I have always felt that being a Davis was an extremely special thing. I am one of the lucky ones. I treasure my memories of uncles doing Star Wars and Napoleon Dynamite impersonations, and have stood in front of them all with my immediate family wearing billy-bob teeth telling redneck jokes. You wish your family was as classy as mine.
Laughter. Laughter and food pervades when we get together.
Not only did they once gather a large cash pool when my aunt challenged me to find a guy to kiss at midnight on a New Years long past (he had to be a stranger, and it had to last at least 3 seconds), but they actually paid up when I did it. My grandparents even wished me luck as I headed to the dance to find some loose boy. I learned that I prefer kissing guys I know and like, but it was totally worth it to win the bet.
Speaking of my grandparents, I want to know how they did it. How they have raised a family such as ours. From what I've heard, living in that house was cramped and money was tight, but the good stories abound. I love my grandfather's steadiness. His creativeness in the kitchen (garbanzo bean pancakes anyone?). The way he throws his head back when he laughs and how he folds his arms across his chest making our lighthearted conversation feel important and intimate. His pace is different from my grandmother's whose get-up-and go attitude and ability to get things done right then astounds me. They are united in their ability to care for and love everyone they come in contact with. They are constantly serving, working, giving, caring. They are true disciples of Christ.
Of course there are opposing personalities as you would expect in a large family, but there is so much love, it is easy for me to overlook the clashes.
2011 was full of family for me. I visited my grandparents three times, including our family reunion. Which was awesome since I missed the last family reunion, and I got to spend a lot of time with my younger cousins that I don't usually get. I crashed my aunt's family in Colorado for the first time while job hunting-she has such an awesome sense of humor, and have appreciated the support from many of my aunts and uncles and cousins this year. My brother came home from his mission, and I've loved getting to spend time with him and laughing together. My family has been all together several times this year, including his homecoming, my mom's birthday, and the holidays. I am lucky my sister lives only three hours away. Not to mention the fact that I've been living at home for a while now and so I get to interact with my youngest brother and parents in a way I haven't for a long long time. Honestly, I've loved the time I've gotten to spend with them all. The older I get the more I realize how lucky I am to have the parents I do. The things they have taught me and continue to teach me have been critical in the decisions I've made and how I live my life. They are supportive and wise and still learning.
I know it seems like I'm ignoring where the other half of my genes and personality comes from, but that will take a separate post. But I want to thank all my family (since you guys are pretty much the only ones who read this, and a few friends) for being so awesome, especially this last year. Here's to 2012 and eternity.