Happy Birthday Rachel! Today my sister turns 24. Yowzers. I still remember when we were pint-sized, and it really doesn’t feel like that long ago. We’ve always been “good” sisters; although growing up, three years is a big enough age gap to have different friends and hobbies. I was the dramatic, bossy sister (with a heart of gold, I swear), while Rachel was the baby-cute, gymnast. Adorably quirky too — her biggest obsessions included the number 7, anything octopus-themed, and bears.

I’m likely enthusiastically lecturing about something, as Rachel leans over to join in.

Still, no matter our differences in personality, the Tatem sisters have always been thick as thieves.

The requisite back-to-school photo…

I am so lucky that Rachel and I are now more than just sisters but also friends. She’s consoled me through breakups, given me advice in new relationships and taken care of my cat countless times. We’ve shared an apartment, kitchen duties (she does garbage, I do dishes), clothes and a million stories. We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in LA across the country from all our family (twice!), we’ve discovered a favorite neighborhood bar, and we’ve gone dancing in Vegas.

Tonight I’m making a childhood favorite: garlic chicken and mashed potatoes. My dad provided the recipe and the secret is butter. A lot of butter. Also, there will be the traditional ice cream cake. I can’t say what kind because I don’t want to ruin the surprise but it’s pretty epic.

Happy Birthday Rachie!