Saturday, July 16, 2011

Spotlight Saturday: Jill

Spotlight Saturday:  Jill
In case you missed it, what's {Spotlight Saturday} ?

Meet my beautiful sister and my BFF, Jill
That's her hubby, Ryan, and son, Aaron.

I don't remember meeting Jill.  She's been there ever since I can remember.  I was not quite two when they brought her home from the hospital.  Mom tells me that I may have been a tad jealous.  She said she heard me once, patting Jill on the tummy saying, "Nice baby, nice baby, nice baby, BAAAADDDD BABY!" and whacking her.  Not exactly my favorite story, but I was two, so whatcha gonna do?

Here's a little bit of eighties eye candy.  I'm kidding, of course.
Eighties kid pictures are always fairly on the awesome side, so behold and enjoy my baby sister and me...

We've been through a lot together.  We've dealt with things in different ways.  But the thing we always come back to is that we're sisters and we have each other forever.

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other's hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~Clara Ortega
She inspires me.

If Jill is about anything, she's savvy about it.  Since she's my sister, let me take you back to ballet class when we were really little to illustrate.  Mom signed us up for ballet.  We wore our leotards, tights & slippers, put our hair up in buns, and went to class.  I lined up with the class and practiced first through fifth positions on the barre.  I plie'd and pirouette'd.  I danced and Jill sat and observed.  Every class.  That is, until we had our recital in the mall.  On that day, Jill got up and danced with us.  I think in some ways she still observes until she is confident, but then she jumps in and shines with confidence.  There are times I watch her navigate things in life with so much poise it that looks like she's been doing it forever.  Yeah, I want to be savvy like that.

Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.  ~Louise Glück
(I almost cried when I read that!)

Along with that she's a learner.  Jill always wants to continue growing and thinking and trying new things.  We've been laughing lately at how that passion has had her up to her elbows in top soil.  She's taken up city gardening in the heart of Chicago.  Jill is brilliant. She has a degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M.  She recently graduated from Harrington College of Design.  She has an insatiable desire to learn and to grow.  In college, we did a course that included a series that taught us on of the Laws of the Teacher is that the teacher is a learner.  Her hunger for learning has, on many occassions, caused me to want to dig into a subject a little deeper-so, yeah.  She's a teacher, too!

Jill is super compassionate.  She feels you pain and your joy with you.  She's one of the first people I want to call when something happens because I know she's going to feel it with me.

She balances that with knowing where to draw the line.  That's not an easy skill to have.  When push comes to shove, Jill knows the appropriate time to say, "That's enough.  I will not allow ______."  Boundaries are healthy.  I lived far too long without proper boundaries, so I know the consequences of that.  Maybe those very boundaries are what allow her the freedom to be as all-in and as present as she is.  I really admire that and I know that's been an area where I have need to change drastically.  She has certainly been an example to me in that.

Jill is a great mom.  Aaron is a lucky kid.

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of.  You know whatever you do, they'll still be there.  ~Amy Li
She's my best friend.  The time we have together is too little.  I'm so thankful that we can just pick up where we left off and have the best time together, no matter what we're doing.  We have awesome deep conversations.  I know her so well and she knows me so well, that we don't necessarily have to say all the words.  My kids love their Aunt Jill cause she's silly.  We have crazy, stupid fun together.

Maybe I shouldn't even show you this because it really is humiliating.  Like, humilating.  Just try to laugh and still love me, okay?  So, this photo of Lexi and me was taken in Chicago on the weekend of her wedding.  We decided to go to Dunkin Doughnuts one morning.  I had planned for "rehearsal dinner clothes" and "travel clothes" and "wedding clothes", but I didn't factor in "hang out clothes".  So we decided to "make it fun" by going in our pajamas.  I had packed us patterned pajama pants, cause that's what we had.  I also packed patterened hoodies, cause that's what was in style.  Oh, and I didn't pack any casual shoes for either of us... the most casual thing we both had were wedge sandals.  You can enjoy the overall effect here.
Thus the "Dunkin' Diva" was born.  And she's been a joke ever since.
Like mother, like daughter.  The doughnut people were stifling laughter.  So, we decided to hold our heads high and rock the look.  If you know Lexi, this may have permanently affected her fashion sense and self esteem.  There's a reason we call her {Punky Brewster} around our house.

"Thinking caps"

Sister to sister we will always be,
A couple of nuts off the family tree.
~Author Unknown

That's just how it is with Jill.  We laugh.  We act a little crazy.  We make up stories and challenges and signals.  Now that I'm saying it outloud-ish, it's a wonder we don't have a secret handshake!  {Here's} another adventure, if you're interested.

A fun life is an inspiring life.  Jill radiates fun.

Jill, words are never enough to tell you what you mean to me.  Thanks for being my sister.  Thanks for being my friend.  Maybe some wiser people can say it better than I....

How do people make it through life without a sister?  ~Sara Corpening
She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities.  She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway.  She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark.  She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink.  Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child.  ~Barbara Alpert
There is no better friend than a sister.  And there is no better sister than you.  ~Author Unknown

1 comment:

  1. Very nice post! It's so awesome that you two are still so close even with living so far apart. I love, love, love the family photo with Aaron beaming! So cute! After seeing the pictures from childhood, I'm even more convinced that Lexi must be her child! ;)


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