You Know You’re From A Big Family When…

I’m not really sure what it is like to have a “normal” sized family, and for that I am thankful. I’ve grown up with too many aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, great aunts, great-great aunts to count. Growing up in a big family is really wonderful for some reasons, and not so wonderful for other reasons, but it’s all about how you look at it. Here are seventeen things everyone with a big family will understand:

best family ever

ONE: There is no such thing as a small gathering
Oh it’s your birthday?! Once all 65 family members arrive, it’s time to celebrate!

TWO: There’s no difference between your first cousin and your fifth cousin
You know you have 12 first cousins, but you’re not really sure which 12 of the family members labeled “cousin” are those ones. You have so many cousins, and your family is so inclusive and there are so many family members at the gathering that you wonder to yourself, “Am I really even related to this person?”

THREE: Your cousins are your best friends
You met your best friends the day you met your family. Those cousins that you’re always forced to hang out with, you fight with, and you sometimes get annoyed with are actually your favorite people on Earth, and you’re so thankful they’re related to you so that they are forced to be your best friends forever.

FOUR: You know just when to head to the kitchen so you beat the line for dinner
You know exactly which family member is in charge of the last step for the family meal. When you see them walk into the kitchen you strategically place yourself so that when they yell, “Dinner is served!” You can be first to jump in line. With a big family, you don’t want to take your chances being polite, there might not be any food left when you reach the front of the line in an hour!

FIVE: Saying goodbye takes forever
You have to start saying goodbye an hour before you actually want to leave to make sure you have time to say a proper goodbye to all. Often times you forget who you’ve already said goodbye to and end up doing your rounds more than once.

SIX: Gossip
I know, no one likes to admit it, but we all gossip. There’s no such thing as keeping a secret when you have a big family. Gossip spreads like wildfire. If you have some news, you better share with everyone before your mom tells her sisters and her sisters tell your cousins and your cousins tell… You know what I’m talking about.

SEVEN: The kids table
You’re in your 20s but you’re still sitting at the kids table. Yes, you are an adult but there still isn’t room at their table for you. Now your family had to create the “little kids” table for the generation behind you.

EIGHT: Family vacations
Family vacations are a lot of fun and there’s always someone willing to go on whatever adventure you want to go on. But with that big of a group it’s almost impossible to get everyone out the door. You spend more time trying to get everyone on the same page, than you do enjoying your vacation.

NINE: When you hear family picture you run
Taking a nice family picture with that many people is impossible. There are always a few family members missing that will need to be photoshopped in anyway, so you wonder if you can just be added to that list. Someone is bound to have their eyes closed, or not be ready for the photo. But once you do get that perfect picture you all post it as your Facebook cover photo and are happy to have a great photo of your favorite people.

TEN: You’re always shocked when someone’s significant other can actually handle the crazy
Or, the opposite, you cannot understand when they don’t embrace every minute of “family time”.

ELEVEN: You have rehearsed the answers to the questions you will be asked by everyone before gatherings.
Yes, I’m still single. No, I don’t know what I am doing when I graduate. You know exactly what questions you are going to be asked so you prepare. You almost want to just make an announcement when you arrive to avoid the repetition, yet, you ask the same type of questions to everyone else. And everyone is asking because they truly care, so you feel bad if you give a half-assed answer.

TWELVE: Members of the family start to move away and it’s almost impossible to always be together
Every gathering you hope that everyone will be there, but it is so rare that you can have all of your favorite people in the same room at once. You are even that person who has to miss out on the parties now, and you long to be with your family more frequently.

THIRTEEN: You have mastered taking over an entire restaurant… Or even small town.
As soon as you walk into a restaurant everyone knows you are there, and you won’t let them forget it for a second. Thankfully, you have those uncles with the great tricks and jokes that never fail to get the entire restaurant to participate in the family party.

FOURTEEN: The Holidays are never ending
Christmas eve eve, Christmas eve, Christmas, day after Christmas, day after the day after Christmas. You find any and every reason to get together. Some family members try to act like they hate it, but hey, they still show up so you know they secretly love it.

FIFTEEN: You don’t know how your grandparents do it
Your grandparents have seen and heard it all. They have had to put up with all of this craziness for many years and yet they still seem to be sane. You don’t know how they remember every little thing about each member of the family. Your grandparents have so much love to go around, and you want to be just like them when you grow up.

SIXTEEN: You’ve had a lot of really great times and really bad times.
Like any family, in a big family you have some great times together and then you have some really hard times. Your family is who you want to celebrate life’s accomplishments with, and they’re the only people who know just how to comfort you in a hard time. The highs are extremely high with a big family. The lows are a little less low when you have such a big family because you have so many people supporting you.

SEVENTEEN: You secretly wish there was a family gathering 365 days a year
At the end of the day, you miss your family when you’re not with them. You wish you could see all of them everyday.
I wouldn’t trade my big family for anything. I am so thankful I have grown up with all of my crazy, hilarious, and loving family members!IMG_6476

This blog post was written by Anne Hagerty. 

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Lace Up: Anyone Can Be A Runner

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 2.51.02 PM The amount of times I have heard “I’m not a runner” or “I’m not built like a runner, therefore I can’t run” has really started to piss me off and honestly, whoever I walked by this weekend saying these things, thank you for the inspiration to prove you all wrong.

I’ll start by being completely candid, I am a bit biased to the whole physical activity hoorah. I grew up playing competitive soccer up until the day I left for college. I mean, yes, it’s a lot of running and disciplined conditioning, but I never had to run longer than 3-4 miles at a time in those 15 years of playing. I should also add that each of those miles had to be in 7 minutes or less (the struggle was totally real).

Once college started, all concepts of physical activity went out the window and I was now struggling to run 1 mile, on a Sunday, while trying not to gag over the smell of Captain Morgan and Fireball seeping through my pores. Cool.

Freshman year ended and those attractive 15 pounds needed to go (this isn’t where running saved my life, I just got cut off of my campus meal plan when I moved out of the dorms). Exercise became important again and I was back in shape but I still couldn’t run more than 2 agonizing miles, maybe 3 on a good day.

IMG_8584Come Junior year I accepted an offer for an internship in Seattle and decided I should find things to do that would let me see the city in a unique way. This is where running made my life great. I signed up for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Seattle, by myself. Turns out I wasn’t alone, a few of my friends had already signed up and planned on taking a road trip to run as well. Training became fun as we increased our distance by one mile each Sunday and spent the majority of our runs singing and talking in very breathy sentences. Come race day, 13.1 miles never seemed so doable.

To make a long story longer, I caught the running bug. Since my first half in Seattle, I have completed two more half marathons, improving my time each time.

The point of this was to show that anyone can lace up some shoes and hit the pavement. I can’t lie like some Pinterest post and say it’s as easy as that. Running is an investment in your time, your body, and your wallet. Ugly running shoes changed the way I felt about running. YOU MUST INVEST IN UGLY RUNNING SHOES. My GPS watch complimented my competitive drive by keeping my pace (so that I wasn’t trying to run 7 minute miles for 13.1 miles straight) and my running belt was crucial for holding my phone, keys and ID. Looking the part makes performing the part so much easier.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 3.15.13 PMI’m not saying go sign up for five half marathons or to start out running 9 miles at a time. I challenge every one of you to start by going outside (weather is a horrible argument), plug in some pump-up tunes or grab a friend to distract you, and start off slow. If 1 mile is all you’ve got, then it’s one more mile than those sitting on the couch. Happy Running 🙂

*Serious about it? Comment below for more tips and help on joining a world wide community.