The adoption took time, the love arrived instantly…

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You may not know this but, I’m adopted.

In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month and Saturday being National Adoption Day, I thought I would share a bit about my own adoption story…

I was adopted when I was four months old from Guatemala.

I grew up in a home with five siblings—three brothers and two sisters.

Some times, although not all, people will see my family and me out in public and have this look about them that says, “They’re related?”

Going along with this, I more times than not get asked the same question individually, to which my answer is always ‘yes.’

But how? Their puzzled face reads.

Most of the time, especially to this day when I get asked, I just simply say yes and leave it at that. I don’t offer them the details of my whole life story.

It’s not that I am ashamed of being adopted by any means, but, there’s just some people who I simply don’t feel the need or want to share my story with, especially if and when I get the vibe that they’re being just nosy.

Being an adoptee is a great thing.

Not that being not adopted isn’t great, but I love, when I want to, being able to share my story with others, especially those around the world who may be contemplating adoption at some point in their life. I want to raise awareness about the option of adoption.

Being adopted can bring unsolicited advice and comments from time to time, most of which I can usually shrug off while, other times I think, “Why on Earth would someone ask me something like that?”

I’ve gotten the typical comments of “Your parents didn’t love you,” You weren’t wanted,” and other variations of the like.

Of course, at times, especially when I was younger, those words might have hurt. Now, as a grown woman, I practically laugh because for my biological parents, I’d say it was one of the most loving things they could do for me. I don’t know them, but I can only imagine that both my parents and other adoptee’s parents want what’s best for them, something to which they perhaps thought they couldn’t provide.

What my birth parents did was selfless. It was loving. It was likely the hardest decision they ever had to make.

Of course, this thought brings along the unsolicited question of: “Would you ever want to meet your birth parents?”

That’s a tricky one.

On one hand, yes, I have certainly thought about it, but from having my own conversations with family members and other adoptees outside of my family, it’s not at the top of my priority list.

My family now and which I grew up with, is my family. Now, naturally I am a curious person and have wondered a time or two if I have more siblings, and if my birth parents are even alive, but for the most part, other than to find out medical history, perhaps, I don’t have a burning desire to meet my birth parents.

Why?

Well, because like I said above, my family now is my family. And I personally just think it would be weird, awkward, uncomfortable. Now that doesn’t mean I have any issue with other adoptees seeking out their birth family but like I said, for me, it’s just never been a burning desire of mine. I will say this though, I do hope to one day travel to Guatemala and learn more about my culture.

Going back to what life was like growing up adopted…

Well, one particular incident is what led to my best friend and I becoming just that: best friends, to which we remain today all these years later—despite her moving away in the third grade, us going to different colleges and us now living three hours apart.

My best friend, like me, is adopted. So cool, right? But that’s obviously just one perk of her being my best friend.

In second grade, I can’t recall who the student was but a student was making fun of me for being adopted. At that age, looking back now, where do kids even come up with this stuff? Of course I was upset and my friend, my best friend Erin K., stood up right away and defended me. And since then, we’ve been inseparable.

While most of my life and memories have been positive and happy, there have been some far and few in between like that time in second grade.

Another one came via telephone a few years back, much older than I was in second grade. One of my mom’s “friends” (I say this loosely because, I don’t consider her the definition of a real friend but, that’s for another time, LOL) called our house. I answered and she immediately started talking to me as if she thought I was my mom. I quickly interrupted her and told her I wasn’t my mom, to her which her response was:

“You guys sound so much alike, which is weird since you two aren’t genetically related.”

My jaw dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe someone, especially a grown adult who is supposedly my mom’s friend, would even think to say something like that and think it’s OK. She’s lucky I didn’t just hang up on her right then and there.

But, overall, like I said, being an adoptee has been awesome. I love that I have a diverse family because it makes me appreciate those different than me that much more.

I am the youngest of six kids. My two sisters are our parent’s biological children/Caucasian, while my brothers are adopted/from Korea. Talk about diversified. 🙂

Nowadays I find the look on people’s faces more funny than rude, and whenever people ask me where I’m from and I say, “Michigan,” for the sake of not having to divulge my entire back story, I get the puzzled look to which I respond by moving ahead in the conversation.

