My sister and I have never been that close. In high school, I was the bookworm, athletic girl who was active in every possible organization (president of 4-H club, secretary of the student council, fundraising and organizing to initiate a recycling program in the high school... you get the picture. I was WAAAAY too motivated). My sister was the pretty and social one. She joined many of the same things as me, but didn't latch onto them like I did. I was the #1 runner on my team. I think she was last or second to last (much to my coach's disappointment - he was so excited to hear I had a sister close in age!). Instead, she focused on friendships and hanging out. One of my main memories of her was her telephone bill. Since we lived in the country it was long-distance to call anyone in town. She would ALWAYS spend her entire allowance, plus some, on her telephone bills. Man, that girl always had something to talk about!
Since HS, we've made different life choices, again growing in opposite directions.
Fast forward a decade or so and we're just becoming close again. A big reason for that is that she has two adorable little girls that I feel very connected to. *Love* So - when the opportunity came to spend two different occasions down at "the farm" with her and my parents, I was really excited about it! When will I have the time to spend weekdays with her and the family again?!?
We had a blast. From grocery shopping (wow, what a different challenge with two little ones! My price-match/couponing/very efficient abilities were seriously challenged!) to doing puzzles to celebrate going in the "big-girls-potty", to enjoying crazy daily life with two little ones under 4, my days were filled with awesomeness and fun. I had a few Nichole-laugh-attacks during the week, which may or may not have been directly related to my sister's activities. Those will remain nameless, but she will appreciate the reference to Goodwill, flying baby food at Wal-Mart, the burned chunks left on the inside of the oven (seriously, what fell?!?), and pizza and ice cream for lunch :). I seriously chuckle just remembering these!
|My sister, Jamie, and her two daughters, Sierra and Violet. Oh, man, were they excited to ride in the race car cart!|
My sister convinced me to dye my hair for the first time in my entire life. It was entertaining and I wouldn't trade it for anything, even though I freaked out at first because my hair turned "black". My dad thought it was absolutely hilarious.
|My sister and I pre-hair dye. Violet in on the action as well :).|
Hers turned out a beautiful light blonde. I give myself props for the color choice as she allowed me to make the decision when we bought it. :) Wish I had an after-picture to share!
Training at "the farm" was great. There were a lot of easy recovery miles, as well as a few fartlek/telephone pole workouts. I only did 87 miles for the week, but we were giving my legs a bit of rest before the GAC alumni race and the last push towards Chicago. Running at the farm did remind me how hard it is to push off of gravel, as well as try to pick it up while going uphill. Good thing Chicago is flat and paved :)
All-in-all, wonderful visits to the farm. I can only hope she makes long trips home often!
|Violet and I hanging out at the fair. Lots of questions/comments for me: how old is she? Oh, she is just beautiful! The first person that asked me how old she was had to wait a while before I remembered that she is 8 months old. Bad aunt :)|
|After successfully making a dessert. It's challenging with two really little ones!|
|Jamie and I post-goop :). She's actually smiling (a feat in itself!)! I don't know if she was actually a basketball MVP :).|
|My grandma and I working to can raspberry jam. What a fun (but time consuming) process!|