Growing up shopping with my sister, if I would see a shirt or a pair of shoes I thought I liked, I would test it out by holding it up for her to see in order to get her reaction. If it was favorable, I liked it. If it was not, I suddenly saw the merchandise from a new perspective…namely, hers. And being nearly 4 years her junior, hers seemed to be the only one that mattered. If I am completely honest, it still is to a certain degree.

If you ask her about it, she will undoubtedly roll her eyes and disclaim her good taste as simply having distinct opinions about her…opinions. Maybe that is actually the thing I admire: she knows what she likes and what she dislikes. No apologies. No explanation required. I think that says something about her personality, and probably mine as well.

Her birthday was last week. She is the most fun person to shop for. My goal is always to choose something that won’t end up in her yard sale pile (she’s an addict too…where do you think I got it?) This year, I decided to forgo housewares and fashion and went with books instead: a Southern Living recipe book and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. You can’t go wrong with food and culture, right?

And by the way…it is 5:15 am. My son is interpreting nighttime as time-to-get-up-and-play time. He’s asleep now. I, however, am not.