I remember very clearly when I was around 11 and just had another fight with her that my dad took me aside and told me, "Look, I know she's annoying. But she's 7. She can't help it. It's going to be like this for another 4 years but it will get better after that, just you wait and see." (implied subtext: please try to make it easier on your mother in the meantime) My mother always hated that we fought so much, she would try to impress upon us that someday she and our dad won't be here anymore and we would only have each other to truly rely on.
My dad was right (as my mom will be, too), as so often happens. Ergh, that part of growing up where you realize that your parents are far smarter and wiser than your smug teenage self ever considered giving them credit for! Anyway, my relationship with my sister really improved vastly once I left for college. I'd come home and be surprised at the funny, creative person she was growing into.
Now that she's at school, she'll email me once in awhile to ask for advice on one thing or another (even though she ignored my advice about making sure she worked really really hard for the first semester so she wouldn't fall into the trap of spending the rest of her college years working to make up for it, ahem) and I like playing that big sister role, because I can help make her way a little easier than it was for me, figuring things out more on my own.
I also know that I can rely on her to help me when I ask; she was one of the few that helped Dan and me move in to our first apartment together, mostly by driving a second car because she's a far better and more confident driver than I am, and she also drove all the way out to Princeton from eastern Jersey at the beginning of August in order to ferry me to and from an appointment with the caterer.
This is all to basically say that she's earning her bridesmaid status plenty (though I've told her there are no expectations of planning a bridal shower or bachelorette party or any of those sort of 'extra' events). Happy birthday, sis (I am terrible with dates and birthdays but the technology of scheduling things ahead of time when you do remember and before you forget what day of the year it is, to the rescue!).
Cotton cady Erica dress from J.Crew, in "fresh mint"
This is the dress we've bought for her as a bridesmaid dress. Simple, elegant, and pretty close in color to the shade of blue I'm trying to tie things to, though this is a bit greener, I think. We bought it now because it's on sale (listed at $80 currently, I think we got it for $90? Maybe $100? Original price was $225!) and we had such trouble finding anything nearly as close when we spent almost an entire afternoon at the mall that the chances of finding something if we waited until next spring, when she won't be home for spring break due to the tennis season, would be pretty slim.
We may need to bring this to the tailor to get it fixed up a bit when her body changes a bit from all the working out during the season. Luckily no changes need to be made to the length. My mother is verrrry nervous about the whole strapless thing, so maybe we'll add some kind of strap to soothe that. I think a thin halter-style ribbon strap in red might work, so that it doesn't disturb the pretty neckline, and then metallic or red flats, and maybe a little red flower pin at the waist and/or headband. She's got a pair of cute red rose earrings that could work with that, so then maybe just a necklace or bracelet to finish of the accessorizing.