I have been wanting to do a post on my sister for a long time. I have 3 or 4 posts I have written and never finished because I cannot find the right words for her and our relationship, plus they kept ending up being 100 pages long-kinda like this one! I was asked this question on the FAQ post and thought this was the perfect time to do one on Amanda.
You and your sister are so close. How do you keep in touch with her. Do you talk with her daily?
Just in case some of you do not know about Amanda, I will start at the beginning, like the very beginning….
hehe, I love this photo. This is me at 4 years old and Amanda at a few months
I am the oldest born in 84, my brother Chad in 85, and Amanda in 86. What can I say? My parents can’t keep their hands off each other! Our family also adopted 3 children when us 3 were all in high school, because our parents are amazing like that, but that post is for another day.
Growing up, we were fairly normal brother and sisters, fighting over toys and calling each other doo doo heads, but we also had a lot of fun together. When we were little my sister and I would tickle each others’ backs before we went to bed:) Since we have grown up, we have all grown closer. We all were married by 20 years old and had our first child by 21, so we have become spouses and parents together.
I color coordinated each family so you can tell who belongs to who. Since this photo, Wyatt graduated from the womb to the outside world, and Amanda is pregnant with her 3rd baby due in September:)
Amanda and I really started having a strong relationship when I was a Senior in high school and she was a Freshman. We saw each other every day at school, I could drive her around, and we took Home Ec together. We missed each other a lot when I went away to college in Texas, while my family lived in Colorado, but as soon as she graduated, she came to college in Texas with me!
us in high school together:)
By the time she got to college, I was married to Jarrett and pregnant with Peyton. She was at his birth, always at our house, and baby sat Peyton a lot when Jarrett and I went on dates. She met Chet her 1st week in college and the rest was history:) We all four hung out a lot that year and had a lot of fun.
at Peyton’s birth
Auntie with baby Peyton
the little lovebirds, Chet and Amanda, baby sitting
in our married housing at college, Peyton giving a Blue Steel look
best Auntie ever, we came home from our date to find them snuggling
we got to be there on the night Chet proposed
the engagement cake I made them:)
Sadly we moved back to Colorado after Jarrett graduated a year later, and had to leave the little love birds. In the next year, we got pregnant with Conner, we all went to Texas for Chet and Amanda’s beautiful wedding, and then 3 months later they were pregnant with Preston. We all met up again to live in Colorado right before Preston was born. I was so lucky to be there for his birth, and then we spent a few months playing with our babies together.
Peyton the ring bearer with the beautiful bride
bride and the pregnant maid (matron?) of honor
me holding my first nephew, Preston
teeny Preston and Conner being Twinkies-hehe
nursing the babies together (I know you all want a pair of socks just like mine, I still have them, they are my fav)
Then Jarrett got a job in Maui, this time it was really hard to leave her and my new little nephew (and you too Chet)! They came to visit 3 months after we moved there, and fell in love with the island as we had. Then they outdid us in their adventuresness-they sold all their belongings and bought 1-way plane tickets to Maui. They got an apartment and Chet found a job within the first few days, and the real magic started!
aww, diaper babieshehe
I think Conner is getting in a cheap shot to make up for the earlier book snatching
getting in my Aunt Chelsea time
my sister is one of goofiest people I know. (is she going to kill me for this? probably, but there are plenty of her and her sexy bikini bod below to make up for it:)
only she can make me laugh like this
One of our many food addictions, Cold Stone ice cream, we even both worked there for a while for one of our good friends while our husbands watched the boys. We also worked 2 other little jobs together while we lived in Maui. Selling flower leis, and babysitting one of our best friend’s little girl.
this is one of my favorite beach days, the water was low and the waves big
i told amanda there was something in the water-bahahaha
we spent almost every day at the beach together with our boys
At Barnes and Noble story time. Man these two have been stealing my coffee since the beginning!