For the most people, people will let it be and let it go, while others question me and ask, “No, really? Where are you really from?” I just smile and say, That is where I’m from. 😉

So, if you’re someone out there reading this and didn’t know much or anything about adoption before and what it means for us adoptees to be adopted, I hope this opened your eyes. And I hope it inspires you to broaden your horizons and seek out other adoption stories in honor of #NationalAdoptionAwarenessMonth.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Count Your Blessings, Not Your Problems…

Hello, November.

‘Tis the season for eagerly awaiting turkey day sure to be full of lots turkey, of course, and all the fixings.

But of course the season, and this month in particular, is about more than just the good food that’s bound to come. It’s about being thankful.

Quotes About Change And Growth Diddy Quotes Puff Daddy Success | Diddy Quotes | Sean Combs Quotes
Quotes About Change And Growth Diddy Quotes Puff Daddy Success | Diddy Quotes | Sean Combs Quotes – Daily Quote
This year, right now, I am extremely thankful for the people in my life. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have made the progress I have in just under a month after experiencing the end of a relationship I pictured for the long term.

It’s true, the saying, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” (And family, too.)

They are the ones who love you unconditionally, make you smile when you’re sad and make you cry from laughing so hard. They are the ones who, sometimes despite their best efforts to stop you from being sad, let you use their shoulder to cry on and ears to vent to. They are the ones who remind you that just because one bad experience happened to you, doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

No one said life was easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard, either. We have the power to choose our own happiness and you have to make a conscious decision to be just that, happy, every day. And that’s something I continue to work on.

If it weren’t for them, my family and friends, I wouldn’t be able to see clearly that all of my life’s experiences, whether good or bad, teach me a lesson. The good ones make me happy and give me just that, a happy experience to look back on, while the bad ones teach me how to do better for next time and that there’s something better out there waiting for me, for which I cannot wait.

Sure, I miss what was, and a part of me always will. We had good times and I’ll always cherish those. I don’t regret our relationship. He was a great guy, just not the right guy for me. I’ll always cherish our relationship as a whole, too, but I’ll also move on from it, to the next chapter of my life. This past relationship taught me a lot about myself and love. I can look back and be happy about the good times we did share but remind myself, there’s another special someone out there for me who is my Mr. Right.

So to my dear family and friends, thank you.

Thank you all, family and friends, for…

  • Allowing me to cry with non-waterproof mascara down my face on your shoulder.
  • Allowing me to vent about how I think my life sucks and it’s over but reassuring me that there are plenty more fish in the sea and a silver lining to this cloud.
  • To all the texts, Facebook and Snapchat messages checking in on me to make sure I am hanging in there, some from people I wouldn’t have expected.
  • (My two best friends) driving 45 minutes just to come see me and hang out with me the day after the break up because they knew I was a wreck.
  • (My best friend in Nashville) texting me right away asking how I was doing, because she is the testament to a true friend, one who despite hundreds of miles between us, can offer support even over iMessages, lol. 🙂
  • The women in my family: Reminding me of what I deserve and to never, ever settle — in any aspect of life, but especially relationships.
  • Continuing to lift me on those days where I can’t help but think I miss the idea of us but pointing out that some people just aren’t meant to be, and that’s OK.
  • Letting me be sad for the time being and then making sure I don’t stay in that rut and getting out there and having fun, living my life and meeting new people.
  • Most of all, just thank you for being here for me overall, not just during this tough time but through all my other tough times, as well as good times.

I recently bought this wooden sign that says:

“My friends have made the story of my life”

and that could not be more true. So to my friends and family, thank you again, from the bottom of my heart. I am on the mend and I feel good about life. I am eager to see what this new month and the upcoming new year has in store for me.

Perhaps when I am fully healed I can open my heart to love again, or at least the possibility of it. I’m excited to just do things that make me happy while also enjoying the company of my loved ones, for who I am so incredibly thankful for, this month, and every other day and month of the year.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Be kind, be thoughtful, be genuine, but most of all, be thankful…

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I know I don’t say it enough but I have to say, I am extremely thankful to have the people I do in my life.

Whether it’s my family, best friends or acquaintances, they have proved to me in both good times and bad that I can rely on them, sometimes without me even reaching out to them first.

Reeling with a breakup is tough. I won’t be afraid to admit it that this one hurts like hell. And I know, I’m well aware I need to move on, and in time, I will.

