My Amazing Siblings

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Alright, NMH community, I am back from my SISSY support group meeting and feeling much better about my standing on my family's totem pole. Stephen Baldwin, Isha Williams and David Limbaugh really helped me work though my sibling inferiority complex and I am at a point in my recovery where I can go public about my sisters and brother.

The only bad part about the support group meeting was that Stephen Baldwin brought his deviled eggs - again - and looked at us with puppy dog eyes until we ate the whole plate. I'll probably have to rush to the bathroom a few times during this post thanks to Stephen.

On the advice of my peer counselor, Roger Clinton, Jr., I am going to go public about the accomplishments of my siblings. Roger has assured me that facing the facts will help me overcome my SISSY complex and allow me to move forward with my life. Rog seems like a pretty smart guy with a good head on his shoulders - he was the only one at the meeting who turned down Stephen Baldwin's deviled eggs - so I'll follow his advice and make the world aware of just how amazing my siblings are.

Angela Hallstrom - My sister, Angela Hallstrom, has been on a roll lately. Her debut novel, Bound on Earth, was published in 2008, which was a great accomplishment in and of itself. But did my sister just go and write any run-of-the-mill novel? That's like asking if anybody who drives a Prius voted for McCain. Of course not! Bound on Earth was recently nominated for THREE 2008 Whitney Awards - Best Novel of the Year, Best Novel by a New Author, and Best General Fiction. In her spare time she is married to a great guy (I'm at the point where I feel like dropping the whole "brother-in-..." part and just calling him my big bro), raising four cool kids, teaching creative writing at BYU's Salt Lake Center, and editing for Irreantum. Angela also enjoys curing cancer, brokering Middle East peace, and explaining how Howie Mandell somehow became the most popular person on television. She has always been a great example for me to follow. I'm very proud of my big sis and for the well-deserved accolades her book is receiving after all of her hard work.

Anthony Sweat - My little brother, Anthony Sweat (aka Tony, T-Boar, Toad, Toad Head), and I are separated in age by a mere 14 months. We are almost clones of each other in a lot of ways - we are tall, kinda goofy, wore matching Underoos as kids, former high school basketball players, RM's, and we both used to get so mad playing Street Fighter 2 as teen-agers that we punched holes in the sheet rock of his bedroom where the Nintendo console was stored. (I'm trembling with anger right now just remembering how Anthony used to use Blanca on SF2 and do that stupid chomp-on-my-head move! Revenge will be mine, one day, little bro...) Anthony has carved out a nice career with the Church Educational System as a teacher, principal, trainer, EFY attraction and BYU Education Week speaker. His recent major accomplishment is the April 2009 release of his upcoming book, Why?: Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living LDS Standards. The book is published by a small, little-known outfit called Deseret Book, so look for it in their Spring mailing. Not only is my little bro going to be a new author, but he is an incredible artist and is working on his Ph.D. right now. He even manages to be a dedicated husband and father to five cute little kids. I bet he's even pretty patient when mysterious holes end up in the sheet rock from time to time. You can pre-order his book on Barnes & Noble among other websites.

Mysterious Little "Sister X" - Out of respect for her privacy I am going to simply call my little sister "Sister X". No, that's no fun. Since my brother and I both served missions in South America (Bolivia and Chile), I'm going to give her an Andean name. Let's call her Guadalupe Maria del Carmen Quispes Pacheco. After everything that Toad Head and I put her through, it's pretty amazing that Guadalupe has turned out as well-adjusted as she is. For example, instead of praising her for launching a successful "Save the Animals" campaign as a feisty elementary school student, we teased mercilessly her. For ten years. Guadalupe went on to letter in three sports in high school (basketball, tennis, softball), graduate from Utah State, marry a nice RM, coach high school basketball, teach, and then raise two kids. Just when I thought she was slowing down a little, Guadalupe decided to just start a web-based business called Room Doodles a couple of weeks ago. If Guadalupe is as successful with Room Doodles as she was saving the animals, every kids bedroom in America is going to be well decorated pretty soon. Check her out at

One of the most precious truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that of eternal families. What a blessing it is to know that I can be sealed to such awesome people for the rest of eternity. It also makes me happy to know that T-Boar and I can tease Guadalupe about Save the Animals forever. I wonder if they have Street Fighter 2 in heaven? If so, bring it on, little bro! I've still got a score to settle with you.

I am probably not the only one who is proud of his family members. If you have a sibling that deserves a shout out, please post a comment or two about them. It will make both you and your siblings feel pretty good.

I know this post was therapeutic for me. Thanks to the NMH community, Stephen Baldwin, Isha Williams, David Limbaugh and Roger Clinton, Jr. for helping me reach a point where I can officially declare-

I am now 100% SISSY free!

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jennie w. said...

Angela is your sister??? I'm over at Segullah with her. How funny!

9:03 PM

Jennie W.- Yup, Angela is my sister. I hope this revelation doesn't damage her professional reputation in any way. Maybe I should have checked with my siblings before I did this post....For those who do not know, Segullah (as referenced by Jennie) is a literary blog for LDS women. The writers, including my sister Angela, are outstanding and the topics they write about are thought provoking.

9:14 PM
Amy Btw M said...

