First, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You're the big 29 today, and that fact alone baffles me. How can that be? It seems like it was just yesterday when we were in the living room making elaborate ramps for our Matchbox cars. Or putting on glamorous fashion shows for our Barbies. But, obviously, we're not children anymore. We're adults. Where some sisters drift apart as time marches forward, I like to think you and I have only grown closer. I'll be the first to admit that our life has had its share of ups and downs, but I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather share this roller coaster ride with. We've been through a lot, and I'm proud to say that we've been through it together. Partners in crime, even. I may be the older sister, but I wouldn't be the person I am today with you. I've learned so much about love and life from you. Don't believe me? Here are three lessons that top my list...
1. A kind heart goes a long way: You were voted Most Kind-Hearted in elementary school. Do you remember that? You're always kind to everyone you meet, and I've long admired that quality. Not everyone has that sort of kindness in their hearts, so it's something that should most definitely be treasured when you do find it. After all, the world could use all the kindness it can get. Thank you for being a friend.
2. Giving up is not an option: When you were little, you once stayed outside all day until you'd mastered learning to ride a bike. We were all in awe of your sheer willpower. Over the years -- from things like college to exercising -- you've taught me that persistence really does pay off. Even after Father died, you never gave up. Even through your own struggles, you never gave up. And for that, I am forever inspired. Thank you for being a friend.
3. Be who you are: I absolutely love your quirky self, so please never lose that side of yourself. It's a beautiful side. You've taught me to be unapologetic in who I am and to not care so much about what people think. It's amazing how freeing it is, don't you think? And did I mention how utterly real you are? You're probably the only person in the whole world who I can count on for an honest opinion. About anything and everything. As we say, you always "tell it like it is," and I'm a better person because of that. Thank you for being a friend.