HAPPY BIRTHDAY LILI! In honor of her 23rd birthday, I’m sharing a little tribute to my baby sister Lauren Timlin aka Pookey Bear/Lo Lo/Turkey Legs Schneiders :)
When I think of Lili, a fresh wave of both gratitude and happiness wash over me. I think of a chunky toddler who practically danced out of the womb in pink jellies. As a little girl, she could not be bothered to take them off. They were her favorite. I remember an eager toddler who loved to grab my mom’s face and turn it towards her own to get her attention. You kind of had to fight for it sometimes in our family and she learned early on. I remember sneaking up behind a four old girl entranced with her American Girl dolls, happily chatting and playing by herself in her room, and screaming “BOO!” to freak her out… ( I know, such a nice sister I was). But Lili was resilient and strong right from the get-go because she had older siblings who pushed her around.
Lo was the most adorable child I have ever seen. With dark hair and doe eyes, she had a knack for getting what she wanted (with the exception of having to pose for Christmas pictures… that was never her thing). Loey worked her charm in many ways. “Mommy, that’s a really pretty dress. I looove pretty dresses… I don’t have a lot of pretty dresses…” And she would sit and admire my mom’s dress and give her a coy smile. It’s like she knew she how cute she was.
She was my sidekick throughout childhood: my little doll. Do you remember those awkward years as a prepubescent as well as I do? Much to my dismay, I had to wear a bra and shave my legs at age 12 like many other girls my age. But unlike other preteens I knew, this change in my life was not exciting one for me. In fact, I was so embarrassed that I convinced Lili to wear a bra and shave her legs too. She’s five years younger than I am, so please imagine sweet little seven year old Lo rolling up to school wearing a training bra and sporting the smoothest legs of any 2nd grader around town. And man did she own it. She LOVED it. Though she and I are similar in so many ways, we definitely had different personalities in our elementary years. She was so girly! And gorgeous- always. I don’t think the awkward teenage phase ever really made its way into her life (except for a few crooked teeth). But she hid them well… #softsmiles ;)
Lili wasn’t always Lili. Her birth name is Lauren Timlin Schneiders and until she was in the 4th grade, she had always been Lauren or Lo. I was working on a new script for one of my plays and was drawing this character called Lili and I remember telling her I was going to start calling her that because I thought it was a better nickname for Lauren. Mmmmmmkay…(?) She agreed and that was that. She’s been Lili ever since (except to my Dad and brother Sam who refuse to call her that- “It’s NOT her name!”).
While I’ve painted a picture of my adorable sister who was my little mini mi, I must say that the adorable, sweet girl became a goofy, bubbly one in her later high school years. Her shy facade fizzled the moment she became the oldest child at home. She flew under the radar of her loud, rambunctious siblings, but soon became the quick-witted, funny girl she is now. She’s hysterical with quirky dance moves, self-invented phrases (ie hizzyhang), and a dynamite sense of humor. She’s smart (oh my gosh sosmart), insanely driven, and is the most loyal sister and friend a person could ask for.
Here are some fun facts about Lo:
- She adores animated films… no, seriously LOVES them. She’s been talking about seeing The Secret Life of Pets since the movie first aired its trailers months ago… The quirky animation is almost too much for her. You’ll never see someone snicker more than she does through an animated film…
- She has a set of fake dance moves. I say fake because she is totally messing around. She whips them out at the bars and they pretty much look like Jimmy Fallon’s “Evolution of the Dad Dance”… She’s so accustomed to using these unique dances that some of her friends assumed she was a terrible dancer… Ironically, she’s actually a really good dancer so to hear these reviews was hysterical…
- For someone so feminine and girly, she’s a total guys girl. She loves to go to our family hunting property in Northern Wisconsin, smoke cigars, and rock blaze orange hunting gear in the woods.
- Lo is a great athlete as well. I think she flew under the radar of Brit who is known for her athletics but Lo is a fast skater, competitive player, and quick to learn a new sport. She is currently in a women’s golf league with Brit and Mom and also new to the sport. But she jumped right in and has a great swing.
- She is kind of exotic looking. She’s got long dark wavy hair and a darker skin tone than the rest of us. She was born with red skin and dark black hair and when she came home from the hospital, our brother Sam (four at the time) stated that she couldn’t be related… Funny enough, a classmate from U of I asked Lili if it was hard to get home from Thanksgiving with her “super far” commute and Lili asked her what she meant… “Aren’t you from Hawaii?!”
- While she was applying to colleges, her head was in all different directions. She had thought about attending the University of Miami and studying marine biology and hanging at the beach. She had thought about Accounting and Finance and even considered other majors and other parts of the country such as Colorado and California. The University of Illinois was certainly not her top choice. But my mom drove her down there for a college visit and after visiting the gym and getting a glimpse of some of the male population there, she said, “Yup, Mom, this school looks great!”
Five years later and two degrees under her belt (BA & Masters baby!), she’s now home and ready to take on adulthood in the city of Chicago. She starts her first career job in August at Ernst & Young :) I am so amazed and proud of her!
Leels- thanks for being YOU through & through. Thank you for making me laugh until my stomach hurts, for making yourself available to catch up even when you’re busy doing other things, for being so thoughtful & loyal, and for going above and beyond the role of great sister. You mean so much to me and I’m so happy I can call you one of my best friends. I love you! Happy Birthday!