Monday, October 17, 2005

Karen Paruch

My K-dawg! What an awesome sis-in-law she is! Of course she has the “Paruch” traits of being generous, kind, and loyal, like the rest of ‘em, but she also defines what I believe is the PERFECT sister-in-law. We began bonding from the start. Such fun memories we share together…..seeing Tim McGraw and Smashmouth in concert…..heading to Qdoba for those burritos we just HAVE to have sometimes, eating chocolate chip cookies the size of our heads… shopping, talking and of course, our biggest deal of them all…..JAZZERCISE!!! It is the most fun I have ever had working out and is the # 1 reason why I want to get back to St. Louis ASAP….so that we can resume jazzin’ it up! Karen hosted my super fun bachelorette party and is always the first to offer her assistance in planning a holiday party or special occasion. She is the first to call and wish me a “happy birthday” and gives the most special gifts. She is passionate about what she likes and is dedicated to her children at school.

The other day I listened to a phone message left by Karen. “Hi Heidi, It is Karen. Hey, I got you a ticket to see Keith Urban December 2nd.” As soon as we talked on the phone she said, “and no, you are not paying me for the ticket. It is my gift to you.” I am so excited! I miss us hanging out and spending time together. So many times I am walking on the beach and will see 2 girlfriends laughing together and it makes me wish that Karen was here with us on Cayman. Not only have I been blessed with a one-in-a-million sister, but also a very dear friend.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


My cousin and closest friend… Sometimes I think we are twins that were separated at birth. There is no one else quite like her. She is extraordinary and extremely special to me. Her friendship is authentic and rare. She is the one who genuinely feels hurt when I am hurting. She has an incredible ability to empathize and show support, even if it is thousands of miles away through email. She has insight and has taught me that I need to sometimes listen to my heart, and not just make decisions based on what is rational. During one of the low points of my life, I remember Courtney saying to me, “it is gonna be alright. I know it is.” She said these simple words with such conviction and concern in her voice that I became convinced she was right. And, she was! She just has a way.

My Aunt Nonno (Courtney’s mom) recently said that Courtney and I “laugh to the beat of a different drummer”. I could tell the same story to 5 different people and only Courtney would find it as hysterically funny as me. Actually, she is the funniest human being I’ve ever known. She has the ability to laugh at herself and knows that most of the time life should not be taken too seriously. One of my favorite things to do is to get together with Courtney and reminisce about old times. Our favorite story involves a game of hide and seek when we were kids. Another involves a piano recital at SCI. I think we laugh more each time we re-tell the story. There is something about the “Heidi-Courtney” combination that results in humorous outcomes. A few years ago, we road-tripped to St. Louis to visit our good friend, Becky. When we arrived at her apartment complex, we were perplexed as to how to get to her front door, as the building was on a hill and there was no obvious way to get up there from the parking lot. We grabbed our overnight bags and pillows and began climbing to our destination. Once we hit the top, we found ourselves at the back of the building without a route to the front door. Up and down hills we went for the next 45 minutes in the dark trying to figure out where we went wrong. By the time we rang Becky’s doorbell, we had grass stains on our “going out” clothes and we were covered from head to toe with mud. I can still picture the look on Becky’s face when she swung open her front door and saw us. I still laugh to this day when I think about Courtney falling out of her sandals and sliding backward down that steep hill of wet grass.

I trust Courtney and I know that she is in my corner. She makes me laugh like no one else and I know that no matter what, she will “get it” when no one else seems to. Courtney makes life sweeter and is my daily reminder to stop and smell the roses.