by Nichole on May 7, 2011 · 16 comments


Two words: another. birthday. That’s right. Today, along with many other people *is it just me or are there scores and scores of people born on May 7th?* is my sister’s birthday.

So what am I going to do? Write her a poem. Yep. No, I’m kidding. That would be weird. I mean maybe not weird for someone who writes poems to write her a poem, but… if I wrote her one it might just freak her out.. well maybe not her. Me.

So, instead, here are some random facts about my sister:

• One of our favorite movies to watch together was The Sound of Music. Ah, loved that movie! I remember every time it would get to the scene with the song “I am 16 going on 17″ Charis and I would jump from the chairs to the couches pretending we were jumping on the benches in the gazebo.

• We also loved The Parent Trap *I swear we did much more than just watch movies in our childhood*. Our favorite scene was when they played the song “Let’s Get Together” for their parents, hoping it would bring them back together. I remember Charis and I working out that scene learning every single thing they did and then performing it for my Kindergarten/her second grade talent show.

• We were singing and dancing professionals, at least when we were little. We’d always make up songs and dances and perform them for my parents. She would teach me ballet and I would teach her gymnastics. We might have embarrassed my brother just a little… but deep down, he loved our song & dance.

• Charis & I shared a room I think from when I was about 8 years old until I was about 10 or 11 years old, and we spent a great deal of that time arguing (out of love, of course ;) ). When it was “Cleaning Saturday” we’d have to clean our room and the biggest projects were cleaning under our bed or cleaning the closet. I suppose this is because it’s where all our toys were stored. I remember every week fighting over who had to do what.What a silly argument, lol.

• When we did share a room, I got scared often. (And years before and years after). Charis would often read me to sleep from her Mandy book series. We convinced my parents at some point to let us have our own room making our downstairs part family room/part bedroom. Charis’ selling point was “distance makes the heart grow fonder!” ha! I very clearly remember the first night in my room – the first night I had EVER had my own room. I was not impressed. I was actually quite terrified. Charis came upstairs and read me to sleep. Awwwww.

• We used to visit my grandparents in Santa Cruz every Summer. I sometimes have glimpses of myself in junior high walking the beach with my sister (and sometimes Leah too) to check out the “hot” guys. Can you believe that? Geesh it seems so young now to me! ha. I would also often have my sister pose like I was taking a picture of her then quickly turn and take a picture of said cute guy. Creepy? A little….. Sorry cute guys.

(disclamer: we were not THIS little…. just thought a beach pic was appropriate, lol)

• Charis has always been super smart. Like I’m not kidding I’m pretty sure the only non-A that girl has gotten (ever, even in college) was in student government in high school when her teacher gave the entire class B’s. Also I’m pretty sure she never studied, and if she did she hardly did.

• When I was a freshman in college we both went to Azusa. In the first couple weeks there I was working in a bakery where I had not been trained yet (oddly enough my training was to happen the very next day). My supervisor had to run to a track meet and was finishing up making cookie dough. She asked me to add a little flour then turn off the big hobart mixer and start baking the cookies. So I added flour. Then as I was kneeling down looking for the off switch (the bowl was on the ground) I started to lose my balance and instinctively grabbed the bowl to hold myself up – just as I was turning the machine off. Ouch. The big metal mixer thing rolled right over my hand breaking it pretty badly. I held myself together telling the other new guy working with me I needed him to get help. I held myself together when a stranger (to me) drove me to the hospital. I held myself together filling out paper work and sitting with this man I didn’t know… But when my sister walked through the door to the ER I remember just starting to bawl. It made me feel so safe to know that my big sister was there to help me in this strange place. She also ended up getting a bad grade that day on a test because of having to miss class for me. She took care of me in the weeks to come when I had to have surgery and be on pain meds, have many doctor visits, and physical therapy and never once complained or treated me like it was a drag.

• One of my favorite things we did together in high school was late night walks around our neighborhood, sometimes in pajama pants (which always concerned my dad).

• All 3 of my pregnancies have been with my sister (granted we found out she was pregnant with Uriah only 2 days before K was born, but it still counts).

photo by Myriah Grubbs

• When we were little we used to have reading contests (we were really cool…. really… we were). We’d go to the library and check out the max amount of books you could check out (as far as my memory serves it was 8 ) then we’d get home and see who could finish reading them first. I’m pretty sure I always won…. or at least I’d like to think I did…. yeah.