I know what you mean about the SF2. I always hung around with my brother playing Nintendo in his room. He would always beat me. It made me so mad. His character of choice was RYU, but occasionally he would use M. Bison and use that move where he bounces off the other player's head. I always hated that guy (the character-not my bro.)

Anyway, those were always good times playing SF2, Dragon Warrior, and Legend of Zelda.

9:56 PM
Anonymous said...

To all the NMH fans, let me just say something about my bro: Half of the reason I have done anything worth while, and am still alive to do more, is because the NMH was such a great older brother and didn't beat me to a pulp in my teenage years, which is what I deserved. He was the opposite of what you think when picturing a normal older brother (NOB?, I like the NMH acronym better). He treated me like a best friend, let me tag along, rarely lost his cool with me (well, there was the time I teased him that I kissed his high school girlfriend...), and was a great mentor on the basketball court. Above all, the NMH was the best example of living the gospel I could have had as a teenager. He is not a NORMAL Mormon Husband, he is an Exceptional one (, sounds like the sound you make clearning your throat...stick with NMH). Love ya bro. Thanks for the post,

Normal Mormon Brother

9:58 PM

In the spirit of making ones siblings feel inferior, my little brother takes the cake. Here's a brief resume:

-Valedictorian of his High School
-Starter on the State Championship football team
-Eagle Scout
-Return Missionary
-Faithful Husband and Father
-Placed in the 98% on the MCAT
-Currently studying in a top-10 med school to become and ER doctor.

Oh, did I mention he is also good looking and charming? I believe his next accomplishment will be to heal the planet and turn back the waters.

6:18 AM

OH MY GOSH!! You totally forgot to talk about how amazing your mom, Barbara, is! I am in her ward and just love her!! I bet that the NMH has totally been sitting next to me in church sometime.. Small world! I'm the Katie McDermott who wrote you the email about being from Preston, ID. I have to tell your mom how much I love your blog!!!

7:45 AM
Amy said...

I would just like to go on the record as driving a prius and voting for Romney. Yep, I wrote him in. Obama and McCain just didn't do it for me.

8:33 AM
Ang said...
This comment has been removed by the author. 8:48 AM
Ang said...

I second everything Tony said about you. (Okay, except the girlfriend kissing). Seriously, though, you were such a steady, kind, peaceful presence in our house growing up. I seriously can't remember ever fighting with you, except for little squabbles over stuff like whose turn it was to do the dishes. How many big sisters can say that about their little brothers?

And you're a great writer. And your eyebrows are awesome. And has anyone mentioned that your high jumping record from high school still stands?? I could go on . . .

Love you.

8:49 AM
Guadalupe Maria del Carmen Quispes Pacheco said...

Talk about suffering from Sissy. Sheesh. Trying being in this family AND being 6-10 years younger than you 3 crazy accomplishers. But even before you guys all went and got famous, I remember you being an awesome older brother. I remember I was downstairs by your room when you were getting ready for bed and you asked me if I wanted to read scriptures with you. I was probably 9 and you were 17 and I remember thinking "Huh, I guess people really do read their scriptures daily."

I must say though, if you could wait awhile to publish your first book, that would help me keep my SISSY meetings to biweekly instead of daily. Thanks.

~Little Sister (AM)X

2:32 PM
Anonymous said...

There's a lot of love in this room.

8:09 PM

NMB, Ang, & Guadalupe - You guys are just so aweso...(wiping away tears...can't see screen...must stop typing...)

6:00 AM

The Average Joel - Don't you think it's telling that I use the word "Normal" and you use "Average" with our online screen names? You must be dealing with some major SISSY issues, my friend. I'm just waiting for somebody with the name "Inferior Mike" or "Unsuccessful Jane" to post the next comment.

6:00 AM
Jolyn said...

Here's my shout out to my big bro Brandon. He's an Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, successful chiropractor, wonderful husband and awesome brother and example to me. He's one of my very best friends. I wouldn't say I suffer from SISSY but I'd be ok with it for him. He's a stud!
And I love the name you gave for your sister. So authentic! (And I actually know. I'm married to a Guatemalan with twenty names as well.)

10:30 AM
Pappy Yokum said...

Ok, my SISSY group is actually for Severe Inferior Spouse Syndrome. Mammy Yokum was a 4-year starter on her high school basketball team and had a career high of 44 points in one game. She was tournament MVP in her first college tournament. As a young woman, she helped create a program for YW leadership and was asked to go to Denver to help teach other stakes how to administer the program. She has been Primary Pres, YW Pres, and Relief Society Pres. How this overachiever ended up with a nerdy, undisciplined underachiever from Dogpatch USA like me, I'll never know. But boy am I thankful I conned her into it. Ok, hand over the box of Kleenex, there must be some sort of allergy thing floating through this blog and into my system.

12:09 PM
The Peton's said...

Great post. I think you forgot to invite Jimmy Carter's bro to SISSY. Maybe next time.

1:18 PM

Anonymous 8:09 p.m - Yes, there is a lot of love on this blog. There is also quite enough hope, and quite enough power, to chase away any...ummm...smog?

7:36 PM
Karen said...

What a fun/sweet post about your sibs!

I love and adore mine, too. Maybe I should blog about them more.

9:35 AM
Anonymous said...

I don't have an account, so I have to be anonymous, but Jimmer Fredette is my 1st cousin.

3:28 PM