When we first learned that we were expecting our third child, I had a tiny little secret tucked inside of my heart.  Certainly, I couldn’t say it out loud. . .what would people think?

The question came shortly after we announced that we were expecting Baby K #3, Are you hoping for a boy or a girl? I suppose since we already had one of each, I was to speak from the experience that each had already given us.  I made sure to answer in the most politically correct way, it doesn’t matter to me, as long as it’s healthy. 

My answer was a lie.  I mean, let’s be real, boy or girl, we would love Baby K with the fierce love that waited to pour out of our hearts.  But still, I longed for something specific. . .

Even in those final moments, during those last couple of pushes before our littlest entered the world, I hoped to hear three tiny words . .

“It’s a girl!”.

Sure, our joy would have overflowed with a boy or a girl, but I really wanted a sister for Chanelle.

(Don’t get me wrong.  I mean, I know this isn’t the politically correct thing to say.  I should just be thankful to have a baby.  And then a healthy baby, right?  Everything else?  Gravy, I know. I’m just being honest here.)

Since I am a sister and I have a sister  (And an awesome brother, too.) I can admit that I hoped to see a sister relationship bloom under my own roof.

I’m writing about sister’s today because, today is a special day.  Today is my sisters birthday.

She is four years my junior (three years my junior for the next 27 days.)  She has dark hair, mine is light.  She can recite lines from most any movie ever made, I can recite toddler songs.  Her arms are filled with tattoos, mine are filled with little ones.  She is quick witted, I am quick to lose my phone, my keys, or the peanut butter.  Growing up,  she listened to an eclectic mix of music from Nelly to Bush while I sang along with Bon Jovi and Celine Dion.  My sister and I are different in so many ways, but as the years have moved forward we’ve learned that many of our differences have melted away and we’ve found each other in the middle.

Watching Chanelle and Meadow grow, I imagine, is much like what my own parents witnessed watching my sister and I growing up. Certainly, there were moments butterflies and unicorns when the sister-bond dream soared. However, I have no doubt there was a good chunk of time that looked like this. . .

Whatever the case, all of those hair-pulling moments and unicorn moments led us to where we are today, and I’m thankful for that.


I don’t remember a time when you haven’t been one of my very best friends.  I don’t remember a time when when I haven’t looked to you as a source of strength and inspiration.  I don’t remember a time when I haven’t considered you a lifeline.

Ashley, thank you for always being there for me.  Thank you for always picking up your phone and calling and listening and caring and supporting.  Thank you for cheering me along in each and every one of my endeavors.  Thank you for constantly telling me ‘you can’ when I think ‘I can’t’.

Ashley, thank you for stepping in after Mom died.  Thank you for receiving my daily texts with countless pictures with grace.  Thank you for humoring me when very few would.  Thank you for loving my kids with the kind of unconditional love that few have to give. Thank you for helping me to not take life too seriously, but for accepting me as I am when I do.

Ashley, I want you to know that I am so very proud of who you are and who you are becoming.  I am so proud of the way you live your life and set your goals.  I am so proud of the choices you have made and the way you have paved your own way and taken responsibility for your life.  I am so proud to call you my sister.

Ashley, I often tell people that I don’t know any other person in this world like my sister.  It’s true, I don’t.  You are unique in your own beautiful way and while in any other situation our paths might not cross, I’m so thankful that our bloodlines did.

I celebrate you today, Ashley. (Really, I celebrate you every day.)  I’m so thankful you are my sister.

I’m even more thankful you’re my Friend.

Happy Birthday.

I love you.

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