Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Because I don't know if I have ever spoken of our complete families on the blog, I thought I'd share about them today, along with some little quirky things some of them are known for, and what we do to keep the relationships alive and active, even through hundreds of miles of distance.

I'll start with my side.  

The easiest way to explain all five of my siblings is this way: when my mom and dad married, they had each been married before.  Dad had two kids, Mom had two kids, then when they married, they had my sister Trish and then me [eight years later].  Paul and Terri are Dad's, and they are both quite a bit older than me.  By the time I came along, they were both living in Florida, and except for on special occasions, I rarely saw them.  We traveled to them somewhat often, and we would meet them in Gatlinburg sometimes for Thanksgiving in between the summers of seeing them.  

Terri was the sister who was visiting last week, but I did not take even one picture with us in it together.  I am kinda mad at myself for that!  

Paul has a precious wife, Theresa, and they have William [who is 15] together, and Scott from Theresa's previous marriage.  Scott is married with a son.  Terri is also married and has two kids: Marty, who is older than me, even though I am his aunt, and Amanda.  Amanda is married to [another] Mike, and they have a beautiful daughter, Claire.  We do not see them anywhere near as often as I would like!  That is also the case with Terri, Wes [her husband], and Paul and Theresa, too.  

Lisa and Debi are Mom's, and they are fourteen and thirteen years older than me.  Debi lived here for a short part of my childhood years, but when I was really young, she also moved to Florida with her best friend and started going to school there.  Eventually she met her hubby Mike, and they stayed put all those years, until about eight years ago, when they moved their family across the country to Colorado.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of Debi and me.  Mike and Debi have two kids, Austin and Nicole.  Austin is twenty-one and Nicole is Drew's age, which is 17.

Here is one of Nicole and me, from that same trip, when Erika got married.

I don't have one of Austin and me!  I hate that.  These days we get to see each other, on average, about once a year.  Sometimes it's a little more, sometimes a little less.  My boys LOVE when Auntie Debi comes to town for a visit, mostly because she is crazy and you never know what will come out of her mouth.  I am laughing as I write that.  

Lisa was like my second mom.  I remember adoring her and her taking me with her to so many places.  I think I was like a real life doll to her, and she was enough years older than me that I never bothered her.  When she married, they moved to Harrison, Arkansas, and I was totally distraught.  I cried like there was no tomorrow for days and days.  [They did eventually move back here, and onto the back part of the property that we lived on, and I was never happier.]  Here we are back in the day:

I was probably three in this picture.  Lisa has three kids.  I'm not listing ages, because honestly, I have lost count.  After twenty one, I'm out.  They are Jaret, Erika [the mom of the twin baby girls I post about occasionally], and Tyler.  They were more like my younger siblings, than my nieces and nephews.  When Todd and I first got married, Jaret and Erika were forever taking turns to spend the night with us.  

Here is a recent picture of Jaret and me from back in July, when Trish and I went to see them in their new home state of Colorado.

And here is one from that same trip, of Erika and me on the day we left.  Erika is married to Kyle, and they have the twin baby girls.  WHO WILL BE HERE IN TWO WEEKS!  I cannot wait to see them!  

Somewhere there is a picture of Tyler and me, but I have no idea where to even look.  Tyler and I share the same birthday, so we have that special tie.  He actually lives a couple streets away from us, here in The Ville, but Lisa, Debi and the others live in Parker, Colorado.  [Lisa and Jaret moved there a few years ago, after Erika moved there.]  

And about birthdays, everyone shares those in our family!  I am paired with Tyler, Drew and Jaret share the same birthday, Austin and Erika share the same birthday, and then of course, there are both sets of twins that share their day.  And I LOVE that both KK and I are moms to twins.  I was already so close to her, but that makes it even more special!  She reminds me so much of myself when I was in my twenties.  I have said that for years, and I love that bond that ties us together.  My kids could not say Erika when they were little, so KK was born.  Tyler was Beau, and Jaret was always Bubba.  

Trish still lives here, thank goodness, with her son, Devin.  Sadly, I don't have a picture with Devin and me either, but here's one of Trish and me, decorating at Dad's house a couple of years ago.

Thank goodness for Timehop!  I love that app.  

When Drew was born, Trish and I lived a few streets away from one another.  She moved to Michigan with her family, though, for one year, and it was the worst year of my life.  I couldn't drive by her old street without bursting into tears.  She would make dinner and have enough for an army, so she would have us all over to eat with her.  I miss those days of living so close by each other.  We even grocery shopped together.  We went to visit them there, that one Thanksgiving that they lived there, when Graham was eighteen months old, and Drew was about seven months old.  Worst car ride ever!  I didn't think we would ever get there, but we did, and then got snowed in.  We may have left her house once in that one week, and it was when I went with her as she took Devin to a doctor's appointment.  Good times.  

I miss Lisa living here, too, and made myself cry like a baby three times last week when I thought of her.  We were really close when all the boys were little, and she doted on them like you would not believe.  They also miss their crazy Auntie, who would occasionally chase them with a broom when they fought in her presence.

I just made myself crack up.  

I also have three step siblings, Trey, Rod, and Angie, but I rarely see them!   

Todd's side of the family is WAY more simple.  He has one sibling, Tim, and here is a recent picture of the three of us, from back when the eclipse took place in August.

They had no clue that I was behind them, so I love this picture. 

Here we are, though, with me acting more like a grown up and not a teenager.  [I've been around them way too long.]  Tim and Tra have three kiddos: Nathan, who is the same age as Jonah and Noah, Joseph and Zeke.  Our boys are very close, because of their ages, and I love that!  Christmas is always so much fun with them in town.  Thankfully they only live in Nashville, but we still don't see them often enough.  I am hereby making a promise to change that, though, and plan on visiting them sometime after the new year for a couple of days.  [If that's okay.]  

I can't forget all of our wonderful parentals.  

My dad and stepmom Sandy, my mom and stepdad Bill, and Phyllis and Wiley.  We could not ask for more godly, loving, caring and nurturing parents [and grandparents for our boys].  We are so blessed to live in the same town as all of them!  Not only that, but we see each other regularly.  I praise God for this fact, because my boys don't know anyone else as well as they know their own grandparents.  They each have great relationships with all of them, and for that I am so thankful.  

Also, how cool is it that my dad taught ALL FOUR of my boys how to drive?!  He sure has.  They've been driving out at his house for ages.  He started them on his riding mower when they were old enough to reach the pedal, which was about seven, and then he graduated them to his pickup truck by letting them drive it all over his land.  That is a gift, my friends, and I do not take it for granted.  

Well.  This was a fun post to write!  I don't know if you feel the same, but if you're still here, thanks for reading all about our amazing family.  All three hundred and forty one of them.  Or so it seems, especially when first hearing about them.  

Love to all!  

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