You know you are getting old when your younger brother is approaching his mid thirties. Especially when you realize you are approaching your forties.
Today is the birthday of my youngest and very dear brother Javier. It’s a tradition of this blog to write a blog post on this special day.
Recap of Our Experiences
The problem with doing this traditional blog post is that my love for my brother doesn’t change much. I love my younger brother unconditionally. So it's sort of difficult to not sound repetitive every year.
For that reason I decided to create a post with a recap of my experiences with my brother Javier from 2016.
Interesting and Fun Year for Us
This year has been a very interesting and entertaining one for me.
But the biggest highlight of the year has been the time I have been able to spend with my brother. This year I have met up with him on 4 different occasions. We also made our schedules work to improve the quality of our time together.
A year full of Milestones
As I look back I also see the milestones and things my brother was able to accomplish.
In January of this year I got a call from my brother mentioning he was getting married to his life partner.
I was very excited since Rosario has been in our lives for the past 11+ years. At that particular moment I did not know that I would have the opportunity to attend his wedding.
I was lucky enough to get a few small projects. So I made it over to Connecticut in February where my brother got married on St. Valentine's Day.
A Wedding inside a Birthday Party
My very creative and at the same time sneaky brother planned to propose to his now wife and once she said yes, he would marry her on the spot. He was 100% Rosario would say, yes.
To not raise any red flags they used our friend Julio daughter's birthday party as an excuse to create an event. This would bring together friends, family, and rent a venue without raising much suspicion.
The day of the wedding went by and I observed how they got Rosario ready. She had no clue that hours later she would be officially married to my brother.
So the guests arrived and 98% of them had no idea that the proposal was taking place, much less that they were going to be witnesses at a wedding. My brother proposed, she said yes, and they got married.
Meeting My Mexican Family
One of the highlights of the wedding was that I was able to meet Rosario’s family. I finally met her father, Don Raúl, and it was awesome to have my brother's father-in-law to have the same name. He seemed to be a very caring man. We chatted a bit and he invited me to Mexico. I also met Rosario's brothers and sisters. I connected with Juan and in the spirit of great celebration, I blame him for the extra beers I had that night.
I Danced and Drank Till I could no More
My brother's wedding day should be known as the day I danced and drank till I could no more. I have never been a fan of dancing and now as a Dad I rarely drink. But on this special occasion of my brother getting married, I drank and danced because I was truly happy for my brother. I have two left feet and should consider taking some dance lessons.
One of the Best Day's in 36 years
I have to say it was one of the most emotional and happiest days of my 36 years on this earth.
I ended the night spending time with old friends and "mi familia Mexicana". This was a truly memorable night.
The Best Brother and Sister-in-Law ever
My brother and sister-in-law are the best ever. Who else allows his brother to go on a short improvised honeymoon trip.
My brother decided to take his new bride up to Foxwoods and spend a night up there with her. Since I was only there for a few days and don't see them as much, I got invited. We spent a full night walking around the casino, dining, laughing, and having a great night. I also discovered that my brother's bride usually brings me good luck when I visit a casino.
A memorable first Daddy and Daughter Trip
I ended that trip on a high note spending time with family. Daniela and I had our first daughter and dad trip outside of the Island. Lucy stayed in Puerto Rico taking care of Juanga.
My brother visits The Island
Months later, my brother decided to come and visit the Island during the summer. It had been a three years since his previous visit.
I was able to spend time with my dad, nephew Chris, and brother. We did a few touristy things.
Creating a Deeper Bond with My Nephew Chris
The most important highlight of the summer trip was that I got closer to my nephew Chris. He had a blast enjoying time at the beach and spending time with his cousin Daniela.
I also had time with Chris on my own. Since Chris is a lot more mature now, my conversations with him where a lot deeper and more interesting. My brother and Rosario have done a great job raising my nephew and he has to be one of the sweetest kids I have ever met. He is also very observant, intelligent, and willing to follow advice and take feedback like I wish I could. I am glad these trips have improved my relationship with my nephew. I know that I am a great dad but I know and feel I need to improve as an Uncle. I have always felt I have done a poor job at being an uncle. I only hope I can fix this and Chris is teaching me how to be a better uncle.
I always want more time with Javier
They left Puerto Rico a few days later and I wished my brother could have stayed a little longer. I never feel I get enough time with him but the Over the years I have learned to accept the fact that I have to share my brother with the world.
