Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Brother!

Today is my brother's 32nd birthday.  Yep - we're exactly two years and two days apart.

My brother is named Brian, but has been given the ever-creative nickname, "Brother."  This moniker doesn't date back to our childhood or anything like that.  It stems from when I first started dating my (now) husband, who was also named Brian.  See, it got confusing when someone would ask, "Is Brian coming?" or "Did you talk to Brian yet?" because we never knew which Brian was being referenced.  So we started to clarify by saying "Brother Brian" or "Boyfriend Brian."  Well, eventually, Boyfriend Brian became my husband, so his nickname faded.  But Brother Brian stuck...and was soon shortened to just plain Brother.

It may sound crazy, but the name Brother suits him.  I've got two sisters (plus a half-sister), but he is our only brother.  We've been calling him this for so long that he's in our cell phones as "Brother" and I'm pretty sure I addressed his Christmas card to "Brother" as well.  To be completely honest, I'm not even sure if Cooper knows what Brother's first name is!

OK, time to meet the birthday boy:
Oh, wait.  You can't see him in this picture.  Harmon adores Brother on an unhealthy level, and is literally licking him silly in this photo.
Actually, when I was looking through photos to share, it was difficult to find some.  To put it mildly, Brother doesn't really like getting his picture taken.  So when someone points a camera at him, he often resort to this:
Or super fake smiles, like this:
But every once in a while, you can catch him in a good moment.  Like this:
Brother and Brian get along well.   (Except for that one time in Pullman when Brother tried to karate chop Brian.  That time was bad.)

Cooper also idolizes Brother.  He thinks everything Brother says is hilarious.

I feel so lucky because my siblings and I are best friends.  I'm sure my parents are thrilled beyond belief because it's every parent's dream that their children grow up to genuinely enjoy spending time together.  Sure, we bicker occasionally and get annoyed with each other, but that's to be expected.  Overall, we are a pretty FUN group of kids!  (Or at least that's what everyone keeps telling us...) 
Here we are, meeting up with Brother in New York.  My mom took us on this trip, and it was one of my best travel experiences.  Left to right: Kimmy, Jamie, Brother, and Me.
Project: Ticket Stub Scrapbook

For Brother's birthday gift, I had to get crafty.  With my Stopping Spree in effect, I couldn't buy anything, so I had to use what I already owned to come up with something FREE.  It can be tricky to make homemade gifts that aren't too girly.

My brother is a musician.  He plays numerous instruments, he sings, and he is always the first to alert me to a new band.  He's also attended probably 100 concerts.  I decided to make him a small scrapbook album to store all his favorite concert tickets.  Each page has a place for the ticket, as well as a place to journal the details/memories associated with that concert.

About ten years ago, I ordered a scrapbook kit from Lisa Bearnson (Creating Keepsakes founder).  It came with all these pre-cut quotes and embellishments, but I never put it together.  I decided to use the album that came with that kit for Brother's gift.
Then I looked through my scrapbook stash to decide on a color palette.  I settled on navy, sage, turquoise, brown, and white.
Then I did a quick sketch, outlining my plan for the album.
This is the title page I created.  (As a side note, my DSLR camera isn't working.  The following photos were taken with my point-and-shoot, which means they're a bit blurry.)
Here is one of the sample pages.  On the top, I typed "Concert: _________",  "Location: ________", and "Memories/Reviews: ____________."  He can just fill in the blanks with a pen.

The Mariners ticket is what I used to measure the size of an average ticket.  Plus, this way you can see what a finished page would look like once he glues down each ticket.  (Of course, his tickets will be from concerts, not baseball games.)
Here are two sample pages.  I also added a little note for Brother that says "affix ticket stub HERE."
I made a total of 18 different ticket pages, plus a closing page.
Brother lives in New York, so we won't be able to celebrate together.  (If you're reading this, Brother, and your gift hasn't arrived yet...SURPRISE!)  It's been difficult having him live so far away from the rest of our family, but he has a good job there.  He'll be coming home this summer for our annual family trip to Lake Chelan.  I can't wait!
Happy birthday, Brother!  I think this will be your best year yet!  XO

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