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Sunday, June 17, 2012

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Do you remember your first love?  I'm not talking your first true love as an adult, I'm talking your first love.  I do.  His name was David.  Oh how I loved that boy.  I loved that boy from 4th grade to 8th grade and probably even longer than that.  I still love that boy - just not like I did back then. Like with every relationship, you get to know other parts of their lives, including their family.  Thankfully, in this case, I got another mom that even now - 26 years later is still my other mom.  I still call her mom.  I still love her like my other mom.  And thanks to facebook, I keep in better contact with her now than I did for many years.  



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This is my sister.  Which one?  The youngest one.  She's just a baby.  Just 21.  She makes me feel old.  She's also a runner - a kick ass runner.  This girl runs marathons.  Not only does she run marathons, she KICKS ASS!  I love her.


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It is entirely quite possible that I may be related to this girl, however, I am not certain since I see her only a few times per year.  She MIGHT be a cousin.



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This is sort of a cheat too, but since I can't actually physically go see him right now and I wanted a picture with him, this will have to do.  This is my brand spanking new nephew.  Isn't he beautiful?!?!?!



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There are two very interesting people in this picture.  One is my aunt and the other is Joanna Hernian.  You might mistake Joanna for me, but I assure you, it is Joanna.



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This is the other of the two nieces we inherited when my sister got married.  Love this girl to pieces!!!!



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I don't know what to say about this woman.  There are so many people that have influenced my life but few have influenced me as much as this woman has.  Please let me introduce my grandmother.


She is truly my other mother.  I half jokingly refer to myself as her youngest child.  I am, in fact, her eldest grandchild.  I have caused so much havoc in her life it is not even relatively funny.  She has held my hand when I needed her and even when I didn't.  She has supported ever decision - stupid or not - I have ever made.  She was one of the many who helped teach me how to read and shared with me the importance of education.  She came to so many of my school events - choir and band concerts, cross country and track meets, endless dance recitals and disastrous gymnastics meets.  I have a chosen few true heroes in my life.  This woman is one of them.  I don't think she understands just how important she is to me or how much I love her, but she is and I do!

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This young lady is a former gym kid.  She is not one that I coached, but was one that trained with my daughter.  I love that I am able to keep in touch with so many of these kids.  It's even better when I randomly run into them at the mall...



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Oh dear, what can I say?  This is another sister.  This is the sister that is probably the most like me.  Want to guess what that means?  We're the emotional ones.  We're the stubborn ones.  We're the ones who don't back down.  Translate that into - we're the ones who butt heads most often.  Well, that's not true.  We don't so much anymore.  For the most part, I think we have grown out of our arguing.  The really funny thing is that I am far closer to her now than I ever thought I would be.  There were years where I didn't think we would ever be able to sit in a room together without arguing.  I love her - probably more than she realizes.



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So how many of you had "surrogate" grandparents as a kid?  I know I did.  I had the grandfather our classroom adopted in 3rd grade.  I had the elderly couple that lived down the road from us and I had (and still have) this beautiful woman....


My mom went to school with her kids.  I don't know how old I was when I met her, not that it matters.  I just know that she has always been Grandma Mickey.  She is still Grandma Mickey and I love her with all my heart and am extremely glad I had the opportunity to get this picture.

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One of the great parts about having 4,509,987,873 siblings is that each of those siblings has friends and as we grow older and dynamics change, we end up making friends with our siblings friends.  It's actually pretty fabulous.  Like in this case, this young lady is the best friend of one of my sisters and because of that friendship, she became my friend as well.



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I know not who this creature is....I have seen her never before.


Oooooor, she might be my cousin.

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And then there's the trouble maker...


That would be my brother.  Isn't he adorable?!?!?  I know he is.  He's so dang cute.  Love this kid.  I think whether we choose to admit it or not - he's always going to be all of our favorites.  But then, with a face like that, how could he not be?!

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I have a big family and therefore, many to choose from.  Here's a niece....


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Ok, away from family for a minute.  How about those that might as well be family?  I joke about my "hair magician" all the time.  The thing is, we spent years being a part of a gym family and so while she and her family may not be family by blood, they will always hold a special place in my heart.  Here's the hair magician's youngest daughter...



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Of course, speaking of family, every family has to have the heckler.  You know the one - he's the guy always cracking jokes and giving everybody grief.  Basically, the one everybody loves but only admits it when forced.  In all seriousness, I love this kid.  He's the perfect guy for my sister and I am glad he is a part of our family.



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I think sometimes the best and worst parts of weddings is the addition of family.  In the case of my sister, it was a "the best" type of scenario.  Our family was blessed with two new nieces when my sister got married and we love them both very much.  Here's one...



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Not sure how I missed this one.  I thought I had gotten all of the gym girls, but obviously I hadn't.  So, here's yet another...



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My helper at work....I absolutely adore this girl and wish her all the best when she toodles off to college in the fall...