4 years ago
on a surprisingly warm November day
my little sister got married. 

She stole my breath away as she walked down the aisle to the ethereal sounds of The Gael from Last of the Mohicans. Before 300 family and friends, I stood up on her behalf and gave the maid of honor speech I’ve been preparing for my whole life. As she danced to Loudon Wainwright’s ‘Daughter’ with our dad, my eyes filled with happy tears. And when she took to the floor with her new husband, the entire ballroom clapped and cheered with joyous noise as a new chapter began.

Two big moves, an Etsy shop, twin boys, and a whole lot of memories later…here we are.

Happy anniversary, Erin + Mike!

For the record books: today was practically perfect in every way.

I have a new sister!!!

It is so beautiful outside. I mean, the clouds look like something out of a Simpsons episode!
My sister, Erin

Family Reunion Picnic + me, doing my best Little Mermaid impression in my sister’s pool (at her brand new house, natch)

Is there anything more fun than a pool during humid Midwest summer months?! Didn’t think so. And this bad boy has a water slide! A WATER SLIDE! I’m 32 and I’m still psyched for aquatic fun; hope that never changes.

My sister is the best damn thing around. If you don’t know, well…now you know.

Today we celebrated her 30th birthday (which is actually tomorrow), with a sisters + sons lunch date.

I went over the top as a party planning committee of one: hot pink birthday sign on my front door, half dozen sunshine yellow balloons in hand, pale pink blooms, a bow larger than a watermelon, and a mission to make the birthday girl feel special.

(quick backstory: my sister’s party throwing abilities are the stuff of legends. She carefully selects themes, gets choosy over cuisine, and manages every last bit of confetti’d decor. One simply can’t top the best of the best, but I really wanted to make a go of celebrating her milestone b-day with everything she loves)

We loaded the boys up in wagons/push buggies, strolled for exercise + fresh air, stopped into a favorite market, and traded loads of home decor and renovation ideas (sissy just bought a new home!). 

As we munched on mini-lobster rolls, nuts and cheese, and assorted macarons, we giggled and chased tiny toddlers. Happy birthday was sung, cards were read, and eyes were wide when she laid eyes on the double jogging stroller, topped with the aforementioned huge-ass bow. Our conversations steered toward 'remember that..?!' and evolved into pulling old photo albums off the shelf. I excitedly showed her my new Stuart Weitzman heels, and she started giddily throwing out ideas for an uber-adventurous sister trip…perhaps Italy, part II?!

It was a day of fun and frivolity but what tugged at my heart the most was when Erin declared it “the very best birthday lunch that ever was.”

I agree, sister. 

Happy birthday to you.

For my sister…these area a few of her favorite things.

Friday, Quickly
  • Oatmeal, an old friend
  • Basement: painted
  • Gray leggings, gray sweater, Wellington boots
  • Raincoat shopping with, and for, my sissy
  • Three bossy 1-year-olds, two strollers, one bag of veggie sticks
  • MyFitnessPal App 
  • This story via NPR’s Story of the Day podcast
  • Dusty old chandelier sold on Craigslist
  • Steamed broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, and arrabiata sauce
  • The Americans on DVR
  • An anonymous Tumblr message that was so kind/articulate/awesome that my eyes welled right up 
  • 30 pages down, hundreds to go (#memoir)
  • Everything outside is blooming, yet I can still see my breath
Tulips for my sister…Happy closing day!
(Related: I will be babysitting a total of three 1-year-olds. Pray for me)

Tulips for my sister…Happy closing day!

(Related: I will be babysitting a total of three 1-year-olds. Pray for me)

A Little Help?


Three 1-year-olds
Stepping, stumbling, and crumbling crackers all over me

Pushing toys, pushing each other over, and shoving for prime seating on my lap.

Trying to keep three sippy cups separate? IMPOSSIBLE.

Changing diapers, changing clothes, and crossing paths as they laugh maniacally
and run tiny circles around me
and spit out cookies on my lap
and scream ‘Baaaa!’ to no one in particular
and clap their hands when I grin
and wave bye-bye so proudly

Good thing those dimpled smiles are my Kryptonite.

(sister & fam are #moving right along)


photo sharyn cairns

For my sister. Sweet just like you.


photo sharyn cairns

For my sister. Sweet just like you.