Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sister Day

Sister day was Sunday, August 4 and I jumped at the opportunity to tell you how blessed I am to have some amazing women in my life. I have two sisters: Melissa and Mandy (we were constantly mixing up their names so it turned into Melandy all the time.) My brother married a wonderful woman named Samantha who has definitely become a sister I'll forever cherish. When I married Kyle I added his sister Sydnie to my "sister list" and she has been a blessing in more ways than I can possibly count. In college I joined a sorority and the girls in my pledge class became like sisters to me, that's how much I love them. And now that I have a church family there are quite a few women that I consider sisters. The number is quite literally endless, but let me take a moment to talk about them.

I had the privilege of hanging out with Mandy off and on for the last two weeks. She is a Bahama Mama so I rarely get to see her except through skype. I spent the Sunday before the actual "sister day" with her, but I also had to say good-bye (she was going back home) the same day. I hate good-bye's. Every time we cry, but I always whisper in her ear: see you in eternity! That's the beauty of being sisters through Jesus Christ! We don't have to worry about saying good-bye forever. Good-bye's in an eternal perspective are much much easier.

Melissa lives in Minnesota. (Another HARD good-bye.) Although I've "seen" her through Facetime almost every day, I haven't "seen" her in nearly a year. Do you know how hard that is? All of us are enduring the "family living off one paycheck" experience, so our priorities look something like... children, house, groceries, utilities, (etc. etc.) and then there's nothing left for traveling. So thank goodness for Facetime and Skype. It's not the same, but I do get to participate in each of my sister's life for a few minutes every week. That helps fills the "missing-them-so-much-it-hurts" ache. It's so easy to miss someone like this...

Melissa HATED school. For whatever reason, despite how beautiful, funny, smart, and talented she is, was the object of ridicule from many of her classmates when she was in junior high. She never felt like she had any friends. As a sister I wanted to beat the ever living crap out of some of her classmates whenever she came home crying about the horrific way she was treated by some of them. Right or wrong, it's a big sister instinct. So if I were to say anything to Mel it'd be...
She is more than a friend to me. She is a confidant. A comedian. An artist. She is loyal, beautiful and she can be down right nasty in a fight. She will push you beyond what you think you can endure because she is strong. I love her more than I can possibly explain.

Then there's our baby sister Mandy.
All the Unruh girls can do this face... haha.
She was always the cute one with her tight curls, flawless skin, and her perfect figure. Her beauty is more than skin deep. She see's the good in everyone. She has such a soft heart. She'll take in every lost soul and give them her very own bed if that's what it takes to make them feel loved: children, dogs, cats, mice... Her heart is always getting broken because what she expects from others is what she would do for them. She is giving, silly and stubborn as all get out. We are a lot alike in that so our arguments are pretty intense (haha). These days our conversations always go to what we're reading in the Bible, or what we learned at church, or what book forced us to rethink our faith in Jesus Christ. She pushes me to be a better Christian every day I talk to her so when I say good-bye as she leaves for her new home in the Bahamas, I know it isn't forever!
The most recent picture of us together: Mandy, Mel, Me.
One of my favorites.
We rarely get to see each other these days, so the times we are together are full of laughter and talking about the good 'ole days. The good 'ole days consisted of Lego building, or games we invented titled, "Old Timey" and "The Borrowers," or stories like the time I dropped a hammer on Melissa's head or about the time Mel embarrassed herself at a restaurant because she bonked her head on a ketchup bottle, or or or or... As we grew up our time together involved weddings, and bachelorette parties, and meeting new nieces and nephews... Our time isn't any less special, it's just a new and different kind of special.
Like the time we helped each other get ready at my wedding...
Or the fact that we decided there was one item we should all wear in our weddings. We decided to share a veil. We shopped for it and picked it out together. That alone was a memory. Putting it on was memorable and special.
My wedding...
Mels Wedding...

These pictures show love and a desire to make memories to last a lifetime, but what they don't show is our goofy side. I saw a quote that said, "There's a certain happiness to being silly and ridiculous." Hehe, does that ever apply to us.

