Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Proud Sistah

Check out this press release on my big brother:

Trey James, Xcentric’s CEO, has been selected as one of the top 100 Most Influential People in the Accounting Industry for the second year in a row.  Trey was chosen by Accounting Today’s editorial staff, from among hundreds of candidates, as one of the top thought leaders and changemakers in the industry.
Here is what Accounting Today had to say:
“The need for advanced technology has never been greater at CPA firms, and James and his company have taken the lead in making it available to firms in an innovative, hassle-free way.”

All three of my brothers are computer guys. I'd say computer geeks, but there's just no geek with these three. They're smart, funny, practical jokers - watch out - and the most fun people to be around ever. So Trey and Chris started this company, Xcentric, about ten years ago. Based out of Alpharetta, GA they partner with CPA firms across the country, providing technology guidance.

But business success aside, I am just proud of these guys. I watch Trey with his (really cool) wife and three little bitty kids, and I am struck by what a natural, amazing dad he is. He is constantly, gently teaching. He'll lift three-year-old Marshall on his shoulders to look at the night sky, pointing out constellations and explaining how stars work. If he's helping two-year-old Ashlyn down from her high chair, he's patiently teaching her how to wipe her own mouth, or explaining how she can put her foot on the lower rung to step down herself, or whatever. Always teaching, always patient. And then little Scarlett, not yet one, is not one to be left behind. Obviously I'm still learning her personality from brief visits and stories, but I'm thinking she's gonna take after her Mommy's FUN-NY personality.

And Chris - he's the teddy bear. Even in his 30's, he's still the quiet guy who's really the class clown- just have to get him going. In high school, our family was eating dinner one night at our regular Mexican restaurant, and I casually mentioned to Chris that I liked his class favorite picture in the yearbooks that had just come out earlier that day. My dad choked on his food, looked up at Chris, and sputtered, "Class favorite?! You mean that boy talks to people enough to get class favorite?" Hysterical laughter ensued. What I'd been privy to at that point, driving Chris around darkened neighborhood streets with all his buddies to wrap houses, with a handful of close guy friends, Chris was boisterous and hilarious. Really funny, the life of the party, even. For some reason that side rarely came out at home - something reserved for friends. So as he's gotten older, Chris' funny, engaging personality stays at a constant, whether he's with new friends or old friends or family or his own wife and daughter. Crystal is the best thing that ever happened to him, and Joy Taylor is the sweetest little gal ever, with enormous blue eyes. As her daddy says, "She's got some eyes!"  They have twin babes on the way this Spring - two more reasons to visit Bozeman.

Then there's Luke, the baby. Except he doesn't totally act like the baby. He's responsible and smart and loves his wife deeply (we all do), and is an incredible dad to his darling boys. He's also really funny, and draws people in with his genuine concern for them.

One thing I love about our family - and it's largely because of these three boys - is that we laugh when we're together. A lot. Even tender moments turn downright funny as we reflect over childhood stories:  leaving little Luke at church at not realizing it until halfway through eating our Panchos lunch around the dinner table; Trey riding his bike through our back sliding glass doors in the middle of winter, while my dad was in the hospital, so mom taped black garbage bags over the doors to keep the chill out; and a very wide-eyed Chris staring at the secret service men we picked up on I35 south on our way to visit family one Christmas - after skidding off the icey road, they jumped in our sleeping-bag strewn, kid-filled van, toting huge hand held radios and wearing black trench coats and dark sunglasses even at midnight.

Looking forward to a fun week with these guys and their families - our family - next week for Thanksgiving. One of the deepest reason for my gratitude, that my husband and children get to grow up and live life with this family.