Casual Obsesssion A story of two sisters who like each other a lot

The secret's out, guys. I'm obsessed with my sister. Her secret is out too, she's equally obsessed with me. We are pretty cute, and we know it. We sleep in the same bed every night (whenever we are in the same city). We fall asleep holding hands and snuggz in the mornings when we wake up. We talk about things that only sisters need to know. This girl is my best friend.

How, you may ask, did such a casual obsession come about? Well, I'll walk you through it.

Let's start at the beginning.

The Early Years.

Obviously I don't have much to say from the very early days, as is evident by this upcoming photo, where my older sister is but an infant.

Just over a month after Megan Levy-McLaughlin graced the world with her presence.

I have little idea of what happened in these first two years, given that I was not alive yet, but I'm sure it was a grand old time of my lovely mother and wonderful father struggling to figure out how to raise a sassy baby while working and completing schooling. My parents are superheroes, what can I say.

Meg was always on top of the fashion game. I mean, the towel matches the bathing suit. And the hat matches the overalls.

So, what happened next?

I was born! And what a beautiful baby I was.

I rocked up into the world in August 1992, and was (despite what my extremely anguished face in the above photo suggests) surprisingly peaceful. My parents tell me that they thought I was dead the first night I came home from the hospital because I slept the entire night through without a peep. Apparently Meg was peeping enough for the both of us.

Given that it was just us two for the first while, we spent a lot of time together.

We started cruising early.

This red car might be the epitome of a 90s childhood.

Fashion was our number one priority. Clearly.

We take full responsibility for the outfits in the left photo (Meg stylish as ever; me, rocking Barney on Mickey). We take no responsibility for the outfits on the right. Side note: my grandparents still have that couch.

We went to the zoo a couple of times.

I swear I am in that first photo. I am the lump my mom is holding behind Meg.

Around this time, our family got one flurry, furry friend bigger.

We spent a lot of time playing with Sasha, including dressing her up more than once. I am ashamed to say I do not have those photos. Yet.

And we went to some fancy parties.

I don't know when this tradition of taking family photos before parties ended, but I would like to have it back.
The three girls cousins who were alive in 1999 patiently waiting to be flower girls for my uncle's wedding.

Our family got bigger.

Baby Carly, who Meg is holding, is now 16. Just to give you some perspective.

Meg taught me how to swim in my grandma's pool. And we taught my dad how to swim with two girls yanking on him.

And Meg went through a phase where she refused to actually smile for the camera.

Unfortunately I only have one photo with me from this glorious time. Side note: I still have that sweater she's wearing.
See what I mean.

Which leads us very nicely into the next phase of this story...

The Awkward Years.

I feel like everyone goes through this phase where they look back on their photos and think "oh good lord, how could my parents document this horror in photograph?" But I am glad we have these photos, mostly because they provide much comic relief.

Modelling at Christmas
This may be the most iconic photo of me and Meg's childhood. Sunburnt, making faces and together.
My grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. With my purple tie-die outfit and bleach skunk stripped hair, I almost take the focus away from Meg, in peak awkward stage. Almost.

Meg supported me through my skunk stripe phase, where I got bleach blonde streaks instead of highlights. And dad, bless him, was significantly less supportive. My dad doesn't sugar coat, which I now appreciate. As a vulnerable, insecure little 10 year old though, I just couldn't handle his "Well hunny, it doesn't look great" when I showed him my new do.

Obviously, Meg and I were still hanging out all the time. Goofing around, you know, being sisters. Around this time, we had some new family members join our ranks on both sides.

My mama got together with the lovely man below, Phil. Also known as Philly, Phillikins, Phildre, Phildrippio, and however else his name has been mispronounced in our presence, which is surprisingly often.

My dad got together with Wendy, who is likely taking the below photo. Suddenly, our nuclear family was quite large, and we had new sisters to share our love with.

Me, my dad, Meg, Cassandra and Ashley at Wendy's parents 50th wedding anniversary.

Just as Meg transitioned out of her awkward phase, I slid into mine. I dare say mine was more graceful. Maybe I was just more awkward before that. Plus I had Meg to pave the way for me.

Another pre-party photo from a later decade. I guess we hung onto that tradition more than I thought.
Smuggs ski trip photos date back to these glorious times
Side note: I have and still frequently wear both Meg's shirt and Phil's. I may or may not be wearing Phil's shirt right now.

Somewhere around this time, Meg moved off to university. Suddenly, we were spending much less time together than normal. However, that did not stop our obsession from growing. You know what they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Plus our family vacations reunited us.

The Family Get Aways.

My family is very fortunate, I'll say that right off the bat. We have done lots of travelling over the years. So this section actually overarches the other sections as well.

Skiing at a little resort called Smugglers' Notch in Vermont was a staple on our calendar.

