Friday, March 04, 2011

Meet the Stewart Clan...

There is nothing that brings me as much joy as family.
I love my little family of 3 and I know I write about us all the time, but today I am going to talk about my family of 5. My family before me or either of my siblings had spouses and children.
I linked up to Kelly's Korner Blog a few weeks back to tell our adoption story for her weekly Show Us Your Life posts. Today she is doing a "Show Us Your Family" theme and I couldn't resist posting all about my amazing family.

We aren't the most "normal" family...or maybe we are. What's normal anyway?
In my opinion, I have the best family in the world...I love nothing more than getting together with all of them. If nothing else, we ALWAYS have fun.
So (from left to right), my family consists of 5 older brother Chris, me, my mom Candi, my older sister Cassie and my dad Larry. And yes, this is the most recent, "normal" picture of us. See, we are far from normal!

Let me start with my dad, Larry. I have posted about him before on here because he is amazing. Really, he is the most giving person I know. He loves to give. I have never known of a harder working man. He is an amazing CRNA and loves what he does. He loves to have fun. He loves to be with people. He is funny!

He has been to Africa with Charity:Water, he went to Haiti just after the earthquake to offer his medical expertise and helped countless people there in need.
I honestly cannot imagine being prouder to call this man Dad.

My mom, Candi. I have yet another parent who is so selfless and giving. She gives and gives and never expects anything in return...ever. She has the most giving heart. She loves the Lord and shows love to all who she comes in contact with. She is my friend.

We have SO MUCH FUN together. She understands what it means to be an unbelievable friend and makes everyone in her life feel special. She is honest and I can always count on her to tell me how she really feels whether I like it or not. :) I talk to her every day...I can't imagine not having this relationship with her. She is the best mom I could ask for!
And these two are SO DIFFERENT, but work perfectly together. They've been together for something like 100 years and are still in love. They met as young kids, got married and had my brother at 17 years of age. They had NOTHING and have worked so hard their whole lives to get to where they are today.
They are amazing and wonderful and they're MY parents.
I have a brother and a sister.
I am the youngest.
We'll start with my brother, Chris. He is 10 years older than me and would probably say that he practically raised me. :) Apparently, while my parents were trying to let me "cry it out" in my crib, he couldn't take it and went into my room and rocked me to sleep.
Now he has his own kids to rock, good thing he had all kinds of practice raising me! ;)
Chris is hilarious. He LOVES his family and loves to have fun! Chris makes me laugh more than anyone else I know! He left for college when I was in 3rd grade, so in my younger years, we weren't around each other a whole lot. We became extremely close as we got older. We became friends. We lived together for a couple of years and met our spouses at the same place a week apart from each other. I remember staying up late with Chris talking about Brenda (his wife) before I knew her. I remember staying up late talking with Chris about a lot of things! Until recently, I spent almost every weekend hanging out with Chris and his family. He moved to Florida a couple of years ago and I miss him and his family all the time.
Chris is talented. He is a musician, he is a chef and loves to entertain. He makes THE BEST sushi...really. :) He loves deeply and is emotional and caring. He is an amazing nurse and a hard worker. He is my big brother AND friend and I love him so much!
Meet my sister, Cassie. First and foremost, Cassie is a mother. She is honestly the BEST mother. And it's funny, before she had kids, I didn't know if she'd ever be a mother. I can hardly remember that far back because now I cannot imagine her NOT being a mother. I don't know what kind of mother I would even be if it weren't for her. She's taught me SO SO MUCH about being a mother. Cassie isn't good at saying no. She does so much for so many. She has a heart for the Lord and is always volunteering and donating her time and resources to so many great causes whether it be in her own school, community, state, country or on the other side of the world. She's traveled to Africa and Guatemala, she is active in the community and her kids' school.
Cassie is opinionated. She says it like it is. She, more than anyone, I can count on to tell me how she REALLY feels. I love that about her (most of the time). :) She is passionate about all she gets involved with and doesn't do things halfway. She used to call me a pest when we were younger and I think that she often still thinks I am. Ha. However, as we've grown up and started our own families and now are living near each other, she has become my best friend. I can't imagine not having her to call if I need advice or someone to confide in. I look up to her even more now than I did when we were kids...and I looked up to her A LOT when we were kids!
And let's not forget that she is FUN. She is hilarious (as is all of my family it seems!) and loves a good time. She is social and spontaneous.
My heart swells with love and pride whenever I think about my amazing parents and siblings. I cannot imagine being a part of any other family.

And I am literally laughing out loud as I look at this picture. I mean, THIS is my family...really, this is how we are and it cracks me up! This is a good example of our family dynamic.

We may not be "normal", but we are family and I am so proud of this crazy family of mine!


sarak said...

You guys are awesome! FUN is how I would describe your family!:)

Sara said...

What a great post! You do have an amazing family! I loved reading a couple post ago at how everything is going so well for you right now. That was a good post too. What kind of diet are you guys doing? Tate is cute as ever!

Chris/Stew; Brenda said...

That pretty much sums them up! So happy I get to be a part of it.

Dennis said...

Oh,Jennie, that was amazing. I'm glad to say that I know(and love) all of you!! Linda McDonald

Beckysblog said...

wait a minute...Cassie is opinionated?


Your family is awesome. Its impossible not to laugh and feel the love when you look at those pictures!

Anonymous said...

I told Cassie I wondered where a picture of Chris mooning someone was? Maybe he gave that up now that he is a parent of 2??? Gale

Candi said...

Yup... if anyone ever wonders if God has a sense of humor... wonder no more!! :) I have said it before & I will say it again... we are BLESSED!! We are kind of embarrassing but you're pretty right on... :) Love our family TOO!! Sigh!!

Jennie Peakin said...

Uh NO...Chris has definitely not given up his signature move...the moon. He's perfected it over the years I would even say! Ha. :) He may have killed me if I posted a picture of it on here!

Lisa Borglum said...

I loved reading this post. Your family is beyond amazing, generous, and funny. I feel so blessed to be a part of your extended family. It makes me want to have a get together! Oh wait, I am with part of that awesome family, NOW - lucky me!!!