Happy Birthday, Brother!

Matt, today is your 29th birthday and I suppose you need some attention, even though Luxembourg just had a national holiday to celebrate the occasion!

You’ve always been an influence in my life and I’ll never stop looking up to you.

You’ve done everything you can to work hard, make a great example of yourself, challenge the process, encourage others to be great and to make life easier for yourself and the family you’ll have someday.

I look up to you because you refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer. You have the courage to stand up for what you believe and you know that if you push hard enough you can produce results.

You understand that building strong relationships is one of the most important things you can do, and you’re really good at it. I think it’s because you’re a loyal, confident, funny and witty person. More importantly you know that a BBQ always takes good friends and makes them great friends.

You understand the importance of balance in your life and you make the effort to take vacations, spend money on experiences and spend time with those who you love. Your ability to dream like a child at the age of 29 impresses me, and inspires me to live a more carefree life.

Other than your accomplishments in your career, you’ve done some pretty amazing things. Like a double major on an academic scholarship, going to grad school while working full time. Like travelling solo to Europe, just to explore, and later moving your entire life there just because you craved the adventure. You made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, rocking a mohawk. What’s not amazing about that?

 I miss you every single day. I don’t play pool as often as I should, ride the bike you bought me like I promised that I would or even take vacations like you encourage me to, but I still know that you’re proud of me and that you’re always just a phone call away. 

You have a ‘special’ lady who thinks you’re pretty remarkable, so please take care of her and continue to show her the creative, intelligent, witty, carefree, spontaneous, games-and-prizes Matt you’ve always been and I know you always will be.

Happy Birthday, MattMan! I’m happy you turned out okay.

heart JE

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Throwback Thursday: Brother Visits Home

Growing up I never knew what the future held for my brother. He always had dreams, he always had ambition, he always was the one who was going places.

I didn’t see him living in Portland forever, but never ever did I think he’d move away to Europe for an extended amount of time and only see him for two to three weeks (max) out of the year! I feel bad that we don’t talk more, but most of that is each of our demanding schedules and the fact that he’s a few time zones ahead of me, making my noon his 9pm! Yikes! For now, he catches up on my life the same way I catch everyone else up – this blog!

I am SO excited that he will be in the USA this upcoming week (in Seattle), then coming down to see our family and maybe a new family member added to the mix and continue to get to know Dan. Even though it’s only been three months since I saw him last, a lot has changed in my world and from what I’ve heard of his life he’s experiencing some changes too. I consider our family very close and not seeing him for months can feel like years.

The last time brother was home it was during the Thanksgiving holiday and I was able to take a good amount of work off to hang out with him at the beach, spend time with him at home and attend his famous Fakesgiving get-together. I’ve missed him a lot and this time around I unfortunately won’t be able to take the time off of work, but you can bet that I’ll be visiting home, staying up way past my bedtime and making sacrifices to make the most of his time home. I’m also excited to learn a little more about the special lady he’s dating – apparently she makes him pretty happy!

This Throwback Thursday is brought to you by the fun times that my brother and I have had together, through the good, the bad …and some of the worst fashion trends!

Fabulous Friday!

I’m beyond thrilled that today is finally Friday.

It was enough that Dan has been gloating about his nine consecutive days off from work, but added to that was Monday’s late night, Tuesday’s Election suspense, Wednesday’s onset of a seasonal cold, Thursday’s anticipation of lunch with my good friend Hank followed by dinner with Amanda at the new-to-me downtown restaurant: Jamison and now a kick-butt Friday worthy to get excited about!

Why is this Friday so fabulous?

My brother Matt gets home tomorrow:

Not one but two new pairs of glasses:

A shiny new white iPhone 5 in a pretty pretty case:

And a work from home day granted by an awesome boss-man!

Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

❤ JE