Friday, December 3, 2010


family. such a common term, but far from simple. it seems obvious that we would all know what family is...but my sociology class today got me thinking about what family really is. 

my church defines family in a  proclamation that is a little over 600 words consisting of 9 paragraphs which i think is a bit much to quote in a blog. ( for those of you  interested in reading about the church of jesus christ of latter day saints' beliefs on family please read the family: a proclamation to the world ) the key points it covers are: a definition of marriage, our relationship to god, the importance of gender, sacredness of procreative powers, the responsibility of fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives, and we learn that "happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the lord jesus christ." all in all it states important aspects of a family and our belief of eternal families, yet it does not state plainly what a family is. 

so i was forced to search further and look up the term family in my handy dandy macbook dictionary. i thought it might make things more clear legally or i don't know easier to understand. but no! it says that family is 
"1. a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household" or 
"2. people related by blood or marriage" or 
"3. person or people related to one and so to be treated with a special loyalty" or 
"4. people united in criminal activity." if that doesn't clear things up for you, well it didn't clear things up for me either.
basically based on this dictionary to be a part of a family one might be treated with loyalty by a person or people, and they might be living in the same house, and they may or may not be related, and perhaps be involved in the same criminal activity.  i imagine if you are at all a sarcastic person you are thinking the same thing i am: oh! ya... umm... hmm... that's my family summed up in one ambiguous statement, for-sure!

if you would like a more clear definition of family olive garden has the only straightforward definition i've heard, you may be familiar with it: "when you're here, you are family." sooo- if you want family or to know who is your family just go to olive garden. but, then that makes my date last saturday and all those strange italian food loving restaurant patrons  my family and i don't know how i feel about that. 

so... when restaurant chains, the dictionary, and my religion can't seem to clearly define what a family is, i'm left to come to my own conclusions...maybe they are similar to your ideals of family, maybe not. (i'd love to read your thoughts about family and your definitions of it please feel free to leave comments)

what is my family?

my family is obviously the relatives i've lived with and who know me the best my mommy and daddybrother and sister they have seen me in my greatest and worse moments and yet somehow still love me. and yet my family is so much more. 

it has extended family members that are easy to identify because they are blood related. they're the one's we have titles for. aunts, uncles, cousins, gparents, basically all ancestors and their brother's mother.

also, there are the family members know lovingly as: the in-laws. people related by marriage, or have been related by marriage, or will be related by marriage a.k.a. my aunts' and uncles' spouses, the children of my relatives' spouses: step cousins, my cousins' dad whom i call  uncle, cousin's fiance, those that come to holiday dinners and are invited to special occasions. 

the people who taught me and cared for me since i was a small child: my church family. 15th ward (now west valley ward) is where it is at. 

my other church family at byu: 2nd ward (now the 181st), fhe 10, sunday fhe

those that i grew up with and who practically lived at my house: friends. da quatro. ms. pacheco. ms. deakins. ms. daily.  

a boy i met by the ocean and have buried chicken with many a times.

the girl that became so much more than just a roommate: my rfl and her husband. 

those that i share meals with on an almost weekly basis. 

teachers who became in a way my school parents.

my non-related family: barlows, batmen, myers, and trebor.  

my royal purple family sisters of the sash and purple mama

this is my family. 
it's not simple. i can't map it out in a tree-like pattern how we're connected, and i doubt they would all like to be at the same reunion, but that doesn't matter because they are my family none the less. 
they are the people who love me without apparent reason. those that i have shared a special bond with. people that no matter how often we see each other or talk to one another, we still care. they are the ones who are always there for me and who i hope know: 
i will always be there for them.

22. my family:  bonds that are deeper and messier than blood or words can define.


  1. family are those that even when far away never grow apart... so when you go to texas, dont forget that!

    if you want to be more practical, a family is mainly the people you are blood or legally responsible for. but of course THATS BORING.. so I feel that family are those people in your life that you know for a fact that you chose to be with them in the pre-exsistence. its a connection you have that can not be defined, only felt. :)

  2. <3<3<3
    Family love.

  3. A boy i met by the ocean and have buried chicken with many a times.

    This is one of the most beautiful memories of mine Jane! You are my family!!! Love you and I am here for you too... even though I suck at calling people back... Oops! I am glad you are doing well and that you're as beatiful as ever!!


  4. took me forever to get on the comp to read it.. stupid smart phones :P But, my dear.. your definition of family has broughten some tears to muh eyes.

    I love you Jeannette. <3

    oh.. yea. Can i have yo numba? can i?