I wanted to save my side of the family for last. The Chapman side of the family is a completely different dynamic than the Wright side, but I wouldn't have it any other way. First of all, I just need to say how much I MISS my family. Up until a few months ago when my brother Scott got married, I have been the only one living away and everyone else was within an hour of each other. Now, Scott's family lives in NV and he is hoping to find work there really soon, but they are at least within driving distance! It is seriously killing me being away from them. Especially since I have a new and ADORABLE niece, 2 prego sister in laws (both their first babies... I am extremely sad I am missing this!), and a new sister-in-law, along with her 4 kiddo's that visits often and I am missing out on getting to know them better. Not to mention all my nieces and nephews that I haven't been able to get to know. I am particularly sad about not being able to see the nieces and nephews grow up when I was able to be there during their younger years. Every time I see them and how big they have gotten, it makes me SO SAD.
Anyway, I'm so lucky to have 4 older brother's who all looked out for me, teased me, counseled me, etc. I know I could always, and still can, count on each of them with anything I need. I am so lucky that way. They all married amazing women whom I love sooo dearly. When I was 8, my mom married a wonderful man who had 4 kids of his own. The oldest, Randy, actually passed away before they got married. I am so excited for the opportunity I will have to get to know him after I pass. He and I will be total buds, I just know it! Anyway, this marriage brought along 2 more step-brothers and a step-sister. I can honestly say that I love and care for these step-siblings just as much as I do my biological siblings. The word "step" in my stepfamily simply just doesn't apply for me. They are family! Again, I feel so blessed for that!
Awesome picture taken by Michelle. This was less than a month before my mom passed and it has everyone that was in our family at the time (minus Heather, who passed away). We had no idea it would be our last with mom.
Scott and Shannon
One thing Nate and I have started to do when we visit California is try to get individual time with the sibs and their families and it has been awesome every time! I have so much fun with each of them. Anyway, I love and seriously MISS each member of my Chapman/King clan.
My mom. She was and is amazing. I miss her dearly. She taught me humility, patience, love, understanding, the importance of the gospel, and you know, all that good stuff. I think about her several times a day. Sometimes I am okay with her being gone. Other times I just think it's unfair. You know, the usual. And sometimes when I imagine her still being alive, I imagine her walking, playing with my girls, and being the grandma she always was inside. I can't wait to see her again (but I also sort of can wait) :).
Another pic by Michelle.
My dad. I have an awesome dad. He is one of the most generous men I have ever met. He really knows how to take care of his "little girl". I can go to him with just about anything I need and he makes sure that I am taken care of above and beyond what is necessary. He is a great example of hard work. He is a faithful friend. He has taken me on some seriously sweet vacations. It makes my day every time he calls me "just to say hi". And it makes me so happy when I see him happy. And every time I am around him, I am convinced even more of how much he loves me. I am so, SOO blessed to have him as my dad. I love, admire, and respect him for so much!
And then Rik. He has been a second father to me. He took care of my mom up until the day she died and he did it without complaint. Any time I was struggling with something, he would take me for a burger to help me work through it. If my mom and I were arguing or something, he would again take me out to eat and let me know I needed to be easy on her and how much she loves me, etc. He is the greatest example of service that I know and I was so blessed to live with him to witness that day in and day out. And even though my mom is gone, he is still very much a huge part of my life. Just like my dad, I love, admire, and respect him for so much!
I miss my family. I love them. I seriously cannot wait until I get to see all of them again!
Between my family and Nate's, I have completely hit the jackpot.
I am also so grateful and happy I did this grateful November blog. Even if I was late on more than half the days, It has helped me to remember only a few of the things I was grateful for and why. It has helped me to remember my many, many blessings on the days that I wasn't feeling so grateful. Anyway, I am one happy, lucky, and extremely blessed girl!