Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to Brooklyn!

Today is my sister's birthday. It's a big one, too. I won't say how old she is, but I WILL honor her today by sharing, oh, let's do... 30 memories of good times we've had. Okay, she's turning 30.

Also, please enjoy these pics of various silly times from our younger days. I think all of these photos are about 10 years old, the peak of our silliness. Brooklyn and I got really close when I was about 14, which was when we were both taking singing lessons and piano lessons together. That's also when my younger sister and I started fighting... Once brooklyn moved out, though, Brittany and I became besties. You'll get your post on your b-day, Brit. Tiffany (my oldest sis) was always too cool (and 7 years older than me), but now that we're both adults we're friends. I wish we lived closer!

Anyway, Brooklyn was my best friend for years and years. We were incredibly immature back in the day, so don't judge me by these memories.

1. I remember going to Academy, the group voice lessons for "young gifted musicians" haha! We didn't take that seriously at all. The best part was after class waiting for mom to pick us up. Remember that time on Valentine's day when we saw that full-grown man dressed as Cupid? He gave us (hershey's) kisses.

2. I remember our cabin. We had a little cabin at Pine Lake in Alberta. When I think of Pine Lake, I think of Five Alive, Royal Mint, and Blue Wales (Canadian treats), playing cards, and tanning on the docks, always with Brookie.

3. Back in 2000 my mom and two sisters (all of us who would move to Utah about 10 months later) took a spontaneous trip to Hawaii!! Brooklyn and I sat in the airport singing, "so where you goin' to? Honolulu!" over and over and over.

4. Also in Hawaii, we were wandering through a mall or something, and there was a karaoke stage. They called us up as we walked by and we had to sing some Brittney Spears song that we didn't know, at all. Pretty awkward... But not nearly as awkward as....

5. The time we competed together in the Kiwanis Music Festival, where we sang "Anything you can do, I can do better" from Annie Get Your Gun. It was so poorly choreographed and costumed by our teacher, and the adjudicators were so harsh and honest - "do you guys even know what this musical's about? And that it's sung by a man and a woman?" We were so embarrassed that we actually made a pact not to talk about it ever again. We didn't for years. 13 years later (oh my, long time!) I feel okay about it.

6. One morning Brooklyn drove me to school. She was wearing silky jammies, and we were in our mini van. We were driving along Parkside Drive, when she turned left going a little too fast... While her hands stayed on the steering wheel, the rest of her slid right off the seat and onto the ground. Hilarious. We just laughed and laughed the whole way there.

7. I remember the day my boyfriend and I broke up (I was 14, it was dramatic). Brooklyn consoled me and insisted that we do a photo shoot with me holding the bracelet he'd given me and the pressed rose I'd saved from him. They are funny pictures. She cheered me right up!

8. Back to Hawaii - Brooklyn was the driver, and I the navigator in our rental car. Mom and Brit chilled in the back seat. We took our titles very seriously. I insisted on being called The Navigator, and I insisted on calling Brooklyn "mon capitaine" (French for "my captain").

9. We shared a room, and I will never forget the sound of mom pounding on the floor of her bedroom at 2 or 3 am trying to get us to be quiet and go to sleep, and yelling "girls!" We usually just laughed and kept on doing what we were doing:

10. Photo shoots. Back in the days of film cameras we would use up about a whole roll in one night (which is like 30 pictures, and not a lot in digital pics, but it was a big deal then). We'd dress up in anything we could find and take pics. My favorite memory is the night we put on overalls and drew in uni-brows with eye-liner and blacked out a couple teeth. We put a blanket up as a backdrop and took these weird hick pictures. When we got them developed we laughed so hard we cried when we realized that our backdrop was WAY too small and looked ridiculous. I don't know why we thought the pictures wouldn't look ridiculous, but still.

11. We took a lot of pictures, and we made up a lot of dances. I have funny memories of horrible dance moves and equally horrible music (N'Sync, Enrique Iglesias, J Lo, Brittney Spears, etc) in the basement.

