Today we celebrate not just one birthday in our family, but two!

I’m lucky to have some great in-laws, and Emily and Rajeev are two of them.

Happy birthday, Emily!

Emily is my sister-in-law. Last year, she and my brother Phil moved back to the area from Ohio, which is where they met and married. They have a little girl, Maya Elizabeth, who I like to claim is name after me. It has been so great to have them back in town. Emily brings so much laughter to our family get togethers! My brother has a big, dynamic personality, and Emily is someone who doesn’t shrink into his shadow. She’s also incredibly kind. A few weeks ago when Ben and I both had a stomach virus, she came to our house at 8:30 in the morning and drove Ruthie thirty miles away to her daycare center. And she brought us soup and Sprite and jell-o! See? She’s thoughtful.

Emily is such a good fit in our family that she didn’t mind when my siblings and I did a choreographed dance to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at her wedding reception!

Three of my favorite memories with Emily from the past year are:

1) A weekend in Brown County, Indiana with all the women in our family. We stayed in a cute little cabin (that came with just one super offensive element) and cooked our meals together. We shopped together in downtown Nashville and enjoyed a whole weekend away from home. As the five of us sat at dinner on the first night, we realized it was the first time that we had all gotten together without kids or spouses!

2) Working together to plan and organize my mom’s surprise birthday party! This was another thing that all of us girls were in on, but it took a lot of work, and it was a phenomenal turnout.

3) Planning a shared birthday party for our girls! Ruthie and Maya are almost a year apart to the day, and this year we threw a joint birthday party for the two of them. We packed my living room with friends and family and balloons, and we decorated the house in Diego & Dora decor. Planning an event with someone else has the potential to be stressful, but Emily and I made a great team. Let’s hope the girls put up with joint birthday parties for many years to come.

Happy birthday, Rajeev!

Sometimes I forget that I was actually the first of my siblings to meet Rajeev. I had been to Nepal in 1998 and 1999, and so my Grandma Millie wanted me to meet this “nice young man from Nepal” who went to her church. I attended a small youth group event at her church one night and met Rajeev, who was such a nice young man that he eventually married my sister.

There is no real connection between me meeting him and my sister Karen eventually meeting him, but still. The facts are the facts. I did meet him first.

Rajeev was my first in-law, so he kind of got to be the one who set up how in-laws are incorporated into our family. Fortunately, he was then and is now a good fit. He’s quieter than the rest of us, but not necessarily less snarky. He’s smart–smart enough to be a good match for my Genius Sister, which is good. In 2006, he photographed my wedding and did a beautiful job. Together with his parents, he and my sister own Sitara, tastiest Indian restaurant in Indiana.

Also, how cute are his kids?

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