Her’s Day Thursday

Hers Day Thursday Girl

 

Last Thursday, my family and I were hit by a devastating loss. Our sweet little miniature pinscher, Pinny Lane, passed away.

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We knew it was coming. She was plagued with health problems: diabetes, cataracts/eyesight loss, hearing loss, pancreatic tumors, and kidney problems. Even though we knew it was coming it was still tough.

Last Monday I took her to the vet and she said that even though it hurt her heart to say it, she believed euthanization was necessary. Very reluctantly, and with heavy hearts, we made the appointment for last Thursday at 4:30.

The kids and I had somewhere to be at 9:30 that morning. On our way, I decided to stop at my sister’s house to check on Pinny. When I walked inside, the house was silent. There was no patter of little paws coming to greet me. I turned from the kitchen into the living room and saw her laying on her pillow, with her favorite pink blanket over her. At first, I thought she was sleeping.

I called out her name, but she didn’t move. I gently shook her pillow. When she didn’t stir, I knelt down, searching her chest to see if it rose and fell. It didn’t. I reached out and touched her–she was gone.

As I went back to the car and my kids, I started thinking about that sweet little pup and everything she meant to my family…

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Pinny was given to me by an ex-boyfriend while we were still together back in 2004. At the time, she stayed at his house. This was fine with my family–they didn’t get along with the guy and certainly didn’t want a dog at their house that reminded them of him. The relationship was…awful. And that’s being nice.

There was emotional/mental abuse, manipulation, and controlling behavior. When I finally broke up with him, I decided that I was taking Pinny with me. She was mine, after all, and I wanted to be the one to care for her.

She came home with me and my dad set up a little fenced in area for her in the backyard. Soon after, my grandpa built her a dog house. I always thought it was so cute the way she’d fluff her blankets to cover the hole of her little house. Eventually, when the weather changed, Pinny became an inside dog.

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There was a point that my family was still a little reluctant to take her in. But soon after, Pinny got sick–I still don’t really remembered what happened. What I do remember is my mom and sister crying on the back porch and praying over that little black and brown dog. She quickly solidified her place as a member of the family after that!

We moved to a new house on the other side of town a few months later and Pinny Lane slept with me in my bed. When Huff the Hubs and I got married in 2011, neither one of us wanted to keep her cooped up in a tiny apartment, so she went to live with my sister, Bridget. And that’s where Pinny has been ever since.

Pinny has been such a great companion to Bridget. Bridget spoiled her rotten and loved her deeply. There were so many times I’d see her wrap that sweet dog in a blanket and hold her like a baby. But that’s what she was–Bridget’s baby.

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Pinny has held such a huge part of our hearts for so long and means so much to my family. We credit her with bringing my family back together again after I was in such a bad relationship that fractured our family dynamic (it’s no wonder the name Penny means “weaver”!).

She was an enormous blessing and will be forever missed.

 

 

Writer Wednesday

Here’s today’s writing prompt:

What was your favorite Christmas present you received as a child?

Christmas 1990 (at least, I think it was 1990) was a GREAT Christmas. I was still on the side of the fence that somewhat believed Santa was real. I mean, there was a big part of me that thought my parents were the ones that filled up our stockings {we’re the ‘cheaters’ that open presents on Christmas Eve; I knew Santa didn’t bring those} but I also figured that my parents left stockings to the Fat Man in Red because they had had enough of shopping and wrapping gifts.

Anyway, Christmas morning 199something, my sisters and I woke up at our normal 3:00 a.m. “Let’s-go-see-what’s-in-our-stockings” to find the most glorious gift waiting for us. I’m talking the Holy Grail for all ’90’s kids: a Nintendo. A freaking NES was waiting in all of its monochromatic beauty.

nintendo

I’m pretty sure our squeals were so high-pitched that windows broke. We FLIPPED out! We could not believe that we were looking at our very own Nintendo! I can’t remember all of the games we had, but I know we played the crap out of Super Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Brothers 3, The Little Mermaid, Yoshi, and Dr. Mario. We loved that game system. It probably paid for itself within the first month of us receiving it. When we got older, we didn’t play games on it that often. But I will never forget how excited we were with our “latest and greatest technology”.

