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  1. This is such a happy story Brenda…I wish you both so much joy..Mariette is so pretty does look very French..the two of you look quite a bit alike and it sounds like you think alike too…Best of luck getting to know each other..

  2. One of my Mother's favorite sayings comes to mind: "Blood is thicker than water"! I love your comment about European bloggers. I have had the same feeling many times. I also appreciate that their homes are not styled as far as the eye can see. They look lived in.

  3. How wonderful that you've connected with your sister! It's kind of a new beginning for both of you.

    I often feel disconnected from our blog world, too, Brenda. I have a house, but I don't have the resources or inclination to change everything at the drop of a hat. It can be overwhelming to view the homes with all new….everything, but I realize this is just a small sampling of homes in our country and there are many more like me who make do with what they have.

  4. That is such a great gift Brenda. To have found a sister that you lost many years ago. These are the treasures of life. I am an only child and don't know how that feels but to make up for it I went and had four of my own. Family is truly the greatest blessing.

  5. she is very beautiful. she looks Italian to me! such warm expressive eyes and smile.
    but in the second picture I see more happiness.
    what a true blessing that you've found each other and are so much alike! that makes it all the more sweeter.
    and living in 525 square feet… I totally understand what you said about small spaces. I wouldn't want more really!

  6. I am so happy for you that you found your sister. My sister and I do not speak everyday but I know she is always there for me as I am for her. There is that "connection". I would also like to say how much I enjoy your blog — I discovered it by looking at an old magazine that had done a story about you. It was when you lived in a small house — I enjoy looking at the pictures inside your homes. Your ideas in decorating are much like mine and I love my little house, I have lived here for 43 years!

  7. I'm happy for you that you and your sister have been reunited. I see a resemblance especially in the eyes. It sounds like you two have much in common, too. Enjoy your phone visits and hopefully you'll meet in person soon!

  8. Marietta is such a pretty lady and I love her name too. It's wonderful that the two of you are getting to know one another and so amazing how much you have in common!

  9. I'm so glad that you are developing a relationship with your sister, what a gift that is! She's lovely, I can see the resemblance!!

  10. Brenda, you have quite a story and now you can add the pictures to the faces you have been writing about. We just found my nephew after 32 years of wondering where he was, if he was okay, so many questions went unanswered. I am guilty of always thinking his birth mother provided a great life for him only to find out he was raised amongst gangs and violence. He survived and became a Marine serving his country at the White House. I am so proud of him and happy htat he is healthy and happy. Now our story begins…

  11. I'm so happy for you and Marietta that you have found each other. Her eyes are indeed like Andrew's! Is she a gardener too? I hope you all get to meet someday.

    I really enjoy the blogs you share on small homes and apartments, whether in this country or elsewhere in the world, because we are now in a house under 900 square feet. I've been pecking away on clutter reduction, a little bit at a time, and it is creating more breathing room and helping my attitude.

  12. I always soak up stories of reunited families. I'm so glad you found each other and have to much in common. I'm a bit confused about how she found you through an ancestry test. I thought those tests only told you your varied ethnicities. I didn't know they could lead you to individuals. I would love to know how that works. I'd be interested in doing it myself. Can you give more information about how she found you?

  13. Beautiful post, Brenda! I'm with you re: the large homes filled with "stuff". Been there, done that and I must say that this time of my life is very different. I, too, live in an apt and I can't even tell you how many "things" I've given away or donated. I feel like others may be blessed by what I'm not using. Your sister is very attractive! Did you do the DNA test or did she? I'd so love to do it.

    Have a relaxing day!

  14. It is wonderful that you have connected with your sister. Is there any chance that you'll be able to get together & meet each other. I don't know how far apart that you live from each other. You probably mentioned, but I forgot.

  15. It's a blessing that you found your sister and that you are communicating. As an only child, I have always known the void of no siblings and especially now that both my parents and beloved aunt have passed. Sometimes I think that I fill that void with material things, which is a sad commentary. The really important things in life don't have price tags. Focus on what you love and those you love, which you apparently are doing quite well.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  16. In the first picture, I immediately noticed her eyes and how similar they are to yours. I assume the second photo is a more recent one? It's funny, but I prefer her 'look' in that one. Maybe because she looks older and I can relate on a higher level.

    Life is full of surprises. That's what makes it interesting.

  17. Wow. My best friend found out she had an older sister when an aunt had too much to drink and spilled the secret at a family gathering. My friend and her siblings put an ad on a Web site for people looking for birth families, and the older sister happened to have just started looking for her birth family on the death of her adopted parents. The timing was incredible.
    I am glad you managed to find your sister and hope that the ties help you both.
    PS, you are right about European houses. The average size in France is 1,206 square feet, vs. 2,164 square feet in the U.S. See:
    It means less stuff and also more time for the things that really count: family and friends.

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