I am a lucky person for a lot of reasons but one of the things that makes me the most thankful is the family I grew up in. Marvelous Mom is the oldest of four girls and my Aunts, Uncles and cousins on her side of the family are not just 'relatives' that I see occasionally, they are part of the bedrock of who I am. We don't see each other as often as I would like but we love each other unconditionally. If there were some kind of emergency, I could call any one of them right now and they would be in their car or on a plane to come help with no questions asked.
Dad (I really need a snappy name for him!) is the youngest - by only eleven months - of two boys and while he got the first (me) and the last (Scientist Genius Brother) words, his big brother outdid him in the interim by fathering my four cousins. (His wife, my Aunt K, really did the lions share of the work but we'll just let him think he's the big cheese so he'll keep on fixing my computers when they freak out. ;-)
Growing up, we lived in the same cities as Uncle Computer, Aunt K and my cousins and by the time I was in third grade we lived only one block away from each other. We kids played together, fought like cats and dogs, plotted against our parents and celebrated every holiday together with our parents and Grandmother. When things were bad, they were always there for us and the six of us kids are more like siblings than cousins. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without them and I would do anything at all for any one of them.
The oldest four of us are girls and then, a postscript of testosterone, Aunt K had cousin Johnboy and Marvelous Mom had Scientist Genius Brother within 4 months of each other. Once again Grandmother had a pair of boys to fuss over and we four girls had two baby boys to torture. Er, I mean, love and cherish. Now cousin Johnboy has his own baby and our family has grown and expanded by one baby and infinite amounts of love.
fell in love with this hipmama...
and they made this adorable baby boy! I could just eat him up, look at those CHEEKS!
And this Grandmother's heart has exploded with love for her fourth great-grandchild!
This baby is Aunt K and Uncle Computer's first grandson and the cutest baby boy in the ENTIRE universe! Hipmama and cousin Johnboy are amazing parents and I cannot tell you what it feels like to watch your baby cousin (even though he's twice my size now) fall in love with his own baby.
I am so incredibly lucky to have my family, and luckier still that we are growing by leaps and bounds and love.