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Girl's Day

In Japan, today they are celebrating "Girl's Day"...it's a really fun holiday where we would set up a very ornate display of the Emperor marrying his Emperess.  Little Japanese girls, us three included, would have so much fun celebrating being a girl...But, in our home, it was always extra special 'cause it's also my sister, Rebekah's birthday and in two weeks, it'll be Heidi's.

I know you may get tired of reading how much I love my sisters, but I don't get tired of writing about it, so I'm going to take today to brag on my big sisters, because they would never do it themselves! :)

Bek and Heidi created the "norm" for what I thought it meant to be a girl, a sister, and a friend.  I used to get annoyed when people would say that girls are emotional and catty...because my sisters weren't, so I thought that's how all girls were.  My sisters have always been extremely loyal friends and I've never seen them cry to manipulate or to get their way.  

(Rebekah in kindergarten standing by her best friend)

At a very young age, I knew my sisters were exceptionally kind.  They have always looked out for me.  I remember Heidi having a friend over for a slumber party, and I came into her room with my sleeping bag.  Her friend said, "Um, what are you doing?! You're not sleeping with us."  I was in shock because it didn't even cross my mind that I WOULDN'T be sleeping with them (Yes, I was a very annoying little sister).  I looked at Heidi in shock and she looked a little caught off guard as she came and took my sleeping bag and said to her friend, "Yeah, she is. I want her to."  I've never forgotten that...her choosing to stand up for her little sister.

(Me and Heidi outside the apartments where we lived in Japan)
Rebekah was always the ringleader in all our crazy games and play times.  We never had Barbies or dollhouses...not sure why.  Instead, we grew up playing for hours with legos...we'd go in a circle and each get to pick out a piece for our house.  Then, Rebekah and I would join ranks and consolidate our pieces.  She'd build this huge house that had a lot of levels and unique features to it, as I'd look on and give her a lot of oooohs and aaaaahs...Heidi would build her little square house and then go take a nap until we were done.  We'd also love to play "Persecuted Christians" as we'd hide in a closet and sing hymns.  Then, someone would come pounding on the door as we'd scream and run out.  

Living in Japan, we'd keep a lot of company, and we were more than excited to provide the entertainment...


This was on the first day of going to an American school (shout out to North White!)...As you can see, I was terrified and was doing everything I could to keep from crying...with very little success. 


I remember they made sure to have me sit in-between them on the bus and they held my hand telling me I was going to be okay...that's pretty much what they've done my entire life.  They are the first to compliment and brag on me and any accomplishment I may have had in life.  I always have to dig to find out about what they've done.

As they've grown into these beautiful women, they continue to set an example for me of what a woman looks like.  Next to their husbands (and even more in some areas), we know eachother and have been through the most together...and with that said, they are two of the most Godly women I know.  They are my best friends, my mentors, my sounding boards.  Someday, if I have a family...if I were half the wife and mother they are, I would be a huge success.  They have shown me what it looks like to love and honor a husband and to love their children unconditionally.  

(Matt and Bek were my first "couples" shoot ever)


(Jarod and Heidi were my second)











Bek,

Happy Birthday!  I hope you know with great confidence how much you're loved, and how you have made my life so fun, exciting, and unique.  I wouldn't trade my memories for anything because you're in almost all of them.  Have you noticed that all my hobbies reflect yours? It's because I so much want to be like you...you're my inspiration in life and my work.  You've been the unsung hero in our family ever since Mommy died...you took the responsibility of stepping in and being the "mom" to a family who was so very sad, and because of your dedication to us, our family is what it is today. You've been a living example to me of what a mother's love looks like for children with special needs...you are neither ashamed of them nor are they your soapbox for attention.  They're your children whom you adore...and even though I know you cry for them sometimes and are frustrated at other times, you've embraced who they are exsactly as they are, and through that, your life is a ministry.  You validate the value of their uniqueness and shine a light on their gifts by how much you love and are proud of them.  I love you more than I could say.  Have a very happy birthday. 



Heidi,
Happy Birthday...in a couple weeks! :)  I love you so much...you are one of the most genuine and sincere people I've ever known.  I remember so many times, Daddy would brag on you to people about how you were always happy and in a good mood...the peacemaker of the family.  It's true...God has given you an ability to laugh at yourself and not take offense to anything very easily...it's a very rare quality.  You have always been the person that looks to make others look good and as a result, you can't even guess how beautiful it makes you.  You have a heart and love for God that truly baffles me at times...it's not based on emotion or circumstances and you never question His goodness in your life, no matter how ugly life gets.  I know with every fiber in me that He IS your true love.  Your wisdom is beyond your age.  You've never been a victim of difficult and ugly situations...instead, you've used it to grow you and have a tender heart to others in pain.  You and Bek are the funnest people to be around...you can make any situation a party.  To be known as your sister and to resemble you in any way is the highest compliment I could get.  I love you with ALL of my heart.

To all you ladies out there...
Have fun being a girl today and if you get the chance, thank a woman or girl who has been a great example to you!

 Happy Girl's Day!

10 comments:

Rebekah said...

Tami,
I was laughing and then crying by the end of this. (I guess girls do cry) :). I feel so honored to be your sister and I think (although some others may disagree) that no one has a sister bond quite like we do! I Love you and can't thank you enough for writing this. I printed it off...I will always treasure this!

Happy Girl's Day to you too!...We need to get together and eat pink rice or something!

Rebekah said...

also, couldn't agree more with what you said about Heidi.

and of course Heidi, you are part of the incredible sister bond I was referring to above! :)

Amber said...

I agree with every word you wrote Tam. : )

I always think of Rebekah and girls' day since it's the twins' birthday too.

I think they're in good company with her. : )

leisle deisle said...

oh my word, i was laughing out loud at the thought of you girls playing "persecuted Christians" in the closet. so cute!

heidi said...

Tami, I have to say I DEFINITELY did not deserve the wonderful things you said about me! But oh how sweet you are and how much I appreciated them. I was going to write a post to Bek on her Birthday, but it's funny how you said word for word, what I was trying to formulate in my mind. Shows how true your words are and how well we must know each other. I love you and Bek more than you know. -H

emilykate said...

Oh my I love this post. Such a fun progression...aren't sisters the best?!

And it's so funny you girls went to North White!

And I'm definitely in favor of 'girls day'!

Brooke said...

Playing persecuted Christians... were you three the perfect children or WHAT?!

I think a lot of all three of you, and pray that my girls will have a bond like yours... what a gift!

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

So sweet and so true...sisters are great!

Whitney and Isaac said...

Oh my gosh tami i laughed so hard that i cried my eyes out when you said you played persecuted christians!!! hahaha That was the funniest thing I've heard in forever!
and then I bawled my eyes out because then rest was so sweet. Love you guys. PS you guys were so adorable as little kids! Will looks just like Heidi!!

Kait H. said...

ahhhhh hahahah like everyone else I'm dying laughing about the persecuted christians story... that is the funniest thing. I can just picture you guys as little kids doingthat. haha I also love taht aunt kathy and my mom had the same idea of giving us all boy hair.. seriously what is up with that haha. Loved this post, i laughed and cried because of your sweet words. ithink the same things about heidi and Beks, and Look up to you as well just as much as i do them! love you all! :)

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