Brendan’s Top 10 Life Events

My little baby boy is 10 years old today.  It’s pretty emotional for me.

Ten is a big deal.  Double-digits.  Two hands.

We’ve always used “ten” as the thing in our house.  As in…”you can get a cell phone when you’re ten…”  “you can stay home alone when you’re ten”…”you can play Call of Duty when you’re ten.”

Now we’re officially screwed.  It’s here and we are so not ready for all of the above.

It’s been a great 10 years…in some ways it flew by.  But other times I look back at pictures and barely remember, and that makes me sad.  I found some great pictures and wanted to put together what I think are Brendan’s TOP 10 Life Moments so far:

  1. Birth

    Obviously birth is going to be the number one life moment!  I’d like to say this is the day that we officially became a family.  And that’s true, except for my cats.  You see, we were a cat family before we were a little people family.  But even pre-birth, the cats, especially Jack, loved Brendan.

    Jack cuddles with Brendan before he was even born.

    Jack cuddles with Brendan before he was even born.

    When we first brought Brendan home from the hospital, Jack wouldn’t leave him alone.

    Brendan is greeted home from the hospital by Jack.

    Brendan is greeted home from the hospital by Jack.

    And even now, they are the best of friends.  Jack knows to cuddle with Brendan when he’s sick, or really, anytime.

    Brendan and Jack cuddle.

    Brendan and Jack cuddle.


  2. First time at Walt Disney World

    Brendan was maybe a month old when we had our first visit to Walt Disney World.  It was a random thing that happened, as we got a free night to stay at the Grand Floridian.  I mean, how often does that happen? So we packed him and all his stuff up and spent the night.  He even had his own bed!

    Brendan staying at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.

    Brendan staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

    The next day, we went over to EPCOT just to walk around.  It was his first Disney park.

    Brendan visiting EPCOT for the first time.

    Brendan visiting EPCOT for the first time.

    Thankfully, he hasn’t gotten sick of Disney yet! He’s convinced he’s going to work there when he grows up and still loves everything there.  Even the Magic Kingdom, which may be his favorite.


  3. Stanley Cup

    We are big hockey fans.  Brendan was actually named for our favorite Detroit Red Wing player, Brendan Shanahan.  (I know, please don’t hate all you Blackhawks fans!)  We were lucky enough to find out one day that the Stanley Cup was going to be on display at Downtown Disney.  I have no idea why – but it was pretty awesome.  This is one of my favorite pictures ever.

    Brendan next to the Stanley cup at Downtown Disney in 2003.

    Brendan next to the Stanley cup at Downtown Disney in 2003.

  4. Sports

    Brendan has really turned into an all-around athlete.  Not only is his good in a lot of different sports, he’s really focused and he’s a good sport.  His first sport was soccer.

    Brendan playing soccer at age 3.

    Brendan playing soccer at age 3.

    He also played t-ball as a little man, and was the only kid on the field in position and ready to play.

    Brendan playing TBall - he was always the most serious of the kids in the field.

    Brendan playing TBall – he was always the most serious of the kids in the field.

    He played some little league as well.


    My little Cubbie.

    He’s gotten pretty into cycling, but hates these big hills..


    Brendan the cyclist.

    He’s quite the little fisherman.  He really likes to study the differences of fish.


    Brendan the fisherman. Fishing is a sport!

    Golf is another sport that he’s pretty good at, at least the miniature version.  We need to get him on a real course!


    Brendan the golfer.

    We did karate for a bit, until his yellow belt.


    Karate Brendan.

    Brendan goes in for a touchdown.

    Brendan goes in for a touchdown.

    Overall, Brendan is really an all-around guy.   He doesn’t like one sport more than another and wants to try all the sports out there.  He’s been really good at all of them.  I’m happy that he’s not set on only playing football.  I think it’s great he likes to try new things all the time.

  5. Having a Brother

    Having a brother changed everything for Brendan, whether he realizes it or not.  Most days, I think he’s happy he has a brother.  They are only 2 1/2 years apart, so they really are close.

    Brendan meets his brother, Patrick, for the first time in the hospital.

    Brendan meets his brother, Patrick, for the first time in the hospital.

    Brendan has always been a great older brother.  He learned patience, learned the need for privacy and “alone-time” but also has been a good teacher for his younger brother.  I really hope these two continue to be good friends as they grow up.  When Patrick was born Scott said to me, “Brendan is so silly, what is Patrick is really serious.”  He was a pretty serious looking baby – but quickly grew up to be an even bigger goof then Brendan.  The two of them are just very funny boys.

  6. First Day of Preschool

    I still can’t get over how cute he was going to school for the first time.  We were very lucky that we had a great preschool with no only excellent teachers, but also excellent classmates and parents.


