I found out I was going to be an aunt my senior year in college. I immediately ran to a toy store and bought a stuffed animal. I lived in a house with my 5 college roomies and we would write phone messages for each other on this large dry erase board. I demanded that any messages left for me were to be addressed to "Aunt Lauren." I seriously wanted to be called that when my sister was, like, 8 weeks pregnant.
I was traveling in Europe when my oldest niece was a baby and I drove everyone nuts looking for toys for her. I was working in a TV station when my sister had her second little girl and my office was plastered with their pictures. I begged my sister to let me keep them all the time. Even before Rob and I were dating I would keep them in my apartment and we would make brownies and watch "Sleeping Beauty" together.
We went to the beach together, I took them to the zoo, to the playground, to the park, to plays, to tea parties, and much more. And this was all before I even had kids of my own.
All this to say, I love my nieces!! And so I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to keep them for a week after Disney World. I don't have a ton of pictures, because I was just enjoying hanging out with them. But we had a wonderful week. We kept our connection strong when we moved to Kansas City and since we moved back we have picked up right where we left off. And now they adore my children and seeing the bond between the cousins makes my heart so happy.
And I have to say that being an aunt to teenagers and pre-teens is so much fun in a completely different way. Instead of them running in my room at 6am begging me to make them cheese eggs and take them to the park, I am now waking them up at 11am and dragging them downstairs. But I love having them sit on my kitchen stools as they groggily chat with me while I make their breakfast. I adore every stage of being an aunt and I am so grateful for these blessings.
While watching a movie cuddled up with his cousin one afternoon, Will slumped over and fell asleep on her. For 2 hours! Sweet Piper didn't want me to move or wake him so she let him sleep on her for two whole hours. Such a great moment.
Cousins are your first friends. I should know. Mine were.
Walking across the street to our neighborhood park one afternoon.
Sutton hanging out with Lainey at Water World.
My favorite crew.