Sunday, March 27, 2011

About Me

I have had a few requests to do a post About Me and my life. This is going to be a long, get ready to read and stick with me, as it can get confusing =)

I have a complicated Family Tree as I come from a "blended family." Which means my parents got divorced when I was about 3 years old. At that time my Mom was only about 26 years old...she had 4 kids all 5 years old and younger. I can't even imagine how she felt and all she went through with 4 little kids on her own. Becky (5), Emily (4), Barbara (3) and Russell (1).
Left to right: Barbara (5), Becky (7),  Russell (3), Gayla (Mom) and Emily (6).

This was 1980 at our home in Glenwood. Our cat Boots is in this picture as well...poor cat ha ha!
 My mom had made our matching dresses for us. I remember loving that we all had matching dresses on. 

My sisters and I. 
I can't get over how much I think Brynley looks like me in some of the pictures. In the bottom right picture I had to double take at myself, as to me, I see a lot of resemblance there. If you click on the pictures they will open up larger so you can see them better.

In the beginning...
I was born in Cardston, but we lived in Glenwood at that time. My full name was Barbara Colleen Anderson. I don't have any "baby" pictures. This is the smallest picture of me I can find.

My Mom named me after 2 of her dear friends whose names were Barbara. My middle name Colleen is the same as my Mom's middle name...Gayla Colleen. We were both named after the first Mormon Miss U.S.A. whose name was Colleen Hutchins (click on her name and it will take you to a page about her) back in 1952 (the year my Mom was born). 
 Miss U.S.A. 1952 Colleen Hutchins

I had 2 older sisters who were only 2 years old (Becky) and 15 months old (Emily) when I was born. By the time Russell was born I was only 20 months old. So we were all really little...and there was 4 of us!

left to right: Becky, Emily and Barbara  

I am not sure how old we all are in these picture.

left to right: Russell, Barbara, Emily and Becky 
left to right: Emily (5 1/2), Barbara (4), Becky (7) and Russell (2 1/2)

My Mom married my step Dad Terry on November 6, 1981. He had 4 kids of his own from his previous marriage (his wife Linda had passed away.) Cynthia (15), Deborah (13), Ben (10), and Tessa (7).

My step Dad (39) is 10 years older than Mom (29) and now they had 8 kids all under one roof.

From left to right: Tessa 7 (step sister), Ben 10 (step brother), Deborah 13 (step sister), Cynthia 15 (step sister), Terry Holt 39 (step Dad), Gayla Woolf Holt 29 (Mom), Becky 8 (sister), Emily 7 (sister), Me 6 (Barbara), Russell 4 (brother).

I remember when Mom and Dad got married and the feeling of excitement. I had 4 new siblings and a new Dad, new was great! Now that I am older I have learned that Terry's kids (my step siblings) didn't feel the same way...not even close! There situation was VERY different from mine. They had lost their Mom so this marriage was not a happy thing for them. 

I was now the 6th daughter and # 7 in a family of 8 kids....second youngest. I looked up to all my sisters. I just wanted to be with them, be like them and use their stuff ha ha...that NEVER went over so well. There was lot's of fighting, but lot's of fun and least that is what I remember.
This is the home I grew up in from when I was 6 years old-17 years old. It doesn't show all of the house, but most of it. This was "home" for me. It would be neat to go in there now to see it since it has been so many years now. My parents moved out of this house the end of 1993 I think.

I grew up in Cardston, AB. I had a happy childhood. Lot's of cousins always around to play with and back then we played outside 99% of the time. We had to use our imagination and explore and play...I have the greatest memories! Our trampoline was our best outside toy...we were always on it and yes, there were a few broken arms from all the double bouncing we did ha ha! I was NOT one of them thank goodness :)
Left to right back row: Dad, Mom, Cynthia, Deb, Ben, Becky, Emily
Left to right front row: Tessa, Barbara, Russell

This family picture was done in order of age.

Memories of me as a child...
As a child I would lock myself in the bathroom and stand on the tub so I could see myself in the mirror and I would sing and dance and act like no one could hear me but me. I would do this ALL the time! When I would come out my siblings would tease me and I remember just acting like I didn't know what they were talking about ha ha! I wanted to be a singer and a dancer...nope, can't do either of those =)

I was "an animal lover" and would bring home anything that crossed my path. I had pet chickens, calf/cow, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats and dogs...there were many! I wanted to be a Veterinarian...that was until my Mom explained to me that a Veterinarian usually also had to hurt the animals to help them...then I was out and no longer wanted to be that LOL!   Anything that crossed my path got picked up and brought home with me.

Playing Barbies and Paper Dolls was some of my favorite things to play with. I seriously played with them until I was 12 years old...very different world back then. 

