I met Ariel at age 9 and today here she is with her family, four beautiful little girls who call me “tia”. Lily ran up to me giving me the biggest hug and said, “Tia! I missed you sooooo much!” I’m about to place a pony order for her.

I don’t regularly photograph young kiddos, but posting this is simply to share to my “little sis” from Big Brothers and Big Sisters, all grown up. Our relationship is evidence that the time you spend with anyone can continue to throughout your life, and friendship that’s like family, is such a beautiful gift. I wasn’t blessed with sisters, but thankfully God has placed so many incredible women in my life who I consider my family.

I half kid that because I met Ariel at such a young age, I already feel like I experienced a bit of the parenting (which is why I am passing on having our own)  – but let’s be honest I hardly parented Ariel. I was more of the fun big sis who mentored her, attempted to set an example, give wisdom, all that big sisterly stuff. What I’ve learned from our bond is that true friendship and unconditional love is proven over time, through ups and downs, through trials and triumphs and in the end, a good friend (and sister) is one that sticks by you through it all. Ariel has been a great little sister who has talked me through some difficult times and takes care of me as much as I take care of her – which I can only assume is what sisterhood is all about. ❤