I have a small family by most standards. We can all fit in an SUV. This was weird when I was dating Number 4, who had a freakin’ huge family.
Aside from my son, it’s just me and my little brother, our parents, one remaining grandmother, and my cousin. That’s pretty much our “nuclear” family. My mom’s sister lives in San Diego with her hubs, and their kids (my cousins, in case you lost track) are in college in Long Beach and Chicago.
I have some cousins on my dad’s side but they are quite a bit older and we don’t talk to them much since Granny Butow passed on.
I have a little bit of Scottish in me, but I’m mostly German and Polish. The Butow family is still rather large in Germany today.
My family is fun. And funny. We’re actually pretty darn hysterical. My parents still live in the house we moved to in 1984, my dad still rules the garage (despite the lack of a race car these days), and my mom still plants her beloved tomato plants on the side of the house.
And we’re all slightly nuts. Because if you know us, you’d know why we have to be. It kinda gets us through our days.
Occupation: Ex-Electrical worker, current union dude
Hobbies: Past – Desert Race Car building and driving. Current: Fixing stuff that ain’t broke and scaring the cat with the vacuum.
Most annoying quality: Don’t cross him, he can hold a grudge.
Most endearing quality: He takes care of his family in many ways, including vehicle maintenance (I didn’t need new tires, but OK thanks!), advice, and giving birthday gifts of tools that I always end up needing years later.
What I love most about him: He’s been belching greetings and telling me to go play on the freeway for as long as I can remember. Stability is good. :)
AKA: Gramma Shirmee
Occupation: Retired. (Grandma, league bowler, tomato farmer, self-appointed Indian casino inspector)
Hobbies: Spoiling her grandson, bowling, gardening, online Scrabble, visiting Indian casinos, and traveling with Dad on to trips to Vegas.
Most annoying quality: Planting tomato plants in other people’s back yards. Namely mine. I don’t really even like the damn things.
Most endearing quality: “Your grandson grew another three inches overnight and now I have to go buy him new pants!” Twenty minutes later, UPS arrives with new pants from grandma. And a Nerf Gun. And candy.
What I love most about her: She be crazy, but will do anything for her kids and her grand-kid.
AKA: Great-grandma, Grandma Gina
Hobbies: Water aerobics, baseball (watching), reading 12 newspapers a day, watching the hummingbirds, and Bunko.
Most annoying quality: She cooks by taste and doesn’t write down her recipes so I can’t copy them
Most endearing quality: She makes the best food ever
What I love most about her: She spoiled me the way my mom spoils my son, and she still winks at me to let me know some things are just between us.
AKA: Russ’s Kid, Uncle Brian
Occupation: Electrical Helper dude
Hobbies: Past – Being annoying. Current – Getting tattoos, working out, staying out of trouble.
Most annoying quality: He was supposed to be a girl. Not really, but in my 4-year-old head I was going to have a sister. The whole brother thing really threw me.
Most endearing quality: The way he plays with his nephew. Roughhouses with him for hours.
What I love most about him: He’ll give you the shirt off his back if you need it. And he always helps me move.
AKA: Stacer, SCuzin’ Stacie
Occupation: Hairdresser/Salon owner
Hobbies: Playing with dogs, cleaning up stuff dogs chewed, hiking, snow-shoeing, shopping, and being a Coloradoan with fiance Mark.
Most annoying quality: She calls me on all my B.S.
Most endearing quality: She calls me on all my B.S.
What I love most about her: She’s like a big sister and knows all my secrets. And still loves me. And when we go visit her, we can sit around and talk and do absolutely nothing and it’s the best vacation ever!
Name: Let’s just go with The Boy for now
Hobbies: Getting dirty, making noise, baseball, football, Zombie games on the iPad (there must be thousands).
Most annoying quality: Getting up earlier on weekends than on school days
Most endearing quality: Kid has a huge heart and helps anyone and everyone, cheers for the other team, and gets “caught being good” slips at school on a regular basis.
What I love most about him: No way to pick just one thing. I love everything about the big-hearted, smelly ballplayer.
J, B, K & R
Names: Jeanie, Bill, Katie & Ryan (Jeanie is my aunt in San Diego)
After years of working for The Man, Jeanie has a used book business, and Bill has a consulting business doing environmental work, and they love it. Ryan is studying Geographic Information Systems at CSU Long Beach, and Katie is in a psychology Master’s program in Chicago. We see them once or twice a year. Always fun to visit them in San Diego and be beach/pool bums for a few days!
<3 <3 <3