Posted By on January 20, 2009


That’s a photo of me, my brother and my SIL Kim taken in the summer of 2007 at the festivities for my 30th birthday.

Today is my SIL’s birthday. How exciting to have your birthday on such a momentous day in American history. She’ll be able to tell her grandkids that she had a birthday on the day that we swore in the first African-American President. Because by the time she tells her grandkids that story, he will have been the first, but not the last.

My brother and Kim recently celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary back in October. They are the parents to the two cutest kids in the world, my nephew Noah and my niece Skyler.

My brother and I have been close for most of our adult lives. We fought like cats and dogs when we were younger. To the point where I would have murdered him if he hadn’t been bigger and stronger than me. He teased me and picked on me and probably is the reason I have such a thick skin. Once we both got into high school, it just seemed kind of silly to act like children, and we started to get along.

We were really close when he was in college. I would talk with him once a week and we would email all the time. I would drive out to Rochester, NY to visit him in the summer. We were, and still are, very tight. I hope that Noah and Skyler have this kind of relationship when then grow up.

But then my brother met Kim. I was at college and my brother was wrapping up his senior year. He had met this wonderful person on spring break in Cancun in a bar at 10 AM. Talk about fate. She lived in Michigan and he was going to school in Rochester and then moving back to Chicago. But he was in love and he made it work. They made it work. And all these years later, they are still going strong. I hope to have one half of the relationship that they have some day.

It’s no secret I didn’t like Kim at first. It was purely selfish. She took my brother away from me. He was one of the few constant male figures in my life at that time, and he now had different demands on his time. It wasn’t just our family, it was Kim and her family as well. It was a very hard adjustment for me. I really thought that I was losing my brother for good.

I stood up in their wedding. It was a little awkward for me because I didn’t know Kim or any of her other bridesmaids very well. I lived in Arizona. I wasn’t around enough to get to know Kim at all. After I graduated college, I moved out to California and started working for the 49ers. That pretty much meant I wouldn’t be home for any of the major holidays. So any chance to get to know Kim better, in person, was few and far between.

And then I lost my job with the Niners. And I decided to move home to Chicago and asked my brother and his family to take pity on me and let me live there. And they did. And I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

I moved in as a single person, used to living alone, to moving in with my brother, my sister-in-law that I barely knew and my three-year old nephew, who I had seen just a handful of times in his life because I lived so far away. To say it was a bit of an adjustment for everyone involved is a bit of an understatement.

But we made it work. I was the first one they told that they were pregnant with Skyler. I worked my ass off trying to find a job, but also spent a lot of quality time with Noah. The one good thing about living with a three-year old and being unemployed is that you can’t sit around and do nothing all day. He won’t let you.

The best part of living there was the friendship and bond I made with Kim. We came into the situation as almost strangers. And we came out of it sisters. We had so many laughs and tears and deep conversations about life and family and shared experiences. We opened up to each other. We shared a lot of ourselves with each other. We ate a lot of Taco Bell and cookie dough ice cream together.

I would not trade those five months of my life for anything. The relationship I now have with Kim, not just as the woman who married my brother, but as a sister, is something I hold near and dear and I will always be thankful that I have her in my life as someone to vent with, to laugh with, to cry with, to be myself with. I am lucky to have her in my life.

Kim, I wish you the very happiest of birthdays! Love You Like A Sister!

(Also, I hope this takes the place of an actual present.)

P.S. It is also Angella’s birthday and my friend Sharma’s birthday as well. But I only have enough sap for one of these posts today! Happy birthday to you ladies as well! LYLAS!

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


21 Responses to “LYLAS”

  1. Jen says:

    That is a lovely post! Happy birthday Kim! Thanks for sharing – sometimes these ‘in-law’ situations can be tricky so good on both of you for making it work in the best possible way!

  2. Mahnee says:

    Happy Birthday, Kimberly!!!!!

  3. jodiur says:

    What a lovely, lovely post. I wish my in-laws would say such nice things about me.

    jodiurs last blog post..A Question For The Ages

  4. Beautiful.

    Jen on the Edges last blog post..An interview with Jen

  5. Giggle Pixie says:

    This was such a beautiful post! You are very lucky to have such a close relationship with both your brother and sister-in-law. Happy birthday to Kim to and your other friends with birthdays as well!!!

    Giggle Pixies last blog post..Tag! I’m It!

  6. Ree says:

    Happy Birthday Kim!!!

    You are two very lucky women.

    Rees last blog post..Mute Monday – A

  7. jennster says:

    this is soooooooooooooooooo sweet. you are awesome!!

    jennsters last blog memory of my grandma

  8. Oh, LYLAS! Ha ha! I used to write that on all the notes I used to pass in school 🙂 Seriously though, this was such a sweet post. You guys are lucky to have such a wonderful relationship.

    La Petite Chics last blog post..Hopeful

  9. Angella says:

    I share a birthday with Kim? AWESOME.

    What a great tribute to such a great person in your life. Happy Birthday, Kim!

    Angellas last blog post..How To Pick Your Life Partner

  10. Kim says:

    Thank you for remembering me on my birthday! What a beautiful post…I am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for loving me like a sister…I love you too!

  11. Sheri says:

    Wow!!!! You are lucky to have each other. my brother and I pretty much still hate each other.

    Happy Birthday Kim.

    Sheris last blog post..Snappy Titles are overated

  12. Kimberly says:

    Happy birthday to a girl who shares my name, hair color and obvious good taste in friends!

    Kimberlys last blog post..O Happy Day

  13. Rhi says:

    I am jealous you have a sister in law you like. Mine thinks that picture is pronounced ‘PITCHER’.

    Rhis last blog post..Still waiting for my unicorn

  14. All the cool kids have their birthdays today…well, at least your SIL, Angella, Obama’s president birthday, and this girl I know from Togo. So maybe not ALL, but definitely a LOT!

    Camels & Chocolates last blog post..That Time I Licked an Ant’s Butt**

  15. ali says:

    wow. i wish i liked my sister in law’s that much! she’s so lucky to have you!

    alis last blog post..brainfreeze

  16. Noelle says:

    That’s so sweet. I hope everyone had a super happy day!

    Noelles last blog post..Out, out damn pins

  17. gorillabuns says:

    I would like to drop kick one of my sister-in-laws so I know I would never write something so nice of her. Hope her birthday was wonderful!

  18. it’s great to hear that you both are so close. And I loved that you shared the story of how you became that way. So sweet! Happy Birthday Kim!

    sensibly sassys last blog post..A Follow Up Blog

  19. Sara says:

    Happy birthday to Kim! Did she get what she wanted?

    Saras last blog post..Woman finds a deer in her house