As most of you know, I grew up with three sisters.
We were a house full of girls, and quite content that way. We proudly compared ourselves to "Little Women", "Pride and Prejudice", "Sense and Sensibility" and "Little House on the Prairie" - although Kelsey was never very happy with any of those examples, since "she" as the third child usually doesn't have a well presented character. We usually did some pick and choose until we wrote the story we wanted for our lives. I'll let you know how that story ends, but I am holding out hope that the ending is still quite far in the future.
We were thrilled to be the four of us - we played together, and sang together, prayed together and dreamed together. Of course, we fought each other also - but more importantly, we fought WITH each other against anyone who dared to hurt one of "our own".
Then, I broke my sister's hearts.
I grew up.
I didn't plan it. I certainly didn't mean to be the oldest - I was just born that way! Like Meg in Little Women, I had to go and change everything, messing up what seemed to be a perfect little world. I left home, went to college. And suddenly, BOYS became a part of our previously all female world. (of course, we had dad... and he was always male... but dad's just don't count!)
It's not that we hadn't had any male friends. Even a little dating. But there were no exclusive "boyfriends" until I went away to college. Then, my senior year, I had the audacity to fall in love and add a brother to the family.
I am pretty sure they learned to love him!
He brought with him another brother. Suddenly, I had a brother too.
Josh was just a kid when I stole his big brother.
Today he turned 24, and I must say I am very proud of the man he has become. He recently joined the Army, and is working hard, training to become a linguist.
He is a wonderful uncle - the boys love it when he come into town!
When Emilee added a brother to the family just two years after Andy and I married, I was ready. In fact, I was waiting, with the camera in hand, when Kevin proposed.
He learned early that keeping the big sister in the loop is a good idea! This picture was taken just a few minutes after the proposal, but I think it shows the real Kevin - always prepared, with all his camera gear neatly stowed, and prepared. He is always organized and ready!
I think that Emilee and Kevin are a perfect pair - they compliment each other nicely!
I love this picture of Kevin and Canaan at the petting zoo - both looking different directions.
Last year Travis joined the family, and brought a brother and sister (as well as her husband and two children) into the family too.
The more the merrier! I have known Heidi since we were in middle school - so joining our families together has been ideal. Making the connection even stronger, Andy went to highschool with Heidi's husband (the one kissing Travis in the picture above)
My last little brother is Todd. He is the kid brother that just sort of "is". One day he just started hanging around - house full of girls, that just happens sometimes. Usually, when it becomes apparent that none of the Binkley girls are "available", random boys just move on.
But Todd wasn't like that.
We all fell in love with Todd, and I guess he fell in love with all of us too.
Now we claim him as ours. He has been stationed in Korea for the last two years, and is headed to Germany next, so when he is home on leave, we grab up every minute we can get!
I have a lot of brothers now. Each of them different. They tease, and taunt - sometimes making me think they are still 12 years old.
They can do cool things like change the oil or jump start the battery in my car - "guy stuff".
Each of them has invested time in my children while my Andy is gone - spending a few extra minutes with my boys, giving them some "man time".
I have no doubt that any of my brothers would protect me and my family.
After 22 years of sisters only, I am so glad to have spent the last 8 years adding brothers to the family.