This past weekend, my sister celebrated another birthday, which is closing a memorable year to welcome in an even bigger year. During the past year, my older sister has become a homeowner and, by this time next year, she’ll be a wife. Later this week, we’ll even be picking out her wedding dress. Who knows maybe after her next birthday she’ll be preparing to be a first time mommy?! In her mind, that’s a no, but why not throw it out into the air? Either way, it was nice spending the day with her and I’m glad she enjoyed her special day. I know this is the start to a wonderful year and I wish her nothing but the best.
22 years ago a fabulously loud butterfly graced us all with her presence and was born somewhere in Germany. Who knew that eleven years later she would be brought into my life and would become my best friend? Yes, today my best friend of over ten years turns 22 and, as if I didn’t remember it on my own, Ms. Nicole would never let me forget it. You can bet that she was sending me countdowns to her birthday and reminding Twitter on a daily basis, which just goes to show how modest my BFF is, but that’s why she’s so loved… because she is so unapologetically her own person, making her absolutely one of a kind.
Sure, throughout the past ten years we’ve had our moments of stress and frustration, but we definitely never stopped loving one another. I must say this girl has seen me during my highest of highs and my lowest of lows, but she’s never left me alone and she’s never judged me. If anything, she has been my number one fan and has always encouraged me to grow into the person I am now. I only hope that I have been just as good of a friend to her that she has been to me.
But, honestly, what can I say about my best friend that she doesn’t already know? She’s hilarious, fabulous, loud, talkative, dramatic, loving, and, when she walks into a room, you know she’s arrived. My Boo is the Katy Perry to my Rihanna. She is like a sister to me and I feel so blessed to have her in my life. I can’t tell you how awkward it is when people complain about how crappy their friends are, knowing that I’ve had Nicole for ten plus years and a group of other girlies who have my back no matter what. I honestly hope everyone gets the chance to experience such a strong and healthy friendship because it really is a beautifully special thing. At this point, I know me and my ride or die are in it for life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Birthday Boo!
Today, my big sister turns 27, so I want to wish her a very Happy Birthday. It’s crazy to think about because, when I look at her, I still see a slightly punk teenager living in Long Island, but now the reality is she’s engaged and saving up to be a homeowner. Yup, she’s a big girl now! We’ve had some eventful years together filled with special memories, lots of laughs, and even arguments that I’m grateful for because a lot of them have turned into funny stories to tell or lessons we’ll hold on to for the rest of our lives. Honestly, I’m very proud of everything my big sister has accomplished thus far in her life from graduating college to soaring through her job in the government. I know she’s almost 30 which is scary to say, but she’s got so much life left to live. She’s so smart and I know that this is just the beginning of her long list of successes to come. Personally, I’m glad that our relationship has gotten better and that I have the opportunity to spend as much time with her as I do. I realize that not everyone gets to see their sister everyday and I feel so blessed to have my family so close to me. I know that with this government shutdown is scary, but the best way for my sister to look at it is a little vacation from work for her birthday. I hope she has a great day and weekend filled with love and new memories with the people she loves most.
Happy Birthday Vany!
Today, I want to send out a special congratulations to my big sister and my soon to be brother-in-law for their engagement. This past weekend we all went down to DC for The Color Run and just as the celebratory dance party was at its peak, the DJ announced a couples dance contest on stage. My brother-in-law and my sister went up on stage where they competed in the dance off and then he made a special announcement to my sister. The crowd cheered, my mom cried, and my sister said yes. It was all perfect and I’m glad to have been a part of it. I love those two and I think they are perfect for each other… Congratulations and welcome to the family!
Yesterday was National Sibling Day and, although I missed it by a day, I still wanted to post a little something in honor of my own siblings. Growing up with an older sister and an older brother, I surely have experienced all the ins and outs of not being an only child. Thanks to my brother and sister I’ve been picked on, labeled as annoying, and outsmarted. I hated being the youngest and I hated always being one step behind them two. However, I also benefitted first hand from their teachings, protection, and love. There is really nothing like having a brother and sister who can make fun of you and defend you like their cub all in one day. I’ve had plenty of fights and arguments with my brother and sister, but I’ve had even more laughs and priceless memories. People hate being around me and my brother because we go off on tangents that only we understand. Me and my sister barely have to speak to understand each other, leaving everyone around us lost in the conversation. The three of us can simply eat dinner together and watch TV to have a good time and that’s what I love about my family. We might be getting older with jobs and starting our adult lives, but, in actuality, we’re all still the Vany, Junior, and Tana who used to “ice skate” in the house, watch Legends of the Hidden Temple, and pull all-nighters together for no reason. I love my siblings and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Happy National Sibling Day!
26 years ago, my big sister was brought into this world. From the get go she was a handful from rolling under couches to combing vaseline into her and our cousin’s hair. As she got older, her strong personality didn’t slow down when she boycotted a new bus driver and decided to walk home with our neighbors and our brother or when she refuses to accept defeat by simply saying “that’s fine.” My sister is surely one of a kind and I wouldn’t even try to replace her. As sisters, we have had many big fights and have exchanged some not so nice words, but we’ve definitely created more beautiful memories that only she and I will ever share. I was her personal Barbie doll, we went to our first concert together, and we are each other’s manicurists. She is my big sister and I love her to death. She can dye her hair and I can grow up, but the one thing that will never change is that I am her only little sister and she is my only big sister, so I think it’s safe to say that we’re each other’s favorite sister! There is so much that my sister has done for me (like creating the Sauciana nickname!) that I would be here for a while if I tried listing it all, but I just want to thank her for being a wonderful sister to me. Today, I want to celebrate everything she has accomplished and the person she is today.
I hope you have a very happy birthday and know that I love you very, very much!
Your Little Pumpkin
Your whole life you’re told that your family is your number one support system and that they are the only ones that will never leave you alone. In my case, this is absolutely true. 20 years ago God gave me the best gift I could ever ask for and that is a place in the Figueroa-Ramirez clan. I was given a brother, a sister, a father, and a mother, who all promised to take care of me and protect me in any way that they could just as I will do the same for them. Throughout the years, we have argued, we have laughed, and our bond has been tested, but no matter what, we have never left each other’s side. My father will do whatever he can to look out for myself, my siblings, and my mother. My mom will always put her kids first, even if we ask her not to. My sister will always play the role of big sister, being there whenever she’s needed. My brother will forever hold the title of the protective big brother, prepared to fight in any battle. But God has blessed me even more by allowing us to add another member to our family. Though we don’t share the same blood and he’s not even an in-law yet, he has proven his commitment to this family through thick and thin, which I am forever grateful for.
Family is meant to be the group of people who you may not like all of the time, but you will always love. They are the ones who will tell you the truth and give you advice with your best interest at heart. They will never leave your side, especially when you have nothing to give back to them, but a simple thank you. They shouldn’t do you favors to benefit them, but instead to lighten your burden. They’ll keep your secrets, take on your pain, and will help solve your problems with you. I feel blessed to say that my family is exactly like this. I have recently learned that sometimes a bit of pride, but mostly being conscious that everybody has their own issues to deal with can get in the way of asking for help when you need it the most. Why let others know of your struggle when they have their own worries and responsibilities? Because they’re your family and if you can’t turn to them for help, who can you turn to?
Family may not always be blood or the traditional mother, father, and 2.5 kids make-up, but family is always the one group of people who will find the means to help each other, even when it seems impossible.