Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things I Like Tuesday - The Men in My Life

I often like to reflect on who I have in my life and what's going on around me at any given time. I think this helps keep me focused on important things...the people we rely on, love, and care for. The people who make a difference in our lives.

So, today I decided to reflect on the men in my life. 

And I apologize for all the pictures in a small way. I hate to be one of those annoyingly long blog posters who rattles on and shows picture after picture, but I honestly just can't help myself. Pictures are a huge part of my life. I almost constantly have either my camera or my cell phone with camera on me, ready to take a picture at a moment's notice. I love sharing pictures and talking about them. I love talking with you all about pictures. I'm not a photography expert, but I love pictures. So thank you for humoring me here and looking at pretending to look at all my pictures.


First of course is hubster, Tim. He's wild, crazy, lovable, hilarious, insane, whacky, wonderful, gentle, kind, amazing. He loves cracking jokes and is full of wit and sarcasm...sometimes to my utter dismay! {He is rarely serious!} But it also reminds me to lighten up and really just laugh. I've known him for 12 years now and I can barely remember what life was like without him in it. I first went head-over-heels for him when my best friend from college and I were doing a radio show after him at our college radio station. I remember whenever we opened the door, we'd both breathe in a quiet breath of his wonderful cologne. There was something about it that just always sweetened the atmosphere. Then we'd sit and chat with him until it was our turn to take over and he'd leave and I'd be going ga-ga. His cologne still sometimes has me weak in the knees, but now because it's a part of who I know him to be...his sweetness and the aura he carries. Tim is a delight to be around, funny, committed, competitive, an incredible uncle, a devoted husband, a tolerant husband {cuz you know, he puts up with the likes of me}, a godly man, has a servant's heart, is incredibly passionate about the things he cares about most {which sometimes drives me bonkers}, has good ideas, works very hard, is diligent at his job, takes care of me around the house, does stuff for me I hate doing {like stuff with the car, changing lightbulbs, cleaning the shower...}, and loves me despite of me.

And I still can't believe we'll be married TEN years this June!!

Then there's my brother, Tim. I've always looked up to him. He's always been there for me. He's fun, light-hearted, intense, one of the godliest men I know, rambunctious, the best dad ever to his two little girls, an amazing husband to the greatest sister-in-law, competitive, teases me to no end and I love it, and is hands down one of my very best friends. When I need expert advice or godly counsel, he's the one I call. {Well, after my mom.} I quite simply adore this man and am eternally grateful for the role he has played in my life. We don't talk constantly or anything like that, but I know I can always count on him and I hope he knows the same of me. And when we do talk, there's no place I'd rather be.

Ahh, my daddy. No matter what, I'll always be wrapped around his finger. Even though we have our moments and we disagree on a lot of things {religion, politics, life in general lol}, he's still very much my daddy and I'm still very much his little girl. He's a wonderful man, hilarious, kind, generous, very loving, thoughtful, light-hearded, and also very passionate about the things he loves and cares about. He could talk all day about computers and a bunch of stuff I don't understand, but I love how much he loves it. We've grown a lot closer these past couple years as we've opened up more and more to each other, and I could not be more thankful. My dad is a really great man, and I couldn't be more blessed to have him in my life. The best thing I take from him is consideration of other people. My generosity and caring about others intensely comes from him.

My stepdad Jerry. He is such a great man and has made my mom blissfully happy. I've known him {along with his first wife who passed away several years ago} since I was a kid. Jerry & Wilma went to the church I grew up at, where Wilma served with my Grandma in the library, and Jerry was a deacon, active in the choir and as a soloist, and sometimes led worship. I'd always looked up to them, had sleepovers at their house in junior high, and have a lot of respect and admiration for him and all that he's done in his life. And then he and mom got to know each other better, started dating {which I thought was awesome and blew my socks off at the same time!}, sought counseling at the church to make sure they were doing things the right away biblically {given that mom's divorced} and believed that they were {long story}, and got married in April 08. I couldn't be happier to have Jerry as a part of our family! And... most importantly, of course... you also make our Christmas Eve caroling sound soooo much better!
I got all teary-eyed when I started going through some pictures, realizing just how happy mom is. Thank you for making her so happy. Thank you for taking her to Switzerland on your honeymoon, I've never seen her so happy than to have dreams coming true she never thought would happen. And to find the love of her life. A million times over, thank you for caring for her and loving on her so well. I love that you spoil her and literally do anything you can for her!