Uncle Chet with Conner and Preston
our Granny and mama came to visit us in Maui-4 generation photo
Peyton, Preston, and Conner snuggling me, pulling a triple Twinkie in their jammies
We babysat for each other a lot, so we could go on dates with our husbands. This is my boys hanging with Preston while Jarrett and I went out:)
we learned how to cloth diaper together
Jarrett and Chet had regular bromances, if you think that is a cheesy name, then don’t hang out with them, they use it all the time
Chet ran an ice cream shop, so you could find us there many nights:)
craft time at Aunties
halloween goofiness-super mom and house wife
birthday parties (is my sister not a super cool party thrower?!)
Uncle Chet is a legend with my boys, even with Trek. He is an amazing uncle and Peyton and Conner think he is the coolest. He even took the time to beat an entire DS game with Peyton one time, Peyton still talks about it-at least once a week.
any weirdness my children have they got from Auntie
i want to shrink these 3 boys back to this size and kiss those chubby cheeks!
the undies brigade
whale watching tour
girl’s night out for a luau when our MawMaw came to visit
Conner went through a “beating up Preston” phase, this was a rare hug
my sister brings out the goofy side in me
she brings out the goofy side in herself
this guy knows how to smooch! wrap him up, I’m taking him home
sweet tea at Aunties
Amanda is the reason we had time to make a third baby
Amanda and Chet got pregnant with Jackson about a year after they moved to Maui. Isn’t she smoking hot?! She had morning sickness, so I would go to her house and help her clean and bring her food. She would help me clean all the time because I did not need a silly reason like morning sickness to make my house a mess, I did that all by myself.
croquet tournament in the front yard of our house
We were pregnant at the same time, me with #3-Trek, and her with #2-Jackson! Oh, we lived it up for those 3 months, taking turns having our husbands go on Dairy Queen runs and dropping them off at the other’s house since we lived 3 blocks away from each other. Our husbands loved it-ha!
being lazy at Amanda’s house
I have alluded to the fact on here before, that as soon as I became pregnant with Trek my housewife skills kind of went out the door. I am not sure what happened. Before Trek took up residence in my womb, I loved to cook and even though my house was not always spotless, it was decorated with love and tidy. I really think that somehow I knew to soak this baby up, even while I was pregnant I would just go to the beach and just relax and think about the baby. So my sister also played a big role in this. I would get up everyday and head to her house. We were both pregnant and even right after she had Jackson, we would just lay on the couch in cozy clothes and watch cartoons with the boys, and eat, a lot. Whoever of us had the most money that day would sponsor the food run. I really treasure that time we had together.
this was mine and Amanda’s favorite shirt on the boys
In September 2010, my sister did something amazing. She had the first home and natural birth in our family. I was so lucky to be a part of it, and to be there with Preston when he met his new sibling (we did not know the sex yet). My sister did amazing, I was so proud of her, it was one of the proudest moments of my life, and I loved her even more after. Preston cheered Jackson into the world along with the rest of us, I still get teary eyed when I think of it.
seeing his new brother for the first time, isn’t this just precious?!
Conner and Preston helping me give Jackson googoo eyes
our parents flew in to meet Jackson and visit the boys
the cousins snuggling in Nana and Papa T’s hotel bed
2nd Maui Halloween-Amanda as hippie mom with Jackson in his sling, and me as a rock star with little Trek baking in the oven
the best daddys on stroller and diaper bag duty while we were out trick or treating. Yes, Jarrett is wearing eyeliner, he was channeling Aerosmith as our rock star dad.
my best friend
Aunt Chelsea giving Jackson some serious lovin
me giving Jackson more googly eyes, while I secretly plot how I can keep him without my sister noticing
Uncle Chet getting the beat down by the children
Uncle Jarrett and Action Jackson-the nickname he affectionately gave him
super hero cousins
there is a lot of testosterone when we get together
we both got Wii’s at the same time, the boys were in Mario heaven
Amanda throwing me a Blessingway for Trek
our dearest friends
popcorn and a movie at our house, guest of honor-Preston
Trek is born!!! Auntie peels into our driveway minutes after Jarrett called her to come and misses the birth by 2 seconds while getting some towels. At least her beautiful face was the 3rd face Trek ever saw:)
beautiful Auntie with precious Trek
Trek’s first outing to Bubba Gumps in Maui
one of our favorite things to do with our Mama-pedicures and Cokes (Trek is in that little cocoon)
Family dinner-out to eat at Kobe’s, I was covering Trek’s head, so it would not get singed-ha!
