Get your party hats out again 'cuz here we go.
Today is my older sister's Liz's birthday. I don't know if she's passed the age when you stop telling people how old you are but she's a confident woman so I don't think she'll mind.
She is a caretaker!! She is one of those people that sees when people are in need and will go WAY out of her way to take care of them and their family. Adrienne reminded me of the time Liz, my parents, and I went down to So. California for Adrienne's little boy, Ezra's, baby blessing. Liz was just so stoked to be somewhere without her 5 (at the time) children that she just hit the ground running. She made all the food, got up early to make her famous homemade French bread, cleaned the house, and spent all of her down time reading books to Adrienne's little girl. Seriously, she probably did more than my mom, Adrienne, and I combined! And on top of that, she was sick the entire time, started coughing up blood and later found out she had a bad case of bronchitis! She is a workhorse!
So it probably comes as NO surprise that as a natural caretaker, Liz has SIX children -- four girls and two boys -- and they are all two years apart! They are: Taylor (10), Christian (8), Brooke (6), Paige (4), Ellie (2), and Cameron (3 months--who is so chubby that my brother Spencer calls him the Happy Sumo! Ha ha!). My parents had seven kids but I am still baffled by women who are capable of keeping their sanity while successfully running a home and raising good kids.
Which brings me to my next point, Liz is an INCREDIBLE mother. I know all moms have their faults but besides threatening her kids with ridiculous threats like, "So help me Brooke if you don't stop that you're going to get sit outside in your carseat for two weeks!" she really seems almost perfect. I feel terrible that my siblings and I used to giver her a crap when she was first to have children and now?!? We're all just wishing we could be as patient, tender, nurturing, PATIENT, and loving as she is to her children. Her six kids are so lucky to have her as their mother. So lucky in fact that I think it's unfair how lucky they are so I'm going to send my kids to her house so they can get in all that free luck.
She has adorable, good-natured children. Here's Brooke in all her princess glory.
She is a crazy good cook / baker. She seriously can bake like nobody's business. Before my grandma Hazel passed away, Liz made it a point to spend quality time with her and learn some of her baking secrets. Even while pregnant and now a busy mom of six, it's routine at her house to always have homemade wheat bread, fresh, homemade meals, the craziest, sweetest desserts you've ever had. In fact, "homemade" is such a huge part of their lives that she made her little Paige a sandwich on white, Granny Bread (which to me, is quite a treat), and Paige looked at it and said, "Mom! You know I don't eat white bread!"
Liz is a crier. She is one of the most tender-hearted people I know. If I ever need someone to really feel my pain, I call her. She would be the first to cry with me and offer support like no one else could.
She is an iron woman. After about six weeks of having her sixth child, she was out pounding the pavement in the early hours. She runs about three times a week (at least three miles every time) and then does Tae Bo on her off days. Excuse me? Where are all the excuses? Here were mine: "Oh, I just had a baby six months ago, I better not overexert myself, I'm still recuperating." "Uh, yeah, I'm still nursing my 11 month old and I'm afraid running on a regular basis will affect my milk supply so I better not." Not Liz. She is out there at 6:30 a.m. running her little heart out.
Speaking of running, she is a bit on the Speedy Gonzales side. After having finally dusted off my running shoes and gotten into a somewhat regular running routine, I still don't think I could beat my 34 year-old, mother of six, sister in a running race. She played full-back on her high school soccer team and I still remember her haulin' her B-U-N-S (as she calls them) back to defend the goal. She was also quite the screamer at those games. Kay, the mom, didn't like the yelling so much but we were proud of our speedy sister.
She has beautiful blue eyes and passed them on to her kids. This is a straight-out-of-the camera shot of Ellie, her second to youngest.
Liz is a trooper. She hardly bats an eye at the idea of packing up all her kids up and going camping -- even when the weather might be bad. I seriously don't know anyone like her. She believes in really helping her kids experience life and the daunting task of packing, driving, quarrel-stopping, and camping hardly seems to phase her.
Liz, Adrienne and I talk about you all the time. Now that we're both moms, we're in even more awe about how patient and loving you are. Parenthood is not easy, we know that, but you make it seem truly manageable and fun. I look up to you and respect you as the perfect older sister, who has set such an incredible example for me to ATTEMPT to follow. Thank you for being my best friend.