Mad for…Alli

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy. (Psalm 26:2)

Sassy and utterly beautiful, Alli is a free spirit who is celebrating her 16th birthday this week! She’s the only daughter and youngest child of Rich and Janet Andriole– and little sister to Nick and Jacob. She’s pictured with them, above. I’ve known her for most of her life, and I have always considered her presence a blessing to me and to our entire family.

Allison has a smart, sarcastic sense of humor that makes me cackle. She’s direct and utterly forthright. She’s outspoken and filled with strength and passion. I always admire the work of the Lord when I think of Alli because the Master Gardener certainly created something truly special in this young lady. She’s at that age where she’s really on the verge of blooming into a woman that will, I predict, be fierce, loyal and an amazing ray of sunshine. She’s already a huge blessing in the lives of her parents, siblings and her many young cousins.

I’ll be honest, Alli reminds me of her mother. She has the same sunny face and eyes that twinkle. Determination is the name of her game. She’s the kind of person, even when she makes a mistake, who knows it’s not time to give up or give in….it’s time to let her character be seen, to dig in. I admire that perseverance and have often thought I could use another dose of the same in my own life.

During a large part of their formative years, Alli and my youngest son Zach spent a lot of time being “forced friends”. Her older brothers are a perfect match for my older two and when the families spent time hanging out, the two youngest had each other or no one. Alli never complained about being saddled with a little boy two years her junior. She was compassionate and cheerful, always concerned for Z’s well-being and making sure he was taken care of properly. To this day, they really do have a special bond, even though their visits are much more infrequent.

Silly grins that beam light into the room are a specialty of this young lady. I simply love the way she smiles, and whenever I encounter Allison, I always leave feeling that Jesus paid a visit to my day. I know your birthday was yesterday, sweet girl, but I believe in the “birthday festival” approach to celebration….so we are not quite done yet…hate your luck! I think you are the cat’s meow, Allison Andriole! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND SO MUCH LOVE, ALLI-CAT. (See what I did there….ha?!!) I hope your “SWEET 16” is the best year yet!