For the record, I was told my jacket was covered with daisies.

Sometimes we went skiing outside of Vermont. And the times I'm thinking of, we came out with photos like this...

Okay, it's just the one photo, but it is solid gold.

They even went skiing without me sometimes.

We snuck off to some tropical locations, like Cuba.

Swim up pool bar before I had the boozy, big kid bracelet.
Learning to salsa on the beaches of Cuba.

And we spent a few weeks at this incredibly random but very fun cottage.

Phil is notorious for documenting Meg and I sleeping while on vacation.

Please note the middle one is in our room which is a perfectly acceptable place to sleep.

We went to Mexico, where my mom and Phil got themselves hitched.

And I had a jello shot for the first time

We ventured to the nation's capital for Canada day a year after that, and managed to see the Queen! Well, her hat at any rate.

The Levy and Plain cousins in Ottawa for Canada day

We also flitted off to B.C. once or twice. So often that I fell in love with it and moved there for four years.

Having successfully moved me into residence at UBC.

We brought in the New Year of 2011 in Costa Rica.

And we went to Italy with my dad's whole side of the family for my step sister Ashely's wedding. My dad and Wendy also got hitched during that trip, on a winery in Tuscany. No big deal.

Dan's girls.
The four sisters at Dan and Wendy's wedding.

Side note about the above photo, slash our general physical make up. Some people think Meg and I don't look alike at all. We have worked at the same restaurant for some summers and some people have no idea we're even related.

Some people think we are the same person. And I mean that quite literally. While working one day, my sister and I switched places at the computer while a man was signing his bill. He looked up at me, handed me the bill and thanked me for the great service. Meg served him, though, I didn't.

Right after the vacation slash wedding weeks in Italy, I moved to Vancouver to begin my undergrad. Though Meg and I had been living apart from each other for four years prior to that when Meg moved away for University, this was the farthest apart we had ever been for more than a few month stints when Meg went gallivanting around Europe for summer courses.

This was the first really big test of our sisterly-love bond. But, between phone calls to and from class, text messages that numbered so many that it drove my roommates insane, and a trip to visit me when I stayed in Vancouver for the summer, we kept that connection that everyone recognizes in us.

Bike ride through Vancouver and Stanley Park with the Walker-Fagan-Masi-Belman-Levy-McLaughlin family. We know, it's a mouthful.

Meg was even in Vancouver right when I started my long gallivants through Southeast Asia. She gave me the most royal and excellent of send-offs.

Lil nugget hugs looking across the Pacific.

Even though Meg and I lived far apart from each other because of school, we still spent (and still spend) so much time together through these family vacations. The most common getaway for us now is Sedona, Arizona, as my mom and Phil have decided that they do not like Canadian winters anymore. They now prefer to hike and bike in the desert. Preposterous, right? Let me just throw this up to remind you of what Sedona looks like.

Since 2012, we have been going to Sedona at least once a year.

Sometimes we bring friends...

Meg's bestie Ade came with us one year.

Sometimes it's family...

On the way, and at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. One of the coolest places I've seen.

Which leads us into the final section of this story.

Bringing together the family.

The most amazing thing about Meg is her incredible ability to bring family together. We joke that it's FOMO (fear of missing out) but truthfully, it's just because she loves her family so much and wants to spend all the time she can with them.

We have the modern-day big family, as is evident from the above photo. We also have a large extended family on my mom's side. Meg will fill all the time she has available with family, and make sure we get photos to capture those moments.

Though I roll my eyes every time she stops the group to take selfies or take numerous photos, I actually really appreciate it. Another secret being exposed through this Spark project.

I am also grateful for Phil, for being equally photography-inclined and documenting these wonderful moments in this story of casual obsession.

It has been almost impossible to attempt to sum up what has been a 24-year relationship into something understandable. Hopefully, all I have shown is that after spending 24 years together, we have become inseparable. Just ask Meg's friends and my friends, because we share those too.

Toothbrush parties became a thing with us this summer.

I know I said this before, but this girl is my best friend. We don't always agree, but that's actually a good thing. We have a way of talking to each other now that lets us talk about our differences. Maybe that's because we understand each other. Really, really well.

I could not have asked for a better person to talk to every day, and to spend my life with, because that's basically what we've done so far, and we have no plans of stopping here.

You know, I think the best I could have demonstrated this casual obsession that has been 24 years in the works is through this song... We listen to it every morning as Meg's alarm, and every morning we dance in bed to it. And if it comes on while we're driving, we dance to it then too. We'll even listen to it separately in a car and dance together, even though no one can hear what we're dancing to. That right there is probably the epitome of my deep-seated, obsessive love for my sister.

Love you da mostest, Murgur. Merry Christmas. Here's to many obsessive years to come.

Taken in Chile, all of 3 days ago.

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