Oh, baby baby!

This past Christmas I found out I am going to be an aunt to two little babies this Summer. My brother in law, Will, is having a baby with his girlfriend, Melissa, and my sister in law, Melissa, is having a baby too! Ironic, I know. Last week, Will and Mel C called me to share that they’re having a baby girl in July. I am beyond excited! Marrying into the family, I became an aunt to three kids whom I love dearly, but they are older and I don’t think we will ever have a bond like I had with my aunts, which is why I am so thrilled to be an aunt aunt!

Growing up, I had two aunts on my mom’s side and six on my dads side. I only have fond memories of the aunts I was close to. My Aunt Sherry was the adventurous one. She took us to swim with manatees, she kept a portable potty in her trunk for when she went on road trips, she listened to Ricky Martin and had us put on fashion shows in her clothes from High School just for fun. She would always plan the best, most creative birthday parties for us and even bought us chicks one Easter. As I got older, she would take me thrifting and talk to me about adult things that I appreciate now but maybe thought were a little awkward back then.

My Aunt Becky is my moms younger sister. She is the clean-freak, perfectionist and a shopaholic which is probably where I get all of those traits from. Her birthday is a couple days after Christmas so more than once I have been on shopping sprees with her and had a great time. I have always felt like she is more of a friend or sister to me than an aunt. She is fun, zany, beautiful and sassy.

Growing up in Florida, it was always exciting when our dad would take us to South Carolina to spend a week with our Aunt Kathy and Uncle Kent on Lake Murray. Jet skiing and wake boarding, convincing them to buy a puppy and playing with our cousins in the “cupboard under the stairs” are some of my fondest memories. Aunt Kathy is the funniest person I know… (besides myself…duh!) She is the equivalent to Melissa McCarthy and always has everyone laughing.

Aunt Lisa lives in St. Augustine and our mom would take us to stay with her for week long periods during our summer breaks. It was there that I cracked my head open on a coquina rock from swinging too hard on a hammock, Jordan, Nick (our cousin) and I would play Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, Oregon Trail and N64 religiously and would have dress up tea parties just because. Lisa is spunky, funny and worldly. Her home is filled with old art from the antique shop where she works and the last time I was there, she had a faux palm tree in her living room.

The last aunt I am going to mention is my Aunt Dennie who lives in Gainesville now, but lived in West Palm Beach when I was growing up. Dennis and Dave always invited Jordan and I to stay with them for about a week in the summer, too. Thinking of them brings back memories of Shirley Temples, French toast and the play “Oklahoma”. My cousin Abbey has always been into musicals and my cousin Elliot and I have always enjoyed food. We watched “Grind” about 50 times one weekend and would swim for hours then Jordan would make me burp the alphabet and everyone’s name just because I can.

Putting these memories into writing brings back so many emotions. My reason for this post is because my aim for this new baby girl is to be the best aunt I can be. I will love her unconditionally, introduce her to new, fun things, and be the person she can rely on when she just doesn’t feel like talking to mom and dad about it. I want to be the “fun” aunt. The one she’s excited to introduce her friends to and the one she wants to take shopping for prom dresses.

I want to be to this baby girl, what each of my aunts has been to me.

Family is the most important thing to me. Money, clothes, cars… none of that matters. What matters is the people you surround yourself with, the ones you go to when everything seems to be going wrong. The ones who can lift you up when you’ve fallen and don’t care if you get makeup on their shirt from crying on their shoulder. Family is the best, and I cannot wait for this little angel to come into our lives. She is already so loved by her Auntie Liv.


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