December 26, 2011

Friends & Family

Last night, Justin’s extended family gathered in New Jersey for dinner and a present exchange that could have put Santa himself out of business. After the packages had all been opened and the wrapping paper was all appropriately strewn about the room, we assembled ourselves around the table and slid the lid off a box of Cranium. We muddled our way through the rules, half making them up as we went along, and then twelve people set about to making total fools of themselves. The best kind of fools, really. The belly laugh, shouting, one-upping, smack-talking, oh-snapping, no you di’int, good natured, if only slightly a little competitive, kinds of fools of ourselves. And we loved every minute of it.

As an only child, I looked around the room at this big, adopted family of mine and realized how much I love each and every one of them. That Justin’s family had indeed become my family in every sense of the word. (We’ll, y’know except for the one that would make it illegal.:) And I guess it dawned on me that ‘family’ isn’t just limited to the one you’re born into. If you’re really lucky, it grows and grows over a lifetime. To all the people who come into your life, and change it for the better.

I know it might sound really silly, but that’s kind of what I feel like we have with all of you. Every day that you come in to our lives, you change it for the better. By listening. By caring. By bearing witness. By not only reading about our lives, but sharing yours with us as well. It’s a gift. It really is. And I never want to forget that. When I see your names pop up, I feel like I’m about to grab coffee with an old friend that I’ve known forever. The kind of friend that you have a shorthand language with. And you can pick up right where you left off. You laugh with us and cry with us, and you’re there to cheer us on. And you allow us in to cheer for you too. And I guess I just want to say thank you for being those kinds of friends.

The kind of friends that really…feel like family. Just know that now & always, we are so so thankful for you.

I hope you all had a very merry!
love love love,

  1. Nancy Mitchell

    Awe…Merry Christmas J&M! I feel the same way about you two. Even though we haven’t met in person, I still feel like we are friends! May you two have a very blessed 2012 and I look forward to hopefully making our paths cross this year! Praying for a BIG miracle!!! xoxo~nance

  2. Faye Bernoulli

    I’m an only child as well! :) My husband has a GIGANTIC extended family, and I love them like my own. Thank goodness for happy families! Merry Christmas J&M!

  3. Elizabeth and Ryan | Elizabeth Ryan Photography

    J&M, it has been so great to get to know you this year. Your encouragement and support throughout this past year has been such a blessing. We can’t wait to share a real life cup of coffee with you again soon! And can I just say how happy it makes me to see that you also wrapped all your Christmas presents in Craft paper too =) So fun! =) Merry Christmas to you and your entire family!

  4. Jennifer Bacchiocchi

    Mary, thanks for being so wonderful to all of us! I love coming to your blog every day because I love your work, love that you share your life, and love all of the encouragement that you offer. Thanks to you and Justin for being such amazing, generous people. Merry Christmas!

  5. Paul Manke

    Thank you for sharing this!! Every year we have our regular family Christmas, which includes a total of 3. But we also have our "Chosen Family" Christmas! Those people that we wish were family, those with nowhere else to go, those we love with all our hearts, those people are at our "Chosen Family" Christmas!

  6. Caitlin

    I love this post especially because I was experiencing the same thing yesterday-I have a really large extended family but spent yesterday with Mike’s and it felt like home. Like every single one of them was mine. It’s how I feel about you both as well! Merry Christmas!

  7. Sandra Fazzino Photography

    you’re an angel. merry christmas!

  8. Regina Marie

    I know exactly what you mean. I love my extended families.

    I’m so glad you’re having a happy holiday!

    And getting to take part in your life via your blog has been an amazing experience. <3 Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  9. ashley barnett

    Ah! Jeremy and I are only children too. Some say we’re spoiled I say… well maybe we’re spoiled :) Hope you guys had the best Christmas ever!

  10. Pam Petrillo

    Thank you, Mary! The moment we met you, you became family. We love you and love that you are Justin’s other half! Wishing you both many blessings for the new year!

  11. Christa

    Very sweet…merry Christmas

  12. Shannon Rosan

    Awww… Cheers to adoptive families, Cranium and a very Merry Christmas indeed :)

    Thank you Mary…Justin…Julia for all that you do!

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