Meet my sister Kristin!

On November 23, 1984, I met a girl who would become one of my best friends.  Her name was Kristin Ann, but I wanted to call her Tustin, who was the boy who lived across the street from my aunt and uncle’s house.

Kristin was three years younger than me, an age gap that didn’t always bode so well for us while we were growing up.  We fought a fair amount (although not as much as Kristin and our brother Kevin did!), and she always felt left out.  I have these hilarious memories of her– I would get to stay up/out later than she did, and when my dad and I would drive down the driveway, Kristin would be waiting up for me, staring out the window.  Dad would get mad because she was supposed to be asleep, but how funny and pathetic is that image?  Little sister waiting up for big sister to come back home!

We shared a room from the time she was three until I graduated from high school.  We have so many RIDICULOUS memories of this– from the way we would decorate our room (her half was Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls and Taylor Hanson posters; mine was devoted strictly to Zac Hanson), how it would get so messy that we’d get in BIG trouble with the parents, how we’d read by the “amber light” coming in through the window after our lights were off (it never occurred to us to turn the light back on at that age), playing Princess Pat while dangling upside down from our beds, and when we were older, having Kevin tantrum every night, “TURN THE LIGHT OFF!!!!”

Now that we are older, we get along GREAT!  She is one of my favorite people– so loving and caring, so FUNNY, and my prayer warrior!  She loves God and books and family time.  Kristin is the one who will always instigate, “Let’s go around the table and say something nice about one another,” which has become a family tradition.  Speaking of traditions, the girl holds to them like the world will end if we don’t do our EXACT ROUTINE every holiday.  She is a delight, and I absolutely adore her.

Meet Ashley

What would I do without this girl?  I find myself thinking that question over and over again throughout the week.  She is one of my go-to friends, an absolute delight, so funny, so friendly, so loving, and she teaches me so much!

Ashley and I had a rocky start, back in 2001 (oh gosh, Ash, has it really been over a decade?!).  At that time, she was a spunky, sassy high school student, and I was the camp counselor who could not say anything right.  We were pretty wary of one another for about six months, but when January 2002 rolled around, the new year brought with it a new friendship that I would come to treasure as one of my favorites.

After six months of non-friendly aquaintanceship, Ashley and I were forced to spend some time together at a church retreat.  Although neither of us wanted to do so on the front end, by the end of the weekend, we were okay enough to exchange email addresses.

Remember, this is 2002.  Exchanged email addresses can only mean one thing: MSN Messenger!

We ended up chatting quite a bit– especially about boys– and forging this strange online friendship that we kind of marveled at, considering our rough beginnings.  By that next summer, we were fast friends, but our friendship was entirelyonline … until we met up again at camp.

I remember I was nervous about how it would go.  Would we clash in person again?  Would it turn out that we would just butt heads when we found ourselves in a real room together?

But we got along great this time around … and ever since!  Over the years, I have been blessed to watch Ashley graduate from high school, go to Bible college, fall in love with my friend Tim, graduate from college, marry Tim, buy a house, and move to the Twin Cities.  Now we see each other almost weekly, just the way I like it.

Eleven years is such a long span of time … Ashley went from being this sassy-mouthed punk teenager I was afraid of to being one of my very best friends, one of my favorite people!  She is everything I want in a friend: kind, unselfish, honest, brave, COMMITTED, hilarious, loving, a good listener, and godly.

I love you, Ashley … see you in an hour for taquitos at Eir’s!