Things I Can Brag About

I'm just gonna go right ahead and say it: I have THE best family. Not the "perfect family". Not the flawless, fight-less, infallible family, but I know with all certainty, the BEST family.

Last Sunday my younger brother got married to a girl that brought our family a lot of things that we were missing without even knowing it. Like MORE Courageous Honesty, a Masters Degree, and a Democrat. I love this girl. Almost as much as my brother does. And nothing could be cooler than all of us getting together for a party all about them, #benjamaia.

Actually, not true. Something WAS cooler - it was that we all got together and I stood back and watched my uber talented, totally dedicated, and completely selfless family pull off the coolest wedding I have ever seen. Every detail, and there were a lot - because Amaia is a detail person, was sewn up, often literally. It was gorgeous. Amaia did all of her own planning and arranging, from across the country, and delegated parts and pieces to my mom and sisters and aunt. And while they all got nods and thank yous and pats on the back while we were there basking in the glory, I couldn't get over how totally grateful I was to be related to these people.

I watched my Mom pull every little loophole taut and make things happen. All of the things. As if the cutting and sewing and cooking and shopping and decorating weren't enough, she had a spreadsheet for every moment of every event and somehow channeled my new sister's imagination through all of it. And I didn't see her lose it once, all weekend. She was composure and grace and stamina. She was the spine of the whole beautiful skeleton.

And my Dad. The faithful doer. Runner. Goer. Fixer. Make-it-happener. Never was there a better fall-back guy.

And my sister Em, with 37 little kids clamoring at her, sewed and cut and picked flowers and arranged flowers until the wee hours of every night we were there. She literally ran herself into the ground and earned a three day nap, which I am sure she didnt get, to create a spectacle that enthralled every guest.

And Phil. The understated brother in law. The quiet plodder in the background. I watched him lift and pack and clean and move and herd kids and run errands and figure stuff out when the rest of us were just done. Even after the wedding, he was the first one cleaning up and one of the very last to leave. And never a complaint. I have witnessed his gentle strength firsthand as he swooped in to pack me up and move me across the state more than one time. For not being born a Stecker, he sure makes his place indisputable.

Sanna pitched in. Picked up anything she could from mom. And Lindsey, creating and designing and printing and imagining all of the little details for the reception. And The Cousins. The Aunts. The Uncles. Throwing together a sweet rehearsal dinner because they could. Many creative and caring hands make light work. Even my own kids babysitting their cousins, albeit in a disorderly fashion - but nobody died. And some days, that's a lot. Especially when there are 15 kids in one hotel room along with pink and orange paint and a hot iron.

A lot of families do a lot of things. And you'd think, being people, being human, that in order to get along, we'd all have to be cut from the same cloth. But really, with similar roots, we've all grown up in a million different directions, living as many different ways from each other physically and philosophically, as you could dream up. And with all of that, and only a few little tense hiccups, we pulled it off again. One more notch in the memory belt of Feats We Have Accomplished because we can set aside Judgement, Hurt Feelings, Strong Opinions and even sometimes, Arguments, to make it all work out in the end.

I am proud of us - the people I am related to. We pretty much rock.

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