Yet Another Birthday Boy

It’s been a busy couple of months for birthdays, with Zander turning 2 in May and Logan turning 1 a couple of weeks ago. But today there is another Birthday Boy…my little brother.

Yes, today is my brother Andrew’s 32nd birthday. I thought this would be the perfect day to tell my bloggy friends about my amazing bro.

He was born the day before my first birthday….that’s right…I turn 33 tomorrow. He is the reason I never had a proper 1st birthday party, since my mother was in the hospital having him…and I’ve never forgiven him! Just kidding!

my parents proudly show off their newborn son the day he came home from the
hospital, while I plot my revenge on this stealer of my attention/adoring audience

my first attempt on his life…
actually, I was giving him a kiss…I couldn’t get enough of him from day one

Andrew and I grew up being extremely close. We were so close in age, and we grew up in the middle of farmland Ontario….which translates to the middle of nowhere. There were a few cousins in the same age group who lived close enough that we played with on a regular basis. But mostly it was just us. And that was great. In fact, our closeness in both age and friendship is the reason I chose to have my little boys so close together.

reading a story to my little propped-up-by-pillows bro
if you ask my mother, she’ll tell you how I taught him to read when he was three & I was four

man, we were cute….not sure what happened 😉

the quintessential grew-up-on-a-farm tractor shot

As kids, we didn’t fight much. At worst there would be a couple of minutes of name-calling…perhaps a little smack or two on an arm…and then it would be over, never to be thought of again.

In high school we seemed to get even closer, which some people found odd. We travelled within some of the same circles, so we ended up hanging out together a lot. Which was always fun.

how many people not only go to the same Prom as their brother, but sit at the same table as their brother?
that’s me in all my locks-of-blonde glory with my date…
Andrew is at the right edge of the photo in his schnazzy bow-tie…handsome, no?

When it was time for University, we both moved to Ottawa to attend U of O. We moved into an apartment together. And we lived together, surprisingly harmoniously, for 5 years. Jaws still drop when I tell people that my brother and I loved living together for that long. Not sure why…isn’t it normal to get along with your sibling?

I am so grateful that he came to Ottawa with me, because those were some of my toughest years. Less than two years after moving here, I lost my hair. The following year was when my sun allergy cropped up. I remember that first burn…my face so swollen I couldn’t open my eyes…so much pain…the burning was incredible…the fear…what the hell was going on? He borrowed a friend’s car and took me to the emergency room…and waited with me for hours. He never left my side. He was always there for me. I have thanked him many times, but I don’t think I will ever have thanked him enough. I honestly don’t think I could have made it through all of it without him. He was by my side through it all.

left-right: my sexy man Carlos, baldie me, Andrew, Chris-Anne
this photo was taken at my parents’ house

He and his girlfriend (at the time) had to be part of my wedding party, and when he married her Carlos and I were right there by his side. The four of us have become so close, and that makes me so very happy.

Andrew and I with our better halves
I’m so glad that we’re all friends!

Andrew was the most handsome groomsman at the wedding
sexy double chin on the bride, wouldn’t ya say?

I’m so glad that they let us be a part of their day
left-right: Carlos, my big bad bald chubby post-Zander (who was 4 months old) self,
Chris-Anne (who was 6 months pregnant at the time…and somehow she had the energy to dance the night away!), my bro Andrew, my beautiful mother in her homemade gown, and my dapper dad!

Even though his work as a Mechanical Engineer at a paper mill keeps him so busy that he rarely gets time off and is on-call most weekends, he made sure he was here right after Zander was born. That was so important to me. I’m not sure he knows how much.

Andrew holding an oh-so-tiny 4-day-old Zander for the first time

As we’ve grown and started our own families, we have ended up in different parts of Ontario. There are almost 300km of highway driving between us. But we still manage to keep in touch as often as possible. Thank God for email and digital cameras! It’s so important to me that our kids growing up knowing each other. It’s harder to travel now that we have kids, but we try to visit as often as possible. I want the cousins to be close.

Andrew with Georgina (his baby girl, my beautiful niece) – 6 months old,
Carlos with Zander – 12 months old

All of us and the kids at Christmas
Andrew and Chris-Anne are expecting their second child in July…I’m so excited!

After 32 years of ups and downs, he is still one of the best friends I have ever had.

Happy Birthday Andrew…I love you so much!

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10 Responses to Yet Another Birthday Boy

  1. Happy Homemaker says:

    Gorgeous pictures, what a beautiful life!

  2. Absolutely Bananas says:

    I love love LOVE all the old pictures. you are both ADORABLE (young AND old!!)

  3. tulipmom says:

    I linked here from Absolutely Bananas, and I’m so glad I did. What a wonderful tribute to your brother and the close relationship you two are so lucky to share.

    I look forward to catching up on your archives.

  4. Shauna says:

    Such a beautiful post! I think it’s amazing that you and Andrew are so close! Neat that you have kids the same age, too!

    Happy Birthday, Andrew!

    Happy Birthday (tomorrow!), Cate!

  5. Amanda says:

    What a beautiful tribute. These sorts of stories reaffirm our decision to have more than one child.

  6. In the Trenches of Mommyhood says:

    What a wonderful family story!

  7. Pinks & Blues Girls says:

    Now that post brought tears to my eyes… you and your brother have a very special bond, that’s so clear.
    Thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday to you and Andrew!!
    – Audrey
    Pinks & Blues

  8. Karen says:

    And while I’m at it…..what a touching tribute to your brother!!!
    I think I’m going to adopt you as my sister so you’ll say such wonderful things about me. 😉

  9. Brillig says:

    Gorgeous pics, and a beautiful tribute. How amazing to be so close to your brother! (And yeah, my jaw is one of the ones that are dropped!)

  10. Alanna says:

    What an absolutely amazing and touching post. Thank you for sharing your photos. I just thought this was great.