when Amanda finds my camera, this is what she does
man these boys are living the dream life!
a favorite game-jumping off of Auntie’s bed into a pile of pillows and blankets
some serious cousin time when our cousin Haylie came all the way to Maui from Texas to visit us:)
We became Maui mamas together-it was super easy:)
Jackson and Trek taking a spin in the double stroller
After Trek’s fun birth, Jarrett and I knew our life had to change. Even though our life was pretty magical living in Maui, it was devoid of Jarrett since he worked all the time. We decided to travel the world when Trek was just a few weeks old. We started selling our house full of belongings almost immediately, lots of craigslist transactions and 4 garage sales. My sister was there for me constantly to help keep Peyton and Conner busy while Trek and I packed up the house. And she would come over all the time, late at night, after our boys were asleep, to help me clean and pack things. And she was constantly showering us with homemade food:) I could not have gotten ready for our move across the globe without her.
We both had a minivan, but we were each a 1 car family. We lived close enough that we could walk to each other’s houses and we did a lot, but a lot of days we took turns taking our husbands to work. It was kind of a pain since we would have to load up our kids, and take our hubby to work early in the morning, and then go back and pick up the other sister and her kids, which had already taken out the car seats of her van before her husband went to work. But all was usually ok with a trip to Starbucks:)
We would go on day trips all over the island. It was a lot of fun and involved lots of tag teaming, when we would have to crawl in the back to nurse one of the babies, while the other one drove. Shh-don’t tell our mom that we were out of our seatbelts.
Jackson getting big enough to join in the cousin fun
Going out on the town for one of our best friend’s baby shower. Our Maui friends were so sweet, and we always welcomed whoever had a little baby to bring them along to girls night, so Trek came along:)
Preston and baby Trek
homeschool day at Aunties house
my first night away from Trek, Amanda had a wine tasting girl party-Trek lasted 2 hours snuggled on Jarrett down the street:)
toilet paper towers at Aunt chelsea’s house
Amanda and Jarrett playing with the kids at Peyton’s birthday party
We have flown with our babies together many times. Most of the time it works out great, but the times of screaming children we have been soo thankful to have each other to help! (Trek’s first plane ride:)
in Colorado to visit Nana and Papa T in their matching orange Hurley shirts:)
our five boys
We found a machine that was super easy to beat, so we went to town getting tickets;)
MawMaw with our five boys
one of my favorite things to do with my sister-go to the mall. We get cookies and coke and help each other shop, it is so much fun:)
at the zoo on vacation in Denver, Colorado to visit Nana and Papa T
at the Children’s Museum
after Colorado we went to our Granny’s cabin to visit family and friends and celebrate Jackson’s 1st birthday and Petyon’s 6th and for everyone to meet Trek that had not yet
Amanda swinging from a vine with Jackson strapped to her:) hehe. I wrote about this hike here.
at one of our favorite places on Maui, a farm in the mountains. The boys all look like big brothers now!
First slumber party. My first night away from Peyton and Conner-I actually wrote a post that night as I was snuggling Trek about my ninnyness here.
Preston, Uncle Chet, and Conner going to the Aquarium
I think this was Conner’s first time to go somewhere without Peyton
super hero halloween-the boys all beefed up for the big day
2nd year to have Amanda’s bday dinner at Bubba Gumps, this year Trek was invited:) (Jarrett was the General Manager there, so we went a lot:)
and then came the DS’s. Our minivan rides accross the island became so much more peaceful after that:)
Preston, Conner, Uncle Chet, and baby Jackson
Preston’s birthday slumber party
Mario Wii tournament on the brother-in-laws’ day off
Now comes the part of our story that I wish never happened. After 3 amazing years of raising our children together, we found out Trek was sick one awful day in Maui. After his doctor’s appointment we needed to fly to Oahu immediately, we called Amanda and Chet. They drove across the island to the hospital, picked the big boys up, and brought us a bag of clothes. We were in Oahu just for one night when we decided to take Trek to Denver. We met our boys and the Sommervilles at our Maui home the next day. Our flight left in just a couple of hours, and we hurriedly packed 2 suitcases and tried to sale our van-long story. We were leaving Maui in the middle of the night, and I had to tell my sister goodbye in a just a few moments. Even though we had already bought plane tickets to leave Maui 2 weeks later for Thailand, this was not how I wanted to leave and definitely not the reason I wanted to leave for.
