I don’t know how to say ‘Happy Birthday’ in Chinese, but if I did this would be an appropriate time to use that knowledge

(Dear Kristie, I’m sorry this birthday post is late. You were not late with your birthday post for me. But do you know how hard it is to write a birthday post when you’re eating tortilla chips and watching Madonna get carried around by gladiators?)

My sister, Kristie, moved to Taiwan six years ago.

Among other things, it’s made borrowing her clothes very inconvenient.

Though she did lend me this orange skirt on my last visit when my pregnant belly ran out of patience with my jeans.

(This is what the first trimester looks l like. Tired, bloated, and grumpy. Or was that just me?)

Her birthday was Sunday, and I would like to wish her a wonderful day.

Kristie is 18 months older than me, and she’s always played the role of big sister very well. She took on “firsts” like kindergarten and sports and SATs with confidence and ease while I followed her tentatively; concerned more about differentiating myself from her than succeeding in my own right.

I wanted to be different than her, but I was also her little sister: I wanted to be just like her.

She’s actually the reason I started a blog. She started blogging soon after her first baby was born and I followed her site with religious fervor. I regularly re-read her archives and checked for a new post multiple times a day.

Rather than the time my wheel fell off while I was driving down the Interstate and I used a cell phone to call for help, or the time Wikipedia proved that I was not, in fact, suffering from meningitis, Kristie’s blog was the first time I was really, truly thankful for technology. Otherwise, how would I find out about things like this?

I had considered the whole mommyblog thing, but was undecided until Kristie asked me to blog; she wanted to see pictures of the baby. Her blog had meant so much to me, letting me see moments like my niece’s first day of school, the day my nephew started crawling, and my sister’s new haircut. Because of her blog I start feeling a little twitchy whenever I get far from an Internet connection. So as soon as she asked I was full-on blogging and haven’t looked back.

Kristie has been a mom for a while now. Her oldest baby is a certified big girl, she’ll be 5 years old in a few days.

Like everything else in life, Kristie entered the murky, crocodile-laden waters of motherhood before me and (mostly…so far) has made it out alive. In typical little sister fashion, several of my decisions mirror hers: drug-free labor, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and giving birth to children who don’t sleep.

If God hadn’t given me an older sister, I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to climb to the tops of trees, I wouldn’t have listened to Pearl Jam in middle school, or thought smoking was so lame when everyone else thought it was cool, and I certainly wouldn’t have ever visited Taiwan.

If I didn’t have an older sister I wouldn’t have learned, at age 8, that Jesus died for my sins. Kristie had gone to a summer camp that I was too young to go to, and when she got home she told me what she learned: that you couldn’t go to heaven if you’d EVER sinned, not even once. I remember my first response. I wished I’d known that earlier because if I had known earlier I would NOT have been doing so much sinning! And then she explained that since we ALL sin, Jesus died for us. All we needed to do was ask for his forgiveness and place our trust in him and he would forgive every.single.sin. No exceptions. It was that simple.

So I’m sure you can understand why I’m so very thankful for my sister.

Kristie, I hope you have a very, very happy birthday.

Mei Mei


  1. Jenny Ramsey February 7, 2012

    this was such a sweet post. i love you both! 🙂

  2. Grammy February 7, 2012

    and more tears!

  3. Beckykrieger25 February 8, 2012

    so cute 🙂 and emotional!<br>

  4. Kristie February 9, 2012

    aww, thanks. this was really sweet. sadly, the orange skirt is no more. i stepped on the hem getting onto a bus and the bottom half ripped off.

  5. […] From the start Ellie has been head-strong and smart and beautiful (just like her mama). […]


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