I'm finally writing part two of my Eternity Trilogy! (If you missed part one, here it is.) Today's post is about my lovely siblings, so if you don't have a lot of time on your hands you should probably just not read it right now. Because I have 8 siblings. And 3 sisters-in-law. And 2 nieces. And 1 nephew. And they're all really great. So this blog post could go on forever and ever. It might be the eternal blog post. In which case you'll never get to read it because I'll just be writing it forever. So if you're reading this right now, that means it's not an eternal blog post.
I really think I have the best family. No family is perfect, but my family is perfect for me. I fall right smack dab in the middle of the 9 children, the oldest girl after 4 boys in a row. I love looking back and seeing how my relationship with my family has changed during the process of my growing up. When I was living at home I never did much with my older brothers, except for Daxson the last year or so that he lived at home before he left for college and on a mission and things. It's almost like there are two different families--the four older boys and then my four younger siblings--and I just kind of float around in between the two. It's fun.
Ever since I moved to Provo after my graduation from high school I've loved getting to know my older brothers. They used to be just my older brothers; I didn't really know them very well. Now they're my friends! I love doing things with them and eating dinner that they make for me and washing laundry for free at their houses. I am super lucky that we all live in the Provo area right now. It'll be sad when we start moving away.
Kyle Alan Hale is my oldest brother, and he's married to the lovely Jennifer Lucy. They live in Orem and I love going to visit them, although it doesn't happen nearly as often anymore as it should. Kyle is one of my songwriting heroes, right up there with Sara Bareilles and Billy Joel. I remember listening to songs he'd write when I was younger, and I was just amazed that he had such a gift and I always wished I could do that. Now that I actually do write my own songs, I love going to Kyle and Jennifer for songwriting tips, and also just to show them stuff I've come up with or things that I'm doing for my music classes. Jennifer is an important part of our family. I feel like the moment we transitioned from being a family to really loving our family and showing that love was when she came into our lives. I'm not saying it was all her, but she's such a bubbly, loving, fun person that you can't help but love her and then want to try and love other people the same way she loves you. Also, she makes really good food.
Jeremiah Thomas Hale is married to Danielle! They just had a beautiful baby girl, Liana Jade. Jerry's the only one of my brothers who ever beats up on me. I guess that makes me pretty lucky, having the possibility of five brothers to beat up on me; it's just unfortunate that Jerry's the strongest of them. But anyway, we'll leave the topic of abusiveness and talk about Jerry's better qualities. Like his wife, Danielle. Danielle has the most angelic voice. We're both music majors, so it's been fun running into her in the HFAC (the fine arts building on campus) the past couple of years, and being able to talk to her about things going on in my life. My niece Liana is a beauty to behold. Even though I've only beheld her once. (Correction: twice! I just went and saw her again tonight, halfway through writing this blog entry.) I just remembered more of Jerry's good qualities: He really loves sports, and I enjoy going to BYU basketball games with him or just watching other sports things on TV. He's also very smart and has things figured out. Also he has a weird/awesome sense of humor and I think he likes having me around because a lot of times I'm the only who'll laugh at his jokes.
Tobin Jack and Trista Nicole Hale have two of the cutest children ever, Kalan Jack (my favorite nephew I've ever had) and Harper Grace (one of the two favorite nieces I've ever had). Tobin and Trista live the closest to me of any of my siblings (except Victoria, who sleeps seven feet away from me every night), and I love being able to go over for dinner or to play games, or to play with Kalan. Trista makes the best chicken nuggets and pulled pork tacos in all of the land. I'm getting hungry just thinking about them. Trista also makes super cutesy, artsy things. Maybe someday I'll be able to be that awesome. Tobin is an amazing pianist. When I was taking piano lessons growing up he always inspired me to want to practice and get better. He can automatically do on the piano what the rest of us have to practice at for hours (and days and weeks) to be able to play. Kalan is awesome and I love it when he gets all hyper and wants to wrestle. I also love Kalan kisses. Harper can't do any of that yet, but she's good at being cute.
Daxson doesn't have any good pictures up on facebook. However, there is this here picture that he made. Because he's awesome. Isn't it wonderful? Daxson is really great. He recently made it into the film major at BYU (I forget what it's called...Media Arts?), and is going to do awesome things. He loves watching movies, and I like getting to watch movies with him. Children are strangely attracted to Daxson. It's weird. Kids just love him. Especially my nephew Kalan. I don't spend nearly enough time with Daxson. Last night I went to his apartment and watched "The Help" and then played Mario Kart and some dumb football game that I lost. Because the only sort of game I can play successfully is Mario Kart. (By successfully I mean that I don't lose every time.) Anyway, that was fun. Oh, speaking of this picture of Daxson's, he made it for a film project he recently finished. Check it out! Okay?
