Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I'm slowly, but surely becoming more committed to my blog. I might one day regret posting all about my personal life via the internet. But as of today I'm okay with it.

Recently, I've been really missing my family. Like start crying, and can't stop crying. Like producing mass amounts of snot crying. Like putting on my prescription sunglasses (at night) to cover my puffy eyes crying. I miss them so. But that was always going to happen. I was always going to miss my family. I haven't seen them (in the flesh) for 5 months, and I still have 2 months to go. I moved 10,000 miles away for heavens sake. I just never quite realized just HOW much I'd miss them. This isn't meant to be a "poor me", I live in an amazing place, with my magnificent boyfriend, but I'm still whining post. But every once in a while a girl needs to vent her feelings. I feel like I'm missing major milestones in my nearest and dearest's lives. So instead this will be an ode to them of sorts.

I wish I had a bit better photo selection. 
But most of my photos are back home in Minnesota. 
So today I make due with facebook photos.

My sweet nephew is growing into a young man. I was only 11 3/4 when he was born. He was my favorite thing in the world. I carried him on my hip until he was about 6 or 7. We went to California when he was just four & he was my favorite side kick. He taught me what it is to love a child more than I love myself. My nephew is now going thru puberty (sorry Kevin). His voice is changing. He came on Skype yesterday & sounded like a man! Where did that come from?! He plays high school football, and the guitar. He's learning to drive. He's now significantly taller than his mother, my sister. He's a freshman in high school & still so insightful. In my eyes he's still the little baby that I watched grow as I was still growing up.

Growing up if anyone ever asked who my hero was, the answer was simple; it was my big sister Molly. She's four years older than me. She taught me how to curl my hair, shave my legs, and wear heels (among many other things). She's been thru hell and back. I still remember giving her my Simba (my VERY favorite) stuffed animal when she ran away. Now she's living life happily and healthy. She's now a wife and step mother. My sister has just been promoted in her new job, that she absolutely loves. She's celebrating 3 going on 4 years of sobriety. She's volunteering all over her local community. I just want to give her a big hug & tell her how much I admire her! 

Growing up my sister Jessica was the "cool" sister. When Molly babysat we had rules. But when Jessie babysat we rocked out. She's always been the rebellion. She shaved the underside of her head in the 90's, before hipsters were doing it. She dyed her hair jet black. She got a party tattoo of a heart. When she moved out of the house when I was just a little girl I didn't know how to comprehend it. She hid her cats in the basement & I promised not to tell Mom about them. I undoubtably spilled the beans some how. She visited me at my school recess to bring me a barbie for Christmas. I will literally never forget how special that made me feel. She's now a mother of four, and working thru her own life issues. But I still miss her more than words can describe & think she was one of the thriftiest, smartest, most giving mothers I've ever known.

My niece is growing into a beautiful young woman. She made me an Auntie for the second time when I was fourteen I believe. She was the most gorgeous baby. She could have been a model. I swear I'm not bias. She's always been soft spoken and extremely kind. She's now soon to be a pre-teen, gasp! I remember those days & they were both some of the best & worst days of my life. 

I also have another three crazy, silly, sweet nephews, Jacob, Daniel, and Jeffrey. I'm sad to say I haven't seen any of them in entirely too long. Jacob is now in the fifth grade and he's just as handsome as the day he was born. Daniel is a third grader if I'm not mistaken, and he's one of the sweetest boys in the world. Jeffrey is the youngest, and he can be a bit wild himself. But he's just as sweet and kind as his older siblings. I miss these four more than anything. I haven't seen them in probably a year or more.

My brother and I are only 2 years apart in age. We've almost always been thick as thieves. The poor guy has three older sisters. He was forced into girls clothes and had lip stick slapped on him as a child. His knick-name was Joshy-Loo. Apparently we couldn't be bothered to give him an actual girls name. When I was playing barbies he was playing G.I. Joe's right next to me.We lived together for two years just before I moved. I treasure that time. We got back the relationship we had as kids. As much as I wanted to kill him, I still miss his tall ass every day. My brother is a musician. He plays guitar, bass, and banjo. He's now getting back into his music and doing shows. When I lived at home I think I only missed a total of one of his shows. He works with at risk youth in the St. Paul/Mpls. area. He also has an adorable girlfriend (sorry Josh) that I can't wait to meet. 

