I live with four amazing girls. We are so varied in our skills and interests, but we are so good for each other. We have a professional violinist, a therapist, a health and nutrition student and a biochemistry PhD student- and me, the genetics researcher. I love and trust them all, and my relationship with each girl is so different- I bet this is why Heavenly Father's work and glory is to serve His children- because we're such a diverse, interesting lot.
Amber and I often engage in what we refer to as "geeking out" together. She's our biochemist, and we frequently have discussions about various chemicals, funny stories from the lab, or our respective research, Amber also likes to play devil's advocate and tease a great deal, and my natural reaction is to challenge her right back when she's being contrary on purpose. It's quite entertaining. Amber's common sense supersedes even mine, and if someone shares an anecdote or study that sounds questionable to her, she'll run to her computer to research its veracity. She tells stories with such an understated, wry wit that we can't help but laugh.
And yet it's so different from my relationship with Amy. Amy is quiet and sweet and laughs at just about everything I say, which stokes my ego nicely. Amy will be on her deathbed before she complains about how she feels, and she's got some pretty big health problems. She's a calming influence on everyone and a day brightener. She brought both a piano and a very nice keyboard when she moved in, and she is a wonderful pianist, so our home is filled with even more music than it was before. She will lend you anything yo ask for- she lent me her bike when I did my triathlon in May and treated it like it was the biggest honor I could give her.
Kerstin is our other main musician, practicing her violin for many hours a day. She teaches and plays for events around the valley. She's also my compatriot on Temple Square, since she plays her violin on the Orchestra on Temple Square. She matches Amy in sweetness but it a little more vivacious and talkative- quite possibly our most talkative girl. She was also my gardening buddy this summer, since she was just as excited as I was to pull out the grass and plant the seeds. We spent some great time together on our knees in the dirt last spring. She has a constancy of faith that gives us all support.
Our second violinist is Cassaundra, although her violin gets about as much show time as my flute these days (read: not much). Cass is my fellow outdoors enthusiast, and she far outstrips me in terms of her activity. This girl loves motorcycles, rock climbing, snowshoeing, backpacking, hiking, and camping. She petite and spunky, and gentler than her red hair would suggest, but still with a good bit of snap to her personality. Cass has been my hot tubbing buddy recently as well, when we go down the street to take advantage of the boys' hot tub. She's very sensitive to emotions and relationship problems as one would expect from a girl with her master's in social work, but she's also very good at not wearing her therapist hat outside of work unless asked. But she also loves providing that assistance to friends in the right circumstances. She was an incredibly steadying figure for me last week when a long-overdue torrent of emotions burst out and created a very teary evening.
And there's me. I provide a lot of the leadership in the house- I set up times for us to do spring cleaning, to work on our emergency preparedness, to go out together for a roommate night on the town. I make the girls laugh a lot and provide a nice garden and a messy sewing table in the basement. And every night that we have roommate prayer, when we come in close for a group hug afterward, I look around and think how blessed I am. For the first time since I moved to Salt Lake, I feel like there is complete harmony in my home. Everyone's gift and personalities work together in such a beautiful way. It's safe. It's peaceful. It's a fortress from the world, and I love it.