As promised, Meg’s video profile done by our nine year old brother.

This one goes more in-depth about our family’s love of cheese, and includes a bit more philosophizing on Zack’s part.


Happy Birthday, Sister!

It’s my big sister, Meg’s birthday today!

(the original pong!)

I can’t even really explain how much impact my sister has had on my life. We’re 11 years apart, but like most siblings, the distance lessens with age.

When I was little, I remember playing “hairdresser” with her. We lived in North Carolina, and she’d put on a super thick southern accent and braid my hair.

I’m sure I was super annoying. She was my only sister and I wanted to be just like her. I’d raid her stuff and barge into her room all the time. I can’t imagine being a 17 year old girl and having your six year old sister begging for all of your time.

(I love this photo minus my crazy braces teeth!)

She and my mom receive the blunt of my emotional breakdowns via phone. She’s given me so much life advice over the years. I can’t even express my gratitude.

Love you, sissy!!!


In 1984, my brother Zack, an aspiring auteur, tried his hand at video. 

I thought it’d be fitting for Sam’s birthday to highlight this nice little profile Zack did.

(I did make two edits. The video game went on for an agonizing amount of time, so I clipped that. There was a nice bit of Zack narrating while Sam played with his He-Man action figures, but it was too dark to see anything, so I cut that too.)

Happy Birthday Sammo!


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!)


For Baby (For Bobbie) - John Denver

I was in a sappy music mood today. Sappy mood in general, actually, but whatever.

My dad sang this song to my mom at their wedding in 1973.

Have I gone over how much I love my family? I think I have. My mom and I talked more about family history and such over lunch today. I also had my class on conflict and relationships at Mars last night. That session focused on our past, our family, and how we were taught to address conflict. All of these things had my brain in a thoughtful, nostalgic mood.

4 out of 6 birthdays in my immediate family are in April, so a lot of the blog this month will probably be thoughts on my family, growing up, and my relationships with my parents and siblings.

This is my dad when he was 17.

and this is him at 21, playing the song at his wedding.

I’ll walk in the rain by your side
I’ll cling to the warmth of your hand
I’ll do anything to keep you satisfied
I’ll love you more than anybody can

And the wind will whisper your name to me
Little birds will sing along in time
Leaves will bow down when you walk by
And morning bells will chime

I’ll be there when you’re feelin down
To kiss away the tears if you cry
I’ll share with you all the happiness I’ve found
A reflection of the love in your eyes


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