Mel and I bowling... cute pic huh?
When we add Samantha to the mix (my sister-in-law) we talk and giggle about everything from motherhood, to womanhood, to decorating, and the list could go on forever. Adding Sam as a sister was not difficult. She is just as silly as we are and she understands our "weirdness" (perhaps that's because she married our brother who's equally as weird as we are?). What's more important is her willingness to work hard and give selflessly. Sam was the one who cleaned my house and took on the task of buying us a new bed after I hemorrhaged. Also, she is always so cute! No matter where we go, even if she's in sweat pants, we can't get over how beautiful she is!
I could brag about them for forever because there are so many qualities that make them special, but this blog would be endlessly long. Time to move on to my other sisters. Like Miss Sydnie. Who is growing into this incredibly smart young woman. She and Kyle share the same "smartness" genes. I've never seen anyone study as hard as she does. On Sunday night I've seen her grab a social studies text book and quiz herself on vocabulary, important dates, geography, etc. just so she could pass the test the next day. The thing is, she didn't need to study because she already knew it all! I see great potential from her, not just because she's so smart, but also because she works hard, she's reliable, and funny! This girl has hilarious comebacks or mimics everyone's crazy and silly quirks (especially her teachers). The more I see her grow into a beautiful young woman with an outgoing, smartallicky, down-to-earth personality, the more I love her.
I love this picture of  young Sydnie kissing her brother on the cheek and my bridesmaids laughing about it!
My most recent picture of her with Brielle!
Then there's my BFF from college: Megan. There was a joke going around that it was Megan and Becky's world, everyone else just lived in it. Haha, I think there's even a Facebook group Megan and I created when we were freshman called "Megan and Becky's World" and we were the only members. In fact, we were so much trouble when we got together that we laughed...
Whenever we get together it's still "Megan and Becky's World" even though our lives revolve around our husbands and children. She is a forever friend. Not just because of our Doane College memories, but because she held me accountable, she knows the worst aspects of me and my messed up life and yet she loves me anyway, I love her family more than I can possibly put into words. They let me live with them for a summer and vacation with them, and stay in their home on weekends, and made me a part of their life... I owe so much to Megan and her family.
Except for the time Mego ran over me with a lawn mower...

Megan's caption on this picture, "Becky... sleeping in a car... imagine that?!" Thanks Mego for being a good pillow.

Megan and I joined a sorority in college and we added a group of girls to our world that forever changed our life. I love them so much and even though I rarely see them any more the times we had together I will forever cherish and the rare times we do get together I'll cherish that much more. Like Robyn, who will forever make us laugh, she's quick on her feet, smart as a whip, and stunning with her blonde hair and perfect smile. And Krystal who gives the best-most-amazing hugs, a listening ear, kisses if you need them, a contagious laugh, and beauty that makes people stop dead in their tracks. Rachel our little athlete we were always bragging about, who also says the craziest stuff, and when you hang out with her you'll be sure to create memories. Rachel and I always argued about the stupidest crap, but we were always laughing about it later, she's the sentimental one of the group - always telling everyone how much she loves us as tears are streaming down her face - she reminds us daily the importance of "I love you". We have two Jackie's. Both are blondes. Both are beautiful. Jackie N. was always who you went to for a good time, her family was always there to welcome you in and give you the shirt off their back, everyone has a memory (or two) they'll forever cherish with Jackie, she's the one who would drop everything and go with you. My other Jackie is one of the hardest workers I've ever known, she's also loyal as all get out, if you needed something said - you could depend on her, and she's one of those girls you could have fun with no matter what you were doing. Then there's Amanda, one of my dearest friends, who is smart, dependable, giving, trustworthy, and who is unwavering. I think she always felt like the "outcast" of our pledge class, but she's not, she's the rock. We know that we want something done we can depend on Amanda. If we plan something we can depend on Amanda. If we need something the first person to go to would be Amanda. She works hard, and even if she gets nothing in return, continues to work hard anyway. Amanda graduated with honors and not one of us were surprised, we expected it. If ever I needed someone to listen Amanda was one of the first girls I went to; I can't tell you how many times I've cried on this girls shoulder and how many times she was there when I needed her the most. Add Tassie to the mix and things get a little crazy. Haha, she's a little fireball, but the other side of her is a caring, seeing-the-good-in-everyone, empathetic, and honest. She is a leader, the one who always wanted to be a mommy, and we never shocked at that because she was OUR mom who took care of us when we were sick, or was our alarm clock in the morning, or reminding us that "you should go to bed because you have a test in the morning, remember?" kind of friend. Add Steph and you add honesty, high expectations, and common sense. She is one smart cookie! I was honored to watch her graduate at the top of her class, becoming a doctor who we'll forever admire and cherish. Her intensity for life is contagious. Whenever you hang out with her expect to have a crazy good time. She is strong, physically and mentally. I could never, ever beat her in any test of physical strength (and yes, I've tried. Once. Never again.). This girl will defend you when you've been wronged, probably scaring the crap out of the opponent. She is one of the hardest workers I've ever met and when I visited her at her clinic I could tell there was an unprecedented respect level for her as a doctor, individual, and friend. The same respect level that we have always had for her. Andrea left us too soon to go to nursing school. Although we were so proud, we were sad to see her go. I've never seen her in "nursing" action, but she is someone I'd want next to me on my death bed. She's the sweetheart. I've never heard anything but kindness come from her mouth, she will give and give and give until she quite literally has nothing left. Her work ethic is above and beyond what anyone would expect and she does everything because she cares about your well being. The thing is, I've described each of these girls in the past tense, but these qualities are what make them special today and for years to come.

