04 November 2011

A Season of Thanks: Day 4

Today I am thankful for Annie.

She is an incredible sister in a million and one ways, but words don't do her justice.
Annie is too funny, too cute, too kind, and too adventurous for stories to describe her.

See for yourself!

Like me, Annie is a big daddy's girl. Hers comes out in different ways, but family is a great big priority to my sister, too. She lives 5 hours from mom and dad, yet she manages to see them every couple of months. I envy her determination to make that happen, despite the crazy life she lives as a full-time teacher, mom, and commuter.

Annie has a killer smile, gorgeous eyes, and a fantastic sense of style. Plus, she probably paid $2.50 for the dress and made the necklace herself! I consider it a privilege that we look so much alike.

She's also a fantastic photographer and will kill me for posting this picture, but it speaks to who she is so well! How many brides do you know that can make a Cardinals cap look "appropriate" with a wedding dress? This is what I mean about her style. Sure, it's cute, but it also "works" in a way! I love this image of her. So elegant, so beautiful, so much fun.

Right after she graduated from college, Annie took off for the Dominican Republic to teach school there for 2 years. She didn't speak Spanish, didn't know anyone in the country, had never traveled abroad, and had never been a solo teacher. But she got on a plane with 2 suitcases and a whole lot of guts and made it work. I'd like to tell you this was an anomaly for my sister, but it's sort of how she lives her life. She just DOES things. And she succeeds at them. Annie lives life richly and with a sense of "what else can we find to do" that I wish I had.

Like every good St. Louis native, Annie loves the Cardinals. That wins her serious points right there! She manages to maintain her love of our team while living in the land of Cubs fans and without televised games. Way to go, Annie! Win 'em over to the "right side of the rivalry."

My sister is one of the funniest people I know. She isn't goofy, like some people think when they think of funny. But she enjoys life immensely and that oozes out of her every inch. Her faces are hysterical. What she finds to capture in a lens can bring tears of laughter to your eyes. The things she teaches her son are fantastic. There's no real way to describe this part of my sister's character, but it's one of my very favorite things about her.

Or it was.

Until she had this guy.

I know she wrestles on a daily basis with how to be the best mom Finley could ever have, but she's a great mom! In every.single.detail., she has Finley's best interest in mind. At times it drives me crazy, but at my core I am so incredibly proud of how she is raising him. She called me in tears when she found out she was pregnant, saying, "I just don't think I can do this." When I left her house when Finley was 2 weeks old, we sat on the couch - both of us in tears - and she said, "What am I supposed to do now?"

She figured it out. I'm sure there are days when she (like all of us) thinks, "This is insane! I'll never get anywhere with this little ball of chaos!", but Finley is an incredible kid, and I have to give a lot of that credit to his momma.

I love you, little sister!
For the years we almost killed each other, I never thought we'd be the friends we are now. (Sorry about purposely shoving mandarin oranges in your ear.)
I'm so glad we got past all that.
(Sorry about purposely smashing your lips against your braces.)
I couldn't ask for a better sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.
Thanks for teaching me every day about the joy that is this life.


Anonymous said...

Unlike you, I can't express myself in words. Sitting at my desk crying. Wow. You make me seem so awesome. Save this for when I die, ok? Love you!

Anonymous said...

P.S. I am not anonymous, I just couldn't figure out how to put my name on the comment.