I figured now would be a great time to post about one of my favorite people on this wonderful planet... My Sister!
Amanda and I haven't always gotten along, I have the scars to prove it, but over the years she has become my person. The one I know I can talk to, who will always listen, who will take my side in pretty much any argument (as long as she's not involved). She doesn't let me shut myself off, which has caused some minor issues here and there, but instead forces me to face whatever is going on with the strength and grace we've been taught our whole lives. A line from one of my favorite movies says, "She's my sister. Without her I don't make sense." and that is most certainly true when it comes to Amanda. Not many people get me, but she does.
I love this photo for so many reasons. The first, and most obvious, being how incredibly happy we both look. It also very adequately expresses our very different personalities - my excitement is more subdued and reserved, while Amanda's is written all over her face. I also love our haircuts. We have always given our mom a hard time about how she chose to "style" our hair when we were younger. Mom blames it on the fact that we both have calics all over our heads so she didn't have a lot of options. I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate. (Love you, mom!)
I have had many proud moments being Amanda's big sister. Watching her play volleyball and basketball. Hearing her sing. Being a part of her journey through high school and college. Even being her Maid of Honor on December 17, 2005 (yep, the 6 year anniversary is right around the corner). Being a part of that day in her life will always be one of my favorite memories. She is such a loving, considerate, and supportive wife - all of which are required when your husband is a football coach, but I believe that even in different circumstances she would be exactly the same. She absolutely adores Clayton. It was difficult wrapping my mind around the fact that she would belong to someone else, that I was placing the life of my baby sister in the hands of someone else, but even if I had thousands to choose from - I'd pick Clayton every single time. Why? Because he cherishes, protects, values, and loves my sister even more than I do - which I never thought was even possible.
Even more than that though, Amanda is an incredible mom! I am consistently blown away watching her with Kaycin and Madi. I will never forget the day that Kaycin was born, the sense of pride and amount of joy on Amanda's face when she held her for the first time. Ever since that day, she has watched over Kaycin and Madi in a way only a mom can. She's tough and the girls know who's boss, but they laugh and play and sing like no other mother/daughter combination I've ever seen. What a blessing it is to watch them interact on a regular basis.
Life takes interesting turns sometimes. It's difficult to know what's coming up next, who's going to be where, but there is one thing of which I'm absolutely certain - God placed the two of us together for a very specific purpose. She will never know how much I have learned from watching her as a wife and a mom. Words simply are not adequate enough to express this fact. However, it is my prayer that I will be the big sister that she leans on and draws strength from down the road. That I will be the example I was created to be for her as her big sister. That we will never stop learning from each other, growing in the Lord together, and being each other's support system.
I love you more than words can say. I'm so incredibly proud of the woman you have become. Thank you for being more than my sister - thank you for being my best friend.