Thursday, October 10, 2013

If you're lucky enough...

I've met lots of new people lately.

Okay, let's stop and be real.  I've met lots of new people in the past, oh, 6 years?

Back to the point.  I've been able to talk to a lot of people and hear their stories.  And one thing I am constantly reminded about is how thankful I am for my family.

Christmas 2002

I come from a family of 4 kids.  Katy is the oldest, I'm next, then Blaise, and Ansley finishes us up.

Christmas 2005

We are a passionate bunch.  Dare I even say, spicy?

None of this sulking for days for us...we let you know when we are angry.

But, we fix fights quickly too.  We hug and make up and try not to let the sun go down on our anger.

Ansley's birthday this year

Mom, Katy, and Baby Marley!

When I was little, my dad (or my mom, who knows?) instituted Braden family night.

Some BFN's were dedicated to board games.  We still do these.

Some were dedicated to lectures on the heart chambers (my dad is a pediatric cardiologist).  We have ceased these nights, thankfully, although they did help in high school biology.

There were even nights in which we did the limbo to Gloria Estafan.  If you were a friend in our house on those nights, I want to apologize now.

The beach, I think 1998

We still keep up the board game nights, although they are mostly dedicated to Settler's of Catan or Imagine If.  There was one eventful Settler's game that involved a thrown phone (see, spicy, I tell you!), but we have learned to play peacefully.

Easter, perhaps 2012?

The Braden's can entertain themselves completely.  We played dress up constantly as children (and poor Ansley was basically a prop!).  Ansley and Katy still like to dress up for Christmas every year.

We have our dorkier habits:  Jeff Foxworthy cd's on car trips, the Braden Family Brain, "Braden Family Business" (aka BFB), our obsession with all things Christmas...

Do you feel like this should be included in the dorkier habits list?  Because I do.

For sure this one should be!  
Summer 2008

We are each other's best friends.  You don't want to mess with one of us.  I remember a boy saying something rude to Katy in high school and I gave him a tongue lashing. 

Don't mess with a Braden.

Then there was the Christmas Bech and I were Africa and my family made cut outs of us for the table.  How sweet/creepy.

We are also all up in each other's business.  We constantly talk on the phone.  Our group texts are hilarious.

Ansley and Blaise, D.C., Spring 2011

We love each other fiercely.  If one of us is hurting, we rally and we love on that person.  We laugh and cry with each other.

Christmas 2006

And we have been taught love over and over by our parents.  

Why thank you, my parents are beautiful!

My dad read us Narnia each night.  My mom stayed up late making Easter dresses.  My parents loved (and continue to love) us fiercely.  

They introduced us to Christ and taught us what love is, and they continue to daily show us that love.

Charity ball 2010

The Braden's are not perfect--far from it.  But we are real, and we love each other.

And I wouldn't trade that for the world.

So what I'm trying to say is, if you're lucky enough to be a Braden...

You're lucky enough.

I feel like I should have a disclaimer that I don't believe in luck, because, well, I'm a Calvinist.  But you get the point!