The Hughes Family {Carlsbad, CA}

As the oldest child with two younger brothers, I spent a lot of my childhood wishing for a sister. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that God had granted that wish 2 years before I even existed, when my cousin Kelsey born. We've seen the best of times: from planning choreographed dances for every family gathering in our childhood to standing next to each other on our wedding days (3 weeks apart). And we've survived the worst of times: from rocky marriage moments to unexpectedly losing her dad, my uncle, last year. She and I have seen so much LIFE together. And I really, truly couldn't imagine any of that life without her.

When I think of the kind of mother I want to be someday, I think of Kelsey. I have never seen her with more purpose than when she became a mom. People say motherhood is a "calling" -- I think those people were talking about Kelsey. These two kids have no idea how good they have it: Kelsey and her husband Chase are two of my biggest inspirations when it comes to parenthood (next to my own parents, anyways). From the way they communicate with Ella & Isaac (these two little munchkins) to the many different ways they show those kids how much they are loved.

Oh, and you know how people are always like "look how cute my nephew is!" and "I have the best niece in the whole wide universe!" Well, all those people are liars -- because it's obvious that MY niece and nephew are the most adorable, spunky, and lovable creatures on the planet. These pictures prove it.

{see more pictures of this beautiful family as they've grown over the years}