Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spotlight on Family: Sister-in-Law #3

To keep with the theme of sisters-in-law, I’ve chosen to spotlight my third sister-in-law as the next family member.  I’ll tell you, when I highlighted my very first family member, it was to honor my Grandpa’s 90th birthday, and I had no idea it would turn into a regular segment, of sorts.  We’re sisters-in-law, because we’re married to brothers.  I had been married to Dean for 10 months when she became a part of my family, so now, over two and a half years later; it feels like we’ve been family for most of my life. 
Her name is Hillary, and the first thing that comes to mind about her is that she tends to automatically assume the best of people.  She gives everyone a chance.  She’s bubbly and fun.  And, because of her (well, and my brother-in-law) I am an aunt.  I had known people who had babies before, but she gave me the first up-close look at motherhood.  I have the sweetest memory of her planting the most gentle, loving kissing on her newborn baby’s face.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget that picture.  It was at that moment that I really knew how a woman’s heart changed with that new life. 
I don’t see her as often as I’d like, because we live about 5 ½ hours apart.  When we do get together, though, we have a great time.  The last time I saw her, we stayed up with Misti (the SIL we share) and talked until 2am.  I could’ve stayed up much longer, but I knew I’d be traveling home the next day with a baby in the backseat and decided I needed my energy. 
 I also appreciate that we like a lot of the same foods, so when it’s Thanksgiving and I want some dish like Broccoli Rice casserole that nobody else likes, I know she’ll eat it with me.  She’s a keeper.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Girl By Any Other Name...


Doll face

Sugar britches

Love bug

Stinker britches

Baby love

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spotlight on Family: Sister-in-Law #2

I started the spotlight on my in-laws with my Sis-in-law, Misty, because she was my first in-law.  I’ve chosen to spotlight Dean’s sister, Misti, (yes, I have two SIL with the same name) next because even though she became family at the same time as his parents and brother, I met her first. I met her for the first time in college, before I started dating Dean, but I did know him.  I saw her one day, and knew immediately that she had to be Dean’s sister.  She just looked too much like him.  Ironically, now that I know them both well, I don’t think they look nearly as much alike. 
Here’s the thing about Misti:  I could/can/occasionally do talk to her for hours on end.  Now that I think about it, she knows me as well as just about anybody, aside from maybe Dean.  She currently lives about 4 ½ hours away, which is entirely too far.  Hint: If you’re reading this….MOVE CLOSER already!  Misti is a great sister, and a great aunt, Auntie M, as we sometimes call her.  Her nieces will surely grow up without the slightest doubt of whether she loves them.  She shows it in everything she does for or with them.  If you are the parent of one of her nieces, you appreciate knowing that she loves your child almost as much as you do, and you appreciate her volunteering to give them a bath so you can sit on the couch for a few minutes, or play with them so you can get a few extra minutes of sleep. 
I’m so blessed to be able to call her sister. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spotlight on Family: Sis-in-law #1

In the past, in another blog, before the great consolidation, I did a “spotlight” on different family members.  I’ve come to realize the importance of family, and I took the time to highlight each member of my immediate family.  Through that, I have realized that I am not particularly good at it.  I never quite did them justice.  But, I shall persevere.  Why?  Well, because there are many more important people in my family that I appreciate.  In case you missed them, I have previously spotlighted my mother, father, older brother, younger brother, paternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather and maternal grandmother.  It’s only fair to spotlight my in-laws.  I know someone who refers to her in-laws as her “in-loves.”  It seems fitting.  And, if I am spotlighting my in-laws, it’s only fair to start with my very first:  my sister-in-law.  She’s married to my older brother (bless her heart), and her name is Misty. 
Misty, Misty…where do I start?  Well, she’s married to my brother, which means she is unusually patient.  She is easily the sweetest person I know.  My younger brother would agree with me on that.  He thinks as highly of our sister-in-law as I do.  I’ve always said I couldn’t have gotten a better sis-in-law if I’d picked her myself.  When my grandpa passed away (the worst day of my life), she and my brother were just dating.  She sat between us at the funeral, and held my hand as I cried.  I’ve never forgotten that.  She is bubbly, and chipper, and loads of fun.  She grew up in the country, and loves tractors and going to the creek, and dogs and cats.  And, she’s an awesome aunt.  It’s inevitable that Dinah will love her “Aunt Mimi” more and more the older she gets.  She’s a huge blessing to everyone she meets.  If you know her, you love her.  If you don’t, you’re missing out. 
**Note: please pray for Misty and her family right now, she lost her own grandmother yesterday. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 Blessings

As I look back over 2010, what stands out to me is the birth of my baby.  Not a surprise, I realize.  If you don’t consider the addition of Dinah to our family, 2010 looks like crap.  It was a bad year.  That’s what I’ve been thinking anyway.  I think I’ve been too negative about it though, and negativity isn’t really my style.  So, I’m going to make a point to look for the blessings from 2010. 
1.       We did eventually get out of that wretched camper.  Worst living experience ever.  But, the blessing is that it’s over.  I’m very thankful for that.
2.       We got out of the camper a couple months earlier than our house was finished enough to move in, because of the generosity and kindness of our pastor and his wife.  We will be eternally grateful for that time.
3.       My younger brother showed some growth.  He learned new things, he matured, and I’m confident he will continue in that.
4.       God used my Grandparents in a big way this year.  They don’t know it, but there were times when we were dead broke, and they decided out of the blue to send us beef from their freezer. 
5.       One really bad month our electric didn’t get shut off because of the love and generosity of a sibling. 
6.       Pregnancy hormones, the birth of a baby, Dean being laid off, financial instability and the like put a lot of stress on our marriage, but we built our foundation of steel and it was strong enough to withstand it all.
7.       I have the kind of husband that many women dream of having, and this year his character as a husband has spilled over into fatherhood.  That man is a MAN.
8.       I love seeing our families interact with Dinah.  I especially enjoy seeing my Grandma interact with her.  I knew she would love her, but it’s incredible to watch.  It’s just so…genuine. 
9.       We have rarely spent any money on clothes, diapers, etc.  Baby shower gifts, generous aunts and hand-me-downs have been such a blessing.
10.   My over-active imagination makes me paranoid.  I don’t know what happened, whether caring for my daughter has got me preoccupied, or having a dog outside has given me peace-of-mind. Either way, it’s a relief to not picture dark figures lurking outside my window.