Did you hear this caution before you got married: you’re not just marrying a person, you’re marrying a family? I know I heard it before I married Chad. I also know that I paid absolutely no attention to it.
My eyes were shaded by rose colored glasses and I only saw hearts, flowers, and happily ever afters. Even now when I work with couples who are engaged to be married, I encourage them to consider the same sentiments. However, I know they are not listening to anything I say. They see only the person sitting next to them and nothing, absolutely nothing, could impact the perfect life they know they will have.
I get it. I was there. At that point in time, it’s hard to see past the diamond ring on your ring finger.
Sometimes the family you marry is wonderful. . . other times in-law challenges are endless.
When I married Chad I didn’t really think about how I would get along with my in-laws and I certainly didn’t think that it mattered. However, I have been so thankful to find that my relationship with my in-laws has turned into a beautiful thing. Chad’s parents and his brother are quite wonderful.
There was one member of the family, though, that had not yet joined us when Chad and I became husband and wife.
My sister in law, April.
Six years after Chad and I married, she married my brother-in-law.
It can be scary to bring someone new into the family. Will we get along? Will we have anything in common? Will we connect?
Once again, my fears were unfounded. . .
. . . not only did I gain a SIL. . . but I gained a Friend.
Today is April’s special day. . . it’s her birthday! Is there a better way to celebrate her than via Running Chatter? (I. think. not.)
April, I adore you. I mean I really, really adore you. If I could put together the kind of sister in law I would want to have. . . you would be her. I love the way you joined the family without a bump or a wrinkle. I have enjoyed getting to know you over the last several years and watching how you have grown and stretched as you’ve spread your wings wider and wider with each passing year.
I admire your guts and your independence.
You are the perfect woman for Matt. PERFECT. Together. . . the two of you are unstoppable.
You have a gentle spirit like no other and the way you just show up whenever you are needed is the kind of gift few people have. You are a “show-upper” and a “getter-doner” like no one I’ve ever meet. (Yes, I made up those words).
I will never, ever forget the way you swept in after my Mom died and just did what needed to be done. You have a way of slipping in and out in a quiet and classy way that only makes me want to be around you more. Thank you for continuing to talk about my Mom. That means the world to me.
Your gentle spirit is infectious and when your humor comes out. . . my heart literally expands.
And don’t get me started on the way you love my kids. When they know they will see you, I’m sure the entire neighborhood knows about it. They cherish you.
From changing their diapers to cutting their hair. . . you have always been there and we love you for it.
April, I don’t remember what our family was like before you joined it, but I’m certain that a light appeared the day you did. Not only in my life. . . but in all of our lives. You are a treasure and I am so grateful that Matt chose you to be his bride.
Truth is. . . even if we hadn’t married brothers and if you didn’t give me incredibly awesome haircuts, I would still want to have you in my life.
Happy Birthday, My sister, my Friend.