An ode to my sisters—my built-in best friends for life

Thank you for being there for me, listening to me whine, and loving me no matter what.

An ode to my sisters—my built-in best friends for life

I have three sisters, so I’ve always had someone to play with or—now as an adult—connect with. For example, when I wanted to “play house” I had my younger sister who wanted to play, too. (And I always got to be the mom which was the highest honor). When I moved out of that phase, I had my older sister who let me hang out with her friends (even though I wasn’t as cool as her yet).

And now, as adults, I still know which sister will be the perfect one to go to for parenting advice or general “what should I do?” life advice or “what should I wear?” fashion advice. Now that I’m not trying to sneak a specific top out of my sister’s dresser without her noticing (and having heart palpitations as she’s coming up the stairs because I didn’t know she was home!) or getting tattled on because I had friends over when our parents were away—I can truly appreciate all the amazingness that is having my sisters as my best friends for life.


(I also have a pretty awesome older brother who is one of our best friends, too, but instead of sneaking tops out of his dresser, I had crushes on his friends growing up…sooo, thank goodness for brothers, too!)

But, to my sisters—thank you for being there for me, listening to me whine, and loving me no matter what. You rule.

And here’s why.

My sisters are there for me when I need anything—someone to tell me to calm down, someone to help me choose a lipstick color, someone to give me serious advice, or someone to vent to.

My sisters are always there to tell me if I’m being crazy crazy, way over-the-top crazier than normal or justifiably crazy.

My sisters know where I come from, they know my story—warts and all. There are no skeletons in my closet—they know my secrets and quirks and also, how to push my buttons when they need to. ?

My sisters say things like, “Does this bump on my nipple look weird?” without anyone batting an eye. Nudity never scared us and nothing is too personal or strange to talk about.

My sisters send ridiculous, encouraging, funny texts throughout the day to keep one another occupied—in a group chat labeled “SISTAS ?”, naturally. Their meme/GIF/bitmoji game is strong—and it’s pretty entertaining.

My sisters tell it like it is, and while sometimes I find this annoying, I mostly appreciate the heck out of it. (You can’t always hear what you want to hear, I guess!)

Having sisters means there is always someone around to eat onion dip and watch the Oscars with. (Thank goodness.)

Having sisters means there is always someone around to convince you to do something crazy, fun, or motivational (I’ll let you decide which category Whole30 falls into which my oldest sister convinced me to do with her this month. Jury’s still out…?‍♀️)

Having sisters means there is always someone who will have your back no matter what—they will defend you till the end and they’ll root you on every step of the way.

Having sisters means there is always someone to watch one of the classics with even though you’ve seen them a million times—Now and Then or Drop Dead Fred or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Sixteen Candles—and who won’t get annoyed with you for saying every line out loud...because they’ll be right there with you.

Having sisters means there is someone you can show your vulnerable side to. Someone you can sit with when you’re sad and need to ugly cry. Someone you can tell all about how you embarrassed yourself or how you failed. Someone who will listen and make you feel like it actually is all okay.

Having sisters means that they’ll help you into your bridesmaid dress while cleaning baby spit-up off of your body while you’re nursing your newborn.

Having sisters means that they’ll bring over a bottle of wine when your husband is out of town for work and you’re #soloparenting.

Having sisters means you can always count on a solid book/TV show/movie/store recommendation that they know you will like.

But having sisters doesn’t always mean fun and sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes, having sisters means someone to tell you the ugly truth—when you know you’re in the wrong but are having trouble admitting it to yourself.

Sometimes having sisters mean arguing and fighting over something you’re both so passionate about, but always choosing love in the end—even if that means you have to agree to disagree.

Sometimes having sisters means giving or getting attitude or feeling guilty for being mean or feeling jealous because they have something you don’t, but never letting those things ruin your friendship.

My sisters were the maid of honor and bridesmaids on my wedding day.

My sisters were in the delivery room for the birth of my babies.

My sisters brought me champagne and goodies when I celebrated a big milestone at work.

My sisters are the godmothers to my children.

My sisters genuinely care about me and my family and our wellbeing.

Their hearts hurt when mine hurts. Their smiles burst when I tell them about an accomplishment. They laugh at my jokes. They make me feel loved and worthy and beautiful and strong.

They are there for me when I don’t even know I need them to be. They’ve helped me learn about who I am as a woman and they challenge and inspire me to be a better version of myself every day.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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