There is this woman I know who defines adventure, perseverance, passion and the courage to live the life of your dreams. At four I watched every move she made, because I was completely enamored with her startling green eyes and long curly hair. She defined cool, even at fourteen and I knew it.

Early childhood was spent watching Oprah episodes beside her, and trips to the corner market for Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. When we were asked to perform a duet in church together, we practiced on her bed, hairbrush and hairspray bottle in hand singing at the top of our lungs. The real performance was much more “church appropriate”, but that afternoon of practice is still one of my sweetest memories.

There is this woman I know who was on her own at seventeen, due to many harsh realities far outside of her control. Who came from chaos and was able to find her way. With no support, and mountains to climb proved that you can persevere through focus and hard work. Blazing trails while she earned her Bachelors and Masters from the University of Washington, worked alongside Doctors Without Borders in Uganda and became a major advocate for Partners In Health — all in the pursuit of living the life she dreamed of and impacting the world for good.

Jules, has always called the Pacific Northwest home, but has traveled the world over. Witnessing culture and wonder from Spain to China, India to Uganda, Thailand to Antarctica. Showing my sisters and I that the world is expansive, intricate and welcoming.

ImageThere is this woman I know who taught me to color outside of the lines, and on my “adult” solo trip to Seattle, snagged me a fancy blue cocktail at a luau my first night. I at sixteen, her very modest,19th Century loving, rather religious sister behaved scandalously and drank it, believing I might be committing some great sin. Oh, but that cocktail was the beginning of knowing life was meant to be lived daringly.

She moves through life with passion and generosity. For tea, her family, friends, fuzzy animals, education, healthcare, adventure, community, good cheese and wine. Sacrificing many times over in resources to give us time with her and experiences to broaden our world. She shows up– both for others and for her life.

I am honored to call this woman, sister . Someone who possesses some kind of magic and has taught me to be brave. Proving my life could be a story greater than my circumstances and setbacks. She is a teacher and has by example shown us how to keep moving and always keep dreaming.

So many times I am still that four year old watching every move she makes — totally enamored by her grace, courage, and intelligence. As we have become women with full lives and different journeys, I still sit back in wonder at this sister of mine who climbs (ed) both literal and figurative mountains. In awe of her courage and ability to live the story she dreamed of.

She has taught me that life is too beautiful and full of adventure to not have the blue cocktail, always challenging me to color outside of the lines.