 

(Fun fact: When we went back to school after the break, my sister Bridget was being teased because she said that Santa had outdone himself this year. “Santa’s not real, Bridget!” a kid yelled at her.

“Oh yes he is!” she snapped back.

“How do you know?”

“Because my parents can’t afford a Nintendo and there was one under our tree on Christmas!” she explained.

You just got PWNED, kid.)

 

My First Marathon (Or, The Most Idiotic Decision I’ve Ever Made)

This weekend was the 14th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. And, as you know, completing a marathon is one of the things on my 30 by 30 list. I’ve been training with my sister for the past 4 1/2 months and the day FINALLY came.

Saturday night, I was super nervous. We picked up our packets the day before and I was sitting in my recliner, looking at the course map. I could not believe it. My stomach started to churn and so many thoughts raced through my head: Can I do this? Can I actually do this? What if I die?!

I went to bed Saturday night confident that I could do the marathon. After all, I had run 20 miles just a few weeks before and I did fine! I was a little sore the next day, but I survived. And on race day, adrenaline kicks in and really takes your endurance to the next level.

The race was set to start at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. I got up at 5:00 to pump and get dressed. The news was on and the weatherman was predicting a lot of rain, hail, and possibly a tornado. I still didn’t worry. Two years ago, I did a half marathon in the rain and I did just fine! I’d be okay.

We got to the race and I could feel the excitement. There were so many people! I even met a Biggest Loser!

marathon (3)

 

As the morning went on, the weather started getting worse and worse. We were forced into a parking garage where we learned we’d be waiting for the next TWO HOURS.

 

When we finally started, my legs were tight (from the lack of fluids and from sitting/standing for TWO HOURS) but I was excited. I was ready to start this journey and check this off my list. Here’s how the race went…

 

Miles 1-3:

Its raining a little. There are A LOT of people running and even more people walking in my way. My inner monologue went a little something like this:

Get out of my way. Seriously, MOVE! Get. Out. Of. My. WAY. 

Oh geez, that was a big puddle. Are my socks wet? No, they’re fine. Whew!

Holy crap, that’s a steep downward hill. I’m going to slip. I’m going to slip. I’m going to twist my ankle and fall. 

You didn’t fall, good job. 

Where is the *&^%$#@ water stop?! 

 

Miles 3-5: 

Okay, first water stop and bathroom break. *Sigh* I feel MUCH better! I can do this! 

Oh, hey! There’s my dad and Huff the Hubs! *waves to them*

Ha! Look at that poster! *Stops to take a picture of the poster and points out Allonsy! on bib*

photo 1

 

 

Miles 5-8: 

Ugh. Is this “Gorilla Hill” up here? Crap, it is. 

photo 2

I hate this frakking hill.

I’m walking.

Better wave BB down and let her know I’m walking.

Might as well take a picture. 

 

Miles 8-15:

I want to quit. I want to quit. Tell your sister you want to quit.

Kill me. KILL. ME.

Why is it so $%^# hot?!

I’m dying.

There’s a medical tent. Just stop and tell them to take you to the finish line.

 

Miles 15-18: 

Me (to Bridget): “I don’t want to do this anymore!”

Bridget: “Too bad! Keep moving!”

Me (starting to sob): “Bridget, my legs hurt so bad!”

Bridget: “Then let’s walk.”

Me (crying and thinking): I’m crying but I can’t produce any tears because I’m so dehydrated! I’m like Howard

 

Mile 18-19: 

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Miles 19-21: 

I feel the blisters on my feet. Every step is agony. I’m wielding my arms like a granny power-walking at the mall. The sun is beating down on me and I realize I haven’t put on ANY sunscreen. I actually think: I’d rather give birth, right here, right now on this asphalt than do this! 

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Mile 21-22: 

*&^% @#$% *&^%$ @#$% ^&%$ *&^% *&^%

Get to the finish line so you can use your breast pump!

 

Mile 22: 

We meet a woman we’ve been keeping pace with the whole time. We start talking. She’s 45, from Little Rock, AR, and this is her second full marathon. We talk about our aches, our pains, how we weren’t expecting it to be so hot (88*!) and how ready we are for the finish line. We talk the rest of the way.

