Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy Birthday My Sister, My Friend, and My Earthly Angel...

It has been well over a year since I have published on my blog. I am sad and I miss it. I use to have a tradition while I was blogging, that I would make a blog post about each family member who had a birthday. I did it for a year and when the October birthdays rolled around (there is an absolutely exorbitant amount in our family). It got to be too much, so I promised them the next year. The next year turned into the next....and as you can tell, the pattern is still in play.
BUT my sister, this sister in particular, deserves that blog for her birthday I dug into the archives and I pulled out the pictures AND along with the pictures come the memories too!
Cara is the oldest of nine children in our family. I followed suite less then a year behind her. Because of our closeness in age our life experiences have been very parallel BUT absolutely opposite in every way.
 We even came out looking totally opposite. Cara had beautiful red, curly, hair, cheeks to kiss and a dynamic performing and dancing personality. I came with blond, thin, straight hair, tall and wispy appendages and a smile.

Our interests and hobbies are very different as well. Cara is musically talented. In voice and piano. Academics is her strong suite. She is gifted and bright. She sees the positive in everyone and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. She is easily entreated. Never in a rush. Is content. She is probably the most Christ-Like person in our family. She is a PHENOMENAL listener.
Many times the things I was talented in got more attention then hers did. She was kind and supportive. Although, we would probably  have never been kindred spirits if we had not been sisters, WE ARE SISTERS. There was divine intervention in that placement. I know I needed her in my life. Although my talents may have stolen some of her limelight....the world, my world, is a much better place because she is in it. 
I remember Cara being bullied in Junior High. I remember that she did not go into self remorse or feeling sorry for herself. Her biggest hurt came from not having someone like her. She LOVES to make EVERYONE HAPPY (even if it means having the most crazy hectic schedule to make it all work) and many times her sadness and disappointment come from not being able to meet EVEYRYONES needs.
Cara on the Jr. High cheer squad-bottom right

People grew up. We moved out of a small town, and Cara thrived. She found dear friends and a happy social system. The friends Cara always made were sincere. They were genuine. She was kind to everyone...but she attracted people like her. Not fake. They enjoyed good, clean , fun and the arts. Her friends are "cream of the crop". They are legit. They are the best of the best.She always had a guy best friend as long as I have known her.

Always having the friend card thrown at her. One of Cara's besties decided he needed the type of person Cara is in his life for eternity, and Cara and John Higley were sealed. They are the most romantic cheezers you could think of. They love the nerdy little cheesy gas station gifts.They are sentimental. Every little thing has meaning and roses and poems. They love listening to the LOVE radio station and all the sappy songs. They LOVE love...what can I say. They are right for each other.

Speaking of. Cara is Beautiful!!! She is the most photgenic person I know. She has awesome hair you can throw into a pony and let loose with ripples of curls witht he most beautiful color. She can look good on the fly. She is not "high maintenance" it doesnt take much to get her looking good!

Cara is your go-to for fun. She is a staunch supporter of it. Although she may not spear head it, you know she will ALWAYS be there, and will ALWAYS have fun and make the best of it. She is like the friend you can always count on in the stands at your games, or the person you need to even things out. She is there! The late night buddy to jump in the car and go. She is ALWAYS up for some good card games, oh heck, GAMES in general. ANY AND ALL.
Sledding with her baby bro Shaun
Infamous BYU dorm cleaning checks....turned into AMERICAN IDOL competition
Part of your BYU experience involves DANCES!!!
Rooming together we did TONS (with cousin Lizzy too)
Serious Game of Sardines in the Quad.
or a prank that was always to be had
RISE AND SHOUT! the Cougars are out!
Cara and I visiting the sacred Grove
We have always been super close to cousins and having reunions...
One of our photo shoots with the LADIES at the reunion

 Cara may not be the best at keeping in touch with friends...but that is because FAMILY is her LIFE!
She  lives for family. She needs to be close to them. They are her social life. IF she has any down time that is what she prefers to do. She plays with them, serves God with them, prays for them, sits by them. She thrives with family around.

