Sunday, January 27, 2013
Today is my brother-in-law Sam's birthday, so I thought I would spend a few minutes thinking about him and writing a little blog tribute.
Sam was in Afghanistan for eight months last year, and it was during his time away that I realized that something in our family is missing when Sam is not around. Family gatherings are just not quite as fun, somehow.
When he got back from deployment, he came to Colorado for a long weekend, and the family felt complete again. I know that sounds corny, but it's true. Though Sam is very chill and would never want to be the center of attention or the life of the party, he has this playful, sarcastic wit that often comes out of nowhere, and he is just so darn pleasant to be around.
Sam makes up nicknames for people that could be misinterpreted as offensive if you didn't know him--but he means them as total terms of endearment. For example, when Noah was about 13 months old (and in that stage where he wasn't a baby anymore but wasn't quite a toddler yet either), Sam started calling him "The Fat Hobbit." It fit him perfectly. Noah really did look like a squat little man as he wandered around the house in his skinny jeans.
Sam also has interesting terms of endearment for his wife. Laura is the skinnest little twig of a person you've ever seen, but she can pack away food like there's no tomorrow (she's been known to eat ten cookies in one sitting), and Sam thinks it is adorable. He calls her "Pigman." She is even saved in his phone and email contacts by this flattering moniker.
Some of you may realize that "pigman" is a reference from Seinfeld. Laura and Sam have all of the Seinfeld episodes memorized, and they throw lines from the show into their everyday conversations and emails. And I must say that watching Seinfeld with Sam is a very enjoyable experience because he laughs maniacally at all of the jokes.
In addition to being funny, Sam is smart and well-informed. I can think of many interesting conversations I've had with Laura and Sam over the years, usually when we are driving in the car somewhere. We will talk about life, religion, politics...you name it. I love that Sam pipes in and shares his opinions and perspectives, instead of just letting the girls gab. I admire Sam and think he is very wise.
I am so glad that Sam is part of our family. My older sister and I are very protective of our "Little Laura" (as we still think of her), and not just anyone was going to do when it came to her marriage. I honestly didn't know if we would ever think anyone was "good enough" for our precious little sis...but then Sam came along, and we knew he was special. With his sense of humor, his smarts, his strength of character, and his devotion to God and family, Sam is a perfect match for Laura. We love him, and we are grateful for him.
Happy Birthday, Sammy! I hope Pigman makes you a delicious cake today! (And I hope she doesn't eat the entire thing!)