August 15, 2013

My Second Family

Our 5 year wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of the month and there are a few things I want to share over the next few weeks.

Here is the first and the timing is perfect because we just got the preview back of our family photos.  If you are in the Twin Cities and looking for a wonderful person to work with on photos, check out my friend, Louise.  At least "like" her on Facebook so you can see all of her BEAUTIFUL photos.

When you get married to your person, you join their family.  In-laws have been the butt of many jokes in sitcoms about families.  All jokes aside, becoming part of another family that you didn't grow up in can be uncomfortable and hard.  I joined one of the most welcoming and awesome families ever and I'm extremely grateful for that.

When Justin and I started dating, I already knew his parents from work (story for a different day).  You would think that would mean the hard part was over.  Not when you find out that your boyfriend has two sisters.  I don't know why it was so intimidating, but I remember the first time I saw them - J's dad was duct taping the trim back on my car in their driveway - real classy.  I felt a little awkward around them the first year we were dating, but little by little, it got easy.  Now, they are my sissies and easily two of my best friends.

8 years later, I'm extremely lucky to have a second family that treats me like their own.  I've joined their ranks and I'm proud to be part of their family.  The cool thing that the whole family shares is a wedding month.  All 4 couples celebrate their anniversaries in August (plus my mother in law's birthday.)

I'm lucky enough to work with Nicole, J's little sister, so I get to see her almost every day.  We lunch, we walk, we actually do some work sometimes.  We have tons of fun jamming out to our favorite songs in the car.  I was lucky enough to drive her to her wedding.  That 20 minute drive was one of the best we've ever shared.  She got married last August to Brian and just celebrated their one year anniversary.  With Brian, came his daughter, Grace, who I just adore.  They have a daughter Madelyn as well and a little boy due to make his appearance at the end of October.

Holly and I got to know each other very well when she lived with Justin the summer after we started dating. She was getting married to her high school sweet heart that August and we spent the summer having dance parties in our living room and driving Justin crazy.  It was one of my favorite summers.  Holly & Wyatt just celebrated their 7 year anniversary and they have 2 beautiful little girls, Mackenzy and Kennedy.  I secretly wish Holly was still our roommate - family and all - but I'll settle for a couple weekend trips to the lake and monthly girl's nights.

Justin's parents have been in my life longer than he has.  We all worked at the same company (like I said, story for a different day.)  They have always been extremely welcoming to me.  Tonight, I found the card they gave us after we got engaged and it made me cry.  My favorite line, "Steph, you have been family since you & Justin started dating. We are glad it will finally be official."  They have raised some pretty awesome people and they are such wonderful, giving grandparents.  They celebrate their 32nd anniversary the day after we do.

Oh yeah, the kids are pretty spectacular too.  They are freaking adorable and when they decide they are going to love you, they REALLY love you.

I absolutely love being a part of this family.  The advice I have about in-laws is to move in slowly and really take the time to get to know them.  Understand the relationship that your significant other has with his family and stick with that.  Don't try to fix anything or overstep your boundaries.  Just appreciate the fact that you have a whole new group of people to support you and care for you.

Also, just marry someone awesome.


  1. Coming from someone who does not have a good relationship with her inlaws (only some of them), I am really happy that you have this. It makes life so so so much better.

    Great photos!

  2. Aw so fun! Thats great that you have such a close relationship with your in-laws. My husband barely talks to most of his family- but I love my mother and brother-in-law, even though we don't see them that much.

  3. These are BEAUTIFUL!!! :) you look adorable.

  4. Oh, those little girls! Too adorable!

    My husband has two sisters who are like my own as well (and one of them lived with us for a year when she graduated from college).

  5. Such a good looking fam, and how wonderful that you have such great inlaws!

  6. These photos came out fantastic!

    My in-laws are a tough crowd to break. Five years later, I think I might have them figured out! I am a little jealous his sisters were so welcoming. I definitely did not have the same experience with my sister-in-law. Karma is kind of a bitch though, because her husband has two sisters and one is a super bitch to her.

  7. I LOVE all of these pictures!! So much! Love the color choices, and seriously that last picture of you two is FANTASTIC! :)

  8. i love love love all the pics!!

  9. I agree! I was welcomed into my in law's loving arms! I can't imagine life without them now. I'm happy for you, that you have such a great family.. And how cool that you work with one of your sister in laws and that you two get along as well as you do!! You are one lucky lady.

  10. Awwww...this is such a sweet post and fantastic pics! You are a lucky gal to have married into a family like that.

  11. This is such a sweet post. I was blessed with wonderful in-laws as well, family is so important, and I'm so thankful for them!



Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.