the pictures above are of all my babies. sometimes in my head they feel more like babies than siblings. blake was born when i was 13, so especially blake is my baby. oh, blaker.
of all the roles a girl could play, i think being a big sister is probably the sweetest.
blake is our baby brother. he's such a good man. he's 18 now, that's a man, right? that's so weird. he's graduating from high school in june with a good college waiting for him, he's putting in his papers to go serve a mission, he's pretty dang handsome, and he has a good head on his shoulders. when blake was little he used to call me whenever he had a stomach ache, and i'd help him to decide whether he was feeling nervous about something, and why, and then i'd help him calm down until he felt better. blake, i'm glad your stomach aches are gone, but i sure do miss those phone calls. sometimes when my stomach aches with worry over silly, stupid things i'll think of you and it helps me feel stronger. i am so excited for you to get married some day because i think whoever you pick will be the raddest.
alex came to live with brandon and me and the boys in idaho once when she needed a job and the moscow q'doba was hiring, and we became the best of friends. girl is the world's worst burrito roller. but she's the one to call when you need to analyze something all the way down to its insides. she has such confidence and her ability to be herself is inspiring. she is loud and she is fearless and she is infectious.
and now for a word about amanda. amanda is turning 27 tomorrow. i cannot BELIEVE this. amanda will always be 12 to me. (amanda was downright HYSTERICAL when she was 12.) amanda is like a butterfly. she has always been so polished and pretty. i remember she used to paint her nails every night to match her outfit for the next day, which she laid out on the floor as if they were covering an invisible body, all the way down to her jewelry. she's always known exactly who she is and what she wants from life, and i've always admired her thoughtfulness and quiet determination. she's the kind of girl who can make mountains move without showing even the slightest effort. i remember when amanda was born. i was three and a half and i thought for sure that she was mine, like my mom had just given me this little squiggly present. these days she is such a support. our boys are two months apart and i'm so pleased we get to raise babies together. i used to feel so jealous of amanda. she was the pretty one, i was the smart one. i'm not sure where we got that stupid idea, it definitely wasn't from our parents, but that was the ammunition we lobbed at each other during the high school years when our fights were at their worst. but amanda, you're pretty and you're smart. you are doing beautiful, wise things with your life and i'm so proud of you. you are a good mom. and i just like you so much! happy birthday tomorrow, we treasure you so!