My family spent the majority of Labor Day over at the Rings house…I didn’t cook much more than brownies that day, but Rick and Debi know how to host a party better than anyone I know. They’re in the restaurant business and if you haven’t been to Pasta’s in downtown Pleasanton you should go, and get the butternut squash ravioli, it’s delicious! 

Mere was in town from Texas and got to meet baby Jack for the first time, along with several other members of their extended family. This family (the Ring family) means so much to me. 

I’ll never forget the first time I met Ryan Ring. I’ve told this story so many times, but it always makes me laugh. When Meghan and him first started dating I was living up in St. Helena. I had heard a lot about him and they were planning on driving up to take me to lunch in Napa. My sister had told me that he was different than all the other guys she had dated, and that he dressed, and these are her words exactly, “kinda punk”…when they met me that afternoon he was wearing a pebble beach polo tucked into Khaki shorts, with a belt and loafers. I liked him right away. 

As I got to know him I liked him even more. He is someone who I have come to really respect and look up to. He has given me great advice over the years, and I always like his insight. I think we are similar in a lot of ways, and I like to think that is why he is good for my sister, and why she is so good for him. He has become a brother me, and I love him very much. However, things weren’t always so perfect. 

Right before Kerry left to study abroad in Italy our family had a going away dinner for her at Basil Leaf Cafe. Meghan invited him, which I wasn’t to happy about. It was a goodbye dinner for Kerry, not Meghan, and yet he was still going to be there. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him, I just remember being emotional over the fact that it was probably never going to be just the six of us again. At that time in my life it was difficult to accept the fact that our family was growing. I actually cried when Meghan told me they were moving in together, not because I wasn’t happy for them, but just because things were changing. I thought I was losing her. 

After awhile, and getting over the fact that things weren’t always going to stay the same, I realized my relationship with her would only get stronger from then on. I have learned so much from both of them, and am so grateful I live close by as they have started their own little family. 

Most of you know this already, but Meghan’s pregnancy started with twins. The day she lost one of the boys was one of the hardest days I have ever experienced. My dad told me the news right after he got off the phone with Ryan, and all I remember was driving to the hospital and saying over and over again “this isn’t right, they’ve made a mistake.” Walking in and seeing my sister I wanted to crumble to the floor. I wanted to take that pain from her. She has been my rock my entire life, with me through everything. My sister is seriously one of the strongest people I know, and someone I had hardly seen cry all of our growing up together. I tried to stay strong, but I struggled to find the right words. I couldn’t articulate how I felt for her, and Ryan, and the other healthy baby. I just sat there and watched, and listened to the way Debi comforted her. Moms seem to always know what to say, and Debi was there for her in a way I wish I could’ve been. Watching them together I was so happy that Meghan has that relationship in her life. I saw her mother-in-law in a new light, and appreciated her in a way I hadn’t before. We are all so incredibly lucky to have the mom that we do, and I felt lucky to witness that she has that same care and support and comfort with her in-laws. That was a hard day for us all, and I will never be able to comprehend the experience Meghan went through, but I do know it brought our families closer together. 

Last night I spent the night with my sister and we stayed up talking until we both fell asleep. I miss those types of nights with her, it had been a long time since we did that. But I woke up at four something in the morning listening to her calmly try and soothe Jack, as he was screaming, and I was so proud of the woman she has become. Thinking back through all the big life moments I’ve experienced with her, proud of all the decisions she’s made, and wanting to be just like her in the same way as when we were kids. 

I’ve watched Meghan and Ryan’s marriage grow stronger than ever the past six months, and the amount of love that has poured into Jack Ryan from everyone and everywhere is one of the most special things to witness. 

So Rings- thanks for bringing us all together, and thanks for a great party! Love you all! Happy Anniversary to Meghan and Ryan!