Happy Birthday, Amanda!

July 15th is a special day in the Podgorny family. After this day, there are only 263 more days until my birthday. Hip, hip, hooray!

All joking aside.  July 15th is the birthday of my sister and only sibling, Amanda. I am going to spare the details on how old my sister is, but let’s just say she wasn’t born in the nineties (OLD).

Because I am unable to join in with my family for the celebration, I thought it would be fitting to write a little bit about how special of a role my sister has played in my life. While we aren’t exactly your prototypical brother-sister combo, I think we make a pretty dynamic duo. And for that, I am always grateful to have a partner in crime.

My success can be directly correlated to my sister, even from an early age. One undisputed hypothesis is, when I was a toddler, my sister forcefully brought sensibility into my life. From thoughtful lessons, you ask? Not quite. When I was very young, my sister thought it a grand idea to carry me around. Needless to say, I was dropped on my head (multiple times, I reckon), knocking some sort of sense into me. I attribute this to my commonsense, or lack thereof.


I was dropped shortly after this picture was taken

And then there is the competitive aspect of our relationship. Throughout our lives we have turned virtually everything into a contest. From sports to invented games – “Juice Box Chasers” was my favorite and entailed whipping full pouches of juice at one another at high velocities – to whatever, we always competed. Any new friend I meet is quick to comment on my competitive nature, which has driven a great deal of my success, and I can associate that with the deep drive I have always had (and still do have) to best your name on the “State Qualifier” banner in Peotone High School.

Truly though, you are an inspiration to me. I have always followed in your footsteps, looking up to you. I remember how, before I realized I was actually just a science nerd, I always wanted to be a sports reporter, largely due to your pursuits as a journalist. And then there was the time that I tried to be a better editor of the PHS newspaper than you. I think everyone can agree I succeeded (and by everyone, I mean James and Trevor).  Regardless, your love and skill for writing is something I admire and try to emulate, even with this blog.

At the end of the day, we have been through quite a lot, but one thing always remains constant: we have each other. No matter how far apart geographically, I always know that you will be there and I hope you realize that the same is true for me. From the same school of thought, know that I am always here to push you to be the best person that you can be and I know you’ll do the same (revisit paragraph five in case you forgot how this works). I can’t wait for my children to see you as Aunt Amanda; the cool, funny, strong, and loving (maybe a little crazy too) aunt.


Amanda can really make some weird faces in pictures

So enjoy your birthday back in Chicago. Get a cold beer from Revolution and enjoy the countless amount of books I sent you. I look forward to discussing them with you when I crash on your couch in the near future.


Your brother, DJ

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