Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful For...#1

Throughout November, I'm hoping to write a few posts about what I'm thankful for. I know I should do this throughout the entire year, so I just might!

One thing that I'm thankful for is my family. They are AMAZING.

My mom has taught me many incredibly important things, one of which is to be crafty. We were always dirt poor growing up, but she would NEVER fail at making a junk house into a beautiful welcoming home. For a little while, I lived in a one bedroom {if you could call it that} trailer with her and my brother, yet we still had our own separate space that we loved. She painted the walls and cabinets and put up curtains so it looked super modern and not a 20 year old trailer. She would look at a pile of wood and say we could build a shed, and by golly, she would do it. I absolutely give her credit for how innovative and creative I am today!
{I'm also excited to see her grow with her new husband!}

{My mom and her husband}

My dad is amazing in my eyes. He raised me for part of my life as a single dad, and he did a great job at it. He always made sure we had food, we were happy, and even braided mine and my sisters hair! When I cook with my grandparents at their house, they always say I'm a good cook and try extravagant or different meals, and I always tell them it's because of my dad. {I also blame him for the fact that I use a million dishes and don't like cleaning up after!} I would constantly ask him questions, like how to chop an onion or what it means to 'cut' shortening into flour. Because of him, I don't have to eat freezer meals every day!

{My dad and stepmom}

When I was a teenager, I didn't get along with my stepmom Pam. Now, I absolutely love her and nothing could change that. It's hard to put into words exactly how she has changed/affected my life, because there's too much to say! My spirituality is different, the way I treat people is different, how I think is different, and it's all for the better. She's always great at looking at the whole picture and thinking things through clearly. I'm sure there were many times when my dad wanted me to lock me in my room and ground me forever, but she rationally talked him out of it. She graduated from Celebrant school and I think that is a perfect job for her; bringing and celebrating happiness.

Suzanne is a crazy sister, but I love her with my whole heart. We have been through so many ups and downs, but I wouldn't change that for anything. She's a soon to be momma and I am so proud of her and know she will give so much love little Alyla. I miss the days when me and Suz would sneak a Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked Ice Cream from the freezer at 1 in the morning and eat the whole thing in bed laughing and talking. I miss the days of her coming home from school dances and dancing with me "how she danced with other people" while I laugh and yell at her to get off of me. I'm really excited to see what this new chapter bring into her life and to celebrate it with her.

{Suzanne with her boyfriend}

My brother Connor is a trip. We used to fight SO MUCH growing up. I think we had like 5 moments of peace where we were nice to each other. We were constantly bickering, always fighting about what to watch on TV, telling each other that we hated each other, and punching each other when the other walked by. Now, things are very different. I'm not sure if it's because we don't see each other as often, but I'm betting it's because we both grew up. He's a senior in high school and it is CRAZY to think that he's that old! When I think of him, I still think he's in like 2nd grade. I'm glad we get along now, he's a sweety and enjoyable to be around.

{My brother Connor}

William Bruce is the cutest little man I know. He's 5 (!) years old now, and undoubtably the smartest one I know. He is ALWAYS asking questions, and has the most intelligent answers to my questions. He loves investigating, being a spy, and making up interesting scenarios of what is going on around us. Out of us 4 kids, he is definitely the most imaginative. I'm really excited to see my baby brother continue to grow up and see how he turns out.
{Not that I think he'll be anything but spectacular!}

{My brother Will}

I owe a lot of who I am to my grandparents. My grandparents on my paternal side raised me when my parents couldn't and I thank them for that. They already had like 6 of their own kids in the house, yet managed to squeeze us in! I'll forever remember the sound of the dishwasher running every night as we went to bed on the living room floor. I really enjoy hanging out with my grandparents, and even as an adult they have helped me tremendously. They are both psychologists, so they ask REALLY good questions when I am around them. They are always making me think about things that are important and having an 'organized' life. I love that even though they are Mormon, {not that there is anything wrong with that} they are completely accepting of me and I KNOW they will love me no matter what.

{My grandparents}

I also love my grandparents on my maternal side, though they live very far away in Montana! I wish we lived closer so I had more memories. I love chatting/emailing with my grandma though and look forward to every message.
{I unfortunately don't have any recent ones with them}

I also love my MANY aunts and uncles {7 on one side, 4 on the other}. Most people don't have close aunts and uncles in their lives like I did, but I lived with most of them. Plus, my family is just really close. It was fun to grow up with good {and sometimes bad} influences. I won't ever be able to forget: getting locked in the bathroom by my uncle for so long that I got a round brush stuck in my hair so bad that we had to cut it out; my aunt scratching her toenails on the bed posts at night and saying they were rats, trying to get me out of her room; my aunt Merry pretending that she was Bloody Mary in the mirror, scaring us kids; my uncle poking our feet with knives through the trampoline {yes, it was a dumb idea}; getting bounced so high on that trampoline that I cried; building igloos in the back yard; driving to the mall with my aunt in Prescott Valley; SO many things that I will never be able to forget.

And lastly, my future mother-in-law and aunt. I'm glad they raised such an amazing man who I fell in love with. It's always fun to hangout with them and they are always so thoughtful of my food needs! I look forward to spending a lot more time together.

{Mama, Vince, and Aunty}

I love my family very much and I'm glad I have every single one of them.

Oh, and you can't forget this girl!

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