Introducing: My Sister and My Grandma

Today’s blog is in honor of two exceptional women: my Sister Dara & my Grandma Redford.

Dara, Grandma and I two Christmas Eve's ago.

Dara, Grandma and I two Christmas Eve’s ago.

Why?

Because today is their birthday! 

I told you on Saturday that you were going to get to know me more this month; well, today I am introducing you to my family.   We’ll start with Dara.

She’s the only older sibling I had growing up (I have 4 more now that I am married), so naturally I am inclined to think that she is the best.  But trying to speak as a completely neutral, third-party observer, with absolutely no personal interest in the matter (She’s the Man anyone?) Dara really is in the upper echelon of older siblings.

She is one heck of a good cook, she’ll go to endless lengths to do something awesome for you, she sent me a care package EVERY MONTH for all 4 years of college, she protects me, growing up she made sure that I was well-versed in all important pieces of pop culture like Pretty in Pink and 10 Things I Hate About You, she and I basically have our own language when communicating like Rory and Lorelai Gilmore.

Possibly the only time that you ever let us match.

Possibly the only time that you ever let us match.

Dara would read with me all growing up.  We read all of the Chronicles of Narnia and Nancy Drew books together.  She let me be her shadow; even when she was in high school and I was 5-8 years old. She took care of me and made me spaghetti –o’s when I got super sick while spending the weekend at college with her.  She has ALWAYS been there.  She even flew all the way from California to Florida to watch me play in the national soccer tournament.

Hands down one of the best pictures we have ever taken! Us doing our thing.

Hands down one of the best pictures we have ever taken!
Us doing our thing.

Dara is one of the most entertaining people I have ever met.  She might not have been around to teach me how to do my makeup (….I still don’t know how to do makeup), but she was there when I needed her on the wedding day to drop everything and get rid of my dark circles for me.  And I think the most striking thing about her, the thing I have always looked up to the most, is that Dara possesses a quality true, natural beauty that I don’t think I have seen the like of in anyone else.

So happy birthday Dara!

Thanks for teaching me to be strong and always making me feel like the most beautiful, talented, and important girl in the world.  Thanks for putting up with all of my middle school fashion faux pas’s.  And thank you for teaching me to speak my mind by training me to tell all your guy friends in high school that Brittney Spears was a slutty ho.  Thanks for teaching me to like action movies. Thanks for teaching me to value tradition (specifically chocolate balls at Christmas Eve). Thanks for teaching me to make the secret family recipe brownies.  Thanks for the road trips and weekend visits.  Thanks for taking pictures with dead animals in Cabella’s that one time.  Thanks for everything!  And here’s to one day living closer to each other again =)

And now Grandma, I know you subscribe to my blog via email, so I know you will see this.

My grandma is quite the adventurous woman! She was doing tai chi for a while, and she is always flying all over the place to visit her kids, grandkids, and greatgrandkids.  She raised a whole family of awesome cooks!  I leave every Redford family dinner 5 pounds heavier.  She is very generous.  She raised a family of very good-humored people; I also always leave Redford family dinners with sore cheeks and an ab workout from laughing so much.

I wanted to say thank you for introducing me to chocolate balls (the ones that Christmas Eve isn’t complete without).  Thank you for making gingerbread men with me when I was little.  Thank you for having and raising my dad; without him and the great father that he was, I would not be the woman who I am becoming.

Grandma and the 3 of us Grandkids from my family.

Grandma and the 3 of us Grandkids from my family.

Thank you for welcoming Will into your family with a huge smile and open arms (I tell him that you like him more than me haha).  Thank you for always supporting me in all of my mission trips and trekking around the world.  Thanks for taking such great care of Grandpa so I could have a chance to have so many memories of him (He would always take me into the basement and show me on his old globe where the country was that I was planning on going to that summer; he was always so proud of me and excited for me).  Thank you for loving the Lord and praying for all of us.  Thank you for always having a box of bendy straws in the drawer – every drink taste better when you drink it with a bendy straw.

For those of you who read all of the way through this post – you know a lot about me now. I would like to know you more.  Please leave me a comment and tell me something about your family.   And as a warning, there might be one or two more posts like this during the JuneBug Challenge because June is one happening month in my family.

I hope you appreciate your family members.  They are the one constant we have.  Friends come and go, but your family is always there.  Value them and treasure them.

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