12. One day while doing a photo shoot in the basement (I was Brittany Spears in her school-girl days, Brooklyn was Posh Spice) we heard our mom's friend at the front door. We didn't want to have to go and say hi, so we snuck out the basement window (one of those tiny ones up by the ceiling) and ran around our neighborhood. What was going through our heads, I wonder?

13. As you've probably gathered, we stayed up until about 3 am most nights. We'd then have to wake up at 5:30 to have enough time to pretty ourselves (it was essential as a 15-year-old) before early morning seminary at 6:30, after which we'd head straight to school at 7:30. We had singing lessons, Academy, or piano lessons after school, and then we'd get around 4:30 or five. We'd crash through the front door and fight over the good couch for a nap. It was big, so often times we'd both squish onto it and sleep for a few hours until dinner. I don't know how we ever got anything done! After our naps we were good to go until 2 or 3 am again. Silly teenagers. That was the life, though.

14. Once we had our dance moves down, we'd move the party outside... And film it. Two days in particular come to mind: one with our other sisters and our cousin, and one day with just Brooklyn. So so weird, and so funny. I have memories of Jamiroquai, a soccer ball, the lawnmower, and a certain N'Sync song (I was hangin' with the fellas, saw you with your new boyfriend and made me jealous... I still know the whole song). While we're on the topic of home-videos, I should mention that night in the basement when we did music videos to ABBA and acted out scenes from Cinderella and Titanic. Haha!

15. We don't do Prom in Canada. Instead there's a big dance called Grad, for those in Grade 12, and then there's Grade 9 Grad, for those graduating from junior high. Brooklyn let me borrow her Grad dress for my Grade 9 Grad. I have memories of her helping me get ready: painting my nails, curling my hair, etc. Thanks, sis!

16. I can't think back on those days without thinking of shopping at the outlets in Calgary after singing lesskns. We loved Jacob and Club Monaco especially. Oh, and let's not forget Espirit! I loved when you worked there!

17. I have this memory that I can't quite place. We may have been driving to SLC from Canada. I had my learner's permit and you were tired of driving, so we switched spots right there on the highway, going who knows how fast. I was surprised how easy it was, and I remember us doing it a couple more times. Real smart.

18. Brooklyn got invited to Prom by some family friends who lived near Seattle when she was a senior in Canada. We decided I'd go too, so our dad drove us two hours south, across the border to the town where we were supposed to catch he train. It was pulling away as we pulled in. My dad, awesomely enough, decided to try to beat the train to the next stop about twenty miles away. We raced down the highway, with the train speeding along at our right. This was before Montana had a speed limit, and amazingly, we beat the train to Cutbank, where miracles happen! We had such a fun time on the train from Montana to Seattle, where we stayed with our friends for a few days, and then we took the Amtrack train back home. I haven't ridden a train (in America) since, but I'm dying to do another trip like that!

19. Brooklyn and I used to look almost like twins (I'm just a bit taller, and she's got darker skin and hair). People used to ask us all the time if we were twins, so we used it to our advantage. Have you ever told a restaurant it's your birthday, just for the free dessert? Well, it's even better when you both get it! Brook, we should try that again! Haha.

20. My dad got us a car to share when we were both commuting to BYU. It wasn't the best car ever. We went to pick it up in Canada, and on the drive home it started over-heating. I will never forget that drive in August with all four windows down, and the heat turned up all the way for the whole 12-hour drive, listening to music as loud as it would go, and singing at the top of our lungs, with our hair blowing all over the place. Such a horrible, hilarious, fantastic experience.

21. We loved sharing a room, and moving to Salt Lake didn't change that. One night, I think she was already asleep, I started imaging what it would be like if she died. I was imagining the funeral, and it felt so real I started crying hysterically. I know it's ridiculous (I've since done the same thing with Kimball... My imagination is too good). So funny. Why and how do I get myself all worked into a frenzy like that? I just knew deep down that I needed her to stick around for a long time.