So, right here in the middle is where I belong.
Victoria Skye is a babe. She is also my roommate. She is single and ready to mingle! She's also going to kill me after she sees that I wrote that. Victoria and I are two years and 3 days apart. Because of this we've always shared the very special bond that can only be gained by repeatedly receiving almost identical (but different-colored) birthday presents every year. She is a freshman at BYU this year, and it's nice having a roommate who is almost as messy as I am so that she can only get kind of mad when my half of the room is dirty instead of really mad. She's really smart and super duper kind to everyone around her. Even people who don't deserve kindness. Also, she's the reason I eat real meals every once in a while. She's a great cook, and she's less lazy than I am, and it's good to have her around. Oh, something else I like is that I can be completely crazy and super weird when I'm around Victoria, and I know that she'll be just as weird or stranger, so it's okay to just let myself get hyper. No judging.
Why are my sisters so beautiful? Gretchen Ainsley Hale is just the nicest person. She is greatly desired by all the men, and for good reason. She's super smart, completely gorgeous, and she's quite witty. She knows right from wrong, and she makes decisions based on what she knows will make her happy. She's a great little writer. I actually kind of got the idea for this Eternity Trilogy from Gretchen's blog entry where she talks about our family. I think it was her 2nd blog post. Gretchen plays the flute and the piano. She has a fun sense of fashion and gets away with wearing the most unique things. But she always wears things. So that's good. Gretchen is a great older and younger sister. She inspires me to be better and to make good choices because I know she's looking up to me. Also I know that she wants to be looked up to by her younger siblings, and she's paving the way for them. Also if we had the same color of hair and eyes and skin we would look like twins.
Tansy doesn't have facebook yet, so there wasn't a plethora of photos to choose from for her. I found this in one of my albums, though. Tansy Rebecca is also my twin. And we even have the same color of hair and eyes. Except Tansy's hair is more blond. And her eyes are more grey. And she's much better-looking. And a little bit shorter and younger. But other than that, twins! Tansy is so smart and so ambitious. She loves music and she has the voice of a lovely song bird! I love talking to Tansy about boys. She's going to be a heartbreaker when she gets old enough to break hearts. She's in a musical right now (as is Mason), and I'm excited to get to go home and see it in a couple/few weeks. Tansy is very dramatic and likes attention, so I'm sure she will be great for the part she's playing. Also, Tansy's a really good friend to her little brother Mason. I remember when they were both tiny and they loved each other so much. Now they have to pretend like they don't love each other as much, but they're still great friends.
Mason Burke Hale is my favorite little brother. Seriously, he's the best little brother I've ever had, and probably ever will have. He's very perceptive and loves learning all sorts of things. Basically, he has a million brains. Mason really loves me, and I'm glad that he misses me when I'm not with him. When I first moved to college it took like my whole freshman year for him to realize that he missed me when I wasn't home. It feels good to be missed. It feels good to be greeted by someone running towards you yelling "Jiiiilliaaaaaaan!!" and then giving you a tackle hug when you pull up in the driveway late Friday night when you're visiting home for the weekend. I love calling Mason and talking on the phone and hearing how he's doing and what book(s) he's reading and what computer game I interrupted him from playing when I called him. I remember when he was little, Mason and I would have dinosaur fights. He was always a T-Rex and I was a Velociraptor. He knew all about all the different kinds of dinosaurs. Mason is learning how to be a good friend, and he does an excellent job of thinking of those around him.
And these are some of the wonderful people who make eternity such a wonderful gift! Can you believe I get to be with them for EVER? How did I get to be so lucky? Today in church our Sacrament Meeting talks were all about marriage and eternal families and covenants. Classic singles' ward topics. I'm not married yet, but I do already have the start to a wonderful eternal family. Really, that's the thing that makes the idea of eternity so appealing...I don't ever have to leave the people I love! Right now I'm lucky because more than half of my family lives in the Utah Valley, and the other half is only 3 1/2 hours away in good ol' Oakley, Idaho! Someday in this life, though, we will all move away and be more separated by distance, and it's comforting to know that I will always love them and I will always be able to call them my family. What a blessing!
Not that Daxson will make it this far into this blog post (if he even gets through any of it), but I felt bad that I didn't have a real picture up of him. So here's a picture of Gretchen and Daxson (and Victoria's chin):
And noooow...stay tuned for my blog post next week (hopefully), which will be the part three of my trilogy! Aren't you just so excited to see what else is one of my favorite things about eternity?