Warning: the post you're about to read may seem incredibly sappy, personal, cheesy, etc. But bring on the eye-rolls, because I love my fam.
I love being the middle child. I have an older brother and a younger sister, and I'm so thankful that I'm stuck in between the two of them. Most people love to joke about the "poor, neglected" middle child, but I know for a fact that the word neglect isn't in my parents' vocabulary. Being in the middle has made me able to relate to both of my siblings at all ages. When my brother was 11 and actively and passionately building his Pokémon collection, I was 6 years old and more than happy to trade away all of my good cards for those lame energy cards (if you're not following, check out this tutorial from a Pokémon Professor, because apparently those exist). When I was about to turn 6 years old, my sister was 1, and I was more than happy to introduce her to my fabulous growing jewelry collection comprised mainly of those cheap rings you got at the dentist when you were a kid (still sorry about that one time she swallowed my ring on her 1st birthday though). At every age, I have wonderful memories of time spent with Harper, my sister, and Connor, my brother. To me, family isn't just important--it's everything.
When I made my siblings "strut" down the streets of Barcelona like they do in the Cheetah Girls 2.
I'll never forget how excited I was when Connor once invited me to a personal garage sale in his bedroom. For only $8, I went back to my room with several new prized possessions: beanie babies, old soccer trophies, etc. Since childhood, my brother has had a keen eye for money-making opportunities. Unfortunately for him, he got caught on the garage sale occasion and I got my $8 back but I got to keep all of the out-of-this-world swag I had purchased. I loved to watch him (and occasionally attempt) to play video games and I felt like the luckiest sister in the world when we would sit in front of the TV with our sketchbooks and a paused episode of Dragon Ball Z and sketch the characters in action. As we grew up, I started to appreciate his incredible soccer skills , and I still miss watching him play--especially the times when my mom and I would sit in front of the computer to watch a poor-quality feed of a college game broadcast on some version of ESPN.com. But more than all of that, he is kind, smart, and painfully funny. Making my brother laugh is one of the best feelings in the world, because he makes me laugh constantly and effortlessly. He is incredibly patient. He'll spend an hour on the phone with my grandpa helping him figure out a computer issue without complaint. We're different in a lot of ways--he's far more logical and will forever be the one I text when my computer is acting weird--but we're also similar. We're not afraid to show how much we care for others, we put our family and friends above everything, and, not to brag, but we both pick out really good Christmas presents. I couldn't have asked for a better role model. He's not perfect--hint: nobody is--but the way that he rises to meet every challenge and gets back up when he falls down is inspiring and motivating.
From the moment Harper was born, I was obsessed. I mean seriously. I watched her as a baby for hours on end, playing with her, holding her, and loving when she fell asleep on my stomach while I watched cartoons on the couch. It's hard for me to believe that she's 15 years old now. She's still my baby sister. We called her the butter baby because if you weren't careful, she would literally try to eat a stick of butter as a toddler. She'll probably cringe when she realizes I've shared this with the world, but trust me, there are far more embarrassing stories I could tell. She followed in my brother's footsteps, playing soccer and leaving me the perpetual non-athlete of the family (I tried just about every sport, but the passion was just never there), but she's also incredibly creative, witty, and artsy. Her room is decorated with canvases she painted herself, and she's always practicing some new kind of nail art or coming out of her room in an outfit that makes me wish I had half as much style as she does when I was in high school. I love how much her passions align with mine and how much she cares about creating good in the world. She's just one of those few people in the world who is so full of goodness and happiness and joy that she lights up every room and brings a smile to every face. I have no doubt she'll change the world someday. And, if all that isn't enough, she bakes the best Oreo cupcakes that you will ever eat in your entire life.
So, how could I not be the happiest sibling in the world growing up in between these two? They're my constant support system, my backbone and the reason I love waking up everyday into the life I lead. I'm forever grateful that I get to do life with these two goofballs.