You know how sometimes you have your immediate family and then you have those family friends that act as second parents to you? Well lucky (or unlucky, sometimes) for me, I have two sets of those family friends. Therefore, giving me an additional four parents and five sisters. These families are there to protect me, love me and support me. We’re kind of like one big intimidating gang that can make fun of each other, drink each other under the table and just act like normal, crazy, big families do. My second families help me on my path to create the best possible version of myself.

These bonds with my two-second families have been forged thanks to the Chatty Cathy attitude of my parents' generation and my mom's desire to make friends in a new town. With the help of my mother, she was able to create a friendship with two women that I now consider my second moms. With this friendship came the addition of two goofy dads and two life long friends. Thanks to the moms, I have two best friends that I have been attached at my hip ever since Barbie’s were cool, Polly Pockets were the bees knees and sneaking out of your crib was frowned upon.

I have been fortunate enough to have a strong immediate family, a first family if you will, but also have the added bonus of two additional families that have taken me under their wings and treated me as one of their own.

Now these family relationships are not just formed overnight with friends I have known since high school. No, these relationships are decades in the making. These families have been to through everything and back with my family. From graduations, to Saratoga, to Malibu, to drunken train pick-ups, to sleepovers with matching toothbrushes, to the annual Christmas party (counting down the days), to the time when alcohol wasn’t Marguerites friend, to Superbowl parties, to watching the Bachelor, to cautiously trying to sneak into each others house, to every huge milestone, and to the smallest accomplishments. These two families have been there through the thick and thin.

I have gained five additional sisters, which makes the beach an estrogen-fest to the three men that always brave the company of 11 women. Sisters that have been there for me when I needed to borrow their clothes, when they needed to judge a singing contest, when we all went through our awkward phrases (looking at you younger ones), when we needed friends to go to a concert with or when I just needed to know that I had people to support me.

To the extra dads I now have in my life; it would be too sappy and totally out of character for me to say thank you to both of you. Therefore, I won’t. Instead, I will say that I appreciate your existence. I appreciate knowing that if I ever brought a guy down to the beach you would, without fail, give him the third-degree and poke fun at him. I truthfully would expect nothing less. I appreciate you treating me as one of your own children and always being down to be the catchers in running bases. I know that along side my dad you dudes always got my back.

To the women that I gratefully consider my second moms; I don’t know what I would do without you both in my life. Excuse the emotionality of this message, but thank you for always being a friend to me while also being a parent figure. I know, like my mom, you will reprimand me when I am in the wrong and praise my highest accomplishments. I know that your doors and arms are always open. I look forward to returning back from breaks and for the summer knowing that most of my time will either be spent at your houses or with you at the beach. Thank you for letting me live at your houses for the majority of elementary, middle and high school, and thank you for allowing me to eat all of your food. Most importantly, thank you for bringing my two best friends into this world.

If you’re reading this and are lucky enough to have family friends that act as a second family to you,then do not hesitate to thank them for all that they have done for you. Whether you know it or not these families have been through your life with you every step of the way.

So, thank you to my two-second families for making my belly more full with delicious foods (talking about the death by chocolate right here) and my life more full with your existence in it.