I also have another niece, Sasha. She's been Josh's dog for at least four years. 
She's the apple of his eye & I miss that little poop eater.

In High School my Mom was my best friend. We went shopping, tanning, out to eat together. We got pedicures together. She took me to the OB/GYN, and we talked openly about my deepest/darkest secrets. My Mom made us three different dinners, because she had picky eaters. She made us cookies/brownies whenever she had time. She gives some of the best hugs I've ever had. She always boosted my self confidence. No matter how ugly I thought I was my Mom could make me feel beautiful. My Mom is getting married. Say what?! Any of my friends that actually know my Mom would have that very reaction. Although, the lady gave birth to four awesome (if I do say so myself) kids, she's yet to tie the knot. My sister and her have picked out her dress and are now planning her shower. I just now feel like I would be helpful to a wedding party & I'm not even there. 

My Mom is also not much of a fan of photos (hence the lack of numbers of photos of her).

Last but never least is Poppa Bear. He rocked bronzed skin and a beautiful perm when I was a babe. He taught me about the Beatles, Elvis, and the Beach Boys. He gave up his Camaro, Harley, and Fire Bird for his kids. He made pancakes for us at a moments request. My Dear ol' Daddy just retired. Go Dad! He's finally got some free time for meeting up for lunch during the day or meet up for dinner with out the worry of waking at 4:30am. But I'm not even there to take advantage of the time. I wish I could say I never went thru the terrible teenage phase of thinking I was too cool to spend time with my parents. But alas I did. Although, I must say from when I was a little girl onto now no one could ever /will ever (not even in a million years) compare to my Dad. He's been there for my brother and I no matter what we've done, or said. 

In case it wasn't already blatantly obvious, I'm a daddies girl. 

Here's most of the family at Aunt Jenny's for a Thanksgiving get together.

My parents split when I was five. I actually still remember bits and pieces of it. My life was different from some of my peers growing up. We were dirt poor. We moved a lot. We got kicked out of private school/home for lack of tuition/rent payment. We had to move from St. Paul to Fridley. In St. Paul we were surrounded by plenty of low income families. In Fridley most of the girls in my class wore Limited Too (which I had never even heard of); while I wore mostly hand me downs. In St. Paul we could go to Palace Park for a free lunch. In Fridley when I was hungry, the one constant in the house was bread. So that's what I ate. I made ketchup sandwiches. I rolled bread into little balls. I made toast. Any and every form of bread was on my radar.  I was a nerd in school, because we were too poor for 'cool' clothes.  Mom worked long hours to pay the bills. So my Sisters were left babysitting us a lot. I saw a lot of things that none of my classmates had probably ever seen/heard. Both my sisters ran away numerous times as young teens. I played in my sisters room where the strobe light was on while they used drugs/alcohol. I saw several people around me self destruct. Women in my family were physically abused by boyfriends. Both my sisters and Mother had teenage pregnancies. In turn I developed a very jaded view of my 'naive' classmates. Most people would have probably described me as a "bitch" in high school. I don't regret being real with people. But I do regret my approach. But at the end of the day I have a much greater understanding of what it is to need. I've seen my Mom make a dollar store Christmas feel like a million dollar Christmas. If I could I wouldn't change a thing. I feel quite blessed to have seen the things I have. Don't get me wrong, plenty of things were beautiful growing up. I had the love of my Mother, Father, Sisters and Brother; not to mention my aunts/uncle(s), cousin(s) and grandparents. Sometimes I like to take stock of what's truly important in this life. Too many people take things for granted, and are too quick to judge a persons past. While I wish that my family didn't have to struggle with substance/alcohol addiction, I can't change it. All I can do is hope to help raise awareness that just because a person is an addict, they're not any less worthy of love/respect. Too often these days people are too quick to judge someone else's struggle. I'll openly admit that I'm guilty of it. But I wish that people would stop & realize that things are not always what they seem. Sometimes the most beautiful people say the ugliest things. I've got a Grandmother who's been sober for 30 years. My Father quit drinking before I was born. My Sister has now been sober for almost four years. Other family members are still struggling with their sobriety. But that doesn't mean I love them any less, or I'll ever stop supporting them and their fight. So with that said, I love my family so very much. I miss them all too much. I'm getting very excited for our trip home in a couple months time. 

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