Happy Birthday, Samuel!

It’s that time of the year again, folks. April birthdays. There’s just so many of them. Four in my immediate family alone.

But I really like doing my family birthday shoutouts on my blog.

So, kickin’ it off today is my big bruvver Sam. I was having the hardest time choosing photos because he was just such a stinkin’ cute kid. So there’s a few.

These were his beloved lion slippers named Ole and Lena. What a Scandinavian family we are.

I just like this one because you can see so much of his current self in it.

At first I thought this photo was him impersonating my dad. Dad’s shirt, black beard, but according to the back of the photo he is playing Don Johnson. Classy, Sam.

Between the ages of about 7 and 12, I tailed my poor brother constantly. I would sit in his room watching him play Warcraft: Orcs and Humans while listening to Tragic Kingdom, Bride, and The Collected Works of Tourniquet, the cover of which simultaneously thrilled and scared the begeezes out of me.

I would follow he and his best friend Andy all over Spring Hill, watch them practice their juggling and yo-yo skills, getting soda out of the machine in the pool building, etc.

He’s probably at least partially responsible for my Mountain Dew addiction, another habit I picked up trying to imitate him.

I had an Alice in Wonderland party for my 8th birthday. He and Andy dressed up and performed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. They juggled, made us balloon animals, ran a croquet course through the house, and made jokes that were way over 8 year olds’ heads. (Luckily it’s on video, so I was able to laugh later.) Honestly, that’s a really nice thing for a 14 year old boy to do for his sister.

We’re seven years apart, but I think like most siblings, the distance gets smaller as we get older. We have a lot of the same tastes now, music, movies, tv, books, art. Our humor is pretty similar too, which makes dinners with Mom and Dad thoroughly entertaining.

He and his wife Laura are my only other family members in GR, and I really like getting to hang out with them.

I was proud of my gift for him this year. Four LPs:
Footloose (sibs used to dance to this LP when my parents had it. There’s video evidence. Ooh, maybe I can find it…)
Jackson Browne - The Pretender (bro used to listen to Dad’s Jackson Browne CDs)
Paul McCartney - Band on the Run (my current jam)
Valentiger - Oh, to know! (for some local flavor)

Yesterday my mom saw a family in the airport. The mother was very put together: nails done, hair dyed, lots of makeup. She had three teenage boys with her, all very obviously athletes, wearing lots of sports logos and polos and such.

She said that at that moment she wondered if it would even be possible for her to raise children like that. She didn’t mean it in a negative sense. She just meant that our family is so specifically different, and she wondered what makes families turn out in different ways.

All that to say, I’m thankful for the way we all turned out.

(Stay tuned for birthday posts for Poppa, Meggie, and Momma, coming soon!)


The Avett Brothers - Salvation Song

One of my favorite times is Christmas afternoon. The presents have been opened, the big meal has been consumed, and a calm falls over the house. This year we found ourselves settled into the living room, watching my dad’s Avett Brothers Concert DVD. Kat read her book, Sam plucked at his new banjo, the dogs curled up on the floor, and I was comforted and moved by this song.

We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that’s good that’s how we’ll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way


I keep telling my brother that he needs to be Sufjan for Halloween at some point. He even owns a banjo!