So today I get to celebrate the birthday of my wonderful sister, Cara.
From the time we were little we have had a special bond. Being six and a half years apart I have always looked up to Cara.
Her name in Greek means Joy. Which perfectly describes who she is. Her perfect smile and overwhelming kindness naturally draws people to love her. She is the optimism in a seemingly impossible situation. She is the pep talk you need after a long hard day. She is the best friend you could ever ask for or want.
Growing up as her younger sister I strove to be more like her. She certainly lived up to the pedestal I put her on in my mind. Cara never missed my birthday until I was 17. The only reason she couldn't make it was because she was newly married and living in Germany at the time. Whether she was away at college or living in Albuquerque she always found a way to make it home to celebrate my birthday. That is the kind of sister and friend she is, thoughtful, generous, and caring.
One of my favorite memories growing up was getting to stay with her while she was in college. During those times she introduced me to pizooki, sushi, Beyond Bread, Chipotle, Nico's burritos, Pei Wei, Sauce pizza, the true wonderfulness of Target, my first college class, and so much more.
Whether it was giving up her weekend to take me to softball tournaments or pushing off her homework to spend time with me, Cara has always been good at finding ways to show she loves me.
She has completely changed the way I live my life. She showed me how great shopping is when you can't decide whether or not you like something. You buy it and then just return it later if you decide you don't want it.
But seriously, she hasn't just changed the way I shop. She has showed me the importance of being generous even when you have a little, she has shown me what it looks like to be a confident woman who doesn't hang her opinions of herself on what other people think, she has shown me the importance of being a wonderful, God fearing woman, and she has shown me the value of being joyful.
Cara is my go to for advice no matter the subject. From "Do you have any ideas of what I could make for dinner?" to "How do I be a better wife?". She is full of wisdom and knowledge beyond her 27 years of life. Although she wouldn't ever admit to these things because she is humble as well.
I have always adored my sister and that adoration has evolved over the years as we have gone from Snip and Snap (our parents' nicknames for us when we fought), to sisters, to friends. Thank you for being such a wonderful big sister, mentor, and example for me. Thank you for reminding me that it is ok to not be perfect and it is ok to love peanut butter as much as we do.
Cara, you are a great daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. So today on your special day I want to wish you a very Happy 27th Birthday! I love you!