Melinda, thank you for educating me about music at a very young age and for surrounding me by cute music playing boys that probably only played with me to impress you. I remember you let me sit down in the basement (we used to always play jump rope down there in the winter) while they played their guitars and wrote goofy songs. When you and Nanci asked me to help you create the answering machine message with Bjork’s “It’s Oh so Quiet,” I knew you were cool then and it made me want to grow up and be cool just like you. Nanci would come over and Mom would adjust her recipes so they were vegan. Nanci gave me a huge coloring set for my birthday when I turned eight. She gave Jared a cool nickname and I was jealous so she called me Ladybug. Jared and I sang at her baptism. I remember lots of band boys crashing at out house (i.e. The Fairlanes when I was nine). You would all skateboard and you would let me sit outside and watch. I remember putting little buns all over one guys head. You taught me shopping at the thrift store was cool and that navy blue corduroys never go out of style. You came to visit and gave me a Mickey Mouse ring watch and pierced my ears for me when I turned 10 (you worked in a piercing shop at the time). Thank you for teaching me to have an opinion and to not care what others think.
Kerstin, thank you for teaching me that if you don’t like how things are going in life, do something about it. You’ve shown me what it looks like to work hard. You’ve shown me what it looks like to be patient. Thank you for educating me on the basics of style and fashion early on; although I probably break most of those rules nowadays ;) Thank you for always letting me borrow your clothes. Thank you for treating Jared and I to the movies (A Goofy Movie) or taking us to lunch when you probably would have rather been out with friends. You always let me tag along and made me feel older. When I came back to visit Texas over the summer after 8th grade I stayed with you at your apartment and you treated me like an adult. Thank you for showing me how to make others feel special and important. You were/are always doing nice things for others and have a huge heart. You’ve always been a really good listener and I’ve always appreciated that. Thank you for doing my hair and makeup for countless school dances. Everyone was always jealous they didn’t have a sister that was as good as you. You always created the best clubs and parties. Thank you for being an amazing example of a good host. Everyone always wants to be invited to your parties!
Kiana and I in Japan
Kiana, thank you for telling me big girls don’t cry. You began telling me that when I was five and we were living in Hawaii. Thanks for standing up for me when I was six and Emily Jewell who was nine wouldn’t let me play with the rest of the group. I can imagine it wasn’t very fun for you sharing a room with your sister that is four years younger than you, but you always at least tried to be patient with me when I would borrow your stuff without asking. Thank you for always comforting me by telling me stories when I would get scared at night. I’m so glad you are the care free happy person you are. To this day I don’t know the difference between the Back Street Boys and Nsync because by your standards they were uncool. The Spice Girls’ lyrics “didn’t make sense” or so I would tell my friends at recess. I did however know all the lyrics to the Jagged Little Pill album. I always looked up to you and was proud to have you as my sister. My friends would come over and want to hang out with you instead of me and I would get really jealous! Thank you for creating various dance routines with me (my favorites having to be the ones we made to “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from The Lion King and “I Feel Good” by James Brown). You’re my favorite person to work out with. Thanks for teaching me to be tough. You even made it into the Jr. Navy Seals (the neighborhood boys only club). Thanks for always making the time to have tea parties with me.
Thank you for being my big sisters. I couldn’t have asked for better ones. I love you.