The Sister in Law

Tonight, J is on a plane to California. I knew I was going to miss her, but it’s only now dawning on me just how MUCH I’m going to miss her. This place doesn’t feel the same!

I waited these extra couple days to sit down and write because I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much time with her as possible. My other sister in law and I planned a little surprise party last week and everyone got together to sing and eat cake and say their last good byes. I made J a calendar full of pictures for her to remember us by (It came exactly on time, too! Shutterfly is the best!). We also had a last romantic breakfast (Patisserie Florentine in Englewood- so adorable!) and last romantic comedy (How to Be Single, finally) together.

“The Last Breakfast” at Patisserie Florentine. J ordered their Tartine de Saumon

J is a couple years younger than my husband and a couple years older than me. She’s always been very close to and protective of her family and I used to be intimidated by her like all the rest of them! My friends used to see pictures of J and I on family vacations or little outings and say, “You and your sister in law seem really close.” and a puzzled look would come across my face. I mean, to be honest, I didn’t feel that close to her before (blame it on the pressure of being an inlaw, the language barrier, tension over different opinions about things, who knows exactly). But NOW, I can say with certainty that after living next door to her for almost 9 months, I’ve grown to absolutely adore her! We’ve talked more than we ever used to and learned more about each other we never knew. While she was living here, we had a couple of arguments but we have grown to understand each other and grown closer through them.

J has changed a lot since we first became inlaws 7 years ago. She has matured in so many ways, probably more than she knows. The woman she is now is empathetic, understanding, reasonable, reliable, responsible, hard working, determined, and brave.  She’s also pretty funny (and I know funny! 😜) 

And that’s not all! J’s patience and motherly instinct has grown in leaps and bounds (I must say she has my kids to thank for that 😉) In fact, she’s excellent at handling my (often rambunctious) kids. She has spent several days and nights feeding, entertaining, dressing, even putting to sleep both my 2 and 4 year old! Anyone who loves and understands my kids wins me in a second.

I’m so impressed by you, J! I’m going to miss sneaking over after my kids fell asleep to watch movies and gossip on your bed. I’m moping around asking myself Who’s going to make pumpkin pie with me?, Who’s going to do my nails?, Who’s going to massage me?, and most importantly, “Who’s going to go to the gym with me?” I’m seriously dismayed at the thought of losing my gym buddy.

I love you, J! I hope you’re welcomed with open arms in Cali, and that you feel completely loved and taken care of because you so deserve it. You’re beautiful and strong and you’re going to do great things over there! Until we meet again (really, really soon!!!) 😘

The Other Best Friend

Wait, what? I thought you just did a post on your best friend.

Yes, you are correct! Thanks for paying attention! It means a lot.

Coincidentally, I am one of the lucky few who actually has TWO best friends. Can you imagine? All the warm fuzzies and life enriching perks that come with having a best friend TIMES TWO!

You lucky devil.

I know.

D is actually C‘s sister. (That family must have some fantastic genes.) D is the mommy figure if you had to pick one out of all the siblings (there are a lot, by the way!). Watching her interact with her siblings and friends during those couple of years we spent together, what stood out to me was her nurturing heart. She is incredibly caring, considerate, and compassionate. She is also exceptionally patient and responsible. She has been this way since 2005 and has grown into an all around mature, independent, and elegant woman that I admire and aspire to be like.

Also, let me take a moment to say that she actually IS a mother now!!! (CONGRATULATIONS, MY LOVE!!! YOU DID IT!!! You are beautiful and strong and an inspiration.) I simply have no words for how excited I am for her and her hubby starting this exciting chapter in their lives. Now D and I will have even MORE hilarious stories and helpful advice to share with each other (after we’re done complaining about sleep deprivation and never ending laundry).

Some of my fondest memories with D are of us singing together. We are so in love with singing. It’s not about how we sound (though we’re not too bad if I do say so myself), but about feeling free and alive when we sing. D taught me to not be afraid of my voice; to sing loud and passionately for all to hear (we may or may not have sent her annoyed siblings running for the hills on occasion).

D spent a time overseas during which our communication took a dip (we have time difference and phone bills to thank for that). Like with C, however, no matter how much time passes between our phone conversations, we never develop an awkwardness or a distance. Our friendship is zip-lock sealed (for freshness)! It is and always will be a genuine and simply real connection.

I was reading a book by Mindy Kaling (This woman is so funny) and she mentioned best friends turning into just friends and that sounded so horrifying! I would never forgive myself if I let that happen between C and D and I. These sisters are the best thing that’s ever happened to me (besides the obvious ones). If you could see love, ours would be bright, bold and endlessly (obnoxiously) glittering.

The Best Friend

I have a best friend. An AMAZING one at that. She is there for me when I need her, she gets my (sometimes wacky) sense of humor, and she wholeheartedly supports me in whatever I do and wherever I go in life. I’m tempted to whip out my Maid of Honor speech right about now, but I will spare you as it could get super emotional up in here!

