a few weeks ago we had our annual todd family reunion. i love it and look forward to being together with my family (it just doesn't happen as often as i wish it could). there are few people in the world i would rather be with than my family (especially my whole family together). ever since our reunion ended i have been thinking about how incredible each of them are. i am always inspired to be better when i am with them...a better mother, wife, sibling, daughter, friend and disciple of jesus christ. they are each amazing!
angela, my sister: she is such a patient mom. they have lived in colorado for the past 2 years and so i have gotten to see her "mother" her 5 kids a lot and i am always amazed at how patient she is with them and how kind she is when she speaks to them. i also admire how she stands up for what is right, regardless of the situation or who opposes her.
mark, my brother-in-law: i think mark is one of the kindest men i know. he is sincerely interested in what is going on in our lives. even though he has 5 kids of his own, he is always willing to play with our kids. he takes such good care of them. he is always serving and so loving to everyone.
suzi, my sister: i know i can always count on suzi. she is dependable and incredibly organized. i also admire the way she has supported her husband in his pursuits, even when it meant sacrifice for her. i admire the way she follows the spirit. she is a wonderful mother and i think it's amazing that she has 5 kids (that in and of itself is awesome), but especially because each of her pregnancies is awful for the entire 9 months.
matt, my brother-in-law: i think he is the funniest guy i know! i've known him for more than half of my life (wow) and he still cracks me up constantly. he is also great at making you feel important and good about yourself.
ryan, my brother: has an incredibly caring heart. he is one of the most generous people i know, whether it is with his time or resources. he gives freely, without making a big deal about it. i wasn't at all surprised when i was talking to lynda this trip and she mentioned how often they have people (even random people they met at church) stay with them because the people just need to a place to crash. as busy as ryan is, he serves faithfully in his church calling. his busy schedule is never an excuse not to serve. and he still makes time for his family and he is an amazing dad. his kids adore him and don't want to leave his side when he's around.
lynda, my sister-in-law: everything lynda does, she does all out! she has such an eye for details and makes everything look beautiful! and she is an incredible cook too! ryan works long hours and travels a lot and so lynda has to hold down the fort and tend to her 3 little kids alone a lot. but she doesn't complain and makes the best of things. like ryan, she is so giving and is always willing to help out.
my mom: she cares so much about each of us and what we are doing. she makes you feel special by asking all about whatever is going on in our lives (this applies not just to family, but whoever she associates with). after her accident the outpouring of love and cards and service was incredible and touching. although it almost wasn't surprising because that is how my mom has been toward others (family and non-family alike), constantly loving and serving. it was a chance for others to give back to her and love and serve her like she has done to so many. i feel like my parents have really left a legacy to us of hard work and service. there could never be any doubt that the gospel is the most important thing to her and she constantly encourages us in our discipleship and praises us for living the gospel and teaching our families. she ensures our family stays united through family reunions and general conference emails.
my dad: he quietly goes about doing so much for our family. especially with my mom being hurt, he has tirelessly taken care of her every need and worked overtime to get everything ready for our reunion (since my mom couldn't help). he is an amazing papa (grandpa) and is always willing to watch the kids (even by himself. he doesn't hesitate to babysit even a newborn and loves the bonding time with his grandkids). he has always been so supportive about whatever we (kids) have been doing. he is an incredible example of church service. my dad has always magnified his calling, whatever it is (including being a wonderful home teacher) and you can always count on him to serve in whatever way is needed (clean the church, set up chairs etc.) i have never heard him complain about serving in the church (and he has constantly served...so there have been plenty of opportunities to complain).
my sweet david: oh where do i even begin...this could be it's own post! i love how he really listens to what i'm saying and then puts into action applying what i've said (ie. what he could do to be a better husband etc.). he is thoughtful and supportive. he is constantly telling me that i'm beautiful, a good mom, that he loves me and will often write thoughtful emails or text messages reiterating those things when we're apart. he always makes me feel good about myself. he helps me put things into perspective (or helps me see another perspective). he is supportive of the things that are important to me, even though sometimes it takes me away from our family. he works hard to support our family and is the most amazing dad. our kids adore him and i love watching him play with our kids. he takes his role as dad very seriously and is always trying to be better. he never hesitates to give me or the kids a priesthood blessing and i am so grateful he is so willing to serve our family.
(as you can see in almost all the previous pictures, family pictures were rough this year for emma and logan)
the "in-laws." i'm so glad each of them joined our family. they add so much!