    Brendan on his first day of preschool.

    On his first day of school, Brendan came home and declared he had a new best friend.  “His name is Matt and he has two fish and two dogs and two mommies.”  The best part about all of this, the boys are still best buddies today, heading into fifth grade.  We are friends with his moms and Matt has a little brother Patrick’s age.


    Brendan and his best friend Matt.

  7. First Day of Kindergarten

    It all seems to go by so fast! And all of the sudden it’s real school! Preschool was great, filled with fun, crafts and family events.  Suddenly we’re in the world of public school where there are community school supplies, bought by parents, grades and daily homework.  We were lucky in that we had a perfect, amazing kindergarten teacher.  It was interesting to be in such a mix of kids, one of whom even got suspended…in kindergarten!!


    Brendan on his first day of kindergarten.

    We are lucky to be at an amazing school with excellent teachers and high standards.  I just think that’s so important.  It’s a pretty good community with active parents.  Brendan has made some great friends and even better memories.  I’m happy with our decision for public school.  I really hope the middle school years are just as positive!!

    Brendan with school friends Danny and Joey at Cub Scout Camp.

    Brendan with school friends Danny and Joey at Cub Scout Camp.

  8. Importance of Family

    From early on, Brendan understood the importance of family.  We are surrounded by family members pretty much all the time.  His two cousins are his best friends and live just 10 minutes away.  Extended family is all around and we are all visiting each other often.  Grandparents on both sides are always around and always involved.  He even has other “grandparents” in my brother-in-laws parents.  Brendan was even around for my great-grandmother’s 100th birthday party.  There’s a lot of family.  But I think the first time we all remember him realizing how important it was, was during Christmas one year.


    Brendan being pulled onstage at Epcot’s Germany restaurant.

    Our annual family tradition with Scott’s family is to have dinner together at EPCOT and then enjoy the Candlelight Processional.  It’s one of my favorite things ever.  This one year, we were eating dinner in Germany and Brendan was called to the stage.  The man asked him what he wanted for Christmas, Brendan answered with something like…”For my Nana and Papa to move to Florida.” Well, that was enough to make Nana cry and for her to announce that he’s getting a car when he turns 16.  Brendan didn’t understand why Nana was crying, but I think is still holding her to the car promise.  Only six more years before he’s driving?!?!?!
    I’m so thankful that family is all around.  We are all very lucky to have each other.

    Plus, I’m expecting to have a boy band soon.  I mean – how cute are these guys?

  9. Cousins at Katie's wedding.

    Cousins at Katie’s wedding.


  10. Michigan State Brainwashing

    Obviously it started early, turning our child into a little Spartan.
    It really wasn’t until about age 8 that he even understood the connection to Michigan State.

    Baby Spartan.

    Baby Spartan.

    But it was about that time where he started really becoming a fan.  He has now become obsessed with all things Michigan State.  He loves the color green.  Will never but the colors blue and gold together, and publicly bashes those that do.  He gets really into Michigan State Football and Basketball and really has a hard time when we lose a game.

    Brendan at Sparty at Michigan State.

    Brendan at Sparty at Michigan State.

    We are taking a trip up to Michigan State right after his birthday, and he’s been saving his money to buy all sorts of things.  He’s decided this is where he is going to school and wants to now redo his room with an MSU theme.  We probably should start saving for out-of-state tuition.

    Brendan and Sparty at the Citrus Bowl Parade in Orlando.

    Brendan and Sparty at the Citrus Bowl Parade in Orlando.

  11. Getting an iPad

    All Brendan wanted for Christmas was an iPad.  Well, Santa was extra nice this year and that’s what he got.  This has been a big life changer in many ways.
    He’s learned how to text and that’s how he communicates with us a lot when he’s on sleepovers or home alone.  It’s taught him a lot about responsibility.  He has taken great care of it.  He face-times with his cousins often and randomly texts family members.  He’s taken some great pictures.  He’s also started his blog, which he writes and posts from his iPad.  These are important skills that all kids should have in this technology age.  I think it has also gotten him more excited about reading.  It definitely makes longer car trips easier!!  He says it was his favorite Christmas present ever.  I’ll take it.

    Brendan and his iPad on Christmas morning.

    Brendan and his iPad on Christmas morning.

    I’m so blessed and lucky to have such an amazing kid.  I know great things are ahead for him.  He’s such a sweet, caring boy with a giant heart and I can’t wait to watch him continue to grow.  At the same time, I wish I could just freeze time and keep him this age forever.
    I leave you now with one of my favorite Brendan pictures ever:

    Brendan as Dumbo for Halloween.

    Brendan as Dumbo for Halloween.

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