Tuesday 19 June 2007

Happy Birthday, Stephanie!

Allow me to introduce my sister, Stephanie. She lives in Lakewood, Colorado with her husband, Anthony, her daughter, Audrey, and her twin sons, Carson and Creighton. And she just happens to be one of the most amazing people I know.

Now I realise I might be biased. but ask anyone who knows her and they'll tell you the same.

Let's start with her laugh. It's beautiful. And infectious. And when you are around her you laugh a lot: with her, at her, at yourself, out loud, proper belly jiggling, tears rolling down your face laughing. Sometimes it is at what she did. Sometimes what she said. Sometimes it's just the way she looks. Not that she is funny looking. She is just funny.

Then there is her inner beauty. She sets the standard for being non-judgmental. She is honest and always gently (or not) points out when I'm not being my authentic self. She teaches me lessons in acceptance every day.

She is a great mother. She gave me a book called Babywise which basically taught Marc and I how to survive our first 6 moths as parents. We couldn't have done it without her. She gave us amazing tips on how to use a naughty step effectively.

When Stephanie graduated from high school, I was living in Germany. As a gift I gave her a ticket to fly out and stay with me. At 6:05 in the morning just as I was getting out of the shower the morning before I thought she was due to arrive, my phone rang. Steph was on the other end, crying wondering why I hadn't picked her up at the airpoort. I explained that she wasn't due to arrive until the following day. She indignantly replied that I was clearly mistaken as she was AT the airport in Dusseldorf. It was her very first trip outside the USA. She spoke no German and had to beg for change and instructions on how to use the phne. She was only 18. She could have killed me.

We have done numerous road trips all over the place. We drove around France that summer and stayed in some of the worst places. Then all over Belgium and stayed in some of the best places (after having about 3 too many bottles of wine). Do you remember falling down the stairs and tripping over the cutlery trolley? We sang songs from The Sound of Music on the hilltops of Hidelburg (I know it should have been Austria but we were close). We drove across Wyoming and South Dakota, through the badlands to Mount Rushmore. We drove across Colorado to Missouri.

Steph and I have a lot in common:
  • We both LOVE sushi
  • We both married tall men
  • We both love being mothers but constantly struggle with the balance of keeping ourselves intact
  • We love cooking
  • We love reading
We are also very different:
  • I'm super duper controlling; She is so laid back she is horizontal
  • I'm a morning person; She is a night owl
  • I am hyper organised; She is the last minute queen
  • I am a baseball nut; She is a hockey fanatic

I have so many memories of time spent with my sister: taking a break from Christmas shopping and making up stories about the lives of fellow shoppers, her bachorlorette party (my mother is still angry with me), celebrating the Stanley Cup victory with the Colorado Avalanche, clubbing until the wee hours of the morning during my single days, her showing me how to give Sebastian a bath in our bath tub when he was a baby (without me having to get in with him), drinking coffee in the morning when the house is still quiet. I could go on and on and on and on.

I remember when I bought her her very first Louis Vuitton handbag. You would have thought I had delivered her the second coming. It still fills me with joy when she wears the diamond and pearl necklace I gave her for her sweet 16.

One of the best things my sister and I ever did was write a eulogy for my grandmother's funeral. It was the hardest thing we've ever done. Our husbands supported us with endless cups of coffee and watched us practice until we could do it without breaking down sobbing. I wrote. She edited. I remember standing up there next to her. I started off with a wobble in my voice but ended strongly. She started off strongly and then faultered midway through. Without each other, we couldn't have done it. That's pretty much how I feel about life and my sister. Without her, I don't think I could have made it this far. She is my go-to person for advice in just about everything! She's an expert at childcare advice and without her my children would still be taking a bath with me and not eating solid foods.

Today is Stephanie's 33rd birthday. I love you, sis! I miss you so much it aches. Hope you have a glorious day!


Brooke said...

Happy Birthday Steph! Very good Plum you had me laughing at the beginning at by the end you had tears coming to my eyes. I remember when you both stood up to do the eulogy. I didn't think you guys were going to make it through it. You guys did and I know she was looking at you from heaven saying those our my granddaughters.

stephanie said...

Thank you, LaDawn. I feel the same way and love you dearly. By the way, I am sure you would have figured all this out on your own...but hey, a younger sister wants to give advise every now and then.

The Birthday Girl

stephanie said...

When I showed this to Audrey, she asked, "Why is Aunt Plum so much bigger [older] than you, Mommy?" I told her, "Aunt Plum is ten years older than me." She replied, "Holy Moly!"

Out of the mouth of babes!

JMarie said...

Cute picture!