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May 6, 2011

I’ve been thinking about my family a lot lately. I’ve known them all my life (because I’m the baby!), and they’ve shaped me into being the person I am today. They’re such a big part of me that I wanted to share a little of that part with you. If I had the proper outlet, I could probably write an entire book about some of the crazy memories we’ve shared, but since I only have WordPress, I’ll just give you the introduction.

This is Tommy Richards, my father. He’s quite the amusing fellow, taking corniness to a new level. I’m really very extra sure that my sense of humor came from this guy. He’s a workaholic, so he hardly ever uses his vacation days. He’s one of those people who has to do everything themselves because it would be too expensive to have someone else do it or it wouldn’t be done properly (another characteristic I must have inherited). He drinks O’Doul’s on weekdays and doesn’t eat sweets. He’s been telling my sisters and me that “Sugar is worse than cigarettes!” for at least ten years. He got an Xbox a few years ago for Christmas and likes to play shoot-em-up games like Halo and Call of Duty. His first shoot-em-up game was Goldeneye for the N64 (my have we progressed!), and he would always be more than willing to play Area 51 if there was an arcade around. One of his favorite things to do is come up with inventions that would change life as we know it. I think I speak for my sisters when I say that the “Johnny Vac” is our personal favorite. I won’t go into details, but I will tell you that it involves a toilet and a vacuum… He’s a very intelligent man, and I think I owe a lot of my personality to him.

This is my mom, Ludie Richards. She’s the greatest mom ever. She always (usually) supports me in everything I want to do. From kindergarten through senior year of high school, she sent me to school everyday with a lovely, nutritious lunch. She cooks dinner every night except on Fridays, and she doesn’t watch any other channel more than the Food Network, except for maybe The Food Channel, which we recently acquired through a digital cable package. She raised me to appreciate Irish punk music and alternative rock to the point where I already knew the words to Black 47 songs and the soundtrack to Trainspotting and Empire Records by the time I was 10. She used to have super long hair, but a few years ago she cut it to her chin. Personally, I like it better short. She always tears up during emotionally uplifting movies like Finding Forrester, Billy Elliot, and Pollyanna (some of her favorites). She also loves music festivals. When she goes to Jazzfest, she never sits down. She’s either intently enjoying one band or walking around to discover a new one. When she talks on the phone with her sister Vaughan, they usually get to a certain part of the conversation where her voice gets really quiet so people won’t hear what they’re talking about. She usually sports a pair of converse high-tops or chucks as a casual look. People tell me that I get more of my features from my mom. You can really tell when you compare pictures of the two of us when we were really young.

This is Allison, my eldest sister. She’s five years older than me and about 5 inches shorter. But don’t let her height lead you to think that it reflects her personality; when it comes to that, she’s 10 feet tall! She’s not afraid to put you in your place if you’re doing something wrong and will argue you into the ground if she has to in order to prove a point. I’ve always admired her eloquence when it comes to speaking with adults and other people in a professional or formal setting. She’s also a fantastic writer (I have her proof-read most of my papers). One of my favorite things to bring up about her is the way she used to dress in high school (snake-skin pants, glittery tops, and the like), but then she usually pulls out the card reminding me how I would dress myself to match one solid color with the same solid color (e.g. navy blue t-shirt with navy blue shorts). She’s deathly afraid of roaches and nearly has a panic attack whenever she sees one (even if it’s on tv). She and I have very similar interests so whenever we start talking to each other, the conversation usually turns into a discussion about dragons or Lord of the Rings (to get an idea, read this blog post). She has a cute little puppy name Toby who has an underbite (he is her son).

This is my sister Margaret. She is a social butterfly. She could show up anywhere alone and have made ten new friends by the end of the night. I suppose she would be considered the “cool one” out of the Richards Girls. She loves going to music festivals and concerts and is the go-to girl if you wanna go somewhere to have fun. Her hair is super straight! I have tried curling it multiple times, but it always falls flat within five minutes unless I plaster her head with hairspray. She can also open her eyes as wide as a lemur (as seen here). She’s the sister who looks more like my dad, but people often think she and Allison are twins (personally, I don’t see it). She likes watching romantic comedies (which I don’t really get), but also digs the same stuff Allison and I like (i.e. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and anything dragon/ninja related). She’s definitely the most athletic Richards and probably the healthiest. My fondest memory of her is when we were trying to beat the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (it’s a family event), and she couldn’t for the life of her beat the Shadow Temple boss Bongo Bongo. She went on a Zelda hiatus for like a month because it stressed her out so much. One day she finally picked the controller back up (after much persuasion by Allison and me) and beat that sucker in like a minute only losing half a heart or something crazy like that.

My family is one of the most important things in my life. I know it’s a little cheesy and everything, but it’s true and I don’t think I say that enough. I always get really excited when they come to visit me because they’re so much fun. And I’m not really one to get homesick, but every time I go home I realize how much I missed it. After the stress of school or some completely insignificant drama between friends, sometimes the best thing in the world is the feeling of going home.

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