I know I need to quit analyzing what went wrong because no matter how hard I try, it won’t ever make sense to me and I’ll likely never have a definitive answer, anyway. That’s the hard part. I hate not knowing things, the reasoning. Perhaps it’s part of my natural curiosity for things in general? Who knows…

For the longest time I never believed in “everything happens for a reason” but, as I got older, I realized that for me personally, it was the only way I could live my life. I had to believe there was a reason, even for the bad things, as to why they happened.

And I believe in it whole-heartedly now. While I may not know the answer now or ever, I must and do take comfort in knowing God must have something bigger up his sleeve for me.

I got to thinking the other day when talking with my cousin’s girlfriend about how her grandpa wants her to get married before he dies. It got me thinking to why I felt I was in such a rush to fall in love and get married and I realized that’s one of the reasons.

Of course, when I told this to my mom she said, and I of course agreed with her, that I couldn’t marry someone only for that fact. But, it definitely does play a big factor. On the other hand, I’ve wanted to fall in love and get married for as long as I can remember. I just love love. There is no simpler way for me to say it.

And while unfortunately I’ve dated frogs and haven’t found my prince yet, it was through those experiences that I learned what I will and won’t settle for when I do find true love and how thrilling and exciting it will be when I do find Mr. Right.

It also was through those experiences that I learned I do have true people in my life who I can lean on and whose shoulder I can cry on when my heart gets broken or for any other rough patch in life. People who will love me day in and day out and continue to do so no matter how many mistakes I make, or in this case, get my heartbroken and feel as though I’m not good enough.

Let me tell you, having a support system like I do is the greatest thing of all in life. I wouldn’t have made it through my past breakups, or other hardships in life, if it weren’t for my amazing friends, family and others who have gone out of their way to make sure they know I am always loved and cared for, and that my value doesn’t decrease just because of someone else’s inability to see it.

Sure, I roll my eyes — with a smile — when they tell me, because while as much as I don’t feel like I’m worth it when my heart and spirits get crushed, deep down I know it’s true, that I am loved.

Not only by them, but by God, too. I’m not a hugely religious person or anything but I do believe in God and ironically enough yesterday as I was driving back home I passed a church sign that said, “When all else fails, God loves you.”

It was a message that couldn’t have came at a better time for the situation I am dealing with right now. OK, so not all has failed me, like my mom pointed out, and that there are people beyond God who love me, but still, it was just both eerie and a nice reminder to know that I am not alone in feeling like this at the moment.

Like I said, in time I will get over this heartbreak. But it will take time. This I know.

It’s strange, though, while I am sad, I am also grateful for the experience because like I said above, it taught me what I will and will not settle for in the future. And like the quote goes,”It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”

So we didn’t work out? It sucks. But the people who end up being wrong for us end up leading us to the person who is right for us. And for that I am excited.

But my point of this particular post is, is that I couldn’t get through this without my friends and family. The ones who continue to lift me up a little more each day and remind me I am worthy of someone who loves me back just as I love them.

It wasn’t my last boyfriend and that’s OK. And again, I will be OK too, in time.

For now I will continue to grieve my breakup and focus on me and doing what makes me happy alone. And then one day when I am ready, I will get back in the dating game full-swing. Because whether anyone else believes it or not, I sure do, I will fall in love some day and have my “happily-ever-after.”

So my family and friends, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I truly can’t say it enough for I probably would never want to get out of bed because you know me, I like to be super dramatic and believe things are way worse than they actually are. But I know there are way worse things in the world than a breakup. My breakup wasn’t the first and it won’t be my or anyone’s last.

Remember, just because one person doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean no one else loves you. Hell, even a stranger might love you but you won’t know it until you meet that “perfect” stranger. 🙂

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

Tough times don’t last, tough people do…

Another one bites the dust…

Heartbreak. Sucks, doesn’t it?

I should know, I’m dealing with one right now. On the one hand, fortunately for only the second time, or, third, if you count the second heartbreak with the same person.

But regardless of how few or many times one has experienced heartbreak, it still hurts. For some, it might not hurt as much the more they experience it. But, for others, like myself, it feels like it gets harder.

Perhaps maybe it’s because I am expecting much more than I did when I was younger and so I have a lot more to lose. Or maybe I just feel and love too much. Perhaps that’s my downfall.

