Growing up, there was never a dull moment in the Sorna household. Organized chaos is the best way I can describe it. I can remember so many times in my life telling people I was one of 4 and watching their eyes grow wide with astonishment. I guess compared to the national average of 2.5, 4 kids may seem like a lot, but my big family always felt perfectly normal to me. We fit nicely around our rectangular dinner table. Everyone had a comfortable seat in our mini-van. We paired off nicely for roller-coasters. Everything just worked.
My siblings and I came in two perfect sets - two boys, two girls - something my mother claims to have totally done on purpose. They were my built-in best friends. My built-in sparring partners. My built-in partners in crime. I looked up to Mike and aspired to be just like him, to be just as cool and smart and generally awesome. When I was younger, I literally chased after him and his friends (much to his dismay), absolutely hell-bent on not being left behind. Annie was my little sister, my protégé. I watched her grow and tried to help her as best I could. Sure, I would tease her sometimes, but I would go absolute lioness on any other punk kid who tried to do the same. And then there was Matt, with whom I shared the burden of being a lost and forgotten middle child. We had a special middle-child connection, I think. We had a similar quirky way about us and sense of humor. We had many an inside joke, and got ourselves into entirely too much mischief.
The following is a description of a typical interaction between the 4 of us back in the day:
Mike throws a pillow at Annie, who is playing on the floor with her figurines, and then hides.
Annie looks up and sees Rachel sitting on the couch, and then yells at her for throwing the pillow.
Annie throws the pillow at Rachel.
Rachel throws the pillow at the figurines and knocks every single one over.
Mom yells from upstairs, "MATT! LEAVE YOUR SISTER ALONE."
Matt looks up from the book he is quietly reading in his room, shrugs, and then continues to read.
In all seriousness, though, the three of them are without a doubt three of my favorite people on this planet. I would do anything for them. They would do anything for me. We are a unit, a package-deal.
The closeness of my family can be attributed to one thing above all else - my parents. Growing up I always appreciated the little things they did for us - driving us to practice, helping us with school projects, taking us on awesome vacations, etc - but it wasn't until I got older that I could fully recognize and appreciate all the big things they did.
My Dad worked tirelessly at his job as an electrical engineer, working long-hours, nights, and weekends when he had to, to provide for our family and make sure we had everything we could ever need or want. My Mom selflessly put aside many of her own dreams and ambitions and devoted her time and energy to raising us kids, always being there, and keeping the family together and on track. My parents showed us the true meaning of dedication and hard work. They supported us through everything, but taught us to be independent. They taught us to be responsible and accountable. They taught us to be kind and generous. And, most important of all, they taught us how to love.
My family was, is, and will always be, one of the best parts of my life. The fond memories that I have from my time spent with my family are plentiful, and they continue to grow each and every year. Although time has passed and us kids have grown-up, our family dynamic has not changed. We still make time for one another. We still have a blast when we're together. We still love and support and cherish one another.
There is a saying my parents use when describing what it means to be married, but I think it applies to my family in general; "We may not always like each other, but we always love each other". The Sorna clan is in it for the long haul.
John Francis Schilkowsky is not just my husband, he is my best friend in the entire world.
John and I go together like peanut butter and jelly. We both love to joke and have fun and be silly. We both value hard work and respect and honesty. We both have big plans for our future together, and are always working towards our goals. We enjoy simply spending time together, whether its going for a run, cooking dinner, or watching our favorite show. With John, I am happiest, wackiest, most free, most balance self.
Marrying him on November 12th, 2016 was the greatest thing that's ever happened to me, and I absolutely cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him.