One of my second brothers. Of absolutely no relation. Jason and I have known each other since my freshman year of high school (1992). I consider him my best friend from high school. He is definitely like a brother to me, and I've always looked up to him. Tim likes him too and he was a groomsman in our wedding. Then we lost touch for about 8 years. We reconnected in Nov of 08 when he and his girlfriend, Anna, were coming to Chicago and wanted to stay with us for the weekend. We weren't sure how it was going to go... not having seen him for a while and never having met her, and it was way better than we could have imagined. They visited us again this year in mid-April, and it was even better. They had just gotten engaged (yayyy!!) and it was so fun to talk to them about their relationship and plans for their wedding. I think because now we knew they were together for real it made it even more fun to hang out together as couples. We were delighted to spend the weekend with them and can't wait for the next one and for their wedding next year, woot!
I love her.
 What a great pair they are! She is so good for him!
 The four of us really have godly, fun time together. I'm so glad we all click so well.
Thankfully he and hubster get along great.

Another of my second brothers. Of absolutely no relation. Married to one of my best friends Monica. We treat each other much like siblings would, and while I've never told him this directly, I really do think of him very much like he's my brother. He's hilarious, godly, completely goofy, inspiring, full of wisdom, doesn't mind me constantly being in his house, and protective. Walking me to my car and opening the door for me after watching his kid until nearly midnight even though he knows his neighborhood isn't scary, he did so because he knew I was completely freaked out. I trust and respect him, and appreciate so much everything he does for Parker & Monica. He takes care of them and stands up for them so well.

Really... need I say more? Parker, you stole my heart from day one. Not being a mom yet, I've never quite felt this feeling. I love my nieces & nephews to pieces, but there's something special about you kid. Seeing you in and out 1-3 times a week, being your babysitter, and just having oodles of laughs and heaps of fun with you constantly... I don't know, there's a bond there beyond anything I can describe. You cry and I want to come running. You laugh and my heart melts. You smile at me and I want to leap for joy. You amaze me, kid. Thanks to your parents for letting me be such a big part of your life! 

My Grandpa. My mom's dad. He's amazing. He's very godly, honest, caring, forgiving, loving, serving, hilarious, delightful, witty, dedicated, committed, a family man, an excellent farmer, a great dad/husband/grandpa/great-grandpa, a faithful follower of Jesus Christ his entire life, and on and on I could go! I just completely lost my words thinking about him. He's just practically anything you could put to words when describing a Christian Grandpa. There's just no other way to say it. Losing Grandma was really hard. Losing Grandpa will be that much harder. It tears me up to just think about it. He just turned 90. The below pictures were taken at his 90th birthday party Easter weekend this year. He's slipping further and further into dementia, which is so sad to watch. He's always been a brilliant and sharp man. Just another good reminder of how great Heaven will be when we'll see him again, armed with a perfect memory and incredible mind. Oh I look forward to that day! 
My incredible Uncle Bill. I've always known I adored him but it wasn't until he was recently diagnosed with skin cancer did I realize just how much I couldn't imagine my life without him. I love my mom's sister's husbands, all of 'em in their own ways are special, but Uncle Bill, you are one-of-a-kind. And I've never been able to put it into words to you, but since I know your wife {hi Aunt Robin! :)} reads this sometimes, maybe now is a good time to let you know directly just how much I love you. No, really. I remember seeing you over Easter weekend, first time since hearing about your diagnosis, and I got choked up. I really had to fight to hold the tears back, and as I hugged you I truly didn't want to let go. The thought of losing you--especially Aunt Robin, Holly, Mary, and your grandkids losing you--but also for me was almost too much to bear. I'm sooo thankful to God that you are still with us. That you are still helping Grandpa as much as you can. That you are still faithfully loving on this family so dearly. You are a rock-solid centerpiece to our family. Your hard work on the farm, dedication to helping Grandpa keep things together, your keen sense of what Grandpa is talking about, your wonderful sense of humor about it all, and your graciousness and kindness do not go unnoticed. We see it. We see your love & care for Aunt Robin. We know. We cannot imagine our lives without you in it and we pray you're here for a long time yet. But if God chooses to take you before we're ready, I hope & pray that I'll see you again in Heaven someday. Because a Heaven without you is nearly impossible to imagine.

Thank you Lord, for the men in my life. The ones pictured here and the ones not pictured here. Thank you for each of them. The roles they've played. The ways they've helped shape who I am and who I will become. I will be forever grateful for them. Please watch over them now and keep them safe.


Jennifer said...

beautiful, wonderful, thoughtful, amazing post Rochelle!!! Brought tears to my eyes it was that sweet. i've recently started my own blog on blogspot.com but I know none of my posts could ever be as thought out as this was :) You are such a blessing and so is your family! Jenny Kamm Goehl

Stephanie said...

Great post Rochelle!