5 Things Only People With Big Families Understand

5 Things Only People With Big Families Understand

It just keeps getting louder and louder.

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I have a very big extended side of the family on my mother's side of the family. My grand-pop was one of twelve and my grandma was one of eight. From those siblings, come a long line of relatives. Here are some things I am sure people with big families can relate to.

1. Every reunion gets progressively louder and louder

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It starts to simple hellos to one another and hugs with "how are you?" But as the day goes on, everyone gets progressively louder and louder in conversations. There's always someone laughing, a dad giving really bad "dad jokes," and aunts gossiping about family drama over wine. You can help but smile in noticing the enjoyment people find within one another, especially when it's family.

2. Names get easily mixed up

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I come from a VERY Italian family, so you can imagine how many Nikki's, Tina's, Tony's, Joe's, Frank's, Mike's, and etc there are in my family. So when family members are telling a story, sometimes it can be hard to follow if there are names that six other relatives have.

Names tend to mesh into one another unless you are like me by the name, Kathleen. Which isn't as popular but I like it.

3. No one leaves with an empty stomach

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There are various reasons this will NEVER happen going to a big, Italian family reunion.

(1) Someone will take a personal offense if you aren't touching their homemade lasagna, so you best believe you will get a side of it whether you like it or not.

(2) It ranks practically as a mortal sin if you eat too little or not enough.

You'll most likely get thrown questions such as, "Did you have enough to eat?" "Are you still hungry?!" "Honey, grab seconds and thirds there is PLENTY where that came from." "Did you enjoy what you got? Can I grab you some more?" "You're full? Bullshit, grab more." "You'll like it!!!! Shut up and eat it." "You're pescatarian? But what about meatballs? Oh, honey, it's okay eat a little I won't tell."

Well, the last one is more directed towards me, but you get it.

4. You never truly know the whole family tree of your side

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My grandparents come from huge families, so you can imagine the number of babies that came from that. To this day, I have had to have my mom give me a breakdown of "who is whose kid," "what kids they had," and "who is whose grand-kid." Still haven't pieced it together quite yet.

5. There's always a relative that is little too sarcastic

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You know who I am talking about. There's always that one aunt or uncle that is ultra-sarcastic, but in the best ways possible. I was (and still am) one of the shyer kids in the family so I can be an easy target to pick on to get me talking. Like when I'm not even talking, I'll get told to shut up or stop being loud, this always gives me a smile and I can't stop laughing. It's even better when they are giving other relatives hell, it adds a little something to conversations.

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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11 Pieces Of Fatherly Advice Everyone Needs To Be Reminded Of

The greatest man in the world is bound to give the greatest advice.

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Months and months ago my father wrote down his favorite quotes and pieces of advice for himself after reading my favorite book, "Tuesdays With Morrie."

He has always given me stellar advice about love, loss and self-worth. Now, I will share it with the world.

This one is for you, Dad.

1. Be bold but not aggressive

This is a personal favorite of mine, especially as an extrovert. I sometimes worry that being the open person I am that I come off too strong or too abrasive.

With this piece of advice though, I remind myself not to "overdo" it. Just be natural.

2. Be confident with room for humility

If there is one thing I have learned from my father it is humility. A sense of humbleness.

I am proud of the person I am, but I have learned to never think I am above anyone else or that I am more important.

3. Love others with all your heart and family with all you are

We are loving people in this household and this piece of advice proves just that.

Despite who you are or what you come off to be, it is important to love friends and lovers with every part of yourself to ensure you did everything you could.

It is important to love family with all you are because lots of the time they made you who you are in the first place.

4. When it comes to dating, even if you don't love them make sure you at least respect them

Not every person you date is "the one." Not every person you date you are going to marry.

Even so, at least respect that person you are seeing. Be polite, be courteous, be kind — be respectful to their needs even if you can't love them.

5. Be patient when it comes to true love, it is rare but so fine

My parents have a love like no other.

They are true loves, soulmates and life partners, BUT it also took time for them to get married.

6. Reserve the harshest judgement for yourself

Tough love is normal. Critiquing is normal.

What is not normal is being cruel and inconsiderate. Leave the harshest judgment for behind closed doors, in a mirror — not towards others.

7. Be tolerant but not submissive

Be patient and kind, to a point. Do not settle for something you do not deserve. Be grateful for what is fair.

8. Don't sweat the small stuff — everything is small stuff

This piece of advice speaks for itself. Do not stress the things that are out of your control. Do not get upset over little things.

In a short period of time, you won't even remember it.

9. Live with passion

Be motivated in your work, in your love, in your friendships and yourself. Living life to the fullest with joy in your heart makes for the best life.

10. Treat the elderly with honor and respect

My dad says that time is a teacher and knowledge is acquired. If it weren't for our elders, we wouldn't learn from the past.

11. Have courage and be kind — remember all your grace

This has become my motto in life. I think it means to be fearless, do things that scare you and stand up for yourself while still being a good person and better yet a KIND person.

It is important to know yourself and be true to you.

So, thank you, dad, for all your words of advice. I couldn't have lived this beautiful life without you.

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