Then again, maybe it’s just not all me. In fact, it’s not all me. Just like it takes two people to sustain and maintain a relationship, it really does take two people to break it.

Despite this heartbreak, though, and the one before, I still do believe in love.

Yes, I am heartbroken, sad, angry, confused. A lot of things. But, ultimately, I know, like so many people tell me and have told me countless times before, there is the man of my dreams and meant for me out there somewhere. And one day, I’ll meet him.

Perhaps it could be him, the one who broke my heart now, again one day. I believe people can change and grow, and I also believe that two people who are truly meant to be will find a way to be together, if and when the time is right.

But perhaps it’s a different man completely, which is both exciting and scary. I know, it’ll happen when it’s meant to. That’s why I have vowed not to do any sort of dating for awhile.

Not only do I need sufficient time to heal, but I also just need and want to focus on myself. Find what makes me happy.

I’m willing and able to accept that I can’t put a time frame on when I’ll move on because it’s different for everyone and like I said above, I love and feel hard so this break up has affected me significantly.

I want to move on and be over him as soon as I can but I need to be realistic. Trying to force myself to just “get over him,” isn’t going to work. Trust me, I’ve tried the first time we broke up and the time before that when I broke up with my first boyfriend before him.

Perhaps for other women or even men themselves, they can move on in a pinch, which, in this case, if it’s the man well, how could it be so easy for him? Why is it so hard for me to move on? Perhaps he maybe hasn’t really moved on as quick as I think but copes with heartbreak differently than me.

And for that, I accept it. I love him and therefore I can accept that. I can accept people coping differently, or, even if he really did move on already. Why, because I felt that strongly about him that I can’t nor could ever find it in my heart to hate him.

I tried doing that with my first boyfriend and that did nothing for me, except made me angry and bitter for the better part of six years. It wasn’t until I got older and somehow wiser (lol) that I realized it takes too much energy to hate people. That’s not to say I’m not sad or angry that we broke up, but I know in time my heart will heal and I’ll be OK — I’ll move on. I wouldn’t want him to hate me and I don’t want to hate him.

Of course, every couple is different and some exes may hate their partner but that’s just not me, anymore. I know I truly love someone when I wish them well and only want what’s best for them. Of course, I have my moments of temporary setback where I get angry and think he doesn’t deserve happiness but then I snap back to reality and realize that isn’t fair and it takes too much energy to be mad. It sucks knowing you are no longer part of their happiness but, just the fact they’re happy in general should be enough to make you happy. Should be, anyway.

I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for former flames. Why? Because I’m not that kind of person not to. These people were a significant part of my life and while they no longer are, I will always at least have the memories, which makes me appreciative and grateful to have once had them a part of my life. If that makes sense? Basically, because I can’t hate them, again, no matter how badly they broke my heart.

Like the title of this blog posts says, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” So in time, like I said above, I will move on. I’ll be 100 percent happy myself and happy for him. But it will take just that: time.

I, nor should anyone else, expect me to snap out of the heartbreak like that. That’s not being realistic.

Thankfully, I have an incredible support system. The number of people who have texted me asking if I am OK is nothing short of amazing. I was reminded just how truly blessed I am to have the people in my life that I do. So, one person left my life? Doesn’t mean my life is over, it just means it’s time for the next chapter of it.

While I’m eager to find out what’s in store, I am going to just take it as it comes. Like I said, feel the hurt, anger, sadness and frustration and then eventually, gain the strength to move on.

I have good days where I don’t give it much thought and throw all of my energy into work (and, let’s be honest, watching TV, lol) and then not-so-good days where I cry, or can’t sleep at night because I’m wondering where I went wrong; and text him when I shouldn’t.

It’s a daily, habitual process. Every day when I get to work or wherever else I need/want to be I tell myself, “I got up, and showed up.”

I said that the other day and my brother asked me what I meant by it. I said, it means I didn’t let life (and its bad events) get me down. I rose again.”

It’s not an easy process going through a heartbreak. There’s no official manual that has a step-by-step of how to get over it. But usually, for a woman, it’s to cry, eat ice cream, go out with your girl friends, yell, sleep and find a hobby — which are all fabulous ideas, and most of which I’ve done so far. But then again, everyone is entitled to their own way on how they cope. That’s just how I am coping. There’s no right or wrong day to do so.