I was trying to find pictures that I've kept since college that give you an idea of us together as a group. Do you know how hard it was to PICK pictures? I have SO many of them! Goofy ones, pictures that bring back amazing memories, beautiful pictures, pictures that make me laugh, cry and go "awwww..." Here's some of my favorites for a variety of reasons. These girls are an amazing part of my life.
Rachel's wedding.
Our college graduation.

Jackie's wedding.

Tassie's wedding.

Krystal's wedding.

My wedding! Can you see me?

Robyn's wedding.

Robyn's wedding.

The night before Megan's wedding with her mom.

Megan's wedding.

Finally, in this chapter of my life I have an amazing church family. These women have come to mean so much to me. They are sisters in Christ and are the women who hold me accountable to God's Word on a daily basis. I may not have pictures with all of them, but I can't tell you what it means to me to have women who meet and study the Bible and can relate to the daily struggles of being a godly wife, mother, friend, and a living example of Christ. I am eternally blessed!
I began meeting with Deb a year ago to study God's word together. Her knowledge about the Bible blows me away. She is a friend I will always look up to and go to for advice because I trust her to direct me to Biblical standards. I love her as family.

Jenn is my charismatic, loyal, make-me-hysterically-laugh, "do everything for the sake of the gospel" friend. I've never known anyone who had something going on all the time because she cares about the kids, and the souls of God's people. Her work ethic is inspiring. She's my go-to friend when I need a mental break (usually that means coffee or ice cream).
Deb, our pastor's wife, is one of my "bosom" friends. When we get together we agree about everything! We could chat and chat and chat all day long. One moment we'll be giggling together like little school girls and the next seriously talking about God's Word. We have so much in common because our foundation is Jesus Christ. When we read "Glimpses of Grace" by Gloria Furman I felt convicted to begin memorizing scripture. She said, "Okay, let's start with Ephesians!" Wait, the whole book?! "Yup." Okey dokey. So she's holding me accountable to this conviction.
Then there's Lori, and Lisa, and Kelleigh, and Sarah, and Jessica, and Jill, and Erin, and Jennifer who I don't have pictures with, but who I consider eternal sisters. I admire each of them. Lori is reliable, giving, and fun, fun, fun! We share a coffee addiction. Lisa is the one I go to for advice about everything - motherhood, being a godly wife, decorating, cooking, etc. Her home is one I love going to and am constantly inviting myself over. Kelleigh inspires me to stay active and every time we're together we waste an entire morning or afternoon just chatting. She's my newest friend, but it feels like I've known her for a long time. Sarah is so giving and caring. She has a huge heart and she's inspired me to be a witness in all that I do and say. Jessica is someone I admire because she goes out of her way for those around her, especially the youth. They LOVE her. What's not to love? She's fun, patient, and she will never let you down. Jill and Jessica share so many characteristics. Jill is one of the sweetest people I've had the privilege of knowing. She has a huge heart and will go out of her way to make sure you're comfortable. When all the J's get together (Jenn, Jill, Jessica) you know it's going to be a good time. Erin and I share a love for books and coffee. Being English teachers mean we have a lot to talk about and so much in common. Our daughters are days apart and there were moments in our first trimester that we shared our miseries with no one else because we knew the other could relate. I walked into her classroom for inspiration; I can't tell you how many ideas I stole from her. She is creative, patient, giving, and hard working. Jennifer is my neighbor. I talk to her almost every day because I'm usually outside working in my yard. We share keys to one another's home and she is the go-to for baby sitting, and a good chat. She is giving, trustworthy, and we consider her family our family. She doesn't need an invitation, in fact, not one of these women do. Each of these women I can't wait to see at church, and when we get together is always a good time. When I start chatting with any of these women it's hard to leave (just ask my hubby). They're homes have become my home. I hope my home has become theirs. These are women I can depend on for various reasons. I am beyond thankful that God put these women in my life. I love them all.

I debated for a long time on whether or not to post names here because I know I'll forget someone. Plus, there are women at church who I literally can not wait to get to know better and add to my "sister list". AND describing why each of these girls are so special to me made this post extremely long, but this post is a reminder on why girlfriends are an amazing blessing from God.

"Sisters Day" should be a day filled with celebration! I obviously have so much to celebrate! If I go back and look at all my pictures (what I put here is only a GLIMPSE!) and recap all my memories I realize how God has blessed me with amazing women that are not just friends, but sisters. Do you know how hard it was to pick bridesmaids?! When Kyle and I listed the people we'd want standing there with us my list was 10 girls long!

Today it's grown astronomically! It was so hard to pick back in 2009, and it wouldn't be any easier now. I love each and every one of them with all of my heart. I got along without you before I met you, but I couldn't get along without you now!

1 comment:

  1. awe how sweet!!!!!!
    This week’s "the good life" link-up is up and going.

    This week’s theme is “give us a tour”. You can give a tour of your yard, farm, ranch, town, city, local attractions {whatever pertains to you}. I’d love to see your “tour”.
    It is almost Friday, Have a great weekend!!!