Friday, December 16, 2011

sharing christmas :: linnea {my sister}

this picture is quite horrible, but it makes me laugh.

my brothers and sister. and me with an awful haircut.
goodness why do i always end up with those?
we generally move through life this way. blurred and wild to the onlooker.
my sister sent me this photo just now. she always makes me laugh and always has only fabulous hair. i would be jealous of her, but i'm not. she deserves some type of reward for surviving through my pre-teen and teen years.
here she is with her darling family:

fun fact: people often think that linnea and i are inlaws, and that patrick and ben are brothers:)

linnea is sunshine. actual sunshine, folks.
she beams with cheerful smiles and her quick wit keeps me jolly.
having her for a sister has been one of the most wonderful things i've experienced in my life.
i'm grateful to also have her as a friend.
i asked my baby sister to join me for sharing christmas.
i am humbled and embarrassed by what she sent to me.
because i think she is a champion and sweet as pie, i am posting it for you to read.

Merry Christmas! Thank you Hannah for inviting me to your blog today.

When Hannah asked me to share on her blog I thought I better make it good because I’ll never have this much attention ever again.

I decided to tell you about one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Along with celebrating the birth of Jesus, every December I celebrate another birthday; my sister’s. My sister has often told me that she prayed and prayed for a little sister. I never got the chance to pray for a big sister, because my life came with one already! My mom told me recently that my sister was everything she wanted! She was having her first baby and said she just wanted a sweet baby girl. And she got her wish with my sister!

My sister’s birthday is on the 17th, so we always recognized it with gingerbread cookies or a party with Christmas music playing. She probably got sick of that. I pretty much have always gotten her a Christmas themed present. An ornament, or decoration! I suppose she doesn’t mind because she LOVES Christmas.

Speaking of gifts, my sister is the female version of Santa Claus. Besides gifts she showers on me all through out the year, she has always been generous at Christmas. In this time of her life, it is necessary that she be more frugal, and I often hear her say “I wish I could buy you EVERYTHING YOU WANT.” I know she really means it too. Gosh, she is so silly. I try to tell her that she has lavished such generosity on me since I was a baby that even if I never received one more gesture of affection or material gift from her I still would never be able to repay her in 10 lifetimes. She just gives, and gives, and gives.

   My sister is about to turn 31, and she says she is discouraged because she didn’t meet a lot of her goals she had for this year. Hmm, maybe she didn’t. But let me share with you 31 acts of kindness from the past few years off the top of my head:

1.  She brought me dinner one snowy night, after SHE had a tough day. It was venison stew, complete with rolls and dessert.
2.  She made me a “hospital necessities” bag for when I went to the hospital to have my daughter.
3.  She brought me homemade cookies at work.
4.  She made a special Christmas Day dinner for us! Complete with crackers and stripey straws.
5.  She threw me a Book Shower after my daughter was born. Wow, it was fancy. Fancy food and decorations. She even contacted friends from afar to send me books.
6.  I admired her beautiful camera strap . . .so of course she bought me one.
7.  She took lemonade to her resident managers.
8.  She sends encouraging notes & packages far and wide.
9.  She went to walmart to buy me “the biggest pads you can find” in the middle of night, so Ben could stay with me after I miscarried. She laid in bed with me and hugged me.
10.  She hugged me so many times during that tough time I don’t even know. And cried with me too.
11.    She and her husband paid for my cash strapped brother to come visit so he could have a chilled out relaxing week.
12.    She has made sacrifices so she can stay at home with her dear son.
13.   She has worked hard to make sure he is a happy boy even if it’s the dead of winter, making effort to take him to indoor play areas.
14.     She has brought me icees.
15.     She has brought me Starbucks. . .yum!
16.     She called the po-pos and maybe saved a girl from victimized by her violent boyfriend!
17.     She has successfully mastered many recipes.
18.     She has bought my daughter more clothes than I can shake a stick at.
19.     Before my daughter was born, my sister came over with her old changing table and “set up” the baby’s room. She filled the changing table with diapers, cremes, lotions, new mat, new mat cover, beautiful bins from land of nod, and even washed and folded new baby clothes.
20.     She took her son to DISNEYLAND. okay, that is really cool.
21.     She loves her husband unconditionally. And prays for him. You can just see it.
22.     She loves Jesus, boy does she love Jesus.
23.     She has been at my beck and call. If I am having ANY SORT OF TROUBLE at ANY time of day I know I can call my sister in the middle of the night, and she will be there for me. This may or may not be a text I have sent before “PLEASE PRAY FOR ME. I can’t go to the bathroom and am in extreme pain.” (women who have had abdominal KNOW how that is..). That might have been too much information for such a classy blog - but I wanted you to have a full grasp on how my sister literally lifts me up in prayer down to the nitty gritty.
24.     Hannah had a wonderful fund raising get together to benefit a girl who needs adopting.
25.     I got roped into hosting a tupperware party . . and SOMEHOW it ended up being at my sister’s house?! Haha! That should give you some insight into our relationship. She always comes to save the day!
26.      I called her the other day and said “I am SO STRESSED OUT.” and the first thing out of her mouth was “How can I help you?”.
27.    She thoughtfully considers her husband, all the time, always taking steps to make sure he doesn’t need to feel unnecessary stress.
28.    She puts up with me. I am . . . something else?
29.    She laughs at my jokes! I’m glad someone thinks I am funny.
30.    She makes me see things in a new light. Like, wait, maybe I shouldn’t be watching that TV show?!
31.    She has sustained this blog, that I know inspires many readers daily.

