happy birthday jonathan

Today is my brother Jonathan (Jon's) birthday and since we are living far apart, I thought it might be fun to celebrate his day here on my blog. As I write, he is living in Kristianstad, Sweden, with his girlfriend, Ida and is preparing for a trip to Mallorca, Spain.

Jon is a rather extraordinary person. He has more energy than any five people combined, and moves through life with a buoyant enthusiasm. His confidence, positivity and infectious laugh draw people to him and make him the the centre of any conversation, the life of any party. He is extremely hardworking and has been dedicated to both his work as an editor at CTV (one of Canada's national news broadcasters, for my non-Canadian readers) and to planning unforgettable pub crawls and parties during his time in Byron Bay, Australia.

Spring and summer, 2013

He is one of the most straightforward and blunt people out there, and everyone always knows exactly where they stand with him. He doesn't suffer fools, but has the most amazing ability to call out anyone about anything without making enemies. He's the person you would want by your side in any sticky situation, and he will always speak up for what's right. He is as fearless and as fond of social interventions as Larry David is in Curb Your Enthusiasm, but without any of the painfully awkward consequences. I once saw him defuse a heated confrontation at a late-night diner by mildly suggesting the harasser "move to the mountains and buy a horse."

Jon, me and our younger brother Jeremy at my wedding in 2011. My brothers shared the emcee duties and did an amazing job! 
Photo by Lisa Mark Photography.

His secret weapons are a fantastic sense of humour, remarkable charisma and deep empathy. He has a heart of gold and boundless generosity that she shares with all his family and friends. I'm so proud of him for all the adventures he's been on over the past few years. I am particularly thrilled that his travels to Australia introduced him to Ida, who has made him so very happy.

Jon and Ida, summer 2013.

Jon, on your 29th birthday, I hope you are happier than ever before. I hope you enjoy every last moment of your time in Sweden, and that you continue to follow your dreams. Sending lots of love from Madison, and Brian and I can't wait to see you guys when we're all back in Canada this summer!