• She has 4 boys but she is actually pretty girly (thank goodness!). She used to teach me how to do my hair when I was younger, one time encouraging me to sport the ‘curling iron ringlet’ look. (Which I must have done wrong because when she did it – I loved it, when I did it – um…. not so much.) And she did my make-up for any important events. She’s a great mom to her little boys (and inspires me for a possible future when I might have a little boy), but I think she’d make a great mom to a little girl too.

• She writes amazing songs and she is very humble about it. I think that some people assume that ‘book smart’ people aren’t wired creatively but she certainly breaks this mold. She is incredibly smart but also incredibly creative – and always willing to learn and try something new, even if it means she fails at it.

• She is the definition of passionate. I swear she sees the world through different glasses. In some ways we tease her about this (saying that her version of something that happened is just a bit more exciting than it actually was) but I also really admire her in this. She carries passion and excitement with her. She always has.

• She’s an amazing writer. You can read her blog here. Even younger I used to read what she’d write and yearn for the ability to express myself in such a raw form as she does. She’s vulnerable, she’s real, she’s honest, and most of all she is inspiring.

• She has allowed me to be in the room for all of her births. Honestly, this has meant so much more to me than I would have ever thought, especially Asher’s birth — not to say the others weren’t special, each was so unique — but with Asher’s I had no idea what to expect. I am a very private, but I guess non-private person (i.e. I’m a private person who is writing a blog…. that can’t be THAT private right? ha.) Anyway I had all of these pre-conceived ideas about childbirth and how awkward it would make me feel when really it is such a beautiful, amazing, & miraculous thing. That’s not to say I’m one of those people who thinks it’s a breeze and looks forward to my next labor… I LOVE the baby. The labor??? Not so much. But really being in for the births of my nephews (Jack included, though his ended in a c-section) has been so very special to me. Charis paved the way for Myriah and I. She welcomed us in to one of the most vulnerable and wonderful moments of her life and I will always always be so grateful.

• She is beautiful. All who know her know this. But I thought I’d throw it in.

So here’s to my big sister, who is 5 or 6 inches shorter than me. She has taught me so much about life and challenged me more than she could ever realize. Happy Birthday Charis! I love you!

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  • charis

    aw, this is so nice. i love it. thank you. you are my favorite sister ever. i will have to make sure @billscofield:disqus reads this too!

    my recent post: 2 thoughts on my birthday

  • faith stromback

    i love this, so sweet. :)

  • Jennifer Wandler

    I love reading these birthday blogs. It’s always fun to know new and interesting facts about people and you seem to choose really fun facts to share. She definitely is incredibly intelligent, incredibly creative and incredibly beautiful. Cheers to her!

  • Barbie Swihart

    I absolutely loved getting to know more about Charis! What a wonderful sister you are!

  • Anonymous

    I love that you are doing these incredible and meaningful ‘toasts’ to these amazing family members:)

    who just so happen to be my offspring and the wonderful ones they married!! It is always so fun to actually look on paper (or screen) to hear and agree with how great they are and love to hear your memories:)!!

    I love you:) and love this girl you wrote about here (Charis, my first born).


  • leah valenzuela

    oh i loved reading this! i would have sooner but well my computer cord is dead :(

    LOL i so remember checking all the hott guys out. and walking around like we were hott and of course they were checking us out too;) i also remember they many arguments when yall shared a room LOL! i love you girls! and i love having family i love to spend time with! also she does def break that mold that smart people are not creative too. she is amazingly creative!

  • Becky Weiss

    Wow, really enjoyed reading your sister’s and your blog today! So special! Thank you for sharing and I am sure she is blessed by you as well.

  • Brandy Buenafe

    I agree with how amazing Charis is :) And I wanted to thank you for your blog the other day about your little girl and true beauty; it was just the perfect thing to read!

  • Cherylyn Petersen

    I love this!

  • Nichole

    You’re welcome :) ! I’m glad you enjoyed it :) .

  • Nichole


  • Nichole

    Ha! We totally were into seeing if they’d check us out…. oh dear… I have 3 girls. What am I to do? lol. Notice how you make an appearance on all of these bday posts? Totally by accident. hehe.

  • Nichole

    Love you too! :)

  • Nichole

    Thanks! :)

  • Anonymous

     this was so beautiful. what an amazing family you guys are! such love! thank you for sharing!

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