Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Aunties Are the Best Kind of People

Aunties really are the best kind of people to have in your life. They love unconditionally. They don't judge. And they accept. Really accept. So this is a tribute to all those aunties out there, and especially to the ones who constantly enrich the lives of my children. :)
Dear Auntie,

You are irreplaceable in my children's lives. They adore you and so do I! You are one of a kind and so needed by each of my three babies. Words can't adequately describe how much your auntiness means to our family, but I'm going to try. :)
Auntie, you may be my sister, my sister-in-law, my cousin, my college roommate or one of my best friends, sometimes a few of those wrapped in one. Some of you I've known for my whole life (I'm looking at you big sis!:), and some of you I've known for your whole life (I'm looking at you little sis!:). And most of you I've known for only a small fraction of that time. But no matter how long you've been in our lives, you have made a true impact on my sweet kiddos. Each of you aunties lead entirely different lives than the other aunties that love my kids, and you show your auntie love in vastly different ways. You are each so special and appreciated far more than I think you could ever really comprehend.
The aunts I grew up with played an irreplaceable role in my spiritual, emotional, and physical development - each were there for me at different times, in different ways, unique situations from each other, and I will forever be grateful. It warms my heart to see the same thing happening in the lives of my kids with this new generation of aunties - I know you will be the same positive influence in the lives of my kiddos as they grow up, just as my aunts were in mine. I am already so grateful for the years you've loved my kids already, and I'm looking ahead at the years to come with a grateful heart.
So aunties, this one's for you. :)
Thank you for absolutely adoring your niece and nephews and for truly believing that they hung the moon. I can always count on you to think that everything my children do is outrageously adorable and hilarious and you just know they're going to do something big someday. You are always thinking of them and sending me messages of things you saw or searched out that made you think of them each individually. They are always on your mind and I have a feeling they are always in your prayers. How lucky are they to have these built in, lifelong cheerleaders in their aunties?!
Thank you for loving my children for who they are. Thank you for loving them like your own. Thank you for accepting them and loving them unconditionally. Thank you for encouraging them, praising them and genuinely believing in them. Their eyes light up and their little souls just glow at your praise for them. Each and every time you come to see us or we come to see you, seeing their auntie never disappoints - you are absolutely one of their very favorite people. Thank you for making them feel like a million bucks every. single. time. you see them and for making them feel like they are the most special niece or nephew in the whole entire world! Thank you for not judging them or limiting your love for them based on anything they might do or say. You see that they are little and learning and figuring out life.:)
Thank you for teaching them all about the gospel, the world we live in, how to be a good person, how to have fun and how to choose the right. Thank you for being an example to them of what a kind, faithful, loving, charitable, hardworking, enduring, gracious, fun-loving and righteous person looks like. Thank you for dressing them up in silly outfits and taking a million pictures. Thank you for playing with them tirelessly and making them giggle endlessly. Whatever silly games they want to play, you're always up for it! Wrestling, tennis, Oregon Trail, they name it, you're game. Their smiles mean the world to me, and the joy they feel is tangible when their auntie is around. :)
Thank you for the tickle fights, the endless stream of YouTube videos that drain your phone or computer battery, and for playing them the same songs over and over again (if you are at all annoyed by the repetition of their favorite songs/videos you never show it!). Thank you for the presents. The ones that are homemade, the ones you agonize over for months hoping to choose perfectly, and the ones you buy spontaneously because you spotted them and just knew your nephew or niece would get a kick out of them. Thank you for making their birthdays special. Thank you for all of the special treats. Thank you for letting them destroy your house, your room and your stuff whenever we come to stay, and for not hating us for it! We try our best to always make it up to you. :)
Thank you for the handmade Christmas ornaments and for continually adding to their ducky collection. Thank you for the hand painted art that your nephew now treasures, and for making your niece feel like the most important little girl on earth. Thank you for the brown polka dot blanket you gave your newborn baby nephew, that in the years to come became his very best friend! Thank you for the outings to pool parties,  Chick-fil-A, the movies and the park. Just a quick trip around the block with you in your car would be enough to make them feel like royalty, but you always squeeze some sort of outing in beyond that. You are vital and so needed in the lives of my babies.
But, it doesn't stop there.

Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for not judging my failures but instead supporting me and cheering me on. It's often what I need most! Auntie, thank you for being one of my best friends. For listening to me, laughing with me, making me laugh out loud and making me feel like the world's best mother even when I know I fall extremely short. Your praise and encouragement mean the world to me and let me know I'm doing a better job than I think I am, and that what I do every day for these kiddos is everything to them. Thank you for the advice and, again, the listening ear. Because of you, some of the hardest mommy times have been brightened and I look back on those times you listened, and the hope you held and how you just knew things would work out, and in each of those little situations, they have. You believe in my little kiddos and you also believe in me, and oh what a difference that makes!

Thank you for the french toast after I had your little nephew (that hospital food was just horrible!), and thank you for the letter you wrote me after I had your niece and was going through the most emotionally and mentally trying time of my life, and thank you for coming to be with me and your niece and nephew when I was anxious and overwhelmed so I didn't have to be alone (and for taking my mind off of life's stresses with The Bachelor! ;). Thank you for your potty training tips and encouragement and laughs. Thank you for making your nephew lunch when I was too sick (while pregnant with your cute niece) to do anything but lay around and beg you to do stuff for me. ;) Thank you for gushing over each and every picture of your niece and nephews that I post to facebook or text you personally. Thank you for praying for me as I take on all this mommy business. I love you and I trust your advice and input on the raising of these precious kiddos, and I appreciate you so much.
Aunties, as I said before, you are each incredibly unique and play a different role in my children's lives and you each bring something different to the auntie table. Some of you have children of your own and some of you do not. Some of you only get to see your sweet nephews and niece but once or twice a year, some far more often, some far less. But always remember and never forget, that my babies are your babies and you love them in a special auntie way that, simply put, I cannot. I couldn't do this mommying thing without you. It truly does take a village and somehow Jared and I ended up with the most rock solid village/squad in the world. :)
Thank you for being you - we love and appreciate you more than you could ever know. You, auntie, are the perfect aunt for our babies. To quote the ever classic Dragon Warrior, "There is no secret ingredient", and that's true for being an auntie too. There is no special recipe or secret ingredient to being the best auntie ever - it's just you. :) Whether you know it or not, you really are the very best kind of person, and we adore you.


Brittany, Jared, and Three of Your Favorite Tiny People :)

(Now come visit! You all live much too far away and we are in dire need of some auntie time!!! I'll pay half your plane ticket?? Pretty please!;)

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