To Sherry On Her 40-Somethingth Birthday

Feb 15, 2017 by

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Anyone who follows me on Facebook or reads my blog knows that I am blessed to have two wonderful sisters. I am the oldest. Each of us is separated by three years (roughly) and two inches, so the stair-step sibling cliché applies to us.

We trade clothes.

We get along.

Our kids are friends.

One year Mom and Dad gave me, Sherry, and Kristy money to buy new outfits, and each of us showed up on Christmas wearing a gray & black striped sweater dress or sweater and black boots. I still lived in Reno at the time, so we had not coordinated on purpose. We laughed so hard that we forgot to take a picture.

IMG_0329Christmas 2016, when we weren’t matching.

It’s really no wonder that someone once tried to convince me that my family was dysfunctional. I mean, what could be more disturbing than three adult sisters having fun, right? That explains the looks we get at Target when we shop together. (“Here come the La Chapells.” “I knew it! I heard their chatter from the back of the store.” “Wait, are they all wearing similar boots again? That can’t be normal.” “You know what? We better keep an eye on this family. Now they’re sharing a cart!”)

Just so we don’t appear too perfect…

Sherry, I forgive you for hitting me over the head with a hairbrush when you were three. I now understand that our eye doctor had prescribed the wrong glasses for you, and that would make anyone crabby. Or maybe you just couldn’t see my head.

Thank you for refusing to give me my turn with the hat that we were sharing during our first trip to Disneyland. Mom and Dad finally broke down and bought you your own, so we didn’t have to share anymore!

I apologize for showing up at school in my hot pink sweater on the same day that you were wearing yours. I seriously didn’t know! By the time I was choosing my outfit, you’d already left for flag team practice. I confess that I thought it was kind of cool that we matched, but I totally get why you were mad! Matching might be funny when we’re adults, but it is SO NOT cool in high school! So I also apologize for being weird.

I’m sort of jealous that you can still wear your hair long, but I can’t even grow mine to my shoulders anymore without it looking like a frizzy mess. It’s so unfair!

I also envy your ability to wear exotic fragrances that smell hideous on me.


See, we’ve had our issues just like everyone else.


Sherry is my middle sister. We inherited the same vision problem and the same knack for taking revenge on our childhood nay-sayers by doing exactly what “she will probably never…” She has always been a bit of an overachiever, so she didn’t stop at a bachelor’s degree and having a couple of kids—she went for a master’s and four kids, including a set of identical twins and providing Mom and Dad with their only granddaughter (show off).

We share a love of books (funny that we got the book worm gene), singing, and jewelry.

Today is her Birthday.


Two years ago, I wrote a Birthday blog post about Kristy, and I’ve written them for each of my kids, but Sherry didn’t have one yet. Poor forgotten middle child! I would use the excuse that I’m still catching up after moving back home, but considering that I moved in November 2012 that excuse probably won’t fly anymore.

So…Happy Birthday, Sherry!

I love you!

I think of you whenever I see Roman columns, blingy jewelry, blingy purses, blingy anything, elephants, and the hat display at Disneyland.

Thank you for all of the times when you asked me to help Haley with school projects that involved baking. I can’t even express what it means to me to have an occasional girl fix.

I am so grateful that we had each other while growing up with our funky vision problem, especially when it came time to getting pulled out of class to work with a special teacher one hour a week. Instead of being the only visually impaired kid in school, I just had to be the first, and trust me, first is a lot easier than only.

I am thankful that life brought me back to Bay Area so we could spend more time together, our kids could grow up together, and I could participate in our family being a spectacle at Target.

You are a great mom and an amazing person! Who knows, maybe it is weird for sisters to spend so much time together without fighting like 12-year-olds, but if it is, I considered it a gift to be weird with you and Kristy.

I pray that this year will be the most exciting one yet!

Love, J.


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  1. Thanks J!! Love my blog!! I enjoyed reading all the funny and special memories. You have always had an incredible memory! You are so right, we are a spectacle at Target, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!! Our weekly shopping trips are something I truly look forward to. A chance to laugh, get each other’s valued opinion on things and share special time together. Love you!

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      I wouldn’t trade our spectacle days either! I wish I could participate in more of them.
      Love you!

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