 Having 9 children in our family. Cara was a heaven-send to my mom. She was always the 2nd mom . She was "nurturing". She loved cooking, cleaning, baking, and being home with the kids, driving them around. She was a home body and LOVED serving and living and being with family. She saved my mom in some of her darkest hours. Cara seems to be an divinely sent earthly angel for those in need especially when dealing with children.
 Although Cara's mental and physical health has kept her from serving to that extent the last few is what made her who she is and still is. She is a caretaker in every sense of the word.

 We had the coolest cousins ever!
 infamous Friday night pizza with the fam

 Helping care for our Grandmother in her latter years as Alzheimer's was taking her
...with cool cousin Lizzy

 Cousin camp out in the Wasatch mountains
 How lucky were we to have so many cousins close by?

  Cara was a haven for me. Whenever college would get hectic & crazy or I was hurt, or sad...I would find myself with Cara (or other family). My second year at BYU I decided I needed that comfort and "at-homeness", so I roomed with Cara (our dorm room at heritage above). We made so many memories. I learned that year what was most important to me, as I found myself having to defend Cara as I never had before. When push came to shove, family is first. There is a fierce loyalty there. It is nice to come home after an overwhelming day and know that someone is in your corner. Their was no awkwardness...we had been raised together so allot of the roommate contention was alleviated...we had been at this for many years :)

 We even worked at the same dang phone survey place for quite awhile
Cara does not like to be in the limelight or be made to do things first. She is more passive and less being first was hard sometimes.She is a follower and not a leader (but a humble follower) But despite her "fears" she was a great and righteous example to us younger siblings. She never faltered or wavered. She went on a mission first, and subsequently all 9 of us have served or are serving full-time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (saying good-bye to her at the airport above)

 And for whatever reason Cara and her husband have had to battle the unimaginable trial of infertility. Cara has one of the kindest mother hearts I have ever met. With that heart ,as they wait to get their family in whatever form is intended for them, Cara has LOVED my children as her own. Often I have wondered about if I would have a hard time sharing my children with someone else. I don't for a minutes hesitation regret in any form sharing my children with Cara. I believe it is because of my absolute assurance that she is devoted to them and loves them just as her own.
 I truly believe Cara KNOWS and has FELT EXACTLY what it is like to be a mother. She would come and help weeks at a time after I had babies. After FINALLY recruiting her to where we live. I have been able to have her freely, and we have rolled up our sleeves and raised a family of 5 children together.
As many of you may or may not be aware, with the birth of my last son I faced the hardest trial of my life. I suffered from post-partum depression. Having NEVER struggled with mental health issues before. This was a darkness and loss of hope I could not handle on my own. I was paralyzed. I plead with a loving Heavenly Father to save my family as I slipped away and was taken out of a home. I believe he sent Cara. Cara was the angel I was reaching for. She swooped in and kept the family running.
 In that process she "adopted" Rhett. She would sleep over 3 days a week and take the night shift with him. She was with me every day the first 3 months of his life.She was perfect about allowing me to bond with him. She took absolute care of him when his cries would literally make me sick to my stomach. Because of that, you may recognize the special bond that Rhett and her continue to have even as she has started her own family.
Probably one of the greatest things she did was hold me and listen to me.This was beyond my husband or I's capabilities to understand or handle. Cara knew just what to do with me and the baby (as I have sorrowfully watched her own battles with it).Dan could wrangle the rest.
As I can safely say that I can "look back" on that time...I will forever owe Cara my life and the life of my family. It was absolute love that did that.I  now love her in a new way as only one can as she served my family in a crisis. She has a pure and kind and caring heart.
I think it is that love and absolute desire to be a mom that has allowed her to welcome her family in the form of fostering and adoption. That whole family "birth" process comes with its own labor, and as she is in the thick of is wonderful to watch her take it all in stride and like the champion mother heart that she is. The children that will ultimately be hers are so lucky...and those who are touched by her for a short time will forever be changed.

With all this being said. You can see why it has probably taken me 3 or 4 or 5 years to write this...There is just so much to celebrate about Cara being born.
We sincerely LOVE YOU- from your world of genuine friends & your family