And that is why I must give a special shout out to two of my best friends who physically drove to my apartment to see me the day after my break up last week because they knew I was hurting. And they’ve continued to text me throughout the week because they know I still am hurting. I mean, who could ask for better friends? I certainly could not and I am and will forever be so grateful for them. I would not be able to make it through this heartbreak without them, my other friends, and especially my mom and family. So thank you, thank you all.

In the mean time, I’m going to try my best to find distractions, er, a hobby to keep me busy. Find something I enjoy to do that is not only a distraction but truly makes me happy.

If anyone has any helpful suggestions, leave a comment.

And remember, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

Until next time…

XO,
Ana

Great things never came from comfort zones…

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Hey there!

March officially kicked off last week and with the spouts of warm, sunny weather we’ve had recently it’s gotten me really excited for the spring season and overall just new goals this month. I came across a fellow blogger’s post about goals for the month of March and decided to follow suit and do the same.

So here is what I hope to accomplish in order to break out of my usual comfort zone…

  1. Actually finish Bethenny Frankel’s book, I Suck At Relationships So You Don’t Have To
  2. Be more conscious of what I eat — not be so hardcore at counting calories that I set myself up for failure but, cutting back (hopefully) on pop and fast food. I recently have become addicted to pop again and with a vending machine at work that offers it, it’s easy to give in.
  3. Be happy. Simple. There’s always going to be negativity in the world but it’s up to us individually on how we react to it. We can’t let the negativity define us or make us bitter. We must allow it to make us better and rise above it. And that goes for things that happen to us personally or in general. And of course, if it’s something we can fix, then we should most definitely try.
  4. Understand and realize that not everything is as it seems. What I mean is that just because someone posts/presents a certain persona on social media doesn’t necessarily mean their life is as perfect as it may seem to you, the viewer. I for one often think this and then compare my life to theirs and feel like I am missing out on something but then I bring myself to reality and realize that while yes, people may have their own fantastic life, it may not always be perfect. And it’s totally acceptable to realize I too have a fantastic life, while not always perfect but, fulfilling, nonetheless.
  5. Give people chances — but, not too many. I am the type of woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and whether it’s my family, or your my friend or my significant other, I will care deeply for you. I may not always show or tell it, but, I love the people in my life more than anything else in the world. My family, for example, are people I would truly be lost without. And while I may not always tell them, I do love them and most definitely will always fight for them. But by giving chances I mean being open to the opportunities that present themselves to me, whatever it may be. Whether it’s saying ‘yes’ to someone asking me out on a date (after all, what do I have to lose?), writing a story I may not have a ton of interest or expertise in but be willing to learn, giving people a chance to redeem themselves after a mistake, but, also not letting them take advantage of me. I can and will only give people so many chances. And this month, and continuing in the future, I vow to myself to not let people take advantage of me in any way by giving them too many chances.
  6. Actually listen to what people are telling me and be actively engaged. I’ve noticed I tend to be hearing people but not always fully listening to the details and then later trying to piece together what exactly it was they were talking about. And this goes for both interviews for work and conversations among my family and friends.
  7. Smile. Sure, this may sound silly but people always say, ‘fake it until you make it?’ right? Well, even when times are chaotic or I’m going through something where I’m feeling sad or down, I am going to grin and bear it. After all, life is much too short to be spent down.
  8. Get moving more. Whether it’s something as simple/little as taking the stairs at my apartment or dancing to music while I’m getting ready for work or even putting my laundry away, I want to do my best to make sure I am moving more. After all, exercise gives us endorphins and endorphins make you happy. 😉
  9. Keep in touch with people better. Lately I’ve realized that I am not always the best at keeping in touch with loved ones, like my friends. I tend to get so wrapped in my love for my new job and my new apartment that I let other important aspects of my life, such as my friends (and family, too) fall to the way side. I vow to be better at texting my friends and asking them how life is.
  10. Lastly… My goal is to try and blog more!

What about you? What are YOUR goals for this month and the remainder of the year?

Leave me a comment!

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Change is inevitable, progress is optional…

So, it’s been a minute since I’ve last blogged.

Okay, so it’s been two months but, I’ve busy with work, a bridal shower, a bachelorette party, my 26th birthday, patiently (okay, not so patiently waiting) for the arrival of my nephew, etc. etc.