 

Mile 25.75:

The finish line is in sight.

Bridget: “Come on! Let’s run across the finish line!”

Me:

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Bridget: “MOVE!”

Me: “UUUGGGGHHHH!!!!” *wills legs to move and crosses the finish line*

 

At the Finish Line: 

*Gets medal and Finisher shirt*

I did it! I freaking did it! I completed a marathon! Thank you, God, for helping me get through this! And I’m sorry for swearing in my head so much. 

I can’t believe I did it!

Wow!

I’m NEVER doing that again. Like, EVER. 

 

Running (who am I kidding–walking) that marathon was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Every part of my body hurt. I was starving; I hadn’t eaten in seven hours. SEVEN. FREAKING. HOURS. I was dehydrated, covered in salt and sweat, and burnt to a flippin’ crisp:

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But I did it. I finished it. And, actually, I’d say it was worth it. The months of waking up early every Saturday to do long runs; the solo runs through the neighborhood in temps of 30*; the sore joints and muscles…it was worth it. Why? Because I achieved a goal. Seven months ago, I was giving birth. Seven months ago, I never thought I’d be able to do this. But I did. am a marathoner. am a Finisher.

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(I want to say that there is NO way I’d be able to have done this without the support of my family. My sister was the BEST running partner I could’ve asked for. She was so incredibly supportive the entire time–training and all! My husband, my parents, my friends, my family; they were all so great! But mostly I could NOT have done it without The Lord. He gave me the drive, the dream, and the perseverance to do this. Even though I hated it at times, I am so glad I did this, and that He got me through it!)

 

 

 

Try It Monday

Happy Monday!

Wait. That’s sort of an oxymoron isn’t it? Happy Monday? No such thing, right?

WRONG.

Because today I’ve got a yummy Try It for you, just in time for your New Year’s par-tay!

Its pretty simple and REALLY good!

Every Christmas, my parents get a tin with the three different flavors of popcorn. Typically, the caramel one goes first and everyone gets all butt hurt because they “only got a handful” of the sweet treat. Well hold on to your hats! I’m about to save the holidays.

 

Caramel Corn Puffs! ("Gotta have my Pops!")

Caramel Corn Puffs! (“Gotta have my Pops!”)

My mom and sister made these the other night and they were BANGIN’!

Here’s what you need:

2 sticks butter

2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. Karo (light)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 package Cheetos butter flavored corn puffs (Chester’s Puffcorn)

In a large saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar and Karo to a boil for 5 minutes, but be sure to stir it a few times. Then, stir in vanilla, salt and baking soda (the mixture will bubble; don’t worry, this is supposed to happen).

Sweet caramelly goodness.

Sweet caramelly goodness.

Meanwhile, pour the corn puffs into a large bowl. Next, pour the mixture over the corn puffs and stir until well coated.

Ooohhhh yeeeahhh....

Ooohhhh yeeeahhh….

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. When time’s up, place the dishes on a cooling rack.

Caramel popcorn at its best; hot and fresh from the oven!

Caramel popcorn at its best; hot and fresh from the oven!

Then, try not to eat the whole thing. You’ll want to, trust me. Its THAT good. They seriously taste like Corn Pops and I lurve Corn Pops!

Try It Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, people!

If you’re still in need of some dessert ideas, have I got one for you!

Today’s Try It is PERFECT for Thanksgiving. Its delicious, decadent, AND already in single-serve portions (so you don’t indulge too much).

My sister, Bridget, found this pin on Pinterest:

Two of my favorite things: Oreo and cheesecake.

Two of my favorite things: Oreo and cheesecake.

First, she gathered her ingredients:

This is all you need!

This is all you need!

That’s right! All she needed was a pack of Oreos and a Jello-O No Bake Cheesecake.

First, she lined her cupcake tin with cupcake cups. Then, she placed Oreos in each one:

O-R-E-O-S.

O-R-E-O-S.

Then, she mixed up the cheesecake:

Mmm...cheesecake.

Mmm…cheesecake.

 

Then, she poured the cheesecake mixture over the cookies:

Ooooh yeaaahh...

