In the summer of 2005, David and I moved in to a little house in a small Northern California town. Our oldest was only three-years-old at the time, and our second son was an infant.
The day we moved in, I looked at the house next door and saw two nine-year-old girls looking back at me. There they stood, identical twins with long blonde hair, just watching.
A few days after we moved in I officially met the girls and their mom. I already knew their older brother, Jordon. He had quickly jumped into our lives – and our hearts – in true Jordon fashion. But the girls – they were more reserved. They took their time getting to know us.
Well, I should say they took their time getting to know David and me. They bonded instantly with our son, and before long not a day went by without dinnertime stories of all that Karly and Emily would do and say.
One day, though, things began to change. I heard a knock on the door, but when I opened it all I found was a single sticky note with a single word: Hello.
They wrote more.
And so it began.
Through the course of several months – and hundreds of sticky notes – we got to know each other. As the girls got older, technology changed, the notes turned into text messages, and the conversation deepened.
I am so thankful to say that the conversation continues to this day. Not a day goes by that we don’t text each other. Sometimes we talk about silly stuff, and sometimes it’s not so silly. But it’s constant.
Karly and Emily are key figures in the lives of my kids. They watched my oldest play t-ball, and were front and center at my second son’s first birthday. They held my youngest the day he was born, and my daughter took her first steps at their house. Whenever something good happens, my kids’ first request is to make sure Karly and Emily know about it. Whenever something bad happens, their first request is to make sure that Karly and Emily know about it.
Nearly identical on the outside, yet each with their own unique, beautiful personality, there are not enough words to describe how much these two young women have made my life better.
The verse that makes me immediately think of them is Proverbs 31:13:
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
Karly and Emily each have an incredible work ethic, and they always have. When they were younger, they helped their mom with her in-home daycare. They house sat, babysat their cousins, and took care of several kids in the neighborhood – ours included, of course.
They worked at camp with us, helped at the coffee house, and could be relied upon to do above and beyond whatever was needed.
As young adults, they continue to work hard. They help run a candy shop, working not only at the store but also sporting events and every major festival that comes to their town, all while staying fiercely devoted to their family and to “the boys” (their two dogs).
I admire Karly and Emily so much. I admire their strength, their courage, their dedication, and their faith. Just last Sunday they both stood before their church, declared their faith in Jesus, and were baptized.
They are young women of noble character. Every day they inspire me, and I am honored to be a part of their lives.
See you soon!