A few weeks ago my big brother married his girlfriend of ten years...tennnn yearssss...at a ceremony in Boise, Idaho. I was prouder than a pig in slop to be his Best Woman for the day (a title I will wear with pride until my dying day). It's hard to put together a post about marrying off your siblings, so I'm including the toast that I gave at the wedding (the one that was included in my best-woman-ly duties). It's wordy, I know, but it sums up everything that Jarod + Katie mean to me...
Jarod has spent his whole life bragging about me, but as his spoiled, selfish, whiney younger sister, I will unashamedly take this opportunity to demand just three minutes to brag about him.
Here’s what I know to be true about my brother; If I am ever so fortunate enough to have a son, I hope he’ll have just one ounce of the zeal for life that my brother does. I hope he’ll carry Jarod’s unwavering spirit through life’s ups and downs and trials and hardships and I hope he’ll always come out on the other side with such deep introspection and annoying positivity that, just as Jarod does, makes people want to both kiss him and punch him at the same time. I hope he’ll possess even a hair as much of the exceeding loyalty and intense sincerity that my brother does. And while it may make for a few awkward conversations and uncomfortable situations, I hope he’ll always have the cajones to choose honesty over polish.
But more than anything I pray he carries the same passionate heart that Jarod does. To love anything, and to care so deeply for anyone, as much as my brother does is a gift that cannot be rivaled.
When I think about the people in my life that I do not deserve, Jarod ranks at the top. As a young girl, to have been loved unconditionally, protected so fiercely and cherished so deeply by her older brother, I was – and continue to be – the luckiest little sister in the universe. Because of Jarod I will never know what it’s like to live a day without being loved and adored with such generosity it seems almost unfair. There are few ways to describe this emotion other than to say that I am truly rich because I share his blood.
Katie, thank you for being the strong, independent, passionate woman that you are. Thank you for being even strong enough to love Jarod with every fiber of your being and thank you for not only listening to Jarod’s passionate monologues, but for truly adoring the well from which this fervor arises. As I grow older I’m finding just how deeply I yearn for the people I love most to find their equals in life. The one who makes their heart sing, who makes them better, and who knows them even deeper than they know themselves. You’ll never know how much joy it brings me to see you two fit so perfectly in one another’s arms. Jarod is blessed to be loved by a woman like you. And you are so lucky to be cherished by a heart like Jarod’s.
I hope your marriage is full of a million laughs, a few feisty arguments, a thousand I’m sorry’s, and a billion I Love You’s. I hope you never refuse to keep working and refining the beauty that is your relationship. I hope that as you continue to share one heart and one home, you’ll grow so innately intertwined with one another that you’ll fail to take one step, or breathe one breath, without wondering whether it’s your body or the other’s moving. I hope that when you wake up wondering who you’re married to, you’ll find peace in knowing it’s your best friend. And when shit hits the fan I hope you remember that everything is better when you take a few moments to make out.
Congrats on this exciting new season of life and love. I could not be more proud to call you my family and my friends.
I have to send a million thank-you's to Tana of Tana Photography in Boise for being my assistant for the afternoon. She captured the ceremony so beautifully so that I could be a full-time sister and I'll forever be grateful for her!