Hannah Rose, this saturday you turn 31! I love you and I am just so thankful for you. You are one of the greatest things about December! I also insist you forget being modest for one day, and post this on your blog.

linnea ruth! you are too much. i love you to the moon.
even if you did share another hideous bangs photo of me.

hop on over to linnea's blog, and while you're there, tell her to blog more often. thanks.


  1. this post maybe made me cry a little. probably because i've been on the receiving end of hannah's selflessness and love so many times and there are few things so wonderful. love you so much, sweet friend!

  2. Well, it's 5:44 in the AM,and tears are rolling down my face - beautiful sister post - I pray, pray, pray that my girls will one day have the relationship with each other that you two have.

  3. Gosh, I love this post SO much! It's so neat getting to know your sister and thus getting to know YOU more, Hannah!

  4. Happy early birthday, sweet Hannah. Love ya girl!

  5. I always wanted a glad my girls have each other: ) The band picture is not hideous--we all have some of those in the closet: ) Love you!

  6. a beautiful tribute to a beautiful hannah. i love the sweet bond twining you and your sister.

  7. definitely shedding tears here! and super Happy Birthday Hannah! We love you!

  8. I always wanted a sister too! What a blessing that Linnea has you! And what a blessing you are to so many {including me, with your many sweet words of encouragement!}
    Happy happy birthday!

  9. Yep, tears pouring down my face too! Like others stated, I always wanted a sister. Still do. But I am SO happy that you two have one another. Hannah IS amazing. She is the most generous person I have ever met. Honestly... she is just THAT real.

    Oh, and my very first thought when I clicked on this post was "wow,your husbands look SO much alike!" LOL!!!

  10. Oh boy, I'm at work and trying to stop myself from tearing up too much! What a beautiful tribute to you from Linnea! I don't have any "blood" related sisters like that. I really do have two biological older sisters but one is mentally challenged and the other hasn't spoken to me in many years.

    Hannah, I doubt that anyone who has met you hasn't been touched by your generosity. I love you because of who you are and what a good friend you are to my gal, Lauren.

  11. oh hannah, what a blessing to have your sister look up to you like that--your sweet heart sure deserves it. i know all about that generousity that runs through you and i praise God for the gift of YOU! happy 31st birthday! love ya <3

  12. girls i'm really wishing i had a sister right now! the bond you two have seems unstoppable. i love it.
    miss hannah i hope you have a wonderful birthday.
    happy weekend.

    oh and as far a your husbands being brother the silly people aren't looking past the beards. you girls look so much alike.


  13. oh how i loved this post. makes me realize how grateful i am to know you, sweet hannah. i'm so glad your sis shared these things. i think you are the most humble and giving person i know...honestly. so blessed to call you friend. happy early birthday friend! love you much!

  14. what I sweet post! I have to tell you my daughter prayed and prayed for a baby sister...just like you she got her prayers answers...I pray now that my daughter would have the same love you and your sister have!

  15. tears are a-flowin'!!! how beautiful!! happy birthday, hannah...what a sweet gift of words from your sister. i have two sisters and i can't imagine life without them. and i'm so delighted i have two daughters, born just 16 1/2 months apart. what joy! :)

  16. oh my word....this post is precious, just plain precious!

    the fact that you girls obviously look like sisters & your husbands look like twins, mercy. you could get some mileage out of this come Halloween...just saying. I'm thinking really great couples costumes of some sort. Anyways, something to think about.

    Oh & Happy Birthday tomorrow!

  17. I needed a little bit of encouragement tonight, so I headed over here to your blog, because it always encourages me. I'm glad I did :) This is the sweetest post ever! Can you two please adopt me as your sister?

  18. Happy Birthday sweet Hannah! I too, have been blessed by your generous heart. You deserve some lovin today on your birthday! I'll see you this afternoon :) xo

  19. first off. i can totally see how people think your hubs are brothers. but they are clearly not looking carefully - because you and sis are totally twinsies!!!

    second off, i love reading this. she is so lucky to have you as a big sister. :) so much of that stuff I know you do for other people - and it's awesome to see that you are that generous, loving, kind, and selfless in every area of your life.

    happy birthday dear friend. :) i'm so happy to know you are surrounded by such love!

  20. This is just beautiful!!

    This is how sisterhood should be, whether biological or not! Thank you for the amazing example!!