To My Newest Little

To My Newest Little

No one will ever have a little as great as me, or a family better than ours.
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It’s no big secret that big-little is my favorite subject to talk about. I have possibly one of the biggest families on Greek row that only keeps getting bigger and bigger. What can I say? I enjoy having many children to spoil and love. So in the classic fashion of my writing, this article is dedicated to my newest family addition: my little Tara, a transfer from Oregon State who oh so bravely came to WSU knowing only a few people. She integrated herself into our chapter and quickly found an amazing group of friends. One is my original little. It was obvious she belonged in our family, and the psycho big I am had to make my moves right away. So here’s to you, Tara.

You are a natural.

Coming into a new environment where you hardly know anyone is scary. It’s like being a little fish in the big sea. But you adjusted so well that it makes me not afraid to go anywhere in the world. Seriously. But really think about it. You came to this big university halfway through the school year and held your head high. You joined our chapter successfully and came to all the social events we were hosting. When my very own little met you she couldn’t wait to tell me all about you. She even said, “you should adopt her.” Coming into our big, messy, chaotic, and crazy family can be overwhelming. But you stuck it through, survived, and have thrived as my little.

You have a sweet soul.

You have obviously been a ray of sunshine to myself, but when I see you interact with others it makes me so proud of how kind you are to others. You always talk to everyone as if they are the most special person in the world, and you never say a bad thing about anyone. It’s a characteristic I myself wish I contained as well as you do. When people are mean and sassy you know how to kill them with kindness, something I myself do not know how to do.

You’re a blast in a glass.

You are such a fun and spunky individual that you can make any social gathering one of the best times out there. I could go to the most boring meeting our chapter has to have and somehow being with you can make it such a fun time. Lucky for me I don’t have to have any classes with you because I’m sure it would be a big distraction for me.

You bring me so much joy.

Even on the days when I don’t want to be bothered and want to hide from the world, just a hello and a hug from you can change my day from terrible to wonderful. I’m so blessed to have someone that can do that. And since you and Hannah are the exact same person it’s no wonder that seeing the two of you at the same time makes me such a happy mama.

So to my lovely wonderful little, thank you. Thank you for making life in a sorority that much better. Thank you for brightening my days and creating fun memories at night. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and letting me practice being a decent big. But thank you most importantly for being your wonderful amazing self. No one will ever have a little as great as I, or a family better than ours. Lucky me, huh?

Cover Image Credit: Cheyenne Wong

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A Letter To My Best Friend On Valentine's Day

Because you are my ultimate Valentine.
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To my beautiful best friend,

Warning: This letter is about to get extremely cheesy. I am talking four cheese lasagna cheesy. But no one deserves a love letter like this more than you do.

This Valentine’s Day, I want to express my love for you. On this wondrous occasion with which most people express their love to their significant other, I want to tell you, my best friend, how much I cherish our friendship.

SEE ALSO: A Valentine's Day Love Letter To My Girl Best Friends

You are the ultimate love of my life. Boys have come and gone but you remain a constant; for that I am grateful. You have been there for me when my family could not be; for that I am grateful. You have been my backbone, my rock, and all those other clichés people use to describe the people they care about, and yet you have been so much more than that as well; for that I am grateful.

All my love this Valentine’s Day goes out to you, my friend, because you do not receive it enough. You have picked me up out of the dirt, brushed me off, and kissed my wounds more times than I can count, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that, but I am sure am going to try.

Thank you for the midnight cries. Thank you for the midnight laughs. Thank you for ordering way too much food with me and still just eating it all. Thank you for the advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Thank you for telling me what I need to hear, even when it isn’t what I want to hear. Thank you for the silly pictures. Thank you for the stupid inside jokes. Thank you for making bad decisions with me. Thank you for laughing with me and laughing at me. Thank you for the endless memories.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter to the Best Friend I've Ever Had

More than anything, I want you to know that I love you. I love you. You are the family I get to choose, the one I go to when I have nowhere else to turn. You are the one I know I can always run to, whether we saw each other yesterday or haven’t seen each other in a year. You have played a part in molding who I am as a person, and I am so grateful for having such an amazing person affecting my life in such a positive way.

With all the love in my heart,

Your friend
Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.pederson.5/photos

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Blood Doesn't Determine Family

Blended families are just as much of a family as a traditional one.

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If you look above, you can see that have a very large family on my mother's side. Between my grandparents, aunts and uncle, cousins and my own immediate family, we're at thirty-three members and counting. All branches of our family tree have busy lives, so we don't get to see each other as much as often as we would hope to. Christmas is the one time a year where we all finally get together for the evening. If you sat in on our holiday party, you may think that we have a couple screws loose, but there is no doubt that you would be able to feel the love radiating from room to room.

If you look at the picture I chose for my header, you can see all of the cousins gathered for our yearly picture. Dysfunctional, of course, but you can tell that love is there. Would it surprise you that out of our entire huge family, less than half of us are blood-related?

I come from a blended family, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Blood does not determine family to us. Love does.

Divorce can be a messy thing, especially when children are involved. Both my aunt and uncle had remarried into relationships that already had children. For the most part, none of us can really ever remember a time when we weren't considered family. We don't ever look at each other as not being related. We never will. Family to us is the love and support that is shared unconditionally between us.

As I said, you would never be able to tell we weren't blood-related unless I told you. Not only do we all look similar to one another (which again is odd, because if the marriages had never taken place, we would just have a ton of doppelgangers running around), but the love and passion that we radiate is unmistakable that we have a bond that will never be broken, let alone determined by biology.

Blended families tend to get a bad rap sometimes from some of the horror stories that can come from second marriages. Not only that, but some people still are stuck in the idea that the only socially acceptable type of family is one where the lineage is clear and concise. Although I can see where these people come from, I don't believe that because there is a lack of shared genetics between all of us, our love is any less strong.

Family is those who will answer a call or text late at night because you need someone to talk to. They're the ones that you end up staying at their house and talking for hours when you meant to make a quick trip in. They are there for you no matter the situation and always believe in you one hundred percent.

Traditional families have a lot of love too, undoubtedly. But please, do not tell me that my family is any less of a family of a family because of its makeup. We have just as much love between us as families with the same bloodline. Blood does not determine the amount of love and affection between all of us. It never will. We will love each other as much as a traditional family. We never look at each other as a mixed family, so please stop treating us as such.

I've said it so many times, but I'll remind you once more. Blood does not determine family, love does-- and I love my family more than life itself.

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