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Cousins. If you are lucky enough to have them, they are your earliest friends in life. They are your first playmates. Even if there is a huge age gap, you know you will always have someone to go to if you need help, to play a game, or just a simple hug.

As years have gone by I have realized that my cousins are extremely important to me. They are the family that grounds me. They are the people that are excited for my good times and are sad for the not so happy times. They are the ones that I can be completely silly with and no one will judge (unless they do and I don’t really know 😉 ).  In my family we have multi generational cousins. I am still close with my  second, third, and fourth cousins. Yes, that’s right, fourth cousins! We may not see each other very often, but those two or three times a year that we do are amazing! You know that best friend you have that you haven’t seen in a while. Then you hang out after so much time has passed and it seems like you just saw each other yesterday? That is how it is with my cousins. All of them.  What is even better is, when you see them, and your relationship is so solid, that a simple “Hey Cuz!”  is all that is needed. I have had some of the greatest conversations of my life with these people.

My husband comes from a very similar family dynamic. He is also very close to his cousins. I honestly consider myself lucky to have married someone with awesome cousins as well. I don’t even think of myself as an “outsider” or someone who “married into” the family (unless, of course, I’m wrong 😉 ). They are all so welcoming that it feels like an extension to my own group of cousins.

My first cousins I see quite often (I’m just using a number order to better differentiate for you, my readers :) ). We have started a dinner where the cousins meet up several times a year. We decided these dinners will have a theme. Our most current one was Italian. The dinners are potluck, so everyone brings a dish that corresponds with the theme. After our big meal, we wind up playing Pictionary, Catch Phrase, etc. It is so much fun!

Try the dinners with your cousins. It really is an amazing time! And don’t forget to take lots of pictures. I know I love looking at old pictures of my grandparents and their generation at family gatherings when they were my age. I especially look for the smiles and the good times they were having. I try to imagine what they were talking or laughing about. I hope future generations will do the same with the pictures we have taken.

What are some favorite things you like to do with your cousins? Comment below!

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