Some people are blessed with a sibling in their life – a best friend who knows you in and out, who has been through every situation with you and who will have your back no matter what. Well, I’ve been lucky enough to have three of these people in my life and today I’m giving them a huge shout out on National Siblings Day.

My big sister Karli is my other half. I am so thankful to have someone who understands me so well and who has been my go-to gal for 21+ years. We’ve been through a lot together, and it’s comforting to know she is one of the constant things in life amidst my current transition from college to post-grad.

Left to right: My sister's brother-in-law Nic, me, Jason, Karli, Erin and Evan.

Left to right: My sister’s brother-in-law Nic, me, Jason, Karli, Erin and Evan.

I also have a stepbrother, Evan and a stepsister, Erin. A lot of people view divorce as a negative thing, and this is not entirely true. I am beyond thankful to have my stepsiblings in my life and I can’t imagine where I’d be today without them. I was a huge tomboy growing up, and 10 years ago I gained a brother my age who I could play sports and videogames with. I also gained a little sister, and since I was used to being the baby of the family it was a big adjustment. Now I strive to be someone she can continue to look up to as she finishes high school and enters college. Marriage also brought another great person into my life who I’m proud to call my sibling. Karli married Jason last year, and now I have another brother who will do anything for me.

A person doesn’t have to be related by blood or marriage to be considered a sibling, in my opinion. So, even if you’re an only child, you can most definitely find that person or select people who you would consider your sibling(s). I know that I have made friendships over the years that are everlasting, and I’d consider those girls my sisters.

Left to right: Kaylee, Maggie and me.

Left to right: Kaylee, Maggie and me.

In elementary school I met Maggie and Kaylee, and to this day we remain close. These are the people I’ve been best friends with for more than a decade, and even though we live in separate states, whenever we see each other we pick right back up where we left off.

Left to right: Ericka, Andrea, me, Angela and Courtney. Its our final year living together, and I can't imagine my life without these girls.

Left to right: Ericka, Andrea, me, Angela and Courtney. Its our final year living together, and I’m going to be lost without these girls every day!

When I made the move from Wisconsin to Minnesota to attend WSU, I had no idea I would meet a group of girls who I would also consider to be my sisters. As roommates and best friends, these girls know me better than anyone else, and the thought of us going our separate ways after graduation in one month makes me incredibly sad – not because I fear for our friendships and that we will drift apart, but because I dread not having these girls around the house, always ready to hear me vent or help me with any problem.

All of these girls and I might not be blood-related, but that doesn’t mean a thing. In my book, National Siblings Day recognizes the people who you can trust your secrets with, who will do anything for you and who have been in your life through thick and thin. Whether or not they’re related to you – that’s a true sister or brother.