Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) shoots over the defense of Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) as Miami Heat power forward Chris Andersen (11) is also involved on the play during a game at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday, February 8, 2014.

You've known your sister longer than you've known almost anyone else. Unfortunately, though, sisters often become one of the casualties of a busy life. They get pushed aside as you focus on school, work, other relationships, your own family and a thousand other obligations that are clamoring for your attention every day. You assume your sister will always be there, but as time passes she starts to feel more like a distant cousin than a close friend.

Sound familiar? Below are three things you can do to keep that important bond with your sisters strong.

Call her on her birthday

Or better yet, visither on her birthday, if you can. Don't settle for just sending a Facebook message or text. Texts and Facebook messages are for people you want to stay in touch with but don't have the time to really connect with - your sister deserves more than that.

Tell her the unimportant stuff - not just big news

When you're at a family reunion, what do you tell great-aunt Wilma? You'll probably talk about work, what grades your kids are in and any major accomplishments you and your family have made in the past 10 years. It's unlikely that you'll talk about books you've been reading, how you felt when you watched the series finale of your favorite show or how your crocheting hobby is coming along.

Yes, share the big news with your sisters. They should be among the first to know of your triumphs and failures. But, if that's all you're sharing with them, you might as well just add them to your Christmas card list and call it good.

My sister and I regularly send each other random text messages like "A guy just walked past me whistling 'Walking on Sunshine'," or, "I just ate a chocolate-covered cookie dough ball. Be jealous." We tell each other when someone quotes a favorite line from TV or a movie, we take turns venting about bad days and we offer support (or discouragement, if needed) when the other is considering a new haircut.

As odd as it seems, it's the little details we share that keep us close, not the important announcements.

Dedicate one weekend to your sisters every year

Every year since before I was born, my mom went on what she called a "sister party" with her mom and sisters. They would leave their kids with their husbands, friends or in-laws, take time off work and dedicate some good, quality time to sister bonding. She always came back happy, relaxed and recharged.

Now that my sisters and I are older, we carry on that same tradition every year. We go to plays, get pedicures, eat lots of good food, buy tiny kitchen utensils and watch chick flicks. For us, this weekend getaway is like Christmas.

It's difficult to plan time away from your family, especially if your sisters are spread across the country. It may be impossible to do this every year, but every girl needs an intense dose of sisterhood every now and then. So, make your sisters a priority. Both you and your family will benefit from it.

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