Sunday, December 9, 2012


This is my brother, Max. (Or, Minkle, as I like to call him.)

When we were little we used to make chocolate milk, sneak two of my mom's nice goblet-style glasses, and sit at the table like we were royalty and have what we liked to call a Heart-to-Heart. I only wish we had a recording of those conversations haha.

He's one of my best friends and he's leaving for his two-year mission for our church...TOMORROW! Since he got his assignment back in August to go to Southern Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland, I've been wondering how I would handle him leaving and I'm pretty sure I've been in denial. Everyone in our family has their place, and Max's is Front and Center. With him gone we will still laugh, but maybe not as hard; and, of course, we'll still have our playful insults, but perhaps they won't be quite as inspired without his guiding influence. Max has always been fun, handsome, and great with people. The German-speaking folks he's coming to have NO IDEA HOW LUCKY THEY ARE.

Show choir
I love all of my siblings, but Max and I have the most in common I think, or at least we did in high school. We had a similar friend group and did most of the same activities. (He was almost as good at football as I was at cross country.)

He is an awesome football player (number 14, just like my mom for college volleyball!) and was a star of the senior varsity team.  My mom and I are the world's most enthusiastic cheerleaders, esPECIALLY when it's for someone in our family. I'm pretty sure we embarrassed ourselves on multiple occasions, but it didn't matter because we were so proud of our Max. It's tradition to let your girlfriend (or any of the hotties always following my brother) to wear your away jersey to the games, and usually that's what happened. One game though, Max let me wear it.

We went to homecoming and prom in
the same groups

We used to go to Arby's after school and get popcorn chickies and curly fries, always stealing each other's food of course. When I came home from college to visit, we'd still go sometimes. I'm sure we offended neighboring booths with our back-and-forth insults, but it brought us closer together.

Freshman dorm, ha

Max came to visit me when I went to college, and whenever it was time for him to leave I was always sad for a while. Life is just more fun with Max around! He makes you feel cool, silly, and loved. He was always running from one friend thing to the next, but he still made time for his older sister, too.

Roadtrips weren't really better with Max along because he and his lazy self took up the whole back seat and slept the whole time, but once we got wherever we were going it was a blast to have him around. One memorable morning we left for our annual Yellowstone Memorial Day Weekend trip, and I was driving with Max and Sam. It was like 4 in the morning or something ridiculous, and I was feeling tired. I did what I always do in those situations and blasted music. This morning it happened to be a Ke$ha standard and even my brothers couldn't resist the glitter. It became a tradition to listen to "Your Love is My Drug" (great song, people) every time we started the car for the whole rest of that trip.

Another time we were driving back from Yellowstone and my twin brother Jack was in charge of the music. After four hours of rap, I was getting a little loopy. To the rhythm of the latest yelling man, I said "mynameisJessie" and for some reason Max thought that was the most hilarious thing. There was a Wendy's billboard on the side of the freeway just then, so I continued with my creative spurt: "fries and a frosty...friesfriesfrosty!" Haha it makes me laugh thinking about it.

(These are the sorts of memories that are Plumb lore by this point, but which make no sense or even humor to anyone else. That's the point :) )

Max has always been, shall we say, a ladies man. We love teasing him about his current woman, but aside from all of that he is an extremely loyal boyfriend, just as he is a brother. He isn't just kind to his girlfriends though; he makes every girl feel important, and I know that just by paying attention to them when most don't, he's made a difference for them. Max is six-foot-something and has more muscles than me (which is saying something!) but he's always been a softie.

He's also never quite grown out of his diva phase. When his NFL pick loses an important game, he can be seen pouting around the house for three days. He's an artist at the "oh, oops, I forgot my wallet!" trick, swindling me out of many dollars, and heaven forbid he doesn't get his way with the movie night pick: if it's not Return of the King (for the triple thousandth time) or anything with Christian Bale, he slinks downstairs with a bowl of chips and salsa while we watch upstairs.

I love sharing our little finch with him - when we were in the hospital he was my first sibling to visit and it was incredible to see how easy and safe and happy Natalie felt with him at just a couple days old. I'm so glad she has so many great uncles to look up to.

For better or for worse, Max has always been an example to everyone around him, especially our family. We naturally follow him, like what he likes, watch what he watches, and laugh at what he thinks is funny. Him going on a mission is a huge decision, and one that I think will impact our family and his friends more than he realizes. I'm so proud of his decision to go - two years without his phone, facebook, movies, friend get-togethers, family time, Natalie Jane, girlfriends, the corvette, and sleeping in won't be easy and I don't think I could do it, but Max sticks to his word and finishes what he starts. He knows what is truly important and is putting aside the fun and easy for the sacrifice and blessings; he can see the bigger picture.

I will miss you, Minkle, more than I've let on because I don't want to make leaving any harder for you, but I will be counting the HOURS til you come back. It doesn't matter that your friends will be finishing college, Natalie will be 2, and you won't get to watch the Celtics for a couple seasons: we will just start right where we all left off when you come home. I'm so impressed with you and I always have been - thank you for doing what's right and for making me a better person. I love you and will write so many letters that all of your companions will cry from jealousy.

And don't worry: I'll make sure to keep your One Direction cd safe and sound : )


  1. awwww. what a sweet post.

    i love that you have these thoughts & feelings "written down" to look back at later.

    and congrats to max on this adventure!

  2. This makes me fall in love with Max even more if that's possible! You are such a great writer Jessie! And if I happen to not be married when he comes home...haha just kidding ;)