Gotta love him

Aside from the obvious reason that I can call Durham "home" (that would be Ryan...), there is one other person who especially makes Durham feel a lot more "homey" to me.  It's this obnoxious boy that lives in our apartment complex.  He takes me back to my childhood days of getting picked on by my brothers like they used to when we were younger, except this guy just never grew out of it.  Oh wait...he is my brother.  Yes, I would be referring to Matt, my brother...AND my next door neighbor. :)  And obnoxious is not really the right adjective to describe him.  Really, he is just very energetic, witty, intelligent, creative, and MISCHIEVOUS and always into something - and all that combined makes him one of my favorite people in the whole world to be around.  That is why, ya just can't help but love the kid....even when he does things like this....

Yes, that's my "prankster" Matt for ya.  I did say he's always into something, right?  So, a couple nights ago, I tried a Paula Deen recipe for pumpkin bars and knowing that every member of the Pridemore family has a sweet tooth for anything cream cheese and these have homemade cream cheese icing, I told Matt I was making them and that he could stop by to get one if he wanted. So about 8 PM, I answer a knock at the door (he only knocks when the door is locked and he knows Ryan or I will answer the door faster than he can pull out his own key to our apartment...) to find "student" Matthew at the door, back-pack on straight from class, coming home for his snack.  So Matt plops himself down on the couch and carries on a conversation with me about his day and class as I head back to the kitchen to finish icing the bars.  Meanwhile, Matt throws a "you're gonna be mad at me, sissy" at me. (I love how even though we're both in our twenties, he...and TJ and Jamie for that matter...still call me sis or sissy).  I said, "how come"?  and he nonchalantly says, "well, you'll figure it out eventually".  So I didn't really even pay the comment any attention. Until a few minutes later...I walk into the room and am just talking to him, spatula in hand, and stop mid-word as I realize that Matt has turned my decorative vase of Cranberries upside down on the coffee table.  As is typical, he's already forgotten his "prank" and busts out laughing...with pride...when he realizes that I just realized what he did.  Oh Matty....gotta love him. 

So, his pranks can be a little obnoxious at times...but I'm so thankful to have Matt, pranks and all, in Durham.  Especially in the beginning when I first moved here and didn't know anyone, having him right around the corner was SUCH.A.BLESSING and really made Durham feel a lot more like "home".  How can it not, having your little brother live right next door to pick on you all the time just like old times, right?  And though Matt is always full of fun and games and good for a laugh, he also has a protective/responsible/almost-on-the-verge-of-mature side too.  Like last football season...right after I moved here, I didn't know anyone except for members of the football team and Ryan always had to spend Friday nights away either traveling with the team or staying in the team hotel in Durham the night before a game and I HATED staying by myself in this new town where the very few people I knew were locked away in a hotel and I didn't even know my way around.  So, my "protective brother" Matt, who was medically red-shirted (due to an injury) and not required to stay at the hotel last season would come stay in our guest bedroom on Friday nights so I didn't have to stay by myself.  What college-age brother hangs out with his old, married sister on Friday nights, right?  Well, at least his buddies were all in the hotel so he wasn't hanging out with them anyways and he would sometimes not get there til 10 or 11, but it really meant a lot to me and made my transition to living in Durham...five hours from home, family, and all my friends...much more tolerable.  It would have definitely been a rougher transition without having Matt here. 

So sad will be the day that either Matt or Ryan and I move away from Durham.  After spending 18 years in the same house with Matt, TJ, and Jamie, and then having Matt live just a few steps away for two years, I don't know if I could handle the separation!  Now we just need to work on getting TJ (and Rachel/Jeff and fam) closer than 10 hours away... 

(Per my childhood reference earlier, I just had to add this picture of Matt and I from yesteryear...doesn't he just LOOK mischievous??)

And for fun, all three of the sibs...three of my favorite people ever!

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