Sunday, July 20, 2008

Irish Twins

My sister Kelly is 359 days younger than me. Someone told me if you are less than a year apart you are "Irish twins." After doing some reading about Irish twins, I found out that Irish twins are usually very close and end up doing the same kinds of things around the same times in their lives.

At times this has been frustrating for us. When we were kids, we always received the same gifts for Christmas and our birthdays (Kelly, Jan 12 and me, Jan 18). If Kelly opened a gift and it was a My Little Pony, it always spoiled the surprise for me. Getting ready for school in the mornings, Kelly would come into the bathroom only to discover me wearing the exact same shirt. These situations were not conducive to finding our own autonomies.

But as we got older, we suddenly saw less of each other and really missed each other. It was almost a relief when we found out we could work together and be roommates for two summers at Riverside Bible Camp. The first summer we were wranglers and the second we were on the discipleship team. We discovered that not only were we sisters, but we grew in our faith together and became sisters in Christ. We learned to bear each other's burdens and help each other when we struggled.

On March 17, 2007, Dave Sherman asked Kelly to marry him.
On March 23, 2007, (one week later) Shane Potratz asked me to marry him.

On August 18, 2007, Kelly and Dave got married.
On September 8, 2007, (three weeks later) Shane and I got married.

Kelly gave the most beautiful speech at my wedding. I will always treasure it. She describes our relationship very well:
To Kati and Shane on your wedding day.

Getting to know the Potratz family a bit… Kati & Shane’s shower – The Limbo!

We can all see that Shane and Kati make a great pair. You complement each other well:

Shane: great listener, asks questions; extremely patient; willing to do whatever it takes and work hard to make sure that Kati is taken care of, and yet still remembers to initiate time to spend alone and to bring Kati a flower the day before your wedding.

Kati: helps Shane to express himself – no matter what he is feeling. You help Shane to think about things in ways he hasn’t before (faith, Christ, life); Shane, you probably thought of yourself as a pretty fun-loving, silly guy, but Kati lives in a freedom in Christ that challenges you.

I think you were both surprised to find people who could make you see things and think about things in a way you hadn’t before.

Kati and I have always been there for each other. God timed it so that we were less than a year apart in age. I have so many memories from every season of life, and you are a part of all of them: of growing up, of friends and family, of being a kid (like riding bikes (or horses) all over town, making our basement into a roller rink, a library, a haunted house, or a movie theatre), of new experiences (like skiing in the mountains for the first time and going on our first mission trip), of the hard stuff (like fights with each other and parents, losing loved ones, tough transitions, and broken hearts), of traditions (like walking to school together, going Up North for vacation, and Christmases), of new adventures (like college, job hunting, moving, and now marriage). We are not just a part of each other’s lives; we are a part of each other’s hearts.

I was telling someone the other day that it didn’t completely hit me on my wedding day until I was coming down the aisle and I looked at you. In a way that I can’t explain, the moment and the event all of a sudden became completely real – because you were there. We have gone through all of the seasons of life together, so it makes sense that God would have us stepping into marriage at the same time too.

Looking back through almost 26 years, the greatest thing that you have given me is courage. No matter what I was going through, no matter what YOU were going through, you were always willing to say to me, “Kelly, you can do it, everything is going to be fine, and I think you are going to be the best at (fill in the blank).” …whatever it was that I was facing.

Shane, I am so excited for you to get to experience this courage that Kati will give you over the next MANY years of your marriage. I am excited for you both to find even more ways that God will reveal how you complement each other. I love you both very much.

~Kelly Sherman, Hand Matron of Honor

So, it shouldn't surprise anyone to find out that Kelly is also now pregnant with her first child! All unplanned by any of us, of course! You might think this is getting a little out of hand. But it is still so, so sweet and wonderful. Their baby will arrive just 3 months after ours.

I think our husbands are even becoming Irish twins by marriage. In all the new experiences of having wives, expecting babies, and career discovery, they often find themselves saying, "Dave is the only one who understands!"...and vice versa.

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