JOIE DE VIVRE / by Robyn Birkey

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This phrase, "joie de vivre" is a saying in french meaning, "joy of living". I painted this for my sister's birthday because she has brought so much joy to my life. Now, if we were talking when I was younger, when we were sharing a room I could say that she brought me the opposite of joy most of the time. Her being four years older she was usually doing things that I thought were so cool I just had to copy her. Which of course, drove her nuts.

However, as we have grown and both become married with children living in the same apartment complex something has shifted in our relationship. I would say for most of my life I looked up to her, but along with that respect there has been a friendship that has formed that I rely on more than I thought could. She is the person in my life I can go to when I need advice, or someone to vent to and then realize my solution just based off her facial expression. I love that about her, she wears her emotions clearly. She speaks her mind and is bold about the things she believes in. If we weren't sisters I think I would be that awkward kid who asks if they can be your friend. She has been the one person in my life who consistently challenges me and makes me think about the choices I'm making. I can honestly say, I probably would not be where I am in my life today if it wasn't for her wisdom and love. I would do anything for her, at anytime, no questions. She's not just my older sister, she was my matron of honor and is one of my closest friends.

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In the words of white christmas..." sisters, sisters...there were never such devoted sisters..."
I love you Nicole, Happy Birthday!