Last weekend my two sisters, Jillian and Olivia, decided on a bit of a whim, to come down for a brief visit. I think I’m still living in the glow of that wonderful visit.

Being the oldest girl in the family, I think I often felt I had to be more mom or bossy big sister than friend or playmate. Jillian is severalyears younger than me and, growing up, was more of a tag-along than a playmate. She drove me crazy copying everything I did, even the unique way I wrote my a’s (sorry Jillian, I really am over it but I couldn’t resist!) and wearing my clothes. At the time the one upside I found to my shadow was that she was incredibly gullable and would do whatever I told her, so I would let her follow me around…but only if she’d let me paint a “J” on her back in bright red nail polish. 🙂 She also claims that I told her they wouldn’t let her into kindergarten if she didn’t know how to do a cartwheel and handstand. So I kindly offered to teach her. She recalls flipping and falling all evening out in our yard, desperate to get it right so that she would be allowed to go to school. I, however, don’t have any memory of this.

When I moved to Wyoming I had no friends, everybody my age seemed to have just two hobbies: working and getting drunk. Jillian quickly became my best friend. With Jillian I found that I can ALWAY just be myself and know that she will laugh with me, play along with me, love me, and treat me honestly. After I moved back to Oregon she came out twice to stay with me, once while I was dating Kris and then planning a wedding. Some of my best memories are of those visits.

Then, there’s Olivia. She was, and still is, the exception in our family. While all the rest of us fit in as redheads, her beautiful blonde hair stands out. She’s tall, slender, opinionated, hilarious once you get her laughing, and oh so talented in the arts. With Olivia anything is possible once she sets her mind to it and she is by far the most stubborn and determined of all the Krischkes (and that’s QUITE a statement).

I was a teenager when she was born and saw her as my adorable baby sister. I loved to hold her, dress her up in cute outfits, and play with her beautiful curls when she was a toddler. She was the topic of one of my speeches in high school (how much toddlers learn and assimilate every day) and even made a guest appearance in my speech class. I loved showing her off to my friends and flaunting my great responsibility as an older sister. 

As the years progressed Olivia and I grew apart rather than together. Not because we didn’t get along, just because we were in such different places in life. She was in Wyoming, I was in Oregon. She was going to middle school, I was getting married. We had little in common and little to talk about. One year, when she was in high school, she spent a part of her summer with me. I wanted to be the cool older sister but I realized that I knew little about my sister and the person she had become. I struggled to relate to her and I thing that she felt the same way.

Now we’re all “adults” and though we’re still in different phases of life, it doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue. Jillian’s married, Olivia is graduating soon and starting to think about post-high school. She has two jobs and is so much more responsible and mature than I was at her age. So this short little visit from my two sisters was just heavenly. There were no pretenses, no posing, no awkward moments, no manipulations, no wondering what does she actually mean by that, no feeling like somebody was left out, and no big sister/little sister roles, we were just us-together. We laughed, did each others hair and make-up, traded clothes, laughed a LOT more, went shopping, played Marco Polo in the pool, cooked, gave each other more nicknames, rollerbladed, hiked, mothered Jennika, and just enjoyed being together. It blessed me beyond words that they made the 6 hour drive down to see me, that they like coming to visit, and that we all get along so well. It blessed me to know I could just relax and be myself and know that we all were completely content.

I can honestly say that though I have many wonderful friends, there’s no friendship that even comes close to that of my sweet and wonderful sisters. I am so, so blessed to be related to such incredible women! I so look forward to many many more years of sweet unity with them.

So my sweet sisters, all I can say is thank you. Thank you not just for this visit but for letting me be myself and for letting me see the real you. Thank you for putting up with all my crazy ideas and bossiness throughout the years. Thank you for being my friends, my best friends. I love you!~Cupcake Burtle Nikki 🙂

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