Growing up in a Big Family

Updated: Mar 22

I'm the sixth out of seven children in my family, yup, six girls and one boy. I know what you may be thinking, "ONE BOY?" Yes. One. Boy. But, I personally think it taught him a lot about girls and what not to do after one of us girls came home crying over a boy. He always said how grateful he was too to have so many women in his life.

To give you an idea, my mother is 60 and my father is 74, and the age gap between the oldest and youngest child is 20 years! It was so much fun growing up in a big family. Going down the stairs in a laundry basket for fun and being able to stay up late with my brother and his friends when my parents went to sleep ... ahhh those were the days. The best days may I add.



My mother always tells me that she thinks I was born with a new soul, just by the way I look at the world. If you're familiar with the song "Goodbye Earl" by the Dixie Chicks, I used to ask my mom to play it in the car everyday on my way to Pre-K. If you listen to the lyrics you'll know that I had no idea what the song was about, but I guess I liked the catchy tune. I also asked my teacher everyday if we were going to have a party that day .... and that my mom taught me how to do a cartwheel? Oh to be four again. My family always says that I was the happiest baby.


This picture I'm about to show you is a classic in our family. We crack up every time someone brings it up. I'm on the right in the pink little dress happy as ever, and Harley, is in the pink dress and jacket on the left. She refused to get in the picture and was pissed off. Hey, dysfunctional is what we proudly are.



Harley and I are 23 months apart, I really couldn't give her that one month to officially be the youngest child for 2 years. Sorry. I love this picture of us in our dresses, pigtails, and bangs. We're both happy in this one!



I was a happy kid. But, some pictures may say otherwise. I'm the little girl in the green dress with a pouty, sad facial expression. I loved my oldest sister Alyssa, the one on the right holding me, so much when I was little. She'd take me to preschool every other day. I still remember that.




This is by far the best one. The amount of attitude I'm giving off in this picture is hysterical. "Excuse me?" "Who do you think you are? "And...?" Ugh, I could go on.


I even made it into my own personal meme.


It's insane how much my God-daughter, niece, Lucy, looks so much like me as a baby. She's such a fierce "don't look at me but look at me" little girl. Lucy is going to be 2 years old this summer, she is my older sister Brianna's baby. She's our little princess, just look at her.



Growing up, we lived in a big old stone house that had a big backyard and pool. We had the best, most fun, childhood. 13 years ago we had a fire and our house burnt down, we lost everything. I was in fifth grade and I remember the exact day like it was yesterday. I'll explain that story in another post, because it's a long one.


But, the main point is that I believe it made us closer as a family and more grateful to have each other in our lives. I can't go a week without talking to each of my sisters, brother and parents without feeling lost. We're over each other's house 24/7 and talking in our group chat all day, every day. I don't know what I'd do without them. They're my everything. December 16, 2007 is a day we'll remember for the rest of our lives.


Growing up, we used to have mastiffs. They were cuddle bugs to us, but vicious dogs to strangers. They were outside dogs and had their own built mini house which was ventilated and comfortable. I remember wanting to go outside and play with them all of the time. Our one mastiff, Daisy, was my favorite.


I have a funny memory of one of her litters forming a line and biting my little tush when I was in my bathing suit. Such a random memory but I'll always remember that. We sold that litter, they were the cutest puppies. Pictured below is Daisy and I, and my babydoll and crazy hair. I miss her.



Having our oldest siblings as babysitters was the best and worst. Each one was a completely different baby-sitter; Angie, Alyssa and Michael. If Angie was babysitting, we'd have popcorn and candy for dinner, if it was Alyssa she’d make us tidy up the house ... but she did make the BEST "Alyssa Helper" (Hamburger Helper but Alyssa's special version) so I can't complain there, and Michael was the fun babysitter who'd have us laughing all night long.


He used to have us stand on each corner of the rug and have a wrestling battle, I remember it being so much fun. We had a pillow in our living room with sharp beads on each side, we called it the "death pillow." It was forbidden in this game. If someone hit you with that thing, it hurt. My dad also had this hand-made wooden chair that was carved as an eagle. That was called the "death chair," and the pillow sat right on it. I miss that.









The seven of us are all our own people, it's something I admire the most about my mom. We were all encouraged to be ourselves and express our own personalities. It's crazy how different we all are, but we still get along. My oldest sister Alyssa will kick your ass if you mess with her. She's courageous and will be there for you whether it's for a medical question or just to talk.


My second oldest sister Angie will tell you what you need to hear. She's strong and understanding and will bring out your silly side. My brother Michael is the third, he's the funniest person I know and he's such a talented musician. He lights up a room when he walks in, he just has that happy glow about him. If you ever watched the Nickelodeon show iCarly, he's Spencer. The fourth is Brianna, she's the kindest and sweetest person you'll ever meet. Her presence is calming to be around and she's so artistic, it's her hidden talent.


Harley comes fifth, she's the smartest person I know. If you need help with science or math she's a wizard! She doesn't let anyone mess with her and she's so kind and understanding. There's me, and last comes Erin, the baby of the bunch. Erin is very independent and has an attitude of no other. She's smart and athletic and won't let anyone get in her way.


Every single one of my siblings is special and each and every one of them teaches me something new everyday. I love them so much. My sister Angelique made these frames for my mom. It's the seven of us and attached are our own special qualities. My mom has it hanging up.



Some of the best/funniest memories:


When Brianna told me I ate the cleaning Lady's Tuna salad and that she was going to be mad at me; when Michael would put us on top of the fridge and pretend to open the door; "spider climbing" up the doorway; swimming out back when we had family barbecues; when Harley called her best friend Brandi on the home phone and Brianna recorded it and their conversation sounded like gibberish; having family relay tournaments outside; When Angie tripped over her own feet in CVS (we had one right behind our house); when Erin would monkey climb on everything and anything as a baby; when one of Michael's friend was brave enough to run down the creepy basement and grab the baby bottle when the power went out; Brianna's homemade videos of Michael's skits ... ahhh I could go on.


Some of those may not even make sense to you, but they do to us. That's the one thing about having a big family, having those had to be there memories, and inside jokes that only we'd find funny.




Growing up in a large family meant huge family parties, having a table filled dinner of 9 people every night, making up with each-other by being forced to hold hands and say one nice thing about one another, a house filled with laughter and some tears, and a love like no other. I'll forever be grateful for growing up with my six best friends. I simply wouldn't be the person I am today without them.



For the longest time we've always wanted to get a sibling tattoo. A year ago we finally got one! It represents our place in the family. Angie, Harley, and Michael still have to get theirs. I'm the sixth out of seven in our family.


Now I have a story to tell every time someone asks me, "what does your tattoo mean?"




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