keep working hard and doing what you love, no one can fault you for following your heart. I love you so much, and I will always be your biggest supporter and fan!

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.


Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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