What It’s Like To Grow Up in a Big Family

If there is one thing that has shaped me the most as a person, it would be my big family. There is no doubt that I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today if it weren’t for my incredible parents and my amazing (yet obnoxious) siblings. If you are from a big family, you can relate.

The biggest struggle of having a big family is taking family photos. I mean, it is a CHORE! There is always someone missing, someone looking at a different camera, or someone with their eyes closed. And with photos comes people’s good/bad sides, so making sure everyone is on their “good/bad” side is tiring enough. You can count to three all you want, but there will never be one picture that everyone is happy with.

With big families comes being accustomed to being called someone else’s name on a daily basis. It becomes a habit to respond to any name you hear because you are so used to being called some other name other than your own. If I got a dollar for every time my mother called me by one of my sibling’s names, I would have my own website!

Keeping track of everyone’s age is SO HARD. Seriously props to anyone who knows the exact age of all of their siblings and parents because I know I sure struggle when birthdays come around. Shopping for cards is so difficult because I’m always like “are they 7 or 10 now?” Time flies!!

Going off the birthday topic, birthdays are the WORST. You find your bank account crying each month because of all the birthdays you have to buy gifts for when you could be spending that money on food. You almost need two jobs to support your lifestyle!

But we all know Christmas is the best holiday because your family has finally come up with a system so you don’t have to buy gifts for everyone. I personally hate spending money, but when Christmas rolls around, I find myself spoiling whoever’s name I drew (within the budget, of course). This past Christmas I went to the Dollar Tree and got a bunch of small items to add to my gift, on top of the “big” gift so that I could get more bang for my buck – and spoil my family member a little more than others ❤

You learn to eat extremely fast. Growing up with a big family means eating as fast as you can in order to get seconds. And of course, you are always bribed by your parents with dessert. We all have been told “if you eat all your food, you can have a snack.” You BEST BELIEVE I was scarfing my food down so I could get my snack quicker.

Through all of this, your family will always be there for you no matter what. They are your best friends and your biggest fans. They want to watch you grow and succeed and are willing to do anything to make that happen. They may get on your nerves a countless number of times, but they will make you laugh even more – and it’s the laughs you are going to remember most.

Until next time…

Kenny xoxo

P.S. The photo above is of me at my high school graduation in 2014 with my dad, step mom, and five of my siblings. My mom, step dad, and three other siblings are not pictured. 

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6/1/17 | A New Beginning

Hi friends, welcome back and HAPPY JUNE! Today is not only the start to a new day, but a new month and I could not be more excited to see what this month will have in store for me. For some reason, whenever a new month begins, I feel like I have another chance to start life over again. Anyone else feel that way?! I just feel like life has rewinded itself and is giving you another chance to try again. I have so many goals for myself that I am setting starting this month, and I cannot wait to tackle them.

First off, I just joined a fitness challenge by Gabby Male (if you don’t know her, check her out on insta @gmalefit – she rocks). Gabby has created an 8-week summer challenge called She Who Believes. The whole point of the challenge is to create a community of empowered women to come together to motivate and support each other over the course of the 8 weeks. Gabby had a goal to have about 50-70 girls sign up and there are already 225 GIRLS – that’s incredible. Today is the first day of the challenge and I have never felt more motivated than I do today.

Now just a quick little snippet of my fitness journey: I was a cheerleader all throughout middle school and high school, however I ate whatever I wanted. It was around my junior year that I started to care about what my body looked like, yet I never really did anything about it. Freshman year of college rolled around and I started working out at the gym on campus – but not regularly. I would get in this active mode where I would work out for weeks at a time, and then all of sudden hit a plateau and grew unmotivated. Although I was working out weeks at a time, I was still eating whatever I wanted. Well, I would have a salad for lunch and think I was good, and then eat all the pasta and french fries for dinner because I “worked out and had a healthy lunch.” No, it doesn’t work like that and I slowly started realizing that – but still never did anything about it. My junior year of college comes around and I am living in my own house with no dining hall plan and I am terrified – terrified because I don’t know how to cook. My junior year meals consisted of cereal, peanut butter toast, pasta, bananas, some salad, and lots of mexican meals (tacos, enchiladas, stuffed peppers, etc.) Again, I would work out for a couple weeks at a time, and then not go for months. My biggest insecurity is my stomach because that’s where all my food goes. I joined this challenge in hopes of gaining my confidence back to where I don’t have to drown myself in oversized clothing. I joined this challenge in hopes of becoming motivated to get myself to workout everyday so that I can gain that confidence back. I just want to be happy with myself and my body and I am excited to see where I will be at the end of these 8 weeks!

Another goal of mine is to grow my “lifestyle” instagram page. For those of you who don’t know about it, I had to create an instagram account for my study abroad class to keep track of the things we did while studying abroad. I honestly was going to stop using it once I got back home, but I figured I would keep posting to it and see where it goes. My dream job is to be one of those perfect fashion gurus that get to travel the world SOOO spread the word about my account!! JK JK, but really I am no photographer or fashion guru, but just a regular 21 year old Ohio girl trying to get myself out there. (Steve Madden did reach out to me and asked to use one of my photos for a marketing promo so that was pretty cool!) If you want to follow my lifestyle/fashion/travel/fitness instagram, its @kennyxcam ❤ I just hope to see it reach 1,000 followers within the next 6 months, so stay tuned for updates!

My final goal for the month of June is to build relationships with the people in my life. Once I moved to Athens for school, I definitely let my friendships back home slip, and now that I’m back home, I have already started to let my friendships from school slip. People don’t lie when they say college changes you. I have matured SO much since I started college and I think I have always just told myself that my high school friendships won’t be the same because of it. We all went our separate ways, met new friends, and started different lives. Of course some friendships just aren’t meant to be because, yes, people do change, but if you were best friends in high school, that bond shouldn’t go away just because you moved, ya know? So I am making a promise right now that I am going to build those friendships back up to where they were. My family and friends are the two things that mean the most to me; I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for them. Just lost, I guess.

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.”

Until next time…

Kenny xoxo