To sum it all up, this girl has changed my life. I know, I know, super cliche. I can’t get away from cliches with this one. Practically every sappy BFF cliche out there applies in our situation. We used to joke that if only one of us had been male, we would have been the perfect storybook couple (Fortunately, we did find ourselves some pretty stellar alternatives).

Our friendship began in the days of yore, in those good ol’ days I was telling you about. I was in the middle of high school and I thought I was happy, but I was starting to realize I actually wasn’t. I wanted to change courses in my life (I’ll spare you the dramatic – eh, not too dramatic – details). I wanted to rediscover the core of who I was and what I wanted. It was the perfect time for me to make a best friend (well, a new one. In the course of me trying to become a better person, I neglected many people I loved. Long story. One I may or may not get to…). And this is when I met C. We were young; we were doe eyed and bushy tailed. I had recently decided to do away with my hesitations and reservations about getting close to people and was eager to be free and real, my genuine self. C was just plain friendly and cheerful; so welcoming and so refreshing. And there we had it. The perfect recipe for BFFdom.

I have had this conversation with C. About how the timing for two people to become close has to be just right. Because people are always going through whatever drama they’re going though (women especially – sorry) and there are only certain points in time when each person is open to starting a new friendship. Willing to be vulnerable. To let their guard down. To love someone. To build something new. (I can hardly imagine how much more complicated this is when it comes to romantic relationships. I’m not an experienced dater – see arranged marriage – , so someone will have to fill me in on those deets.) Being best friends with C during my formative years of life contributed a lot to who I am today. I’d like to think a lot of my confidence and happiness with who I am came from her and her family.

C has a bubbly, infectious personality. She is the life of the party: friendly, funny and smart (not to mention freaking gorgeous!). The truly great thing about C, though, is that she genuinely just wants everyone to be happy. She is the last to judge and the first to offer forgiveness and understanding. She is also exceptionally thoughtful. She was the only person who sent me a card on the anniversary of my mother’s passing. That’s how well she knows me; how well she knows how I feel and what I need.

She told me on one of our late night phone chats, and I’ll never forget it, “Diane, no matter what, I’m on your side”, despite me expressing that I was in the wrong and I had just made a mess of things.

I want to end with this love note to C: You are my better half, you complete me, and I am forever and a day on YOUR side. (Yes, I stole that from my Maid of Honor speech. I had to use something! That thing was beautiful!)

No More Naps for Mama

So remember when I said I liked to use the time T was at daycare to take naps? Welp! Those days are over! My daughter (you may recall, my little “angel baby”) has decided it’s time for her to nap later in the day (only one nap a day now). Our new routine is that I get her down around 12:30/45 just in time for me to go pick up her brother. I’m a little bit disappointed that I no longer have “nap” as one of my available options during the first half of the day… She’s also been waking up at night again! Three times last night… YAYYYYYY. I suppose this is the one they call the “14 Month Sleep Regression” (you know, the one right after the 13 Month Sleep Regression and before the 15 Month Sleep Regression? Ok, I’m exaggerating. But sometimes it feels like it never ends!) I will confess that when I refer to a baby being a “good” baby or an “angel” baby, I basically just mean they sleep easily and soundly! My daughter is still relatively easy to get down, but she seems to be awoken more easily now. There was one time she just lay herself right down mid-playtime and nestled in for a nap right in the middle of the living room among the firetrucks and Transformers (poor girl has to make due with her brother’s hand-me-downs). I look forward to the day this miracle might occur again with stars in my eyes!

Sooooo, I’m back to being tired ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Thank God T isn’t waking up at night anymore (He was sick a few weeks ago). I would be FINISHED.

On a less depressing note, last week, I went out with a couple of girlfriends to watch Sisters in theaters. For my Jersey folks, if you haven’t been to the Starplex Cinemas in Ridgefield Park and experienced their luxury reclining armchairs, go check it out! Totally upgrades the experience. I don’t know how long they’ve been there, but I have been missing OUT! Since having kids, going to see movies has dropped on my priority list from somewhere in the top 10 to about….349. I think the last movie I saw in theaters before this one was Gravity (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) with the Mister.

Sisters was just ok for me. Tina Fey (let me just mention real quick that she is one HOT mama! She and Amy Poehler both have two kids). It was a fun enough way to pass the time, but it didn’t stand out in any way. Most of the movie takes place at a party the middle aged sisters throw as a way of reliving their youth and proving to themselves and their friends that they’ve “still got it”. Both women are hilarious and have great chemistry (made me wish I had a sister!), but I wouldn’t plan on rewatching the movie anytime soon. I DO, however, plan to have another girlfriends outing ASAP! If I can’t get a decent nap during the day, the least I can do is squeeze in a little decent adult conversation now and then 🙂