Family is very important to me. Altough I don't get to see them as much as I would like, the time I do spend with them is special. My parents divorced when I was seven, and my dad remarried not long after. I had a rough start warming up to my step-mom and new family, but as I got older I became very close with my step-mom, and especially my step-sister. I can't imagine what my life would be like without my family, especially my sister and brothers. I have a rather large family when you add in the "steps" and then the "in-laws" and all the other extended family, but I think it's great because family gatherings are always a good time, and I have a relative almost anywhere in the U.S.
My big sis (step-sister) Kati is amazing. She is by far one of the most important people in my life, and definitly one of the closest to me. It took a while for me to "grow up" and start enjoying having a sister, but now we are closer than ever. Since we live so far from each other we have to try extra hard to keep up with each other's lives. I talk to her at least a few times a week, and we always e-mail. She is really the best sister I could ask for, and I know she's always there to support me, listen to me and help me when I need it. When we do get to see each other, we always laugh and have a good time. We both are shopaholics and love shoes! She has the cutest dog named Lily, and her other half Ryan is almost as amazing as she is; he definitley knows how to have a good time, and has helped me a lot already in preparing me for my future career. I can't wait to see where both of our lives take us, and I'm so happy I'll have a sister to grow old with!
My brother, Paul, and I are four years apart. It's kind of a big gap when growing up in jr. high and high school, but as I make my way through college and he gets ready to start applying for schools we find the gap growing smaller. Gradually we have been finding more to talk about, and we talk online or on the phone almost every day. It's been cool watching my little brother grow up and go to the same schools as I did. He's very creative and loves music, especially the Beatles and Rolling Stones. He is teaching himself how to play the guitar, although he spends the majority of his time on video games. I have high hopes for his future, and I'm excited to see where he ends up. We're not very much alike, so it should be interesting to see the different paths we take in life.
Jim and Erika
My big brother (step-brother) Jimmy, and his wife Erika live in Chicago (as of now). They have a little girl, Madeleine, who was born in 2005. I haven't had the chance to meet her yet because I'm so busy with school, but with the help of technology I talked to her through a Web cam and she is such an amazing little person! I don't get to see them often at all; mostly just around the holidays, and even then they don't always make it down to Florida. Jimmy is a huge Red Soxs fan, and Erika is the smartest woman I know. She loves learning and is the most interesting person to talk to about anything. She is a great listener and always has some new bit of information to share. Jim works for GE and travels a lot for his job, although the traveling has lessened since Madeleine was born. I wish I could visit more, and look forward to a break from school and the chance to go see them.
My parents are all extraordinary people. My dad is a minister for the United Church of Christ so I have been attending church services since I was less than a week old. My mom is an elementary school teacher in Melbourne, where I was born. My parents divorced when I was young, so I don't really remember life with them under the same roof. My dad moved to Miami after they divorced for work, and he currently lives there. My dad remarried my step-mom Dianne. Over the years Dianne and I have grown very close and we try to stay in touch over the phone or through e-mail a few times a week. I'm really happy with the way everything turned out. I can't imagine not having Dianne in my life. My relationships with all three have become stronger the older I get, which makes life much happier and satisfying. I know I can count on all of them for anything, and I know how proud of me they all are.
I talk to my mom almost every day on the phone. She is usually the one who calls me, but we talk in between my busy school and work schedule and just catch up on the day-to-day. My mom and I have a very close relationship, which I don't think I could have done without. She was there all through high school, and I could always talk to her about anything and everything. I know she won't judge me for anything I do, and I can always count on her for an honest opinion or advice. My mom is my life, and I couldn't ask for anything better.