Ooooh yeaaahh…

 

To add a little pizzazz, she ground up some Oreos in the food processor and sprinkled them on top:

Best. Garnish. Ever.

Best. Garnish. Ever.

 

Ta da!

Ta da!

 

OMG, you guys, this was So. Freaking. Good. I may  have eaten two. Okay, three. Okay, three and a half. Seriously guys, this is one of the simplest, tastiest desserts I’ve ever had!

Try It Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, all!

As you know, for a while I was really into the whole nail art thing. My Pinterest boards were flooded with new ways to do my nails. I loved it! It was so much fun! I was obsessed with it for a hot minute.

Then, I got lazy. My nails were very sad.

But this weekend as I was rummaging through my extensive collection of polish, I found a Christmas gift from my sister:

Ba na na na na na na na na.....BATNAILS!

Ba na na na na na na na na…..BATNAILS!

 

So I thought: I should try these bad boys out!

I’ve been seeing things like this at WalMart, Target, and Walgreens for months now, but I haven’t really given it much thought. Mostly because I thought it was the “lazy girls way to do nail art” and I was getting pretty good at designs! But, alas, with my energy levels super low, I need all the help I can get.

Enter nail stickers.

The instructions looked pretty easy: place stickers on nails, fold down the excess, file off the excess. Ta da! You’re done!

If only it were that simple.

First, the little buggers are really hard to get off the clear strip. (And, if you drop them on the carpet, they get little fuzzies stuck to them. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…cough, cough.)

Why must you torment me, adhesive?!

Why must you torment me, adhesive?!

Anyway, so as soon as I matched up the adhesive size to the nails I thought they would fit, I did what the instructions said to do. I folded down the excess–which again, was difficult. There was so much excess that the adhesive on the nail started to get lumpy. After I folded it down and tried to file the excess, it chipped the ends of the adhesive strip! Needless to say, there was a lot of choices words being thrown about in my mind. I really hope babies aren’t telepathic in utero.

When I finally got all of the adhesives attached, I was pleased (mostly because it was over) but I did like how they looked!

Gotham City Chic.

Gotham City Chic.

 

Have you ever tried the nail adhesives? Did they work for you? What did you think?

Try It Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, Tryers!

This week’s Try It is brought to you by the letter Y as in “YUMMY!”

When my sister, Samantha, and her brood were down from Maryland, she made something that seriously made me want to do cartwheels. (I refrained, don’t worry). She made these awesome things call pretzel rolls. And yes, they tasted as good as they sound.

This was indeed a Pinterest find:

*Cue the Homer Simpson-like drooling*

*Cue the Homer Simpson-like drooling*

This week, my sister Bridget decided to try them out! (And I’m glad she did!)

She got everything she needed:

Milk, yeast, brown sugar, butter, flour, fine salt, baking soda, coarse salt

Milk, yeast, brown sugar, butter, flour, fine salt, baking soda, coarse salt

Ingredients List:

2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt

1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
Coarse salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted

After she got all of that, she got to work.

She warmed up the milk in the microwave for about a minute and a half. (*If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast*) Then, she stirred in the yeast and let it set for about 3 minutes.  She added the butter and sugar, and then the flour; about 1 cup at a time. Then, the salt was put in. She kneeded the dough for about 10 minutes (what an arm workout!) by hand. You can also use a stand mixer. Then, she put the dough ball into a greased bowl and covered it.

I didn't ask if she tasted the raw dough. But I think I would have.

I didn’t ask if she tasted the raw dough. But I think I would have.

After letting it rise for an hour in a warm place it had doubled in size:

This is how I feel after eating too many pretzel rolls.

This is how I feel after eating too many pretzel rolls.

She then preheated her oven to 375º. After punching  the dough down, she divided it into 12 lumps and rolled them into balls (heh, balls). Then she Combined the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl and dipped each ball in the baking soda water. She cut a slit into each ball and placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. She sprinkled them with coarse salt and baked for about 9-15 minutes (or until browned).

Lovin' from the oven!

Lovin’ from the oven!

