Lodge of the Four Seasons | Lake of the Ozark | Ben & Shelley

May, 1986. My parents were overjoyed to have a second child. They couldn't wait to bring me home to show my older sister how lucky they were to have a family of four. Shelley had a different idea. She popped the welcome balloons, had a tantrum and tried to knock me over in my bassinet. Despite attempted murder, I couldn't imagine a better sister. :) She's the strongest woman I know, a mom I want to strive to be and a person that goes out of her way to make her friends feel like family.  

Life has a funny way of guiding you. You think you have it all under control. Your whole life is strategically planned out. You know what is on your schedule today, next week and what your goals are two years from now. Then life happens. You go with the flow and navigate a territory that may be unknown to know, hoping and praying that the end will be explained and it will all make sense. 

Shelley found Ben and Ben found Shelley. Despite where they were in their own personal lives, they, ever-so-slowly, came together and created a friendship that turned into love. They found peace and comfort in each other that they kept coming back to and it began an undeniable forever-kind of love. Finding love isn't just about them, though. They each had two girls that needed to love the other person just as much. Lucky for them, the four girls immediately became best friends. 

For the first time in a long time, I saw my sister smile from her heart. It's a distinction only a sister can see. She's let her walls down, let her girls call someone daddy again and let her heart open and be vulnerable to love. As her sister, I will always fiercely protect her, but Ben supports, encourages, challenges and loves her like the great man he is. Welcome to the family, Ben. xoxo