Alright, so maybe I haven’t been that busy to where I couldn’t blog but let me tell you, sleep is my number two priority after work. LOL. When I am not working or busy with other commitments you can guarantee I am sleeping or watching ridiculous Lifetime Movie Network movies.

Anyway… Moving along.

So today actually marks the two month anniversary of when I moved into my apartment and then on Saturday it will have been two months since I started my first day at C-T. (That’s The Chronicle-Tribune for those of you who don’t know the abbreviation, lol, because I don’t feel like repeatedly typing it out)

Work has been a learning process–fun, cool, exciting. I still consider myself a rookie because coming in I felt a bit rusty. I had just finished up my internship at HOMTV and yes, I obviously studied journalism and got my degree in it and had my intern at WLNS, etc., but, being back in a print-focused atmosphere was something I was struggling to get a hold of again. Thankfully my co-workers and boss are awesome and have been helping me out along the way. I mean yeah I still have more to learn, and always will, I believe with any job it’s like that, and thankfully I’ve had great mentors along the way.

Of course, while I’m learning a lot and still getting to know the town of Marion, I wouldn’t be being completely honest if I said I didn’t have some challenges along the way. Like for example, after the Fourth of July holiday weekend when I was leaving my cottage to come back I got upset, and quite honestly, it was hard to say my “see you later’s” to my family. My mom saw it firsthand, and as any good mom, she told me everything would be okay. And deep down I knew it would be, but, at that exact moment I didn’t want to leave after having spent an incredible weekend with my whole immediate family, plus my uncle Steve.

Fast forward to this past weekend, and same thing happened. I know, it sounds pathetic, especially being 26-years-old–an adult–living on her own but, it did happen again and, I have no doubt it will happen again until I become more familiar with Marion and meeting friends and having people to hang out with instead of just constantly being by myself in my apartment when I get home from work. Anyway, this time it happened not while I was leaving from home in Michigan to my home here, but rather, leaving Nashville and coming back home to Indiana but wanting to make it all the way back to Michigan for just the night so I could finally meet my nephew Stone.

So Stone was born on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. My sister-in-law, Jamie, went to the hospital early Tuesday morning (like the middle of the night), and my mom called me at 6:30 a.m. to tell me she had so. Of course that was the morning I was scheduled to drive down to Nashville to stay with my old college roommate and friend, Kayla, and see my cousin’s new house and then spend the rest of the weekend celebrating the bride-to-be, Alison, and I was put in a tough spot. Part of me was dying to go home instead so I could be there when he was actually born but, the other part of me wanted to stick to my plan and go on to Nashville because I thought it would be rude if I didn’t. Plus, what ultimately made me choose Nashville over the birth of Stone was that I knew I wouldn’t get to celebrate Alison and her bachelorette party again, but, that Stone would and will always be there when I visit home next. It was still a tough decision for me and as soon as he was actually born and my mom sent me pictures I felt like I was immediately starting to regret making the trip down south. He was more beautiful and perfect than I could have ever imagined. Words couldn’t describe the feelings I had when I saw him (in picture form) for the first time. But, let’s just say I was at out shopping at the mall at the time and definitely started tearing up, in the baby clothes department, looking all kinds of pathetic. LOL.

Fast forward to Tuesday, two days ago, and when I found out I would get to leave early from work I knew I had to make the 2.5 hour drive home to see my nephew. Sure, I will be going home again tomorrow but, I seriously just couldn’t take it any longer. I drove home as fast as I could and when I got to my brother and sister-in-law’s house, I RAN to the front door. (And for those who know me, you know I don’t run for anything–I HATE running, lmao.) I open the door and see Jamie feeding Stone, and I am even more shocked and taken away at how precious, beautiful and perfect he really is. I called Jamie as I was leaving town to tell her I was coming home and wanted to see him and also warned her I would probably cry when I saw him. Thankfully I was able to hold my tears back but I kid you not, every time I look at a picture of him, and even yesterday when I was out shopping for groceries at Meijer but then “somehow” ended up in the baby boy clothes section, I started tearing up. LOL.