22. With our awesome new car, we drove to BYU three days a week for a couple semesters. The overheating problem never stopped, and we would frequently forget to turn the headlights off. We'd park at the corner of Ash and Cherry, and at the end of the day the car would be dead. I remember standing on the corner waving around the jumper cables waiting for someone to help us. I also remember one particular day, as we got off the freeway on our drive home. We were at a light and the was smoke pouring out from under the hood of the car. We were certain it was going to explode. We were about two blocks from our house, but we were so scared that we parked in a church parking lot, took everything out of the car and walked the rest of the way. We ran for the first little bit, since we knew the car was going to blow up any second. Haha, we were so clueless about pretty much everything. That must've been 2003.

23. I still remember the morning Brooklyn left to get married. She handed me a little box with a pretty little ring inside and a note. In the note she thanked me for being her best friend for so long, but that now she had a new best friend. I was so touched by it, and so sad too. I was sad that that era of us being immature and silly together was over, but I couldn't disagree. She had found an exceptional husband, and it was time to move on.

24. Before she got married we took one last single sisters trip to St. George. We spent most of the time floating in the little hotel pool, working on our tans, and eating shaved ice and Cafe Rio. Little did I know it would become tradition.

26. Right before I got married we went back to St. George. This trip was a little more stressful, because we we're making wedding favors (thanks again for all your help). We ate a lot of frozen custard that trip. And I'm pretty sure we went hiking. I mix it up with the third trip to St. George...

27. Right before I met Kimball (it was the end of the summer in 2010, when I got home from Cairo) we went on a last-minute trip to St. George. This was the most fun of all the trips. We spent a day at Zion national park, and we hiked Angel's Landing and a bit of the narrows. That was the trip where we paid a tribute to our youth with another photo shoot. We called it Tumbleweed. You may remember a certain film I made about it. If I wasn't blogging from my phone I'd put the video on here. We laughed so so so hard. I loved that day. It was a spontaneous photo shoot, too. We weren't planning on it, it just sort of happened as we started out drive home. We just pulled over and started taking hilarious pictures.

28. That wasn't the fist photo shoot of our adult years. In the spring of 2009 we were in Canada. Waterton, specifically. It had been super windy and we had been taking photos, and then we left to head back to our cousins' house in Cardston. We decided to stop at my Grandpa's grave. That's where, inappropriate as it may seem, things got silly. How can you pose for a picture by a grave without getting the giggles? I didn't know if I should smile or frown, so I did a mixture, and then I lost it. We got in a really goofy mood, and then we saw them - haybales! We spent a good two hours there taking pictures - jumping pictures, and spinning, all sorts of nonsense. It was hands down one of the best days of my life. All the while little Eleanor was asleep in the car (we kept checking on her, and the window was cracked - no worries.)

29. I have spent a lot of time away from family, and Brooklyn has remained a close friend through it all. She was gone first, I guess. She and her husband lived in DC for a summer and they were kind enough to let me visit them there. Then I left on a mission, followed by a study abroad in Jerusalem, and then another one two years later in Egypt. Brooklyn's letters, emails, and pictures were such a support. Especially when I was in Cairo. I couldn't have lasted so long and so far away without her. it was nice to still feel connected to her and her kids while I was missing them grow up.

30. We still don't live in the same city, but we see each other a lot. We talked on the phone just last night, and I realized again that we have so much in common. It's so nice having someone that knows me, my history, my flaws, and that comes from exactly the same place. We have our small differences, but we generally see eye-to-eye. I love that. It's so fun, too, seeing her little kids grow up and seeing their facial expressions that match hers, and their silliness that comes directly from her. I love when her kids do something ridiculous, and I know it's because they learned it from her, because I know just how silly she can be.

I love you, sissy! Thanks for the last thirty years of memories (well, just 27 and a half for me)! Looking forward to the next thirty, and then maybe even thirty more!

Happy Birthday!!


  1. what a fun post! I liked number 6 best. And I would like to here share my most memorable memory of Brooklyn. It was the first time I met her, we had not even been introduced and she gave me a weggie.

  2. ha ha, Alisa, I don't even remember that, so thanks for the reminder.
    beth - this was awesome! best bday present ever!