I am homesick. Wanna know why? I blame these people:
These are the Beans. I love them all. This morning, I was thinking about my sisters in particular and was planning on doing a blog entry about them and how much I love having sisters and how incredible they are, but the more that I thought about it, I realized I really needed to talk about everyone in my family, because they are all legitimately the most amazing people you'll ever meet. I figure I'll start with the girls anyway, since that was the original plan.
These are my girls. Michelle would murder me for putting this picture of her up, but I mean, the bandanas are far too legit to be passed up.
Andrea- There are so many wonderful things to say about this girl...I don't even know where to start. She is absolutely one of the most incredible girls I've ever known. I'm about 10 years older than her which has been really exciting because that means I got to experience and now can remember everything about her being born and being an infant and watching her learn to scoot and walk and talk and sing. Despite the fact that I'm 10 years older than her chronologically, I'm pretty sure this 12-year-old girl's spirit is ages older than mine. Talk about someone who is good right down to their core. She has been such a supreme example to me of obedience to the Lord. She is one of the most spiritually minded people I've ever known. I can't even count the amount of times that I remembered to read my scriptures at night because I saw her reading hers. She is honest, virtuous, lovely and beautiful both inside and out. I admire her more than I think she'll ever know. She's also ridiculously talented. I picked the picture of her holding a cake because I thought that'd be pretty fitting. This girl has been making magnificent culinary creations for more years than I have. And she's about 20 times better at it, too. She's got a natural knack for it. Also, you should hear her do accents. It'll blow your mind. Ask her to speak German for you sometime. Socks. Knocked. Off.
Michelle My Bell- This is Michelle. She's one of my best friends in all the world. And she also just happens to be one of the coolest people in all the land. I know, you're all jealous that she's my sister. It's okay. You can admit it. Again, summarizing Michelle's amazingness in a short paragraph is proving to be a task of such monumental impossible..ness..that it's giving me a migraine. But I shall strive valiantly regardless. Michelle makes me laugh all the time. She is sarcastic and witty and quick and her sense of humor is right up my alley. We play off of one another magnificently and often our afternoons are spent in torrents of giggles and/or out-right raucous laughter. Church is sometimes a challenge when we sit next to one another. Michelle is also one of the most creative people I've ever met. You should see her room sometime. It's covered in art that she's done. It's absolutely breath-taking. She even did a painting for me that I'm gonna put in Luke's nursery. And she writes beautifully as well. I miss this girl every day. She's my shopping buddy and my 'I wanna watch Twilight and mock it mercilessly whilst baking brownies, come do it with me.' buddy and my 'I feel like a big, pile of poo, come make me feel better by saying wise things that are beyond your years.' buddy. She is a spectacularly beautiful person.
Marcus- Talk about talent. Okay. Let me break this down for you: My brother is a bona fide genius. His brain works in beautiful and mysterious ways. Science, math, computers, all things that may as well be taught to me in Russian...he understands. Not only understands, but excels at. He realized there were numbers less than zero when he was in kindergarten. KINDGERGARTEN. What? When I was in kindergarten, I was like, "Sweet! Two cookies!" But he was like, "If I get 1 when I subtract 1 from 2, what would happen if I subtracted 2 from 1?" Also, because of his intelligence, he's flippin' hilarious. He has made me cry laughing about a million times. The greatest thing about Marcus, though, is that he is genuinely one of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet. He is such a good, caring brother and a loyal friend. Also, he makes killer guac and will beat you in chess, Risk, Monopoly, Halo and any Improv Game ever invented.
My Daddy- ...is my hero. He has been the best example of a real man that I've ever had in my life. First of all, the amount of time that he sacrifices for his family is unbelievable. He's up before the sun, and works until way after it goes down. He's working TWO, high-profile, full-time jobs and he puts his heart and soul into both of them. He is supportive and loving to all of his children and to his wife. Watching the way he treated my mother and how he built (and is continuing to build) such a successful marriage highly influenced my ideas of what I wanted in a marriage. Thanks to him, I married VERY well. =) Which, I know sounds kind of silly...but it's actually entirely and completely true. Without his example and influence, I would have never set such high standards for my future companion. My daddy has always made me feel worthy and loved and beautiful, despite the hard times he's watched me go through. He also has impeccable timing in terms of knowing when I need to hear his voice. He always calls right when I need a call from him. Also, he is the world's best whistler and composes some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. He also writes, speaks, performs, sings and plays the piano and guitar despite never having been given formal lessons. His list of hobbies is vast and endless and pretty much the coolest list ever. Canoeing, fishing, gardening, performing Improv, breaking records and taking names at ToastMasters, there are very few adventures he'll ever turn down. My daddy really knows how to live. (And we eat sandwiches the same way! True story)
My Mama- This is my beautiful mama. The other day in institute, my teacher, Sister Terry was talking about how sometimes the oldest child in a family has a different sort of relationship with their parents than any of the other kids do. She said there's sort of this special bond there that is unique to the oldest child. Now, I'm not saying my relationship with my mom is better than any of the other kid's relationship, but I definitely see what Sister Terry is talking about. My mom is my best friend. I admire this woman more than any other woman on the planet. The strength that she displays daily is absolutely incredible. Equally incredible: the endless amounts of humility she displays while she goes about quietly serving in any way she can. She is the best example of charity that I can possibly think of. I get really defensive for my mama. If you hurt her feelings, I will probably hate you. Because she won't hate you. So I'll do it for her because I'm not as good a person as she is. =) My mom is full of creative ideas and solutions to just about any problem you can think of. Thus, I call her daily with questions. She is also amazing with children. She knows how to talk to them and how to keep them engaged and entertained. The ideas I got from her while I was babysitting were endless and more useful than any movie or board game ever created. She is an exceptionally talented homemaker, thought she'll never admit it. She is an amazing cook, she taught me everything I know about cleaning, she homeschools Andrea, she sews, she plays piano, she sings hymns while she works...she is literally the perfect mother. And she serves selflessly wherever she goes. I want to be just like her when (if) I grow up.
My family isn't perfect. We struggle a LOT. We sometimes don't even get along and we all have traits and characteristics that irk one another...but see, that's why Heavenly Father GAVE us families. Because we're supposed to learn to love them the way that He loves us...in spite of our flaws. I feel like our family is growing ever closer to that ideal place where we just love and admire one another so much more often than we see one another's flaws and imperfections.
Now I'm getting the opportunity to start my own little immediate family and we all get to do the process all over again, but this time, I'm in a different role. I'm so excited to watch our family grow and develop and learn about each other and become as close as my family and I have become. It's just such an exciting life cycle!
p.s. I get to see my family in three days and I couldn't be more excited! They really are my favorite people ever of all time in the universe. And now you know why!