Thursday, October 24, 2013


Today is my sister-in-law Ashley's birthday.  I love her so much, and I don't really know where to start with this blog tribute.  I've actually been thinking about it for a week now, and I still feel like I don't know quite how to put Ashley into words.  I guess I will just start writing and see what happens!

Ashley is Ryan's only sister, and she was a junior in high school when Ryan and I got married.  Today she is turning 25 and is a wonderful wife and mother.  It's crazy how time flies, and I have been privileged to watch Ashley become an amazing woman over the last eight years.  I admire her and am so grateful for our relationship.

Ashley is very talented.  Like her mother, she is a great seamstress with an eye for color and an ability to put things together in a beautiful way.  She has put countless hours into developing this skill, and I am always in awe of the lovely things she creates.  (I also love it when we benefit from her skills--she has made Noah tons of adorable ties, and for his second birthday, she made him a little train backpack which he calls his "purse." Hilarious.)  She is also a great cook and enjoys putting together delicious meals.  I really admire her talents in these areas because I have no domestic abilities.  (I must add that I also love that Ashley doesn't judge me for being so inept at homemaking.  Just the other day when I accidentally baked her birthday cake in a 9x13 pan instead of the 12x18 pan that the recipe called for, and the middle caved in a bit and the frosting was messy and ugly, she told me it was perfect.)

Ashley is quiet like Ryan, but she has a lot of spunk and strong opinions under her quiet exterior, and I love it.  She is a great listener and easy to talk to, not just because she will let me talk for hours (which she does) but also because she will give her opinions and advice.  She is very wise, and I'm so glad that we can share our hearts with each other.  She is one of the people with whom I share pretty much everything--she even puts up with me emailing her excerpts from my journal and other deep thoughts when I am feeling sentimental or melancholy.  Ha! I am so glad she is always willing to listen to me.  She is truly one of my best friends.

Ashley is the absolute sweetest aunt to Noah.  I'm not quite sure how to explain it--I've just always sensed the strength of her love and loyalty to him, even from the time he was a tiny baby.  She loves him.  She has taken the time and effort to get to know him--his personality, his likes and dislikes, his quirks.  I know she will always be a huge part of his life, and I consider that to be such a gift.

When Ashley's own baby was born almost a year ago, I felt so nostalgic.  It was the first time that one of my little sisters had a baby.  We were actually in Pocatello for the holidays when we got the news of Kate's birth, and I remember standing in Ashley's childhood room before I put Noah to bed that night (his pack-and-play was in her room), and I looked around at the framed photos and mementos from her high school years.  I marveled at the fact that she was all grown up and had her own baby now. I felt so blessed that I got to be a part of her teen years, and that I got to see her marry and become a mother, and that I will get to be a part of her children's lives.  I adore little Kate, and I love that she is a mini Ashley with her beauty and spunk.

When Ryan and I were on our honeymoon, Ashley sent me the sweetest email--it meant so much to me that to this day I remember where I was when I read it.  She told me that she was grateful that after 16 years of having only brothers, she finally had a sister.  I am so grateful that Ashley has always treated me and loved me as a sister--because I've always felt that way about her as well.  I am so grateful that we get to share our lives and our children with each other.

So happy birthday to an amazing woman who has greatly enriched my life.  Thank you for all of the handmade gifts, delicious meals, long talks, and good laughs.   I love you, Ash, and I am grateful that you are one of my sisters!!


  1. This is one of the nicest things anyone has written about me. Thanks for making me feel like a million bucks! I am one lucky girl to have you as my sister. Love you Rachel!

  2. I think it's great you do these tributes! Happy birthday to your SIL! :)


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