Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Two Wonderful Brothers

Today I celebrate two of the most wonderful men in the world: My younger brother, Jared and JDub's youngest brother, Aaron. It makes it nice to have them both on the same day.

First, Jared, since he's oldest and I loved him first.

I remember Jared being one of the most darling little boys. He was so much fun and I loved having him around. See what I mean? See how cute he is?

He has always been one of my favorite friends. From counseling him on what to do about the crush he had on a cute little girl in kindergarten, to hours spent doing his hair and dressing him up, to staying up all night talking about a kazillion things, I have loved and been so grateful for the 25 years I've gotten to spend with my brother.

He is tender-hearted, loving and incredibly loyal. He is smart and funny and playful. He has a boyish grin that could melt anyone's heart and, though he is not perfect, he is a much, much better person than he believes he is. He is brave and strong and persistent and just so, so good. I have often wished that I could give him just a glance at himself through my eyes so that he could see the amazing person I see in him.

He's a great uncle to my children, too.

I love you Jared and am so glad I get to have you as my brother. I wouldn't trade you for anyone in the world.

Then, there's Aaron who was obliging enough to be born on Jared's birthday a few years later to cut down on the number of birthdates I'd have to remember. :)

Aaron came into my life as Jeffrey's little brother, a typical ten-year-old boy. I was convinced at the time that I didn't like ten-year-old boys. But I sure love Aaron and it was well worth sticking with him through that ten-year-old stage. (For the record, Aaron, I liked you then, too. The you who showed up when the annoying parts of ten-year-old-boyness fell away. And the rest of the time I knew it wasn't your fault. Everyone has to be ten some time.)

Right from the beginning, Aaron has been a phenomenal uncle. He loved Kaitybean right from the beginning and even used to save all of the soft parts from his popcorn kernels for her.

Aaron has grown to be an astonishingly valiant (and handsome and fun) young man. He is a great example to me of integrity and faith. He is currently serving an LDS mission in Minnesota and I love reading his weekly letters to our family. They lift me up and make me so proud to call him my brother.

Happy birthday, Aaron, my friend! Enjoy the last month of your mission and your trip to Israel (so jealous!). You've got at least four nieces and nephews who are chomping at the bit to hug you when you come back our way.

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