Friday, January 1, 2010

The Four Musketeers

These are my cousins, Sarah, Emilie, (me), and Catherine. We were all born the same year, and through some lucky twist of fate we have ended up being close friends as well as family. We have a long standing (11 years and counting) tradition of spending New Year's Day together. Some years it is the only day we have seen each other. But I am so grateful for this tradition and the relationship I have with these amazing women. I am grateful that each of them has taken the time and effort to invest in staying close through an undeniably busy decade.

10 years ago we were in Disneyland for the Millennium New Year! We were all 20 years old and sure that we were so grown up and ready to take on the world. Including travelling out of state to celebrate with hundreds of thousands of strangers. (Well, it felt like that many.) It was a crazy and fun trip where we spent all day riding every ride and staying up late into every night playing cards and talking, talking, talking.

I am not entirely sure who's brilliant idea it was, but I am fairly certain that it would have been Sarah. Coming up with fun and crazy plans is right up her alley. I know that we actually got there and had someplace to stay because of Catherine. Planning and execution would be her department. Emilie would be in charge of making sure we were all in touch about how we felt about the trip. I was probably the comic relief.

10 years has seen a lot of change. Marriage, moving, schooling, graduations, jobs gotten, jobs lost, birth, death, sickness, health, heartbreak and happiness. And through it all we have been together. Sometimes more together, sometimes less. But even if only once a year we would get together and talk. And talk. We talk a lot. We are very good at it. It's one of my favorite things about our relationship. We can talk about anything and everything, and what starts as a request for house keeping tips could very easily end up in deep, soul bearing discussions about what it means to be the best women we can be.

I love that we are so similar and so different at the same time. I love that we can appreciate each others differences and feel connected through our shared genes and history. I admire and am inspired by each of my cousins for their unique and special attributes.

Sarah is a true people person. She makes everyone around her feel special and interesting, not that she is just making small talk but that she really cares about you and your life. She is a driving force for keeping us connected and always has the great plans for a girl's night or play date with the kids. She is a wonderful mother who takes such joy in teaching and playing with her boys. She makes me want to be more spontaneous and give my children more varied experiences.

Catherine is so smart and driven. She always keeps the conversational ball rolling with interesting topics of discussion. She is the newest mom of us and is so dedicated and loving to her sweet little girl. I think she is also very brave and takes on new life experience with poise and confidence. She makes me want to be better informed and aware of the world outside my front door.

Emilie is so in touch. With her heart and spirit. Talking to her is like having an emotional and mental health check-up. She is very good at helping you to find the words to express how you are feeling and giving you a safe, judgement-free place to express it. She is an amazing mother to four and gives it her all. She is so in tune with each of her children and their needs. She is also quick to sympathize with the failures and frustrations that comes with being the parent of young children. She makes me want to be better at being patient and Christ-like with people, especially my kids.

I love that we start each year renewing these friendships that have been a large part of helping me become the woman that I am today. I love the memories we've made and I look forward to many more years of New Year's Days together.


Emilie said...

Thank you. That was beautiful.

I can hardly wait to see what the next 10 years bring us!

Kamra said...

What an amazing and heartfelt tribute to your cousins. I hope that you will all stay as close as you are now. That is really cool!

Amanda said...

What a wonderful New Year's Day tradition! And what wonderful company! That's amazing that you have such a close relationship with your cousins.

Catherine said...

Thanks Chrissy! That was a beautiful summation that I never could have expressed, although you left out yourself. I would say:

Chrissy is a fun-loving soul who truly loves those around her and has such a tact for expression. I would personally say it is Chrissy that keeps conversations interesting, whether it is a silly phrase that outlasts decades or eloquent blogs that bring tears to my eyes. She is a wonderful mother of 3 children, and as a new mother I am always amazed at how much fun they have with new experiences and projects. You motivate me to produce more magic in my child's (and my own) life!

Sarah said...

I ditto everything both you and Catherine said.

You guys is da bestest!