Meh, this weekend has been....odd. I've been in the strangest of moods....just listless. Anyway, this doesnt happen very often so I thought I'd better document it: I'm happy this weekend is over.
But, I know ONE THING that will make me feel better...lets continue on with my list of inspirational/influential people! woo WOOOO!
But, before we get on to that...Ricky was having troubles reaching my email address? what's this? friends...if for some ODD reason you cannot click on the link on your right...than here, just email me at firstsamuel25*at*yahoo*dot*com....of course if THAT doesnt work...than you can just leave me a comment here on my birthday too....so get those birthday wishes prepared and ready to go...you've got NINE DAYS.....
Joel and Ryan Abt
I'm having to put these two together because, once again, I skipped a day...so we're having to make up for it. Luckily, these two are brothers and both my cousins....soooo....it was an easy choice on who to double up on ;-)
Joel and Ryan are my closest cousins...and I've delighted in their company since I can remember-but they are also very different so I'll do this one at a time.
Joel is a good five years older than me. And has definitely played the roll of "older brother" in my life. For many years he was just this guy who was at family gatherings too....but as the years went on, I watched him in awe. He was so very cool...everything he did seemed to be something totally special. And the MOST special thing of all was that he didnt treat me like a little kid, but actually talked to me and hung out with me...I remember one of the first times I rode around in the car with Joel and just talked and talked....I remember at the time thinking just how cool it was that he would want to spend time with like that. That feeling stuck and as I got older I saw more and more of the coolness factor in Joel. Joel is one of THE most laid back people I've ever met, I've seen him interact with all sorts of people over the years and he's never failed to impress me with his ablity to get along with anyone. Not only does he seem to NOT be annoyed by the most annoying of people, but he is somehow able to make people feel comfortable and liked. Joel can talk to anyone and probably make friends with anyone, truly a gift.
Joel is also extremly loyal to his friends and family, I know that I could call him up at anytime and he would be there to help in anyway. When I was in high school, I always felt safe around Joel and I enjoyed knowing that. I think a girl always likes to know she's going to be "protected"...and Joel definitely stepped up in the big brother role in that department....
Ryan and I were the best of buds when we were little. At the time we were the youngest two cousins and were constantly being either ignored or picked on...and sometimes I think both were pulled of at the same time. Ryan kept me happy at family gatherings...he was FANTASTIC at making up stories and we were always having battles in the swimming pool or having a short-order cook restaurant or....whatever struck our fancy. Over the years my friendship developed with Ryan and I saw just how similar we really were. I've learned so much from Ryan and his heart...I learned how to be a friend by just SITTING and BEING with someone ( before Ryan I really thought talking was necessary). I also learned a lot about my faith by watching Ryan work through his. Ryan is truly passionate about loving and wanting the best for people around him. I've always been truly impressed by how he has stood up for Right in the hardest of situations. In high school, when fitting in and not being noticed or thought badly of was at the top of my to do list, seeing Ryan stand up for truth and what was right, unwaverling stuck with me. I also learned a lot about the mind of a guy from Ryan...and he's given me some of the most sound "guy problem" advice I've ever gotten, and I have delighted in giving him girl advice ( or at least I did my best!).
I know it probably sounds strange, but just the fact that these two guys were a part of my growing up, spending time with me...talking to me....laughing with me...sharing good times together...it really meant a LOT. They were the brothers I didnt have-and more, they were...and are my friends. My first real guy friends. Yes, they truly opened my mind up to the insanely crazy world of the male brain....I wouldnt know anything about any sport if it wasnt for Joel ( seriously)...I wouldnt know anything about how guys think about girls if it wasnt for Ryan ( seriously).
God really did something cool when He worked it out that Anna and I would be close in age to Joel and Ryan....in that way we were given brothers and friends for life. I am truly grateful for the part they have played in my life up to this point...and I look forward to all the good fun we will have in the future.
I would not be who I am today without either of them...