Family defines who you are, whether it includes the people you were born to love or the people you’ve grown to love along the way. They’re the people you surround yourself with when there’s something to celebrate or something to mourn — and everything in between.
Like most, my family is complex. I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, Kan., with some of my fondest memories including bicycle rides to the local Dairy Queen with my father, mother and younger brother. Our Friday nights consisted of singing along to Beatles songs and dancing around the living room.
We even managed to take that same enthusiasm for music on the road during cross-country road trips — experiences that inspired my love for travel. We celebrated birthdays with my grandparents and extended family members, and rarely missed a holiday with one another, unless we collectively traded in a drab Kansas City winter for a more exciting one in the nearby Rocky Mountains.
But it wasn’t always ice cream and dance parties. Illness, divorces and the more recent loss of a parent are all reminders of how quickly life can change — and with that, the family dynamic that defines us. Now that I’m older, I realize how important it is to not only grow your family — whether through marriage, friendships or having children — but to also broaden your definition of it.
As senior editor of FamilyMinded, I hope to explore this evolution with you. On this quest, we’ll tackle the ups and downs of parenting, marriage, caregiving and relationship building. But we’ll also introduce you to a laugh-out-loud dog photo or parenting-mishap stories that will remind you to not take any of it too seriously.
I look forward to the journey, and I hope you enjoy the ride.
FamilyMinded Senior Editor