When I was growing up, I was very close to my cousins too and it is very hard to live so far from everyone. I was second in the line of girls, all the way down to our youngest cousin John. Poor guy... all those girls and we never gave him a break! This photo is from 2 years ago when we visited after he just returned from serving in Iraq for a year. That was a terrible year!
My oldest cousin Lisa was always a role model for me, especially because I didn't have any older siblings. She was a great student and popular. She was also good at art so I admired everything she did! Susan was only 10 months younger and was my best friend. We'd sleep over at each others houses and wrote letters frequently. She was so much fun! Lots of laughing and playing at all the family get-togethers (which in the Middleton family occured at any and every possible occasion!). She lives in Minnesota now. My sisters were next in line, then Terrill, who is an only child, so I've pretty much adopted her as a sister! She looks a lot like my sister Jane...they are both beautiful. She is the English teacher and I never get to spend enough time with her. So creative and so funny! I used to hold her when she was a baby and pretend she was my daughter!! Now I adore her daughter and miss them so much too! They live in Illinois. Then there's Becky! She definately is like a sister, as I used to babysit for her and John every summer! Becky is the life of the party and always is smiling...I always think of joy when I think of her! She is getting married in the spring so hopefully we will see everyone there! Becky is the lawyer and brain of the clan, though I always worried about her... seems she tended to get into too many "situations" that I questionned sometimes. Phew! She's beautiful too. (I am so biased!). Then there's John. I taught him to ride a bike, took him swimming in the summers (though he sometimes despised it) and generally was the bossy cousin who he forgives now!!! He was my tennis partner in Cincinnati when I was a teacher and he was in high school. He is in NYC now and I'm hoping he meets someone really special so we can get the last one married off and see little ones soon (hopefully he didn't read that!).
I'm looking forward to the holidays and seeing family again. It's hard now with everyone grown and in all different areas, but each one of them is always in my heart!