Mi Familia

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This would be the Cantwell family, summer of 1991. There are several things about this picture that are disturbing, the main thing being my dad’s hair. Or lack of, I guess I should say. I was a cute kid, if I must say so myself. And sweet, too. And I grew up to be such a humble adult. I’m not sure what Jeffery was mad about, but he doesn’t look very happy.

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This is my middle brother, Jeffery and me when I was probably four or five so he would’ve been three of four. We are 14 months apart. I guess my parents were bored.

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This is my middle brother, Jeffery, and me on his 24 birthday. I love that he is one of my best friends in all the world. I love his sense of humor and I love that no matter what, any time we are together, we are joking and laughing. I’m so proud of the man that he’s grown up to be. He’s an amazing husband and father and I absolutely love watching him with my nephew. Love you, Jeffery….even if you didn’t laugh at my joke last night.

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This is my baby brother, Nathan. He’s also one of my best friends. He’s someone that I can call when I need to talk or cry or just need some good advice. I love that I can depend on my brothers for these kinds of things.

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This is my sister-in-law, Rachel (yes, we have the same name). Sometimes it gets confusing when we are all together and we don’t know which Rachel everyone is talking to, but I wouldn’t trade this girl for anything. She’s a great sister-in-law and she gave us my nephew!!! She’s almost a nurse and I’m proud of her.

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This is my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Ashleyanne. She is marrying my baby brother in 67 days (which means I have 67 days to get in shape which means I’m gonna need a divine intervention or a miracle from above. LOL). Ashley is really one of the funniest people I know and without ever trying. The things that come out of her mouth never cease to amaze us all. We love her and I’m glad she’s about to be part of our family. She also has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. My nephew calls her Addy. It’s sweet.

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This is my dad. When I was little and just learning to talk, my dad said that I would look up at him and say, “I woby” which meant I love you. Every year when he signs my birthday cards or Valentine’s Day card, he writes “I woby” inside each one. It’s something special that no one else in this world has except the two of us. I love my dad. I love that he took me on dates and showed me how I was supposed to be treated by a man. That is so rare these days, but I was lucky.

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This is my mom. I love her so much. She’s one of the strongest women I know and the hardest worker I’ve ever known. My mom is so determined and whatever she puts her mind to, she does. Her name means Helper of Mankind and that is exactly what my mom is. She puts everyone before herself. She goes above and beyond. My mom was voted Teacher of the Year by the community and her students and students’ parents. She takes time to get to know each one of her students, even now that she’s assistant principal and not in the classroom anymore. And she shows love to each and every one of them. She’s devoted. I love her.

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This is my nephew, the sweetest, funniest, most amazing little guy on Earth. I love him more than any other human being I’ve ever known. There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t make me smile and being his aunt is one of my favorite things ever! I love when he sees me and says, “Rah Rah!!!!” He’s the best.

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This is my Gramma. Oh how I love her! I remember when I was six years old and I had to call her to come over and help me take my school uniform off. My mom was out of town for something and I was embarrassed to ask my dad to help me and those dang school uniforms were hard to unzip so I called her and she came over just to help me. And I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve called my gramma to bring me a drink or supper to school or work. And she always did it!! She’s the best gramma.

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This was my family, Christmas 2009. We need new family pictures now that we’ve gained two members!! I love that my family is growing and I love that I can call each one of them friends, as well. Each one means something different to me, and they all are such important parts of my life and who I am. I can’t imagine life without them and I’m so excited to watch my family grow.

~Rach

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