I’m sure some of you are probably wondering why I am so emotional over Stone and maybe even some of my family members are thinking back to when their babies were born and how I didn’t act like this. It’s not that I love any of my other nieces and nephews any less or anything like that–I will tell you now that being an aunt is my greatest “gig” yet and I’ve been lucky enough to be one since I was 2.5 years old. But with Stone, it is different. And I will tell you why…

My older brother Adam, is someone, who despite us literally fighting sometimes or him just being a natural big brother and picking on me from time to time in general, is someone I appreciate and look up to. I look up to all of my siblings, yes, and I love them all the same. But, for those of you who know Adam–you know he is, how do I put it? A bit “rough around the edges”, if you will. He’s not perfect by any means but, who is? No one. When he was growing up he wasn’t a horrible teenager but, he wasn’t an angel either. (Love you, Adam) And so of course when he and Jamie told the family at Christmas last year that they were expecting I lost it. Mind you, I had a few glasses of wine in me, lol, but, even to present day, I get emotional thinking about him as a dad. I guess to be honest there were some days, some moments where I thought, “Adam as a dad? Yeah right, not any time soon–more like not for a long time.” And, I think part of me thought this because I had always known him to be the one who likes to have fun, doing whatever it may be. But, after the news broke and time went on, I knew he and Jamie were going to be forced to “grow up” (not saying that they were careless/reckless or anything like that) or rather, “upgrade” to parent status. It was weird to think about, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have doubts but, at the end of the day, I knew they would make great parents. Like any parents, I imagine (I can’t speak 100% because I myself am not a parent yet), they will make mistakes and deal with Stone acting out as he grows up and gets older but, that’s normal for any family with kids. Seeing Adam transition from the “having fun” guy to dad, is something that’s very sentimental to me. (If that’s the right word to use??) Not that I am not proud of Jamie, or my other siblings with kids, but, this is my big brother, Adam, we’re talking about. It’s just something that’s hard to explain without it coming out wrong so if you’re reading this and taking it the wrong way, I am sorry. It just is something different with Adam being a dad. Even just typing this is making me emotional.

At the end of the day, I love all of my nieces and nephews the same. I hate that they grow up so fast, though, which, is also part of the reason I think I am so obsessed and in love with Stone. That, and we haven’t had a baby boy since… Calvin, I believe, and he’ll be 10 (?) this year. REALLY?! It’s just crazy how fast time goes by and how quickly each one of them grows up. Even Annabelle, who will be 3-years-old in December (OMG, that just hit me… THREE?!), has grown up so fast right before my very eyes. And that’s not to say my nieces and nephews aren’t as fun when they grow up, but, their priorities shift as they get older just like mine did. My niece Madi has two daughters, is engaged… My nephew Drew is in college, has a job… My nephew Zach is a SENIOR in high school and will graduate next year… My niece, Gabi, will be fourteen, WHAT?!… My nephew Max will be THIRTEEN (I think, right? See, I myself am getting too old to remember everyone’s age, LOL) in December AND he now has his own cell phone. I texted him a couple times so far and one time when I texted him asking him if he was watching Big Brother he said “no” and then didn’t really say much to me after that so he must have been too tired to text me too 😦 LOL… My niece Amelia and nephew Calvin will both be 10 in November… My nieces Raelynn and Gigi will both start Kindergarten in the fall… And like I said earlier, Annabelle will be THREE in December. And then my niece, Ashlyn, and her girlfriend are both working and have a place of their own and then my nephew, Corey, and his fiancee have their own place too with their two kids and pets. I mean, they’re all grown up! This is partly why I freaked when I wasn’t there when Stone was born because I there for just about every other birth of my nieces and nephews and to not be able to be there for Stone tore me apart. Even now, living away, it’s hard because I know I don’t get to see him all the time like I did growing up with my other nieces and nephews.

I have to remind myself though that I don’t live that far and can always come home on a weekend if I don’t work, but, living away in general is still taking getting used to. My mom and dad assure me it will be fine, and I know deep down they’re right. It’s just going to take time.

Hopefully soon I will meet people to hang out with and stuff, but, even if not, it’s a part of the growing up process–just like my mom told me. I am an adult now and she said herself, I can do it. I’m thankful to have the best parents in the world who refuse to let me give up when times get tough. They believe in me enough to know that I can work past whatever it is that is thrown my way. So mom, dad–thank you both. Thank you to all of my family for giving me that push I needed to make the move to work my dream job and do what I love most.

I know there will always be challenges here and there in the future, in whatever aspect/stage of life, but, they’re always there behind me.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana