I have two brothers. Two brothers who are significantly older than me, so really, I was like an only child. But as luck would have it, my brothers are pretty awesome at attracting/picking fabulous wives which means that along with two brothers, I have two sisters-in-law who I love. I met Lynn, Marty’s wife, when I was in late elementary school or middle school (I can’t quite remember how old I was) but Joan I have known my entire life since I was just 9 months old when she married my brother, Mike (that baby in the photo below is me with Joan and Mike – aren’t we all adorable?).
When I was growing up, we shared many family birthday parties because our birthdays are only five days apart (sorry, Joan, for all the strawberry cakes you had for your birthday, in case they were not your favorite). And if I was ever out with Mike and Joan and their kids, people assumed they were my parents (and alternately, people assumed I was my parents’ grandchild when we were out with them – we like to keep people on their toes). Having adult siblings when you are a kid is kind of difficult because you don’t share those same memories of childhood and hanging out together is really them babysitting you. But, I’ve discovered a true bonus to this situation, with my sister-in-laws we never really had that getting to know you period that you get when you meet in-laws as adults, to me they have just always been there as part of my family. Especially with Joan, who has been a part of my entire life, just as much as my brother. How lucky am I?*
Today is Joan’s birthday and I think she just keeps getting better with age! She is one of the women who has helped shape who I am as a person because of who she is as a person. She’s a wonderful wife, loving mother, good friend, thoughtful sister and daughter, and has done it all while working full time, not to mention she is one of my favorite cooks and an impressive hostess. One of my favorite memories of Joan was telling her we were pregnant with Liam – she screamed so loud and was so happy for us, it made my day! It’s easy to take people for granted who have been in our lives for forever, so it’s nice to take a moment and tell them we love them! Love you, Joan – happy birthday to one of the best people I know!