Saturday, January 23, 2010

happy birthday, michelle

I'm going to feel bad now because I didn't do a happy birthday post for my brother who turned 33 just a few days after I started blogging last month.  I celebrated though.  I ate beef stew and made him apple dumplings and gave him a present at his early birthday.  And on the actual day, I called him.  I sang to his answering machine (I think).  But I didn't publicly acknowledge the anniversary of the day of his birth.  Sorry, bub.

I also didn't blog about the birthday of my favorite 5 year-old, the pinkie of the Handful, whose birthday was this week.  I asked last weekend when we were together how the parents of my nieces and nephews felt about their kids' names and/or faces going public on my blog, but somehow I never got a definitive answer and I didn't realize that until I got home, so I'll stick with calling him Pinkie.  I'm sure he wouldn't mind.  He also, at barely five, doesn't read much--especially this sophisticated blog o'mine--so I'm feeling pretty confident that he'll never know.  And like his father, though I didn't acknowledge Pinkie's birthday in the blogosphere, we celebrated.  I traveled.  I bought him grown-up camo binoculars just like the Popster's.  I ate cake.  And on the actual day, I called him.  I sang to his answering machine.  I wondered why I always get screened when I call their house.  Sorry, Pinkie, for not acknowledging your day of birth on the blog though.

So now that I've aired all the guilt, let me get to the point:

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

Sorry the picture is blurry, but I love that face.

My favorite sister is turning another year older today, and out of respect for my elders, I won't say which year that is.  When we were together celebrating Pinkie's birthday last weekend, Michelle and I also got to celebrate our birthdays (which are ten days apart).  Due to our birthdays' proximity to Christmas and her penchant for moving cross-country every couple of years, we hadn't celebrated together in a while.  Fun stuff.

Because my moma loves me more than Michelle (or because she was having the most stressful week ever), she made my favorite birthday dessert (chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing, for those playing the home game) but didn't make Michelle's (lemon icebox pie).  The Handful helped to decorate them all.  There are pictures, but I'm not posting them here.  Maybe another day . . . We took very polite turns opening gifts because we are good, grown-up girls.  And with the few exceptions you see here, we managed to be the subject of some fairly horrible photographs.
I got her the book Becoming Myself, Becoming His by Kay Watson, who is a friend of Michelle's from their time in Florida.  The pictures of that gift-opening are especially hideous because I was telling her the remotely amusing story of how the book arrived, and let me assure you, I should never allow someone to photograph my mid-word.  Scary stuff.  You won't be seeing them here.  For the most part, the Handful didn't express much interest in our gift-opening.  They had been promised a slumber party and couldn't build enthusiasm for the book and kitchen implements that made up the bulk of our gifts.  They had also already had their cupcakes, so there was no chance of bribery either.

I'd like to tell you that Michelle is spending her birthday in some indulgent way, but that's not very Michelle.  Instead she's sitting somewhere watching this:

Rachel, otherwise known as the bird finger of the Handful, has her first Upward basketball game today.  She showed off her skills and uniform for us last weekend.  I kind of wish I didn't have expressed permission to use Rachel's name, because calling her Bird would crack me up every time I did it. 

Here's Rach taking Uncle Shane to school.

And showing off her game face:

I hope the game goes well for Rachel's sake and for the sake of peace and harmony and enjoyment for Michelle.

Let me end with my top 5 favorite things about my favorite sister:

5.  She takes longer to get ready than I do, so rarely does anyone even notice that I am the slowpoke that makes us late just as much as she is.

4.  She married a truly wonderful and hilarious guy.  Will would be my favorite brother-in-law even if he had any competition.

3.  She thinks I'm hilarious.  This is the real secret to a lasting, positive relationship with me.  I'm a sucker for people who think I'm funny.  And Michelle gets me, even when she's not half-hysterical from exhaustion.

2.  Katelyn & Rachel.  Those two little freaks are some of the best parts of my wonderful sister.

1.  Michelle is the bossiest, most over-protective mama-bear of a sister that anyone could ever need.  She's been taking care of me for nearly thirty-one years.  She deserves the credit for at least a third of anything that is good or useful about me.  We don't do mushy speeches, and we sometimes think that words are cheap, but I never have to doubt for a second who we are or what we are to each other.  And I know she'll be on my team for the next thirty-one years too.

So happy birthday, shishter.  No matter what those punk girls of yours say, you'll always be cooler than me.


  1. Mac--You've never given me a song for my birthday before. Thanks. The girls wrote me a song yesterday but forgot to sing it to me today. I can't wait to hear it tomorrow.

    Ellen--Added all together and averaged out-I don't hate you for the pictures. Also, you didn't make me sound as bad as you could have, so I don't hate you for that either. I rather like you for not telling my age. I love that Rachel is the bird finger--very fitting. She will probably use it more than the other kiddos. Basketball was wonderful! The rest of the day was pretty good, too. I can't believe you devoted a whole blog to me, the captain of your team!

  2. I think you could probably pull off a book about sisters.

  3. I'm your favorite bro-in-law!!! That's what I'm talking about.


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