Monday, February 25, 2013

My Story -Part 2

A couple of months ago, I shared the first part of my story (If you have not yet read it, a link is included at the end of this post). I started with introducing my parents. As I've thought about writing the next part of my story, I realize that my story will likely make more sense if I introduce my family members before I start writing about them.

So in this post, I will begin introducing my brothers and sisters. As I am from a family of seven children, I will split their introductions into two separate posts. From oldest to youngest, my siblings are Matthew (Matt), Heather, Joshua (Josh), Megan, Zachary (Zach), and Brady. In this post, I will introduce you to Matt, Heather and Josh.

I ended my last "My Story" post with the birth of my brother Matt. Matt was born about two years and three months after me. The two words I would use to best describe Matt during his childhood would be curious and adventurous. His first complete sentence was, "Get down!" as that was one of the most common ones he heard from our parents when he was a toddler. He could be frequently found climbing somewhere.

Even as he got older he kept his sense of adventure. I remember once when he was about seven or eight years old in a game of tag or hide and seek, he had climbed a tree, and then in order to avoid getting caught, while about fifteen or twenty feet above the ground, he jumped to another tree.

He was also curious about how things worked, and as a child could often be found taking something apart and putting it back together (sometimes more successfully than others).

Because we were so close in age, Matt and I played together a lot growing up and often played with the same friends. We also frequently shared a bedroom.

Matt graduated from high school while I was serving my mission, and a couple of months after I returned home, he received his call to the California Roseville Mission.

Matt has attended school off and on since that time at Salt Lake Community College, pursuing a degree in auto mechanics. In 2006, he met Launa through his friendship with her roommates, and soon after began dating her. Around Easter of the next year, Matt and Launa were engaged and they then married in June of 2007 in the Salt Lake Temple. In 2010 they bought and moved in to their house, and in October of 2011, Launa gave birth to their daughter, Kylie. Matt is currently working as a manager at a trailer supply store.

Heather was born about two years after Matt, making her four years younger than me. Heather had an interesting early childhood, including becoming infected with giardia  as an infant, and getting third degree burns on her arms when she was a toddler from falling against a hot wood burning stove. She fortunately made a full recovery from both.

Heather was born with dark curly hair, which turned blond as she got older. Her closest childhood friends were the twin girls who lived next door and were a year older than her. Both of them had straight long hair, and much of her childhood she wanted to have hair like theirs, and would often use things like a grass skirt or pom poms to make her hair "longer".

Of all the children in the family, she probably had the hardest time when we moved due to her close friendships. However, she was able to adapt and make new friends.

She graduated from high school about a year after I returned home from my mission, and for a year, she and I attended Salt Lake Community College together, often riding together and even taking an institute class together.

In 2004, she met Clay who had been working with Matt, and was also attending the same singles ward. In late spring or early summer of the next year they were engaged, and they were married in our grandparents' back yard in September of 2005.

In August of 2006, their first son, Robby, was born. And in March of 2007 they were sealed in the Manti Temple. During most of their marriage they have lived in the Salt Lake Valley, though they spent most of a year living in Washington State. They returned to Salt Lake several months before the birth of their first daughter, Aili, who was born in March of 2011. And in August of 2012, they celebrated the birth of their second son, Kelly. Heather is currently a stay-at-home mom, who keeps busy raising her three young children.

Josh was born about two years after Heather, making him six years younger than me. During his infancy, and childhood, Josh had a different build than me and my other siblings. We were all very slim, while he was more on the chubby side. Though once he hit puberty, Josh lost his baby fat, and developed a very similar build as me and Matt, enough so that I almost confused Josh for Matt when I first saw him at the airport upon returning from my mission.

Josh was very easy-going as a toddler and child, and as such earned the nickname, Buddy, when he was younger. When asked his name, he'd even recite that he was "Josh Jacob JJ Buddy Coon." During his younger childhood, he could almost always be found playing with a ball of some sort.

He also had much more of an interest in sports as a child than I did, or even Matt. I remember at one point when asked, he said he wanted to be a football player when he grew up. Josh was involved with several baseball teams while growing up, as well as a junior track program. However, he lost much of his interest in sports by the time he started high school.

Josh is likely the most intellectually inclined of my siblings. He did very well in high school, completing several AP and concurrent enrollment classes before he graduated. He was able to get a scholarship to the University of Utah, and completed a year there before receiving his mission call to the Brazil Campinas Mission.

Upon completing his mission, he continued his education at the U, graduating in 2012, with dual bachelor degrees in chemical engineering and international studies. In 2008, he met Jen who at the time had been dating his roommate. But Jen and Josh soon developed an interest in each other and began dating. In fall of that year, Jen and Josh were engaged, and in January of 2009 they were married in the Salt Lake Temple.

In October of 2011, Jen gave birth to their first daughter, Evie. Two years later, in November of 2012, she gave birth to their second daughter, Jolene. They currently live in the Ogden area, and Josh works as a chemical engineer in Morgan.

Josh is the one of my siblings I probably feel the closest to in adulthood. When I first told him about my sexuality, he seemed to understand it better, and he's also been someone I've found it easy to talk to and count on to show love and support, even if he doesn't necessarily completely agree with all the choices I made in approaching my sexuality.

* * * * *

My Story -Part 1

In my next installment of this "My Story" series, I will introduce you to the rest of my siblings. This will probably be in two weeks, though I haven't completely decided yet. But whether I continue my story or post on something different, check back here in two weeks for my next blog post.

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