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A Family Christmas

December 28, 2011

Before I share our Christmas story, I wanted to share a little of my family background. Christmas time always reminds me to appreciate family, so it is fitting that I start it off with my family story.

I’m not sure there is such thing as a conventional family anymore. My family is by far not the most bizarre situation, however it isn’t the easiest to explain. Like Carter, I was a surprise for my mom and dad. But unlike Frank and I, my parents weren’t in love. My parents went their separate ways and both married other people. I grew up with my mom and my stepdad and they had two children of their own- Ashley (now 23) and Michael (now 22). My father had a son, Ricky (now 27), with his wife however they separated soon after. My dad didn’t meet his soul mate until much later in life. They have been married 13 years and gave me my little sister Sammy (almost 13!)

Ashley, Michael and I grew up together while Ricky and Sammy lived in Florida with my dad. While we were always in separate states, we worked (work) hard to stay close. Before there was Skype, my dad bought us telephones with video screens attached so we could stay in touch. I learned early in life just how important family is. I picked this up from my dad. He and I were not close until I was a teenager. It took him a long time to realize that family is the most important thing in the world. I believe this realization led to him meeting his wife and becoming an amazing father. Even though we only actually see each other twice a year, we are a close, supportive family.

This leads me to my new family. Frank’s parents have been married over 30 years! Three years separate him and his older sister (Emily) as well as him and his younger brother (Doug). Emily has the worlds most adorable little girl, Ramona (5). They are all very close and are extremely protective of one another. This made me love Frank more. He is a family man. I have loved every minute becoming a part of this family.

I wanted to share some of our family Christmas photos.

Christmas Eve at our house with both Frank and my family. From left to right, top to bottom. Me, Nathaniel (Emily’s boyfriend), Doug, Frank’s Mom and Dad, My Mom and Stepdad, Frank, Carter, Emily, Ramona, Ashley and Michael.

Thank’s to Skype, we got our family Christmas picture! Frank, Carter and I are in the bottom left talking to Ricky, my Stepmom, my Dad and Sammy.

Christmas dinner at my mom’s house. Frank, Carter, Michael, my Uncle, my Mom, my Aunt, my Dad and Me. Cousins Jeffery and Katie, Ashley and my Aunt.

There is no one definition of what makes up a family. You don’t get to choose them, you can’t change them and you will always care about them even when you don’t get along. More than anyone else, your family knows how to make you laugh, push your buttons, tear you down, build you back up, and to keep you sane. They know you in and out. Family is one of the very few constants in life. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I hope you were able to spend it with your family.

LESSON LEARNED: Christmas takes on a new meaning when you have a child. It is no longer about the presents, but about the time spent together with your family.

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