We kissed and hugged goodbye and we both cried. Chet and Amanda packed up the rest of our house, fixed all the things on the rental contract checklist, and tied up all our loose ends in Maui since we had to leave so soon, and still had so much left to do. We are forever indebted to them and their love for our family.
Trek was diagnosed later that week. Amanda and Chet got a credit card, and bought tickets to come and be with us, all the way from Maui to Colorado. I still get teary-eyed when I think of their sacrifice for us and Trek.
All of us hanging out and spending time with Trek at our parent’s house in Colorado. Preston reading Trek one of our favorite family books
At the pool. Our grandparents, aunt, and cousin flew out from Texas to be with us too.
at Texas Roadhouse for my birthday dinner
Jackson and Trek together
Uncle Jarrett with Jackson, I think Jackson looks scared
Uncle Chet is at the top of Peyton’s list for helping him beat a Pokemon game:)
Preston LOVES babies and is the most thoughtful, loving little boy, he loved to touch and hold Trek.
After spending a week with them in Colorado, they went back to Maui, and we went to take Trek to see the world. So much of what we were able to give Trek was because of Amanda. She organized and helped with countless fundraisers, so that we could spend the last few months of Trek’s life together as a family. I can never repay her for that gift.
After travelling from February until April in Central America, we went back to Maui to spend time with the Sommervilles. It was an amazing month, Trek was so at peace and it helped me have closure with my sister for when Trek left us.
Amanda loves Trek so much, even now 7 months after he has died she still leaves his picture up as her facebook profile
our parents came out also to spend time with Trek
Uncle Chet giving baby Trek some lovin
they are growing up so much
being silly at Trek’s 13 month birthday dance party
Peyton, Conner and Preston wrestling on the ginormous bed Amanda made for us so we could all sleep in the same bed as Trek:)
For Trek’s 1st birthday present Amanda and Chet bought 100 paper lanterns that we released over the ocean with our friends in Maui
it was such a thoughtful gift
Amanda organized a huge Hard Rock Cafe Fundraiser
Aunt Chelsea and Trek dancing with sweet Preston at the fundraiser
We also got to celebrate Trek’s 1st birthday and Conner’s 5th while we were there. Cousins in the jumpy castle at Trek’s Maui 1st birthday party
the cousins and their best friends
Auntie snuck in an hour of Trek snuggle time during the party:)
We spent 1 month in Maui living with my sister and her family right before we left for Thailand and Japan. It was so amazing and full of love and peace. I cherish the time we had together while Trek was here with us.
We left Maui the first week in June. Trek died 2 weeks later. Amanda and all of our Maui friends held a celebration of life for Trek at the beach. We felt the love all the way in Thailand.
over 6,000 flowers for Trek
Auntie and Preston in the warm Maui ocean
Uncle Chet and Jackson releasing flowers for Trek
this picture touches my soul, I am so thankful to have someone that understands my joys and pains so intimately
Now that you kind of understand our relationship, you can put together that I am totally DYING to see her!!! And to answer the question of how we keep in touch, we talk almost every day on facebook messenger, Skype, and Peyton and Conner call her all the time on the phone. We talk about anything and everything and usually for hours with breaks while we take care of kids. I am desperate to see her, and her boys, and Chet, and all of our family, but I especially miss my best friend. We are planning on coming to America for the birth of her 3rd baby. I was at Preston’s and Jackson’s birth, I cannot miss this one!
It seems so strange to be away from Amanda at the most sensitive time in my life. For her not to be there, to even hug me, after Trek died, was so hard. But we knew that was a risk we were taking by traveling with Trek. That even though our life had stopped, and Jarrett was not working, no one else could do that, so we had to go on. It was a hard choice, but one that I am happy that we made. Amanda was there when I needed her the most, when Trek was alive. She got Trek around the world with all of her hard work and love. Now can you see why I don’t really have the words to say for the most amazing woman that I know?
I love you so much Amanda