My sister is one of the most loving, friendly, caring, extroverted people I know. She cares passionately for her friends and family. She knows how to reach out to people and draw them in. She's an amazing teacher and leader and a phenomenal MC for any type of event. She is a wonderful wife, mother, and woman of God.
I've always looked up to my sister. I remember as a child, sitting in her room and staring at her while she talked on the phone (which drove her crazy!) -- I wasn't even listening to the conversation...I just wanted to be in the same room as her. That's how much I adored her. When she went off to college (we are four years apart in school), I clearly remember her coming home and saying how she never really appreciated me or realized how much she loved me until she went off to school. ;)
Each stage of life has only brought us closer and she is now one of my best friends. My sister protects me, defends me, and pushes me. When I was struggling with friendships my Freshman year of college, she would pick me up from school one night each week and take me out to dinner at TGIFridays. When I moved to North Carolina for grad school, she flew down during summer break and visited me for a week (while pregnant with her first child...and I had her sleep on an air mattress while I slept in my bed. What?! I'm so sorry, Kara). When I moved back home to Illinois, she invited me to every social event with her church Growth Group. When Walter and I were best friends and hanging out all the time, but were safe in the friend zone, she pushed me to think about what I really wanted and I ended up asking Walter if we should see if there is more...and now we have been married for over eight years and have two beautiful children of our own!
When friends have left me out of events, she has made sure that I am always invited and included. She always had my back and my best interests at heart. And now she's moving to Ohio this summer. Although I am so happy for her, at times I struggle with knowing how to have friendships without her guidance. I fear at times of getting lost without her intervention. I have been blessed to live near her for 34 years (the other two were in NC) as many people aren't as lucky to be close to their siblings. The people in Dublin, Ohio are fortunate to get her and have her love on them too. I know God will continue to do amazing things in her life and in her family.
I love you, Kara, and I'm so thankful God made us sisters. Happy 40th birthday!