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This Saturday was Grandma's (Marcelo's grandmother) 96th birthday. My mother-in-law is one of 6 siblings and is the oldest. She was born when Grandma was 35 years old, the youngest was born when she was 47.

Since Grandma just moved into a new, smaller apartment, a lot of things had to be gotten rid of. One of the big things was boxes and boxes of old family pictures. At her birthday party, we all looked at all the pictures and got to choose which ones we wanted.

Walking back through the history of the family I've become a part of over the past 12 years was really a lot of fun. Having grown up in a very small family, I never knew what I was missing. Marcelo is the oldest of a group of 9 cousins who grew up like siblings. Now there are spouses and significant others and 5 great-grandchildren including Marc and Alex. Everyone in the family, except one aunt, all live within about a 20 mile radius.

It's hard to express what it's like to be accepted into a family like that. It doesn't matter that I'm family by marriage, I'm just as much family as the rest of Marcelo's generation. I'm so glad that Marc and Alex will get to grow up with so much family surrounding them. The gap between them and the 2 older great-grandchildren is 7+ years, but they have a new 3 month old cousin and with 2 marriages in the past 2 years and one more this coming year, I'm sure more cousins to run around with are on the way in the near future.

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