Three brothers, three sisters and three siblings-in-law.
|Three Handsome Brothers: Joel, Rex and Derek|
|Three beautiful sisters: Paige, Nina and Hayley|
|1st Sib-in-law: Valerie with Joel|
|2nd Sib-in-law: Lindsey with Derek|
|3rd Sib-in-law: Nick with Paige|
Where to begin?
Growing up, my parents always told us kids that we could have friends but that our best friends were our siblings. And luckily enough, we all are.
I get a kick out of and want to keep up with every one of my brothers and sisters.
I can't think of any people I'd rather be stuck with for forever. I've had the best childhood and no-longer-a-childhood because I've grown up with and made my memories with my family.
No one can make me crack up as much as my family. No one can make me as happy as my family. They've pulled me out of dark situations and been the highlights of my happiest days.
Here they are in particular order (oldest to youngest):
Joel- My oldest brother. I've always felt like he'd do anything for me. One time when I was 13, I was stranded on the strip. Joel's band was performing that night and I wouldn't have called him but our parents were out of town and I was pretty scared. Joel dropped everything to race to my rescue. He told me to stay where I was and not to worry. What should have been a thirty minute drive took Joel fifteen minutes. He ran every light to get to me as quickly as possible. When I hopped into his white Jeep, I apologized for making him leave his party. He brushed the apology aside and told me that didn't matter and that he was just glad that I was ok. That's just one of many times where Joel has shown me that he'll always be there for me in the very second that I need him. Joel has also been someone I've looked up to because he works hard all the time. He doesn't have an ounce of lazy in him. And when he stumbles, he picks himself back up and becomes better than he was before. He makes things completely right again. He's incredibly humble.
Val- Joel's wife. I'm so glad that Joel found someone who is not only gorgeous, but who also miraculously thinks Joel is funny even when he's making creepy faces and dancing moving only his shoulders... I love Val for her advice and for the way she loves my nieces and my brother. And I love that she now sings more than she talks. (One of the biggest signs of a true Nelson.)
Derek- My older brother. Derek has always been able to get me to do anything for him. Not that he was very withholding or anything, but I just thought that he was so cool that to be involved in anything that he or Joel was doing was the highest honor. When I was in about 6th grade, I got a knock on my door one night and Derek came in and closed the door after him. He quietly asked me if I would help him bleach his hair, but said we'd have to do it a little later so that mom wouldn't find out because she'd freak out and say no if she knew our plans. He told me he'd come back in a little while once the coast was clear. That half hour or so that I waited seemed like it would never end! I could hardly sit still, waiting for him to come get me. ME. He had asked me to help him bleach his hair. That night is the coolest I've ever been or felt. Derek has overcome some trials that I've had as well. I've told myself that if Derek can do it, so can I. He has a quieter exterior than some of us Nelsons, but he's as tender as the rest of us. One day we got in a fight when I was really little and I told him I hated him. Derek got emotional and told me that no matter what I did, he would never hate me. That's stuck with me. I've never said anything that mean to someone I care about since that day. He's been a great example of unconditional love.
Lindsey- Derek's wife. I've never met someone as genuinely nice as Lindsey. She's nice to everyone she meets. She looks people right in the eye and you can tell she sincerely cares about them. She's also such an on-top-of-it mom who tells my brother and my nephews how much she loves them. Not only is she gorgeous, but she's a sweetheart of a person.
Paige- My closest sibling in age. Paige has taken a lot of teasing from me and for the most part, has taken it really well. Paige and I are the most opposite out of the seven of us kids. People would find out that we were sisters in high school and they wouldn't believe us. I think sometimes our differences have been subjects of tension between us, but I also think that those differences make us love each other a lot. Paige makes me laugh harder than anyone I know. She has a very tender heart. She cries more than I do... which is hard to do. She's gorgeous. Gorgeous, gorgeous. We've been through everything together. Everything. My most embarrassing moments of my life were both made and filmed with her. I'm so proud of the woman that she has become. I'd also like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for the time that I tricked her into biting my arm by telling her that it wouldn't hurt me and that I wouldn't tell on her and then turned around and told on her. She got sent to time out. And it didn't hurt me, but I told mom that it did. I'm sorry, Paige. I hope you can forgive me.
Nick- Paige's husband. Nick is such a great friend full of advice and support. He came into Paige's life and showed her and me how there really are good guys with good intentions who are fun and intelligent that live in Provo. I'm so grateful for the way that he treats and appreciates Paige. And he has already learned how to speak our "peshul" Sis language, which is promising for future Nelson quirks that he has yet to encounter.
Hayley- My little sister. Hayley has always been someone who stands firm in her convictions. Once she's set her mind on something, she doesn't do it halfway; she commits. Even though she's five years younger than I am, I've looked up to her many times as I've learned about her integrity all throughout middle school and high school, how she didn't care who thought what, she was going to do what she thought was the right thing to do. Hayley has always been a fireball and I'm very glad that growing up we had Paige as the buffer between us because I got to be the bystander and sometimes supporter as she took out her rage on Paige. Nowadays she's very laid back and will do whatever you ask her, even if it's ridiculous and selfish of you. She's a groovy dancer, too.
Rex- My little angel brother. I was twelve when Rex was born. My school was under construction so I had two weeks at home when the rest of my siblings were away all day so I got to help my mom with my newborn brother. I feel like Rex is my own little baby in a lot of ways. I know that's crazy, but it's how I feel. Rex is truly an angel. Once a couple years ago there was a boy who would hit Rex and take his backpack away and call him mean names. Nina told my mom about it and when my mom told him it was ok to fight back a little and stick up for himself Rex said, "I know. I've tried to fight back. But I just can't. No matter what I do I just can't bring myself to hurt someone." Angel, I tell you. Even though he is now twelve and passing the sacrament and in middle school, he still literally jumps into my arms and breaks a disc or two in my back every time I come home to Vegas. I gripe and complain about it, but I hope he is always that excited to see me.
Nina- My spunky littlest sister. Oh Nina AKA Tina AKA TNT AKA Teen. Nina is an 18 years old stuck in a 10 year-old's body. She is so advanced in so many ways for her age. She understands comedy and relationships and people much more than most kids freshly out of high school do. She has the best laugh. And she's fiercely loyal. She and Rex can't stand to be away from each other. When he goes on camp-outs or she goes to visit our cousin up in Utah, they miss each other like crazy. When Rex had that bully a couple years ago and Rex told my mom he couldn't hurt anyone, Nina piped up, "Don't worry, Mom. I hit that kid back. I picked up a stick and hit him and said, 'You don't hurt my brother like that!'" Oh man, she's hilarious. And every year for Christmas or my birthday, she has picked out not only one gift, but multiple gifts for me, things she saw that reminded her of me. She's precious.
Whew. My fingers are cramping a little. But there you have them: my wonderful, funny, loyal, protective, angelic, beautiful, handsome, brave, strong, wonderful siblings. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I'm the luckiest sister in the world.
So, on this Third day of Christmas, I'm truly grateful for:
Three Brothers, Three Sisters and Three Siblings-in-Law,
Two Loving Parents
One Promised King. Savior of the World.