My Sister Abby grew up all American loving all the things little American girls love. She played lacrosse, soccer, the oboe, sang and did well in school. I know she did a lot of other amazing things, too. The things I remember most are the times she and my brother would gang up on me, the oldest sister, or not listen to me when I was supposed to be ‘babysitting’ them. She was quite the tattler, would tell on herself even. She has such a sweet heart, though. She would often write notes and slip them under our doors saying she was sorry for the thing she had just tattled on us for, or just saying how much she loved us. Even today her handmade cards with hand written, lengthy personal notes will just about make you burst into tears. She had a guinea pig that wasn’t doing well. We checked on him all afternoon and could not believe he was still hanging on. Abby came home late after a practice and went right upstairs to see him. That little guy crawled right out of his cage and into her lap where he rested for a moment and then breathed his last. That’s the kind of girl she is. Ok now I’m crying. When I came home from college she was still in high school. I lived at home for a summer while figuring out what I was doing and I feel like we became close during that time. Also she had stopped tattling on me which helped a whole lot.
She went on to apply for an appointment to the Naval Academy and she got it gosh darn it. She went, she achieved, she graduated and shook President Obama’s hand on graduation day and the same weekend she wed her sweet husband (now F-18 pilot) Paul. They are such a cute couple, looking forward to living together in the same house for the first time since their marriage five years ago. Go Navy! This required her to leave her position as Navy Weather Girl (it is way more important than that and super technical, but I digress) and resign her commission in order to be a full time smokin’ hot wife and hopefully someday a supermom like myself. She only recently began sewing and quilting, having gotten her first sewing machine just over a year ago, which is why I often want to throw my sewing machine out into the backyard when I see some of the amazingness she ‘whips’ up. I’m no Betsy Ross. She has inspired me to pick up the sewing again, and learn to properly quilt something. Our styles are very different but we share a love for this art. Our grandma, Bettie Jo, is just thrilled that we are following in her footsteps and we would be honored to someday be as accomplished as she.
In addition to her sewing skills, Abby is a prolific baker. She made a special (by request) cake for every member of her weather watch team on their birthday. Would your supervisor do that for you? Crafting, cardmaking, decorating, hostessing. Aunt Extraordinaire! And she is a lady of great Faith, which above all I respect.
After writing this bio I am wondering why I have agreed to do a blog with her. My sad little entries will be hilarious next to her ‘just whipped up on a Saturday afternoon’ amazingness. She’s going to bake a cake WHILE quilting the cutest baby quilt ever seen and then get out of bed to blog about it. And I forgot to mention her adorable, constant companions; a pair of black kitty cats, Sherlock and Watson. They are so stinkin’ cute and will certainly appear often and make whatever she is working on look even cuter if that’s possible. The rest is to be determined. Stay tuned. She is something.
Betsy (also known as Betsa-Rita, Rito, Rit) is my older and much wiser sister and has always been the more independent, adventurous and artistic one. She is never afraid to try new things like studying abroad for a semester in Ireland or moving out West to serve in the Coast Guard when her entire family lived on the East Coast. She’s been my role model since, well, the time I knew the meaning of the words. Being 7 years older, she was always at that point in life that I couldn’t wait to reach…more allowance, driver’s license, college, living away from home, marriage and kids.
In school Betsy was certainly known for her artistic talents. She hand stitched what is nicknamed to this day as a “Betsy Bag” for her favorite 4th grade teacher. Mr. Darr, if you are reading this, you better hold onto that bag because there’s no telling what she’s going to do next. She also played soccer, the clarinet, piano and won numerous art awards for some pretty cool paintings and sculptures. After High School Betsy attended Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. I’ll always remember the day she left because I felt like my whole world was flipped upside down. Yes, we fought and I tattled, but we are sisters for gosh sake! Luckily, she came home on the weekends and once I learned to stop tattle tailing we got closer. Real close. I’ll never forget, I had a crush on the preacher’s kid at church and Betsy thought it was a good idea to deem “Son of a Preacher Man” my life’s theme song. Oh siblings. (Sigh.)
After college, Betsy took about a year off to figure out what she was going to do next. It was after she attended our brother, Allan’s, graduation from officer boot camp at the Naval Academy that she decided she wanted to serve her country too so she applied for a Commission in the U.S. Coast Guard. She then went to do whatever it is Coasties do… guard coasts I guess? While serving, she met her husband John, also a Coast Guard veteran, and became a “smokin’ hot wife”. (Side note: John was also the name of Betsy Ross’s husband!) Not too long after, Betsy transitioned from defending her country along the coast lines and took up fighting the “parenthood” battle. Yep, that’s right! The crazy days filled with endless poopy diapers, sleepless nights, playing trains for hours or whatever crazy games her daughter Josie could come up with were now considered her occupation. “Two kids”, Josie (5) and Wyatt (3), were welcomed into her world with open arms and thus she became “super mom”, as Facebook so eloquently describes. Now, she spends her days carting kids to school, Girl Scout meetings, church activities, cookin’ delicious meals while still finding time to be super crafty! Like Betsy Ross’s “5 pointed star in just 1 snip” trick, she is always coming up with “out of the box” ideas, like creating a snow wonderland in her bath tub so the kids didn’t have to freeze their butts off outside or whipping up the most delicious casserole you’ve ever tasted out of whatever was left in her fridge. Her meals are so good, people at John’s work are willing to pay her to pack their lunches too! (She kindly refused any compensation, but still!) She has also managed to transform her house into the cutest stinkin’ “should be in a magazine” place you ever laid eyes on and that’s saying a lot when it used to be off-base marine housing!
But seriously, Betsy is one of the strongest women you will ever meet. No matter how monotonous the days feel, she gets up every morning with a “can do” attitude and repeats the same old tricks as long as it’s making her kids happy. She gives so much of herself every day and sets such a strong example for “two kids” to follow. I admire her so and can’t wait to see what she’s up to next. As always, I will be trailing just a few steps behind her like all little sisters do!
We decided to start a blog, mainly to keep track of all of each other’s doings (i.e. recipes, crazy craft ideas, house updates and remodels, completed quilts and hilarious kid stories), but mostly to do something together as sisters! It’s no wonder we are drawn to all things artsy…our Mom was a “home ec” major in college and our Grandma, a quilting extraordinaire, is known for all the special things she stitched up throughout all of life’s milestones. Since we will be living a lot further apart over the next couple of years than we are used to, we wanted to share our ups, downs, laughs and tears with each other and you. We hope you enjoy this small sneak peak into the lives of “Dear Abby” and “Betsy Ross” as we stitch aweigh to whatever adventure God has in store for us next! Oh, and for heaven’s sake…we are no Betsy Rosses, no matter how amazing photo shop may make our posts look!