17 July 2009



It's not a misspelling.

It's a word I like to think Kevin and I coined.


By this word we mean - the people who are not actually related to us by blood or marriage, but we wish they were anyway. The people who we choose to surround ourselves with, spend time with, celebrate and weep with. The people who we call when we need encouragement. The people who we trust our children with. The people who don't offend us when they tell us the truth because we know the love behind the words.

That's framily.

You probably have some of those people in your life too.

For our family, the people we cherish as framily are the Wickstrums.

If you know them and if you know us, you know what I mean.

This family has been there, just plain and simply been there, for our family. More times than I could ever begin to count.

I met them when I was in high school. When their youngest was just joining the clan himself. (And now that baby is a grown up.)

They trusted me to babysit their children. (Although I think I gave them many occasions to question my efficiency in this department - uh, video proof is not necessary, but it does exist.)

They wrote me letters in college and sent care packages to combat any homesickness I might have endured. (I still have a letter from Jesse, drawings from Austin and a personally designed homemade barbecue sauce label from Erik.)

The summer I was dumped by my college love Chuck, Emma and Sally and I crushed ground chuck beef with a vengeance in his dishonor.

They embraced Kevin as soon as they met him and they even let Kevin and I live in their house for a few months after we were married and in between houses. Later, we moved back to the farm and spent so many idyllic years raising goats and marking our summers as officially beginning when the suburban with Florida tags pulled in the dusty drive.

Each child who joined our home was loved and welcomed as another extended family member.

When my own sweet mother passed away, Sally listened and we cried and we mourned (and we still do) and she generously stepped up to a different role for me as a surrogate mother.

When good times rolled, the Wickstrums have rejoiced with us. When hard times hang on us, they have reached out to meet both physical and emotional needs.

This is such an incomplete list. I haven't talked about weddings. (Austin as a little ring bearer; Emma as a bridesmaid; Riley as a flower girl; London and Mosely as flower girls.) And I haven't mentioned how every additional family member, through birth or marriage, is an incredible and wonderful part of the whole mix now too. And I know I am doing an inadequate job at singing the praises of our framily.

I mean, Emma is with Riley in Africa right now, for goodness sake.

I think I am saying this . . . . I am glad/grateful/overjoyed/amazed/humbled at what framily means to us.

And I hope you have some framily too.


  1. You don't have the appropriate reaction on your list:


  2. This is such a sweet post! You made me feel so welcome and loved when I first met everyone 2 years ago! I'm so glad that yoy guys are part of the family!

  3. I love your new word!! "Framily" says it all. Thank God for framily that ends up becoming more like family every day!!

  4. Framily. who came up with such a sweet word?