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 RoomDoodles.com.
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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