I love my family!  And although I’m pretty biased, it warms my heart, when people tell me that my parents are the nicest people that they’ve ever met… Or that my sister is beautiful, inside and out…  Or that my brother brightened their day, when they needed a smile.  Or even when Nate tells me that he respects my mom and dad so much, and that he hopes we’ll be half as good parents as they are.

My folks are just all-around good people.  And I hope that I never, ever take that for granted.

Especially now, as Nate and I are embarking on this new adventure together and preparing ourselves to raise a baby boy, I realize just how much of a blessing it is to have that support system.  For me, being pregnant has been an exciting time.  But that doesn’t mean that I’ve been exempt from the overwhelming sense of responsibility that comes with it.  And if I were to face this new journey alone, well, I just can’t imagine…

I can’t imagine life without these peeps.  (And even if my brother lives a state away, these days, he’s also just a text or a phonecall away.  So even if he’s not included in this picture, he’s most definitely there in heart).  🙂

I don’t know if I’d be able to say who I’m closest to.  I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl, and I constantly call him for financial or big-decision advice.  But I talk to my mom almost every day on the phone, and she’s the one I call when I need support and encouragement.  Of course, my brother and I have always had a close relationship too.  I’m not sure if he’s more protective of me… or if I’m more protective of him.  (We worked together for years at Friendly’s, where he scooped icecream and I was a waitress.  Then he was a freshman at the same college as me during my Senior year.  We were together so much that people often thought we were dating, not realizing that we were siblings.  Matthew didn’t like that too much, since he was single at the time).  😉

And then there’s my sister Sarah.  She and I are best friends.  Actually, my mom used to always tell us that we’d be best friends someday, and there was a time that we didn’t believe her.  😉  There was a time that she was the chunky, little sister who always wanted me to slow down so that she could keep up.  There was a time when we shared a room, and she’d beg me – long into the night – to tell her stories.  Or sometimes, she’d wiggle her way into my bed and start to pinch me, telling me that she was a doctor giving me a shot.

I think she honestly just wanted an excuse to pinch me, but – to this day – she won’t admit that.  Ha, ha.

But despite those ‘trying’ times, we had a lot of fun times too.  😉  Sometimes, we’d sit at the end of our beds, loop belts across our feet, and then pretend that we were settlers driving covered wagons.  A few times, we even snuck out of bed at night with the plan to ‘set up camp’ around our nightlight, imagining that it was a campfire.  (We never lasted more than an hour before we stiffly crawled back into bed).

And then there was the time that my brother and I tied her to the large tree in front of the house, leaving her dangling there when the neighbors drove by.  Oh, wait, that was only fun for me and him.  😉

Sigh, is there anything better than adventures with siblings?

Sarah and I loved picking out new Easter outfits together, especially when my mom splurged and bought us each a new purse.  We loved baking together, especially around the holidays.  And nothing made us more excited than popcorn, orange soda, and Friday movie nights.

Hmmm, funny how some things don’t change.  😉

And throughout the years, she and I have become best friends, just like my mom said we would.  It took awhile…  In fact, we weren’t all that close, when I was in college.  But then something happened.  We started to spend more time together, and suddenly we were spending every single weekend together… on purpose.

Yeah, my family is pretty amazing.  Sometimes we fight…  Sometimes we disagree…  And sometimes we even need our space.  But at the end of the day, we love each other and would do absolutely anything for each other.  (We’d even take part in a photo-shoot during which the camera rapidly takes pictures, and we’re supposed to do something funny in the course of those ten seconds.  Most of us just kind of freaked out and started to laugh… or wave our hands and legs in the air.  Nate, meanwhile, thought the best thing to do would be to turn around, while the rest of us made fools of ourselves).  😉

Don’t worry, I caught him at the last moment and forced him to face the camera!

Yep, those pics are us in a nutshell, for sure!  🙂

Happy 27th birthday to my ‘little’ sister!!  Our family couldn’t be complete without your smile, your laugh, your calm demeanor when things get a little crazy, and your fun personality.  Thank you for your friendship and for always being there.  I can’t wait until our next adventure!!!  And I hope that this year is THE best year yet!  Happy, happy birthday!!!  Love you!



4 thoughts on “Family

  1. Aww happy birthday to your sister! 🙂

    Also, this post has me a little misty eyed! My siblings and I are spread out across the planet (a sister in Europe, a sister in Asia, a sister 6 hours away, and a brother 8 hours away) so I don’t see them near as much as I wish. And my parents are around 7 hours away. I get to see most of them at least a couple of times a year, but it’s rare for us all to be together at the same time. In fact, it has been a couple of years since the last time. I love hearing about siblings who get to hang out all the time. Your relationship with Sarah reminds me so much of my relationship with my little sister (the one who just moved to China). I never thought she’d go from being my annoying little sister to one of my best friends. I can’t imagine life without my siblings. Even if we don’t see each other often, we still talk often. 🙂

    Oh, and I’ve never met your family, but just from reading about them on your blog, they sound like truly wonderful people. Brady is such a lucky little guy to be born into your family. 🙂

  2. You are simply the bestest, Nicole! I don’t know what I’d do without you (I’d probably go insane…and I wouldn’t enjoy Panera or Starbucks as often as I do!!…which would probably be part of the reason I went insane in the first place.)

    Thank you so much for this post! You made me teary eyed and smiley all at the same time. Love you lots!

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