Have you ever heard that people are placed in your life for a reason?

About 2,164 miles separates me from an important woman in my life — my older sister, Lauren, who is currently playing softball at Miami University in Ohio. Lauren started playing softball when she was just 4-years-old. As a kid I dreamed of being like her, which admittedly caused a lot of fights and frustration. Today she is 23-years-old and still playing with the same amount of passion she had the first time she stepped on the field.

Ever since we were young, Lauren has always stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) as a leader. From taking time to show me how to pitch, to ensuring that her whole team has a voice and feels comfortable sharing their opinions — Lauren leads by example and puts others ahead of herself. Speaking of putting others ahead of herself, did I mention that on top of all of her responsibilities, Lauren is a mother to a beautiful little girl? My niece Kailyn is the hilarious 2-year-old that gives Lauren the title of full time mom.

When Lauren found out she was pregnant there were a lot of questions and uncertainty about how different her life was going to change. In addition to, “What color baby clothes do I need to buy?,” there were questions like, “How will I finish school?,” and “Who is going to be there for me?” But from the minute Kailyn came into the world, she gave us not only common ground and something to talk about, but also a friendship that hadn’t been around since we were kids.

I’ve been lucky enough to witness my sister take on being a young mother with grace (which fittingly is Kailyn’s middle name). From attending classes to working toward transferring schools, and of course handling the inevitable stressors of being a new mom — Lauren inspires me and is a daily reminder that I can do it all. In fact, Lauren worked so hard that she was offered a scholarship to play softball in Ohio, and I couldn’t be more proud (thank goodness for FaceTime).

Having an older sister who is an incredible softball player, an amazing person, an extremely smart and successful student, and the best mother to her daughter — it’s pretty hard to compete for child of the year. I’m so blessed I was put into her life because I don’t know where I would be without an older sister like mine.

xx, Erin

P.S. This article is a part of a special FabFitFun content series in partnership with Pearl xChange in an effort to empower and uplift women. Join our Editor-in-Chief, Katie Ann Rosen Kitchens, along with Nicole Richie and other inspiring women on Nov. 5 in West Hollywood for the “Pearls of My Life” Panel where they’ll be sharing their own stories. Find more information here.