Happy National Siblings Day!

Last week was National Siblings Day. Usually, I don’t really go for holidays that aren’t widely known or celebrated. But when I saw the Huff Post announcing it last week, there was no resisting a post about it. They even have this entire week set aside just to celebrate siblings. How fun!

siblings day

For those that may not know, I come from a very large family of 12 siblings of which I am extremely close with and have been that way for most of my life. While I may not have had the chance at the relationship I wanted with some of them, the others are some of my closest friends my greatest blessings.

So, in celebration of siblings week…

Why I Love Coming From a Large Family

Being raised in a large family is what I have always known. I never knew what it was like to be an only child or what it would be like to live in a quiet household with only one brother or sister around. I am thankful for my big family and all of the personalities that come with it!

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Because I come from such a big family, there was never a second thought in my mind that I wanted more than one child. Because I don’t know what it is like to be an only child the thought never crossed my mind that I would only have one child of my own. Since I also have many years of education in psychology, there are a variety of reasons why I wouldn’t have ever wanted just one child, but we will save that for another day.

As an adult now, looking back on my childhood and seeing all of my siblings grown up (almost all adults now), it is such an unbelievable blessing to have shared life with them and to have learned so much from my relationships with each of them. Our dad passed away when I was 10-years-old and since then, it has just been all of us against the world. God truly reserves special places in your heart for the siblings he gives you, and I know that each of mine have played such a huge and different role in my life.

siblings xmas

My brothers are all so special to me. I have an extremely close relationship with one of my older brothers and I really don’t know where I would be without him. You know those people who just ground you, sets you on the right path, and brings you back to what really matters in life? That’s what he does for me, always.

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My younger brothers, although younger in age, are all bigger than me now and have always been the protectors of their sisters. Since our dad passed, they have taken that “male protector” role that I think all girls need as they grow up. Even now, whenever I see my little brothers, there is such a sense of safety and peace being around them. Two of them are Marines, which I could not be more proud of, and the other is the closest in age to me and has always been one of my best friends.

josh jo superbowl

My sisters are just some of the sweetest and the most gorgeous ladies I know. My youngest sister (not so young anymore) and I share a birthday. This has always given us a really special bond that we will share for the rest of our lives. Another one of my sister’s is now in college and will eventually be in medical school. She is one of the smartest and kindest girls that you will ever meet and it is an honor to call her my sister.

wedding sisters

There is a really special place in my heart for one of my older sister’s. We are 9 years apart in age but over later years in life have developed the best and truest friendship sister bond that I could ask for. As a teenager, my behaviors and life choices really caused a gap in that relationship. But it’s almost as if those years were just part of the paths that now lead us to develop the bond that we have. My sweet sister, my best friend. I could never put into words how thankful I am for her. The ability to call or text her just to vent about a bad day, or to chat about personality traits that we share that other people just don’t get, means more to me then I think she will ever now. It has saved my sanity on numerous occasions.

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I love all of my many siblings so much. I hope and pray that they know just how much they are appreciated and how much they mean in my life on a daily basis. Although we are grown up and have all gone our separate ways now, the bonds I share with them all could never be separated by distance.

*Cheers to the amazing blessings that are siblings*

joanna at motherhood and merlot