 

 

OMG you guys. I pretty much inhaled these things. They were SO. FREAKING. GOOD. After you take them out of the oven, be sure to spread a little melted butter on top with a butter brush. You will NOT be disappointed!

Try It Tuesday

Iiiitttsssss Tuesday!

And while for normal people it means “one day closer to Friday”, to me Tuesday equals either a yummy treat, a helpful hint, or a down right FAIL. Thankfully, today’s Try It is no fail. Oh no my friends, it is one epic WIN.

Its also brought to you by my mom and sister, Bridget!

So BB (that’s what I call Bridget) found a pin on Pinterest (obviously, where else would she find a ‘pin’?) and it looked too yummy not to make. All it said was: take a box of angel food cake, a teensy bit of vanilla, and mix with crushed pineapple.” There was also a recipe for a topping that she found after she did some digging.

My parents LURVE anything pineapple (seriously, when we all went to Hawaii, I think the Dole Plantation went out of business) and were eager to help with this one!

So, first thing, they gathered their ingredients:

Ooooh yeaaahhhh!

Ooooh yeaaahhhh!

Then, they combined the cake mix, crushed pineapple, and a teaspoon of vanilla:

Mmmm...pineapple.

Mmmm…pineapple.

After that, they baked it at 350* for about 25 minutes. When it was done, the cake looked like this:

Hawaiian Heaven.

Hawaiian Heaven.

While the cake cooled, they set to work on the topping.

It was a fairly basic recipe: Cool Whip, vanilla Jell-O, and a small can of crushed pineapple.

I never would've made it to the second step; I would've eaten everything before it got mixed.

I never would’ve made it to the second step; I would’ve eaten everything before it got mixed.

They mixed it all up until they got this:

Nom, nom, nom.

Nom, nom, nom.

When the cake cooled, they spread the topping on the cake.

Piece #3.

Piece #3.

OMG, you guys. This cake was UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE! It was so good! The only thing missing from my piece was me enjoying it in the hammock at my Dad’s Tiki Hut! It was absolutely delicious and tasted like restaurant-quality! Definitely going to make this again!

The Whole Package

This weekend, my sisters and I walked did the Roger Rabbit down memory lane.

(Back story: When we were in elementary school, we all got straight A’s. Because of our awesomeness, my parents bought us all tickets to see New Kids on the Block. You have no idea what this meant to a bunch of NKOTB-crazed, pre-adolescent girls.

Fast forward 23 years to June 29, 2013.)

This past Saturday, Samantha, Bridget and I had tickets to The Package Tour (I found the name of the tour highly inappropriate. But that’s because my mind is in the gutter. Anyway…). The tour was: Boys II Men, 98*, and New Kids on the Block. Yes, you read that right. All of these groups are still touring and making music.

Inappropriate.

Inappropriate.

I’m not going to lie; I was a little worried that the years would not have been good to the guys and that someone was going to break a hip before the night was through.

When we finally got to our seats, the excitement in the arena was palatable. The DJ was awesome, spinning music from our “old school” days (its pretty awesome when an entire arena of people start rapping Ice, Ice, Baby in unison).

Before B2M came out, a video played on the screen. The words said: 133 Weeks at Number One; 9 Grammy Awards; 5 American Music Awards; The Highest Selling R&B Group of All Time. Then, the lights shone down on the guys and the decibel level was off the charts. Bridget started freaking out, making me think back to when we saw Johnny Depp at Comic Con (when he walked out she said: “Oh my gosh, I’m sweating!”).

The guys still sounded AMAZING! They were super high energy and really got the crowd ready for the next two acts. They made me all nostalgic; thinking back to my skating rink days, couple skating with a cute boy. (The stuff raining down from the ceiling in the video is rose petals. Each one of the guys had a dozen single roses they passed out to fans).

When B2M left the stage, Bridget leaned over and said: “Even if we left right now, this would be the best night EVER!” Soon after, we noticed a light shining on the stages that read: 98°

Again, the screams were deafening.

When the guys came out on the stage and Nick Lachey smiled, I swore I heard the audience collectively sigh in admiration. Samantha leaned over to me and said: “He’s so much hotter in person!”

