Not too long ago, my son asked me why we call Uncle Derek and Auntie Lish, our Uncle and Aunt if they are not really related to us. My answer was simple. We call them family because they are family. Derek has been my husband’s friend since they were my son’s age. Even though life got in the way and sometimes they didn’t see one another for looooong periods of time, they always remained friends. I knew Derek was a keeper when I met him 14 years ago. No matter what, he was always loyal. Always. That to me speaks volumes. I first met Alisha on my wedding day. She was Derek’s gorgeous new girlfriend in the stunning orange dress. Oh that orange dress! Even though most eyes were on her that afternoon, and most brides would have thought…you know what you would have thought! Anyway, she was impossible not to love. Lish is one of the smartest (I’m talking crazy smart here people), most genuine and loyal woman I know. She has become one of my closest friends and I am so glad that beautiful brunette in the orange dress came to our wedding. The four of us have been through a lot together. A lot. Things that would test even the greatest friendships have not torn us apart but rather strengthened our bond. We have witnessed one another marry, have babies, raise a family and just grow. The day they had their baby girl was one of the happiest days I know. A beautiful baby girl to love and spoil! Oh how I love that little girl. We all do. Derek is the God Father to our son. He is the man both of our boys refer to as “the best Uncle ever!” So when my son asked why we call them family when they aren’t, my answer was simple. Well, my sweet boy, it takes more than just blood to make family. They are the people who stand by us, who are always there when we need them. The people who share in all of our happy times and offer strength and support when we are sad. They are the people who we love like family because they are family. All this and so much more make them family.