The Holidays Are Perfectly Timed, Because Sometimes You Just Miss Your People

The Holidays Are Perfectly Timed, Because Sometimes You Just Miss Your People

"But missing them is more than missing the stuff we do together. It's missing this feeling of deep belonging and love."

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Very rarely in life do I actively miss my extended family. I see at least parts of them often enough that it's not super common for me to think "geez, I really miss being with those guys."

But this semester, I haven't seen really any of my extended family.

I didn't realize it until a friend of mine made an offhand comment that made me think of them. And then, all of a sudden, I missed them actively and acutely. I had this really intense longing to be in the comfort of my family and nothing I did could quite shake that feeling. It would go away for a little while and then a song would come on or I would smell something that reminded me of being with my fam and it would come back.

I should back up and say that I come from a HUGE extended family.

I have about 20 first cousins, so it's rare to have less than thirty at any family gathering. That being said, it's also really hard to get everyone (or even most of us) together at once. But when we do gather, it's a huge party. People from outside the family are really easily overwhelmed by the sheer number of us and by how loud and crazy we are. Every time I see that, I become that much more thankful to be a part of my family, to be "in" on the shenanigans.

But missing them is more than missing the stuff we do together.

It's missing this feeling of deep belonging and love. I know, I hear how cheesy that sounds, but it's true. I don't have to worry about whether or not they'll like me because they've seen me at my worst (I mean, come on, they knew me in middle school and still love me). There's a certain warmth and safety that comes from being surrounded by people who have known your for your entire life. I think of the times that I'm with my people as being a lot like the holidays for other people; there's just something that's a little warmer, a little happier, a little fuller, a little more than other times of the year. It's like that for me when I'm with my family, whether it's a holiday or not.

Now don't get me wrong, my family isn't this perfect unit that's always fun and loving and happy. We have our fair share of stress, annoyances, and differing opinions. But, I don't remember the last time that we let those truly get in the way of having a good time together. I guess it has something to do with the fact that we don't all see each other very often. Or maybe we're just weirdly close?

Sure, sometimes I get overwhelmed by all of the people and the noise and the chaos, but I also feel strangely at home in it. I mean, I've spent time with these people my entire life. For as long as I can remember, we've all been cramped into our grandmother's too small, too hot house, scrambling to get the best chairs or the best food or even just to pick on one another. Some of my happiest memories are of having an all-out marshmallow war in the living room and of having "cousins sleepovers" in the floor.

"My people" are the ones who've known me my whole life; they've not only shared in my highest and lowest moments, but they've lived them as some of their own. Some of my best memories have come from nothing more than being with them and letting things unfold. So to my people, thank you for being all that you are. See you soon!

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Dear Mom, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.
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Dear Mom,

I hope you know that I appreciate you.

You are the hardest working woman I know, continuously putting your family before yourself. Thank you for doing all of the tedious jobs that no one wants to do like keeping the house in order, cooking the food, and doing the laundry. Thank you for constantly putting up with my siblings and I. Thank you for always supporting us in our interests and hobbies. Thank you for investing in our daily lives and listening to our minor problems. Thank you for always loving us unconditionally.

SEE ALSO: 51 Things My Mom Didn't Think I Was Listening To...

I hope you know I'm sorry.

I know I can be a big pain in the butt sometimes, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling at you, arguing with you, not listening to you, and making dumb decisions at times, but thank you for loving me anyways. Thank you for helping me stand back up, teaching me right from wrong, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.

I hope you know your love inspires me.

You live your life with a love that is contagious. Whether its nurturing love, tough love, friendly love, or romantic love, you have it all and you show it daily. The love you and Dad share is something I hope to find one day and the love you have for your family is evident in the way you constantly put us first.

I hope you know that you are my biggest role model and hero.

Ever since I was a little girl, you have been the person I have looked to in my life. You are strong, independent, confident, loving, supportive, and nurturing-- everything I strive to be as a woman and as a future mother. You give the best advice, even when I don't always take it. Though, I should know better by now because mothers always know best. Without you in my life, I honestly don't know where I'd be.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

Not only are you my biggest cheerleader supporting me in everything I do, you are the person I talk to about everything, whether it's good or bad. I'm honestly so thankful for the relationship we share because I've had countless screwups and you literally give the best advice. Seriously, thank you for being the person I can count on at all times, at any time of the day or even night to just talk with. I mean we really do have some of the best conversations, best laughs, best cries (when needed), and the most fun watching cheesy chick flicks together or going on crazy shopping adventures.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl With The Cool Mom

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- even though you probably already are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Honestly, I can't really imagine my life without you -- but it doesn't matter because I wouldn't be here without you, so here's to you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you lots!

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Yes, I'm A Babysitter And Yes, It Is The Best Job In The Whole Wide World

It's hard. It's exhausting. But in the end, its so, so, so worth it.

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When I turned 16 years old, I started babysitting during the summer to make some extra money and get myself out of the house and off the couch. Now, I'm 19 years old and I still babysit during the summer, but this school year I've had the opportunity to babysit on the days that I don't have classes. When people ask me where I work or what my job is, I'll sometimes get strange looks and questions like, "Is that your real job?" when I tell them that I babysit. Sure, I don't have a typical job and I often wonder how different my life would be if I had a 'normal' college job, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Babysitting, to me, is more than a job. It's giving hugs, wiping tears, and kissing boo-boos. It's listening to "Let It Go" and playing "Ring Around The Rosie," even though you feel sick from spinning in circles for the last hour, just because it makes the kids happy. It's watching "Blippi," "Barney," and "A Bug's Life" for hours on end, thinking you might pull your hair out if you hear the 'Excavator' song one more time.

It's so much more than what meets the eye. It's hard. It's exhausting. But in the end, its so, so, so worth it. I wouldn't trade the hugs, kisses, or giggles for anything in the world. So next time you ask me where I work, I'll proudly respond that I'm a babysitter. I'm proud to be a babysitter, I'm proud to be "Lowey" and I love being a babysitter. I truly have the best job in the world.

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