This post was spurred on by the fact that I was able to spend the day with most of my family today. We had lunch together and enjoyed catching up with one another. We even braved Ikea on a Saturday with 7 kids together! (If you can do that, you can do anything!). My parents split off after Ikea to catch up with old friends, so the rest of us went to dinner and then went swimming together. There was watersliding, picture taking, and laughing. It was so much fun! I really enjoyed seeing Kathy and her family. She sure is a great mother. I love her kids so much it hurts. :) Seriously, I get chest pain when I think of them. She is a great example of faith and strength to me.
Whitney and Cody were able to make it to swimming... late. Okay, okay, it wasn't their fault but I still had to put it in there. It was really fun to goof around with them as well. Whitney is such a great example of service as well. She is always so willing to help out and is really great with all the kids. She is so fun and energetic and we loved having her and Cody there with us, even though it took huge effort to actually get there.
Cheryl was not there because her family is still in Utah until December. My Dad wanted to call her at lunch and tease her that we were all together... well, not really because it makes her cry I think. But, I know he was thinking about how much he wished she was there. I wished she was there as well. There always is such an absence felt when Cheryl and her family are not there... Cheryl still touches my life even though she is so far away. If I read a really great blog, I think of her and how she could do whatever the craft is. She can pretty much do anything, and look good doing it too. She would say no, but that is just her modesty talking, which makes her all the more beautiful.
Each of these women make me stretch. They see potential when even I don't.
I felt like I needed to write this post because I love my sisters and wanted them to know, I wanted my parents to know that because of their teachings I have cultivated great friendships with my sisters, and I want Lily and Lexi to be able to read this one day and appreciate that they have a sister as well.
Every now and then I have a desire to return to those earlier days when we were 6, 7, 8 years old, just for a day... when it was just us. We would play house like the old days and Cheryl would start out with 7 dolls that were her kids and then she would get tired of dressing them and carrying them and she would slowly start "losing" kids. I also remember us locking ourselves into a bathroom at a store and putting green gum on our eyebrows and not wanting to show our mom. We had "patchy" eyebrows after that because apparently green gum is really hard to get out of eyebrows and I question how much effort my mom put into being gentle while taking it out. :)
Or when Cheryl or I would sit on Kathy and the other would tickle her until her face turned purple. I remember thinking Kathy was "so cool" when she would paint her nails with sparkly blue nail polish and listen to Ace of Base. I remember when she first got her driver's license and it was so fun going to get milk because Kathy was driving.
I remember hiding in the closet when Whitney was in bed one night and flashing a flash light onto the window by her bed. I would watch her look out the window curiously trying to figure out what the flash was. Finally, she got scared and started down the ladder from the top bunk. That's when I realized I was going to get into trouble for not being in bed, so I jumped out of the closet to stop her from getting our parents, and ended up making her scream at the top of her lungs. Needless to say, I did get into trouble, but Whitney appologized later for screaming and getting me in trouble.
I am thankful the FHE, family dinners, family prayers, etc. that made our family close and helped me to see my sisters for the wonderful people they are. I know there is a physical resemblance between us. I can only hope there is an internal resemblance as well.
(Don't judge the physical resemblance by this picture. Whit was ready for grad and I hadn't even showered yet).