Surprise Bittersweet Visit to Connecticut
A few weeks later, I was lucky enough to land a project in the Boston area. I went up to Boston to meet with a client and at that moment my Grandfather was transitioning to exit life on Earth as we know it. I finished my project and went down to Connecticut where I was able to say goodbye to my Grandfather. This trip was bittersweet because I did not have a close relationship with my Grandfather but he will be missed.
I also had the chance to spend time with my brother and his family. I also got to see and reconnect with uncles, cousins, and younger family members.
Getting on Rollercoasters with My Nephew
I also went on a trip with Javier and Chris to Six Flags. It had been a good 10+ years since my last visit to a Six Flags. While living in Connecticut, we use to visit the park multiple times in the summer.
We spent the day getting on rides and trying to keep ourselves cool. I felt it was one of the hottest days of the summer. My nephew Chris enjoys roller coasters. So I got on the Superman roller coaster with him for the first time and it was a memorable moment with my nephew. Everytime I see Superman or a huge rollercoaster, I think of that day.
My trip was short and I had a great time, but I was going to return in a few days.
Back to Back Trips up to Connecticut
10 days after I left Connecticut, I returned with Daniela and Lucy. We had planned a short trip during Labor Day weekend to spend time with family up in Connecticut.
Javier made sure he cleared up as much of his schedule as he could. We arrived at JFK airport and made a stop at his workplace in Whole Foods to grab a vegan meal. It's convenient to visit Connecticut as a vegan when your brother works at Whole Foods.
A Few Days Packed with Fun and Family Love
From there we spent time with Javier and went to Dave and Busters for the first time with Daniela. We all played at the Arcade and had an awesome time. We also did a fun bowling night with Lucy's Family. Javier also had one of his best bowling scores in years.
This trip was extra special because we had booked tickets to see our favorite comedian, Gabriel Iglesias, at Foxwoods.
Seeing Gabriel Iglesias at Foxwoods
The whole family took off for a day to the Casino and watched Gabriel Iglesias' comedy show live.
I guess I am a fan of Gabriel Iglesias because he reminds me of Javier. Over the years I have realized that their stories are alike in many ways.
1st time I saw Gabriel Iglesias on TV
I also remember years ago watching comedy central and seeing Gabriel Iglesias on TV. Immediately I saw some similarities in both of them. How my brother use to dress, how he was talking, and just his overall presence.
I remember calling my brother and teasing him about being on TV and not letting me know he had a comedy show. From there on my brother and I became a big fan of the Fluffy Guy.
My brother has attended many of Gabriel Iglesias’ shows. Gabriel Iglesias has also motivated my nephew Chris to do better in school.
Months ago, when he was going to purchase the tickets for the show he, asked me if I wanted to join him.
I said yes and I started making plans for this short trip to Connecticut.
Fluffy Breaks Even Literally took my Nephew’s Breath Away
The highlight of watching the Gabriel Iglesias live show was seeing my nephew Chris. He was almost out of breath laughing as the Comedian presented his show. Chris enjoyed each joke as I have not seen anyone enjoy a comedian before. I have also never seen a Stand-up Comedian connect with his audience in such a way.
We had a great time in Connecticut and again felt we wanted to spend more time with family. But that gives us a reason to return and make the time.
A different Happy Birthday Post for Javier
This post is a bit different from the posts I have written about Javier in previous years. I wanted to document my experiences this year with my very loved younger brother.
I got the Biggest Gift this Year from Him
I think I got the gift of spending time with him and having our families enjoy each other throughout the year.
For me that has more importance than just saying happy birthday and sending someone a gift.
Remind Ourselves and Take Control
Life goes by quickly and we’re faced with many decisions. Sometimes our commitments as adults seem to tie us down. We have to make sure we remind ourselves who is truly in control of our time.
Extremely Grateful for My Brother
I am grateful to Javier that this year we have been able to do as much as possible. Together we created many memorable events in just 10 months. The best thing is the year still has not ended.
Thank You a Trillion times
To a brother that has always been there for me and supported me in many ways; I want you to know that I am not only writing this long post to congratulate you on your 32th birthday, I also wanted to Thank you deeply for making this year a truly memorable one for all of us.
Thank you for bringing my nephew Chris into our lives and the most beautiful human being I know your wife, Rosario.
I look forward to many more adventures with you brother. Let's make sure our next one is not too far away.
I can't wait to see what the next few months bring us and how we will continue to make the best to enjoy each other's company.
I love you and wanted to let you know I am always proud of you.