I'm dedicating today's Ten for Tuesday to my cousin, Taffy. I hope that this break from longstanding (ahem) tradition does not alarm anyone. I'll go back to talking about myself tomorrow. (Or, honestly, probably next week or the week after.) But today is Taffy's birthday. And she's so great I could write Ten for Tuesdays about her for the rest of her/my life and never be done telling you about her. So clear your schedules, folks. Here goes.
1. So,Taffy is my cousin, but she's not your average, ordinary every day cousin. She's a double cousin, and so, genetically she's really more my sister than anything else. I know what you're thinking. I have four sisters already. Isn't it getting greedy to claim more? Maybe. But take a look at these, and then we'll talk.Can you even tell which one of these lovely ladies has different parents?
Do I need to point out the resemblance?
2. So, yeah. There are some alarming physical similarities. But I think what really trips people up is how much we act like sisters when we're together. Taffy roomed with my sister, Peanut, their freshman year of college in the building where I happened to be a resident assistant. That year was one of the best of my life, due in no small part to the hilarious adventures we had together. We ate together, we played together, we sometimes even napped together (to disastrous consequences).
It's no small wonder that other people were confused about the specifics of our family relations. People would often ask, "Which one's your sister again?" I can't say I always got it right. More than once I mistakenly referred to "my sister, Taffy," only to be met with a puzzled look and a question, "I thought she was your cousin."
"Oh yeah, she is." My mistake.
3. These days, we just settle for the term "fake sister." And as far as fake sisters go, she's a keeper. For one, she's an awesome cook. And she makes a kick-a apple pie.
4. And that's just one of the many reasons that, as Amy B. said, "It's always a Party when [Taffy's] around."
5. Here's another one:
I don't remember why we donned the cat costumes, or what purpose we had prowling around BYU campus in them. But hoo boy, we sure had fun.
6. Silly as she can be, however, Taffy is as kind and compassionate as they come. I remember a handful of sister/cousin squabbles throughout the years, but whatever the source of the trouble (usually yours truly), Taffy was the peacemaker. Even when we were very young. She found a way to make us laugh until the injustices no longer seemed so important. Eventually, she even made a joke about being the peacemaker, when in the midst of a playful argument she'd declare defiantly, "I'm the peacemaker!" Cracked me up every time.
7. And while we're on the topic of cracking me up, another childhood memory comes to mind. When our families would get together, us girls would always stay up way too late telling stories. Taffy's performances were always wildly creative, and long after we were supposed to be asleep, her stories would have us giggling uproariously. Eventually, some parent or other would come in and tell us to knock it off (perhaps threatening to turn off the light). We'd try to blame Taffy, but she was always good at pretending to be asleep.
8. I think she still has that child-like sense of fun, even though she's all grown up with kids of her own. Here she is proving that with her impersonation of a Roman fountain. Impressive work for a mother of (at the time) two.
9. Now Taffy's a mom of five, and you wouldn't believe how well she's got it together.
Her kids are just what you'd expect -- cute, clever, spunky, and just oozing with talent. And Taffy is their number 1 fan (OK, tied with Tee). She she coordinates their dozens of activities, throws enchanting parties with creative cakes she makes herself, and still manages to squeeze in educational outings, crafting, and political activism. On top of all that, she's put many hours into finishing her degree by independent study -- no small feat, even with easy courses. But Taffy's not one to take the easy way through things. Instead of picking electives like Shoelace Tying or Walking for Leisure, she opted to learn Hebrew to help her better understand the scriptures.
In all of this, I know it's important to her to be a good example to her kids, but I wonder if Taffy realizes what a good example she is to the rest of us.
10. Especially to me.
And there's noting fake about that. I love you Taffy. Happy Birthday!