Barbie was my nickname and I often got my cheeks pinched...just for the record I HATED that! My Uncle pinched my cheeks EVERY time he saw me. I don't like being called Barbie anymore, it makes me cringe. When I go to Cardston to visit and I run into someone from my past and they call me "Barbie" it is usually someone from Glenwood as that is what they all called me and knew me by.

My Dad, Ken Anderson also got remarried to a lady named Linda Marsden. Linda was more like a big sister and we adored her. Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a better "Step Mom." She treated us so well and we had a lot of fun with her. I am still close with her even though her and my Dad are no longer married (I will get into that later...)
We went up to my Dad's house every other weekend to be with him. He lived in Cardston up on the East Hill at that time.  My Dad and Linda had 5 kids together...Cameron, Neal, Tiffani, Whitney and Drew. It was really exciting having these younger half siblings. I loved babies and we babysat them a lot. 

This is an old picture as now the youngest boy Drew is coming home off his mission in May.The 3 oldest are married and the 2 older boys have kids as well.
Left to right: Cam, Linda, Whitney (she is the one with red hair), Tiffany, Neal and Drew.

So here is the quick run down if you are lost...

I have 3 biological siblings- Becky, Emily and Russell

4 Step siblings- Cynthia, Deborah, Ben and Tessa

5 Half siblings- Cameron, Neal, Tiffani, Whitney and Drew.

  • My Mom and my biological Dad divorced when I was about 3 
  • My Mom got married to my step Dad (who I call Dad as he raised me) when I was almost 6 years old.
  • My biological Dad has been married 3 times...1st to my Mom, then to Linda and presently he is married to Carol. He is one lucky guy as he has been married to 3 GREAT ladies!!
 ...are you still with me?

This is my biological Dad and his wife Carol.

This is an old picture as well, but again, it is all I could find.

My biological Dad and I have more like a "distant relative" relationship if you know what I other words I don't know him very well, nor does he know me really. We talk MAYBE once or twice a year and that is about it. Am I good with that? Yes, I am at peace with my "biological" Dad and our relationship...or the lack there of. It took me a few years of being angry with him and not understanding how you could have so many kids and not be apart of their lives. I have learned to not have any expectations of him and if he happens to call or send a letter than great. 

Explaining my complicated family was a hard thing to explain to anyone let alone my boys. As they have been growing up they had a lot of questions like, why do I have 2 Dad's and why Uncle Drew has a different Mom than me and he is my brother LOL etc...I am not sure if Tyson really gets it all yet as it is just too confusing. Cole understands it all now that he is older. 

Someone once asked me,
"do you ever wish you had a "normal" family, like your real Dad and Mom together?" 

And to that I laughed and said NOOOOOO!!! Because then I wouldn't have the siblings I have and the relationships that I have made with all his wives :) and life would be boring to say the least ha ha!! Seriously I have learned to have a sense of humor in all things as you just have to. But really...what is a "normal" family anyways?? Is there really such a thing. I tell ya, our family has put the FUN in disFUNctional!! ha ha. I love my family! Do we all get along all the time...nope, not even as adults. Frustrating as that is, it is all part of being a family and working things out.

My Mom and Dad have been married for 29 years now...this November will be their 30th Anniversary!! They have been wonderful parents and they have been through A LOT. They are great examples as to how to live your life, raise your kids, endure all things and be happy! 

Thanks Mom and Dad...LOVE YOU!!


Lynn said...

Loved this!!!! That was SO fun to get to know you better. I think it's cool how you and your baby girl look so much alike like you said. It's uncanny.

And I can so relate to that VET desire going out the window as soon as you found out about the ugly part of it. Cami is the EXACT same way. In fact, she just told her grandma (went to visit mom at the hospital this afternoon) that she would BE a Vet if ONLY they didn't have to do things like surgeries and all that kind of horrible stuff. So now she just wants to be a dog walker or a dog groomer. lol.

And more importantly I liked what you shared about having so many siblings and having the opportunity of knowing so many more in your family tree. What a beautiful tribute to your mom and dad at the end as well.

30 years is an awesome milestone to come to when married!! That is fantastic. Happy Happy Early Anniversary to them.

Thanks for the clarification of your family tree. I have no idea if I could even attempt at Dean's or mine. They are just as confusing. HA ha. But you did a great job at yours.

p.S. Verification word: DOGro. No kidding. HA ha.

Mrs.N said...

That was really neat to read. How fun!

Gayla Woolf Holt said...

Oh Barb!
Life is a growing experience and you have done very very well in all departments of it.
The pictures almost brought me to tears. What a trip down memory lane!
You are awesome with such a great attitude that you feel such peace and love.
Bless you for blessing our lives.

Melanie Stanford said...

Brynley looks so much like you it's crazy! And I learned some stuff here that I never knew about you! Great post.

Angela said...

Thank you for sharing your family background with us. I had heard some it but not all and I'd never seen all those great pictures. It sounds like you are related to many great people.