Love and Loss
Family Doesn’t Have To Be Blood

Family Doesn’t Have To Be Blood

Me with Ryan, Dex, and Dee

“Family isn’t an f word” – Deadpool

What does family mean to you? Your children, parents, spouse – but what about the friends you make who aren’t your blood but have become such an integral part of your life you have adopted them as your own?

Living here in South Carolina my husband and I don’t have any family here. All of mine are in Syracuse, Ryan’s are all over the place. I’ve felt for years like something was lacking. My kids don’t have cousins, they don’t have aunts and uncles readily available like I did when I was growing up and that hurts my heart.

Ryan and me on NYE

For years I was very sheltered and afraid to leave the house until one day last year when I realized being a hermit was so unhealthy I NEEDED to get social. I posted in my Fort Mill mom group asking if anyone would go to karaoke with me and that’s how I met the woman I now call my sister, Dee. She is an inspiration to me and if you’re interested in health and fitness check out her YouTube channel or Instagram page. She swears one day she will teach me how to twerk. Best of luck doing that sis. She supports me and empowers me and every time I get to spend time with her we always have a blast. We are the perfect Oreo cookie, expect stories from us and our karaoke nights out and fitness stories will follow. I’ll likely have her guest post and will include her in on my fitness stuff.

Me and my sis at the Empire Christmas party with Nick, I credit him for bringing all of us together. If it wasn’t for his karaoke I wouldn’t have any of my family!

When our karaoke bar shut down I needed a new spot so I started hanging out at Empire Pizza in Rock Hill. I’ll likely be telling stories of my nights there because fun stuff happens nightly. Because of Empire my family has expanded greatly. I have so many close friends who I hang out with as I drink water and sit on a picnic table listening to music and being generally dumb.

One person who came into my life at Empire is my brother Dex. He has become a very protective big brother which my husband loves. He says if I am going to be out while he is asleep he takes comfort in knowing nobody will dare hit on me or mess with me because my brother will make sure nobody comes near me. I swear Dex has a five second hug rule before he says “That’s enough, give her space.” You’re going to hear A LOT about him because I spend the most time with him as we are both night owls who love having music trivia nights. He is as close to blood one can get without sharing DNA.

Me and my brother on NYE

I have other people in my life I consider family now too. There’s Mama Peg, Nick, Chris, Crystal, Tuck, and Tatiana and countless others. I have formed a tribe so large and empowering that I finally after all these years here in South Carolina I feel like it’s REALLY home, you know? Dex and Mama Peg spent Christmas with us and we all had the best time. Ryan and I rang in the New Year with Tatiana by our side (She also helped us decorate our Christmas tree this year!)

Us with Dex and Mama Peg and Dex this Christmas

We’re a ragtag little group down here but what we all have is each other. My kids now have a feeling of family they haven’t had since their grandparents moved and I have a sense of security now that’s pure and wholesome and good. What does family mean to you? Is it blood or is it bonds you form with those you meet? Let me know in the comments! I love learning about you! Hopefully you’ll enjoy all of the stories I will be sharing about my family here. They have my heart.

Me with Tatiana on NYE
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