Let the celebration of life begin!

What a wonderful weekend it has been!

522273_4913256118139_1247781279_nToday, January 19, marks my big sister Jennifer’s 30th birthday!!! Everyone embarks on this milestone differently and for my beautiful sister I think she approached it with heartache because of what the memory of January has been for us. I share her feelings and distaste for this month, however I also want to take this opportunity to share my Dad’s opinion on birthdays. His birthday was a national holiday. A man addicted to work would never work on his birthday. He woke up every year with boyish excitement and indulgence. It didn’t matter what the number was, milestone or not, it was his day and he loved and enjoyed every minute. As a female I don’t know if I share the same level of excitement as I get older but who doesn’t (secretly or not) smile on their birthday? I may not be one to wear a pink “it’s my birthday” sash and tiara and ask to be catered to (I’m sure if my Dad could’ve gotten away this, he would have lol) but inside there’s a little spark of it’s my special day, if only for a moment when I wake up. I would be so bold to think that regardless of our feelings about birthdays, parties or simply the idea of aging- we all have that little spark, it’s instinctive. If only for a moment during our day, whether it’s from a partner, a colleague, a child, in a card or a brief phone call-be it whatever- when someone says Happy Birthday, they are sending you a personal message that cannot be shared with anyone else because it is a birthday wish for you because every year is a gift. I encourage everyone, regardless of where you are in life or what you have been through to adopt my Dad’s perspective on birthdays if even for a split second because on that day you have been blessed to wake up and start not only another day but another year that is all your own. Not everyone will get the gift of waking up on their birthday this year so be grateful. Celebrate, honor and enjoy it. Live it to it’s fullest. Celebrate, indulge and enjoy your personal national holiday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Jennifer!

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In other news, on Friday my little sister got engaged to one of my Dad’s favorite people, Bobby. He is an awesome man and one heck of a Dad to my nephews. I have to say, my little sister Rae-Rae is a firecracker and she needs a partner who will put up with her but also who is strong enough to look at her and stand his ground… when necessary. Truth be told, this is the exact type of partner to match all three of my Dad’s strong-willed little girls. He raised us in a unique way that marries the traditional “have dinner ready and treat your man like a king” with “don’t put up with crap and be your own person.” As a mother of girls I’m not sure how he did this but I appreciate it and it has made me enjoy both sides of the coin. We all experienced growing pains in figuring out our own balance with the values he instilled in us but as we have gotten older we have come into our own individuality and ironically are more similar now than ever before. Needless to say it takes a special kind of man to put up with one of Mark’s daughters, let alone make the voluntary choice to marry her; because ultimately when you get one, you get all three and not to mention a little bit of high functioning-dysfunction as well. To be frank, it kind of takes a saint and Bobby (along with Terry and Brent) is just that. I’m so excited and over the moon for them. Congrats and welcome to the family, Bobby! My Dad is so proud and surely saying “it’s about damn time.”

PS to Rae: Remember that life works exactly how it is supposed to. Every piece of our past has brought us to where we are today. Don’t doubt it, don’t regret it and don’t speak critically of it. There is no right or wrong way. Indulge in the moment and look to the future  with excitement and joy. This is a beautiful time and I’m so honored to be on this journey with you.

PS to Jennifer: I know this year is hard but look around you and count your blessings. Life and God are so good. You’ve been given the gift of this day, enjoy it.

I’m so proud to be your sister and love you both immensely. Let the celebration of life, begin! #newyear #newlife #newreason

ox

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