"Try a little harder to be a little better." -- President Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why We Are Who We Are

Since I started this blog, I have been focusing my writing on what has been our biggest adventure to date: Raising our family.  But really, it has just been in recent years that when I say ‘my family’ my thoughts jump immediately to Mike, Abigail, Noah and Elias.  And that is because I have forever been part of, instead of ‘co-founder’ of a stable, loving and well-balanced family.  That is of course, until the day I married Mike and we became a family of our own.

Both Mike and I grew up with a strong emphasis on family and have been blessed with parents who make it all work.  We are well aware that nothing is perfect, but perfect was never what our families pretended to be.  I am so proud of every single one of our family members and since I often take the time to make known how proud I am of my own children and my husband, I would like to write a few words to share my feelings about all of the other ones who we love.  Also, let’s be honest, they likely make up roughly 93% of my ‘followers’ so hey, target your readers right?  Lol.

So here it is, our family and what they mean to us.  We are so blessed to have so many people to love.

The Craig side:

We have a mother and a father who have been an example of consistency.  As they approach their 29th wedding anniversary this April, they have shown always a consistency of love, trust and faith.  They are wonderful parents and exceptional grandparents.  I am so proud to tell people the story of you.  I love that I have seen your relationship change over the years because it has helped me realize that I should never stop.  Never stop trying to be more than I was capable of yesterday.  I am so grateful for your powerful example and I love you both.

We have a sister who has been around the world and finally came back with her Masters of Scientific-earth loving-planet saving-energy and renewable resources-something.  It’s pretty freaking amazing!  I have been able to experience the other side of life through your letters and photographs.  Your spirit is incredible and I know that I have been blessed with a sister like you so that the part of me that always wonders at that other side of life will on some level understand.  I love you for the way we used to be together, the way we are now, and the eternal friends we are destined to become.

We have a sister who has a degree, has made a career for herself and has formed a beautiful relationship with a wonderful man.  I love watching life through your eyes.  You have flair that isn’t often seen.  Exciting is the word that comes to mind when people ask specifically what each of my sisters are like.  You help me realize the truth behind the term ‘special sister bond’.  You were by far one of my worst enemies in high school, but are bar none one of my closest friends today.  I love you both and I am so proud to be your sistah-frand.

We have a sister who is so fashionably inclined, effortlessly beautiful and a supremely gentle soul.  You are the emotion to this family.  You may laugh and take this as a joke, but I think it is beautiful.  I love that you carry your emotions on your sleeve.  This quality will allow for true relationships to be formed in your lifetime and that is something not everyone will experience.  You don’t have a hard time expressing your feelings and this is wonderful because it means that those you love will always know how much you really love.  I love you so much and am so proud of you in so many ways.

Because we don't have a recent family photo where Elias has been born!

The Willmott side:

We have a mother and father who have been a light of faith and testimony to us.  I would never have believed that I would sit here this day and believe with such undoubting surety of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And it is though your prayerful diligence that we found this safe place in which to raise our children.  My soul is eternally grateful for this gift of light.  You are an example to me of living through an uncertain life with absolute certainty of purpose.  Your example is powerful and uplifting and I am so thankful for you both.  I love you both and admire the life you have built together.

We have a sister who has recently married a great man, has a beautiful step-daughter and is pregnant now with her first child.  I am so proud of the life you and your husband are building for your family.  I love to watch your excitement grow as you approach any event, big or small, in your life.  Life is fun because you are in it.  I truly believe that we are placed alongside certain people in our life who will serve specific purposes to our own story and I believe that we are here together to be friends.  I love you and your family and am anxious to watch and learn what the future has in store for you.

We have a brother who is serving a fulltime mission all the way on the other side of the country.  I have watched you change in the most ways I’ve ever witnessed a person change.  Yet your changes have always seemed so natural and logical.  I believe this to be because you are such an honest and true person.  I have never met someone so capable of befriending a whole room of strangers in such a short period of time.  You are contagious, unforgettable and remarkable all at the same time.  I am so proud of you and the choices you have made.  You have saved my family through your example and willingness to rise above and for that I am so grateful.  I love you and look forward to being together as a family again.

We have a sister who is working hard to finish her schooling and has recently become engaged to a really great man.  I am so extremely proud of the choices you have made for your life.  You are helping people in ways that you may never fully know.  I get excited when I think about what the future holds for you.  I feel a sense of overwhelming joy when I think about the head start you are giving your future and your future family.  You have always been so strong-willed and I have loved watching that characteristic translate into your choice to marry a man who has only ever been perfect for you.  I love you both and am so happy for you.  This world is wonderful and your choices together have just made life even a little bit more so.

We have a sister who is smart, determined, well-spoken and who is currently chasing her dream of becoming a teacher.  I have never met someone who has had a life filled with so many people who love her.  Ever since you became a part of my life, I have always marveled at how easily you attract not only friendship, but long-lasting, substantial friendship.  You have an immeasurable loyalty to those you love and I have always respected enormously the care and compassion you demonstrate for both your family and friends.  You have an immensely strong moral compass.  Stronger than any teenager/adult I have ever known.  This is a phenomenal and extremely attractive quality. I am so proud of your ability to think outside the norm and challenge life from a higher perspective.  You will bless your family and your future because you have the ability to recognize a firm foundation.  I love you as the youngest of my siblings and as the amazing woman you are.

We are so lucky to get to love so many different people at such a high level.  Our love for each of these people is from so many different perspectives.  We can love from the role of a sister, brother, in-law, aunt, uncle, daughter and son.  And we can love them all as aunts to our children, as uncles, as cousins, as grandmas, nannies and grandpas.  What an amazing thing family is.  How wonderful it is to be able to love on so many different levels.

We are so thankful for each of you and we love, pray for and think of you all daily!  We hope you all have a great week filled with choices based on love, happiness and family.

Life is beautifully wonderful when you’re looking in all the right places.

Love from the Willmotts

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