Trust me.

Shirt and Pants: Lotus (15% off online with code: MODA),  Shoes: Guess, Bracelet: Gift, Watch: Kate Spade (a wedding party gift from my dear friend, Ali)


I hope everyone is coming off of a great weekend.

Mine was one of the best I have had in a long time.

I had 12... yes, 12 house guests over the weekend!!! My mom came from NY to visit and my brother's family stopped through for a couple of nights on their way to their spring break destination a few hours from Charlotte. There were kids running around all over the place, adults everywhere, bags piled in every corner, and one or more dogs at your feet at all times. It may sound chaotic, but it was awesome. I loved seeing my niece and nephews, laughing with my brothers and getting to hug my mom whenever I wanted. We played around at a park, went out to lunch,  did a little shopping, and just hung around the house (eating, playing ping pong, video games, and hide and seek). It was great. I cried like a child I dropped my mom off at the airport and everyone was gone.

I like a clean house, peace and quiet, and order as much as the next OCD 34 year old women who has never had children, but there was something about having everyone here... the absolute craziness of it all that made this big house feel like a home. It was alive. When everyone left and it was clean and organized again, it didn't give me the same satisfaction as it had. It just made me miss everyone even more.

Growing up in a home with a young mom, lots of little brothers, and not a lot of money, sometimes I'd look around at other people's families and think, man.... why can't mine be easy like that?  I remember my mom being stressed out to the point of tears over bills, and us all letting the phone ring until the machine picked it up in an attempt to dodge a bill collectors. When I was younger we lived in a lot of upstairs apartments that we would rent for a year and then move out of. We drove Ford Escorts with rust on the doors and as a young shitty pre-teen I thought that that stuff mattered. I'd look at my friends with big houses and nice cars and be embarrassed when I was dropped off at their houses in our car.

I had no way of knowing then that I was the lucky one.

I got a hug and kiss every time I came in the door.
I was told "I love you" by someone every day of my life.
I was taught to care for people and about people.
I know how to fight.
To forgive.
To be vulnerable.
I am not afraid to tell someone how I feel about them.
I know what love is because I grew up in it.
Love was all around me.
There wasn't always money, or certainty, or sanity, or peace, but there was always love.

 In my family we don't look or act similarly. Some of us have different last names, and in some cases we grew up in different homes. We have disagreed, hurt each other, fought, made up, gotten over things and moved on. I have a mom, 4 brothers, a dad, a step-mom, and a man I consider a step-dad. We are a motley crew and we have all made some mistakes in this life, but I thank God for every last one of them. I know what love is because of that crazy cast of characters that  I call a family. I have realized as I have gotten older that not all families look the same, do the same things, or have the same journeys, but that's the beauty of it. We aren't supposed to. And, as cliche as it is... the only thing you really need in order to create a family is love. Most of the other stuff is just noise.

So, if you are a parent who sometimes wishes that  you could do more for your kid(s), be more for kids, raise them in a different home, different city, pay for them to go to a better school, have more, afford more things, or go back in time and do it all over again with more patience and grace... (although I know nothing about being a parent)... I can tell you from experience that love can overcome all of that.

If you let a child know you love them, and if you are there for them (always, no conditions, no matter what) they will grow up thinking you hung the moon.

Maybe not today, but someday. 

Trust me.

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