Happy Birthday Jennifer!
This is going to be one of those blogs that are a bit scatter shot. I have tons of things that I can say and share about my sister and it will be hard to put them into any order.
First things first. I have an awesome older sister and I couldn't ask for a better sister. We have always got along and we always have a good time together. When we were younger my sister went to great lengths to make sure I was taken care of. Here is just a small sample of some of the stuff she did for me:
- Jennifer is a protective older sister. She always told me to tell her if any kids at school were giving me a hard time. Having a sister a couple of grades older than you definitely had its advantages. I didn't have any huge problems so Jennifer never did have to open a can of whuparse on anyone. But I remember one occasion she was ready to punch the lights out of a friend of mine. This friend stole my BMX bike and she went right over to his house and "stole" it right back out of his yard. It is too bad that my friend was not there. I would have loved to have my sister and her friend Mindy beat this kid up.
- Our parents used to go out quite a bit leaving my sister to babysit me. It was never really babysitting since we always ended up playing. Our evenings were full of dancing and singing to loud music, making crank calls, eating candy, letting the hamsters out in the living room, letting me watch TV past my bedtime, going to the mall (when I was older), playing Atari and just plain having fun. Some of my favorite memories of my sister were during these times.
- Jennifer would wake me up very early Saturday mornings so we could watch this show called Hammy Hamster. It only came on like at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. We would scrounge for some sort of treat and then watch the show. Most times she would go back to bed but occasionally we would play board games like Full House.
- I also fondly remember the last few days I was in Edmonton. I stayed with her overnight at her apartment and we hit the town. We ate at the Progi House (or sooooo good) and we went to West Edmonton Mall and she spoiled me rotten. We had an awesome time together and I will never forget it. "Baddest Living Bikers" indeed!
I don't think I need to say anything about this pic.- One of the best things about having a sibling is that you can share things together that only we get. All I have to say is LATE NIGHT RAVIOLI'S and I am sure it will make my sister giggle or gross out.
- Even though we were separated when my mom and I moved to the States, Jennifer still made sure she stayed in contact with me. She called at least once a month and I would get letters and packages in the mail all the time. This is where she debuted her first novel "Hey Bro". It was always good to talk to her.
- Jennifer always supported me in whatever I did. When I left for my LDS mission to New York I had her full support. She helped out in preparation for my farewell and gave me my first mission journal. She wrote me quite a bit too. I guess that my sister missed me so much that she called me while I was on my mission! Here is the journal entry (April 18th, 1995) of when it happened:
That evening the phone rang and Davidson answered it. He said “Who you looking for?” Then he turned to me and said, “Hey Matt, the phone is for you.” I thought it was strange that he called me Matt. Did the person ask for Matt? I got the phone and it was my sister Jennifer. That totally surprised me. She said she was thinking of me and wanted to call. It was fun talking to her. Davidson I am sure was suspicious that it was my girlfriend or something. I told him it was my sister and there was a small family emergency and he asked why they didn’t call President Bailey. I told him they might have but it is not a big deal, it was after the emergency. He then suggested I call the President if there was a problem. Yeah right, that would be the last thing I would want to do. I said that the family emergency had already passed and that she just wanted me to know right away. I hate that I have to lie to my companion but it is much easier to deal with him this way.
Jennifer and her family came to the airport when I came home from my mission. This is one of my favorite pictures of us.
Jennifer also called the local McDonald's the day before I came home from New York so they can post this special welcome.
- After I got home from my mission Jennifer wanted to make sure that I was dating an awesome girl. She met and liked my future wife in Kristy and she even took Kristy to come see me when I was acting in the musical Chess. I am not sure how many times Jennifer saw me in Chess. But I appreciated her coming to support me and for taking my girlfriend. Jennifer also came over the morning of my wedding to do Kristy's hair. I had no idea she planned that. Jennifer has always supported my wife Kristy.
Now that we are both older I can clearly see the qualities that my sister has and has always had.
- One thing that Jennifer and I have in common is our love of music. And any type of music. Jennifer was the one that introduced me to Rob Zombie. We love that type of music as well as broadway stuff (she also introduced me to Sweeney Todd) to Billy Joel to classical stuff to... ...well, just about everything. When we were kids we would pretend to sing (oftentimes we would sing out loud anyway) and make our own music videos and reenact them in her large mirror. Some of the ones that I remember are Billy Joel's Pressure, Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain (remember the birds crapping on us?) Prince's, Let's Go Crazy, the Beatle's Eleanor Rigby and Elton John's Funeral for a Friend. Throw in some Black Sabbath too. Like I said, we listen to anything. This is good because we can go to concerts and musicals together. It is nice to have someone I can share my love of music with.
- One thing (out of many) that I really admire about my sister is that she will tell it like it is. And she does it in such a way that it gets her point across but it doesn't come out angry. She just says it and I wish I could do that. Even if it is in the middle of the night, she will call and say exactly what she feels.
- Jennifer is also a very hard worker. From working at a doctor's office to Convergys to the Police Station to her current job at the Alternative school. She does her best and works very hard. I admire that quite a bit and I wish I had a shred of her hard work. She takes great pride in her job and she should. She always does a great job.
- One of the biggest things about my sister that I admire is watching her be a mother. She is very good to her kids. I love watching her interact with her children and I try to live up to her example in her relationships. This started early on with Jill and continues today. She is a great mother!
You are a great sister Jennifer! I am proud of who you are and I am proud to call you my big sister. Love ya!
And since I am the little brother, I get to tease my big sister by posting this picture. My dad and I wanted to include this picture in her wedding picture book but she wouldn't let us. So many years later I can finally include it. You thought since you took the pictures I wouldn't have this gem didn't you?
Please don't give me another black eye (inside joke).