#Framily {When That Special Bond Extends Beyond Family}

I’m an only child. I had a wonderful childhood and wouldn’t trade it for anything, nor would I add anyone to it. I grew up with my parents, together for almost 38 years, and all 4 of my grandparents, who lived not far from us. It was my perfect little world.

I do have cousins, but for the most part, we didn’t grow up together. The oldest grandchild on my mom’s side, I had 2 cousins in Wisconsin and 2 in Colorado. We spent Christmases together and maybe some time during the summers. Unfortunately, we were not childhood friends. I missed that part. On my dad’s side, I’m the youngest by 13 years. THIRTEEN! The 4 of us grew up in Lafayette together, but to say we were always at different stages in our lives is an understatement. Again, I missed being able to form that relationship with someone.

You know, that person in your family, sibling or cousin, that you form this unbreakable bond with? My life lacked “that person.” So I hold my friends close. It’s important to me.

I had the normal elementary and middle school friends. Bike rides, sleepovers, birthday parties, and mall hangouts. A couple of us are still very close and I depend on them daily to get through this crazy thing called life. One friend, we text EVERY MORNING. It’s amazing we can actually function 5 hours apart. #Framily 

In high school, I hung on tight as friends came and went, but the ones that are still here, dare I say 20-25 years later?, are the ones I hope my kids are lucky enough to have. I often tell my children, I didn’t have real friends until my late 20’s. Well after my divorce, when I ventured back out into the world, I actually met 2 of my dearest friends after a relationship I was in ended. That relationship might not have lasted, but we sure did. We are now raising our kids together. We share our triumphs, laughs and tears. #Framily 

When my husband and I started dating 10 years ago, I picked up a new tribe. Not just a BFF of his from high school that we see occasionally. Nope. I got a whole gang of peeps. They took me in like I’d been there the whole time. We share vacations together, meals, sporting events, festivals. The Crew. The Gang. The #Framily OH! And a little shoutout to my eldest child for gifting me with a soccer family. These ladies rock my socks off! 

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Through the ups and downs. The good, the bad, and the ugly. These people are here for me, and I for them. All of the people mentioned are my children’s aunts and uncles – their kids; cousins. Someone doesn’t have to be related by blood for you to form that special bond. Friends are important and the can certainly be family too.

Sara Stevens
Sara is a proud mother of two daughters. Morgan (14), a product of her first marriage, and Elizabeth (5) with her husband of seven years, James. He is a very patient, loving soul who embraces all the ladies in his home, including their Schnauzer, Sadie and Jesse the Cat. Sara is a native of Lafayette turned Texas transplant who moved back to Cajun Country as fast as she could. An only child, she maintains a strong relationship with her parents and believes having close friends is important. When she’s not cheering on soccer, volleyball or fixing top knots for dance class, you can find Sara at her day job as an insurance agent for a local agency. She loves spending time at the beach with her family, traveling to new places, and indulging in local food and drink - then working it all off at Red’s. Oh, and all things UL. Geaux Cajuns! She’s just living life wildly. One day at a time.