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Extended Family

Happy Thanksgiving!!

My sister and brother-in-law hosted our Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday so as many members of the extended family could attend as possible and still enjoy their own traditions on the actual day.  As a person who works in retail, that was welcome news to me.  I have to work a lot of holidays, and this opened up the opportunity for me to do so without missing out on anything.  (Like time and a half pay.)

It was a really wonderful event, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Also, I’ve been munching on the leftovers all week.  Which were and continue to be delicious.  I’d like to say we saved you something, but we managed to divide up what was left before any of it was even cold.

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Anyway, I’ve been thinking about family this week and how it doesn’t necessarily mean blood ties.  Family is what you choose.

That saying, “you can choose your friends but not your family”, it’s not really true.  People make families out of all kinds of combinations.  And we can choose to sever ties with blood and legal relatives, as well.

Family is shared experience, and support, and love.  It’s the people in our lives that life would be meaningless without.

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At my sister and brother-in-law’s house last Saturday, I was surrounded by extended family from her side of my family and his.  There were aunts, uncles and cousins, nieces and nephews, parents and grandparents.  There were friends there, new and old.

One of the three girls that my brother-in-law helped raise was there with her two girls.  She is not related to him by blood or through any piece of paper.  But she is his daughter and they are his grand-daughters. That is his family.  And now they are my family.  Because we choose it.

Family is something I’m truly thankful for.  I hope you have as much fun with your family this Thanksgiving as I did with mine.

This is as quiet as these girls got that night. Most of the time, the air was filled with their shouts and yells, and the heavy sounds of little feet running through the house.

In the "Girl Cave".

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nothing like little feet running through my mom’s house and her threatening their lives. 🙂 Awe …holidays.

    November 24, 2011
    • I know! How can a few three and four year olds sound like a whole school full of children? My sister’s dining room, kitchen and hallway make a circle around the stairwell, and the girls would run around this circuit from room to room. Making noise. Every step of the way. But unlike your mom, my sister didn’t even seem to hear them. I guess it’s the difference between me living alone and her living in a house with 4 kids.

      November 24, 2011
  2. It looks like you had a great Thanksgiving, the food looks yummy. 🙂

    November 24, 2011
    • It was yummy! I hope the rest of your day went well and you didn’t miss your family too terribly much. I actually didn’t even see or talk to my family today; it was kind of just like any other work day. But that was why we did it last Saturday, so everyone who couldn’t make it on the real day would still be able to have a Thanksgiving.

      November 24, 2011
  3. So many girls! We have the opposite proportion of little people. Still fun… but exhausting.Glad you got to enjoy the family you did – and did not – choose!

    November 25, 2011
    • We had little boys the first time around – my nephews are 17 & 13 now. So this is a nice chance for me to be an active aunt again (the other two don’t need me anymore).

      I hope you had a great time with your sisters and the boys (twins, right? talk about a hand-full). And the rest of your extended family, too!

      November 25, 2011
  4. I was touched by your story. I would love to get in touch with you to ask for permission to use your story on my website that I created a few months ago. Please visit the website at http://www.chooseafamily.com I am sure you will like what you see!
    You can email me at kimparshley@chooseafamily.com Thanks!

    November 25, 2011
  5. rebecca #

    well this one made me cry a little. I love my family. I love it so much more now that I am older and can really appreciate what it means to give rather than just show up to events and accept. I love being able to appreciate some of the things that Mom and Dad said, and how they probably felt.
    I also love that Steve has three daughters, that is why we are married. His stories of those girls, and his nephews made me fall in love with him. His open heart and love – oh and patience that I severly lack.

    December 9, 2011
    • That is one of the benefits of age, is you start to realize you’re not as smart as you thought you were, and your parents aren’t as dumb. But I’m still just showing up to enjoy 😉

      I’m glad you didn’t mind this one, since it’s about you guys.

      December 9, 2011

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