I didn’t know all of 98° songs, but I knew the ones that were played over and over in the summer of ’97. At one point, Hottie-McHot Lachey said: “Man, Oklahoma summer’s are HOT! Mind if I take off my shirt?” And again, I was waiting for every woman in the arena  to pass out. Then, each guy went out into the audience and picked a girl (I seriously thought Bridget was going to pull a Gimli and ask me to toss her down to the floor). They brought each girl on stage and serenaded her with I Do {Cherish You}.

Sigh.

The fourteen year old inside me was swooning hard core.

After 98° finished their set, the house lights came on and we waited with furious fangirl excitement. When the lights went dark, we all screamed until we were hoarse. As the light came up, I felt like I was a kid again.

Each one of us–me and my sisters–had/have a favorite New Kid. Sam’s was/is Jordan, Bridget’s was/is Joey (or “Joe” as he goes by now) and mine’s Donnie. As the spotlights came up on each guy and a close up was shown on the screen, each one of us took our turn swooning. (Poor Danny and Jonathon, they don’t get any love from the Akers’ girls.)

Oh, Donnie...

Oh, Donnie…

They started out with a few songs I didn’t know and then finally got to Summertime, their first hit after coming back from the dead. Then, it got real.

They went straight into Step By Step and The Right Stuff. When they all did their signature dance, the women in the audience lost their religion.

This concert was unbelievable! The guys still sound great and can move like they did back in their teens! Even though it looked like Jonathon was SUPER nervous (he has crazy stage fright and even walked off the stage at one of their earlier concerts in this tour) and wasn’t putting as much heart into it as the other guys, they still did wonderfully. (Jonathon eventually seemed to warm up to the crowd and even went into the stands and hugged/took pics with fans).

Their last song was the one I had been waiting for all night. Donnie started to talk about how their home state, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma had had a rough year. What with the Boston Marathon bombing and multiple tornadoes, we all felt like we had been put through the ringer. However, Donnie said: “We all knew what to do…Because we’re tough.”

Then they all threw on Boston Red Sox jerseys that said “Boston Strong” on the backs and started in to Hangin’ Tough. Be still my heart.

Some of my favorite quotes from the night were:

“Abs must run in the family!” (Bridget, when Donnie took his shirt off)

“I think I may go into premature labor!” (Me, referring to NKOTB)

“He just gets better with age!” (Samantha, whilst drooling over Nick Lachey)

“I cannot stop smiling!” (Bridget, during every performance)

“Did that just happen?!” (All three of us, after Donnie Wahlberg totally made out with a chick from the audience)

“BEST. CONCERT. EVER.” (Samantha and Bridget as we left the ‘Peake)

It was, by far, one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. If I would’ve known it was going to be THAT good, I would’ve bought floor seats; no matter the price. Plus, it was such a blast to get to hang out with my sisters, just us 3, and jam and swoon to the groups of our youth.

National Sibling Day

So, apparently yesterday was National Sibling Day. Yeah, I had no idea either. And apparently, neither did my sisters because I didn’t receive any flowers or candy. Not even a card.

I didn’t even post anything on Facebook. Ergo, a blog post about it.

I am the youngest of three girls. You heard that right: THREE GIRLS. Pity my parents.

My two sisters, Samantha and Bridget, are so great! I mean, look at them:

Aren't we pretty?

Aren’t we pretty?

They’re basically the best ever. They’re both incredibly gorgeous, funny, and smart.

Plus, they’ve introduced me to a bunch of my favorite fandoms:

Harry Potter for life!

Harry Potter for life!

And I know that they’re my biggest cheerleaders:

Go big Blue and White!

Go big Blue and White!

Sure, we fight:

That's what you get for stealing my Barbie!

That’s what you get for stealing my Barbie!

But we always make up. Even if it is just so we can fight again later:

You set a troll loose in my room!

You set a troll loose in my room!

 

But no matter where we are, no matter how old we get, or what the years may bring, we’re sisters:

Heeeyyyy, sexy ladies!

Heeeyyyy, sexy ladies!

 

Sam and BB, I love you both so much. You’re more than sisters; you’re my friends. You’re the people I most want to be like and the ones I want to share “all of the times” with. You’re both amazing women and I’m blessed to call you my sisters.