February 4, 2012

We Are Family!

I've told you guys about my friends (and I hang out with them the most so I have a lot of stories to tell), but I haven't necessarily gone into great detail about my family (at least that I remember)! We are quite an interesting bunch, let me tell you. I don't think I laugh harder than the times that the entire gang is all together. I feel bad for the people that wait on us at restaurants...HAHA JK!! I have a great relationship with each family member and some better than others...but I love them just the same! No matter what happens or how much we get on each others nerves, we go through it all together.


Well, it all starts with my parents, of course! They're two of the most amazing people I know; they've been with me from the very beginning obviously. They've given me more love than I know what to do with and have always tried to give me the best life they possibly could. They've taught me so many life lessons and have raised me to be the woman that I am today, and I don't know where I'd be without them. They've had more patience with me than I think I'll ever understand, because I'm not always the most easy going and don't always have the best attitude. My dad has always encouraged me to dream big, live life to the fullest, to not be afraid to ask questions, and to just have fun in life. My mom has taught me how to be strong, to not worry so much, to believe in myself, and how you can be friends with your daughter, without losing the "mom" role. They raised me in church, taught me about God and would pray with me and have always taught me to set my eyes on the Lord and His plans for my life. Some of the best times in my life have been with them, and I know that no matter what happens in my life, they are always there to fall back on! :)

My uncle's-David, Bobby, and Paul (My dad is the one on the far left)

These are some of the funniest guys I've ever known, and most of the time they're not even trying...which makes me laugh that much harder. Over the past couple years, I've been able to have a little bit more of a relationship with them on my own and have gotten to know them a little bit more individually. My uncle David is the one we all go to for all things computer/astronomy. My uncle Bob is the one we'd go to for a little humor and anything fishing related. And my uncle Paul is the one we go to for all things history/ancestry like. When they're together it's so funny to see the relationships they have; it would've been great to see them as kids. Now, they're all grown up and are still just as close, which is great. They're all in church and serve the Lord, and have passed that mentality down to their children :) 

My aunt Debbie is amazing! Not only is she hilarious, she's incredibly loving, and always makes sure that everyone feels right at home, and is comfortable :) And let's just say I've written a lot of things that she has said down in my quote book ;) Haha. 

My Aunt Cara is another amazing woman! She is always available anytime you need her and will help out with anything! She has helped me lots of times with math, especially! She has the heart of a servant, and is a lot of fun to be around. 

My cousin, Carissa! We've always had an interesting relationship I guess you would say. We've always been close, but because we're so different we've butted heads at times and gotten on each others nerves. Through it all we always have each others backs and love each other; that's what family does. She's been there for me so many times to cheer me on to sing the national anthem or to just hang out with and make random videos. She's also the one I brought with me to the Evening with One Tree Hill...if that's not love, I don't know what love is ;) LOL. She's spunky, lives life to the fullest, and isn't afraid to be herself. She has a lot of energy and reminds me to have fun and relax, when I get a little uptight . She loves to travel and serve God at church through various outreaches, etc. She's definitely the life of any party. 

My Aunt Tami! I've always been really close with her. When I was younger, I used to call her all the time and I'd go to her house during the week. Now, my mom and I go to lunch and shopping with her 1-2 times a month or so.  She's really strong, kind hearted, and just an all around fun/amazing person to be around. She's always there for me and has always supported me, and that means the world to me. I'd say we're probably the most alike too :) 

This is Brooke and Brittany(cousins)! I don't get to see them as often as I'd like to, but whenever we're together we have a blast and make the most of the time we do have together! They have such big hearts and love to have a great time. Brooke is so creative and talented with makeup and just about anything artsy. Brittany is the mom of two beautiful and fun little girls. She knows what she wants and she goes for it! They're both incredibly smart and have so much to offer the world! :)
I don't have a picture of my uncle David and Aunt Tracey, but that would be Brooke and Brittany's parents. I don't see them as much as I'd like to either. 

This is DJ and Nicholas (also cousins)! And yes, I realize this is not the most attractive picture of us, but what are you going to do? They like to have fun. These guys are hilarious! They make me laugh and though I don't always get to hang out with them or talk to them much, they've always made me feel safe...like they've got my back. They both have extremely big hearts and would do anything for the family! They're great guys and they have their heads on straight.

This is my grandpa! He's the one I did an interview with a couple months ago. He's a retired pastor and has a passion for spreading the word of God. He loves being with his family more than anything, and still likes getting together with his friends from church here and there as well. He likes taking pictures, traveling, and reading His Bible/praying daily. We talk here and there through the occasional email, and we get together quite a bit with the rest of the family for dinners and special occasions! 
I don't have a picture with my grandma, but she is an incredible woman! She's the hostess of most of our gatherings; loves to cook, loves decorating her house and keeping it cozy and welcome for company. She'll help anyone out with anything and has a really big heart. 

This is my cousin Tiffany. She has the heart of a missionary and a passion for serving God. I don't know if I've ever known a more giving and loving person than this girl right here. In everything she does, she does it for the Lord and doesn't expect any praise in return. She's fun and beautiful inside and out, and I've always really admired her for not only her faith, but just for being who she is. We don't get to talk as much as I'd like, but I know she's always got my back and we have a blast when we're together. Vegas will always stand out in my mind for sure...long story! ;) I'm also convinced that one day she'll marry Tim Tebow and he will become my cousin-in-law. I'd be okay with that too! 
I don't have a picture with my cousin Stephanie, but I'll tell you a little bit about her as well. She's a lot of fun and is a lot like Carissa! She's married and has two kids and spends most of her time doing the  "mommy" and "wife" thing. She travels around a lot with her husband who is in the air force; they're very adventurous and love trying all kinds of new things. She's incredibly strong 

Going through each of my family members reminds me of how different we are from one another, but how we all somehow blend together. It's funny how each of us have a different relationship with the other, and how it just all somehow works out. All families are dysfunctional and have their problems, and ours is no different..but I wouldn't have it any other way. It keeps life interesting and entertaining. There used to be a time where I wished we were this way or that, but instead of trying to change everyone else, I've started changing me and I'm content with who they are now. I love all of them to death and each of them has been part of making me into the person I am today; in some way or another they have inspired me, encouraged me, prayed for me, helped me grow in my relationship with God, taught me valuable life lessons with the typical everyday things, or has just been there for me during a tough time when I needed someone to talk to. Rain or shine, I know they'll always be there. They've seen me at my worst and at my best and they've still stuck around. I thank God for placing me in the family that He did, because He could have put me with anyone...But, there's a reason I'm with these guys. They all want to help others and are all some of the most selfless people I know. I love that we're all able to serve the Lord as a family and use our talents for His glory.
Even though we're all spread out throughout the country, or just don't get to see each other a lot due to schedules, I know they're never too far away. In time of need they always come back! Families are for life. With the passing of several of my grandparents, it reminded me to treasure time with each of them more, because no matter how much time you had with them...you don't want to look back on time of regret. I want to get to know each of my family members as much as possible if I don't know them so much now. I want to forget about our differences and just have a good time; life's too short! 

That's all for now,

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