little brother.

Dear Devin,

In a week you start your new life as a college student at BYU-I. I'm so proud of you! You've worked so hard to get where you are, and I can't wait to hear about your classes, your plans, and your, dare I say...dates. I'm SO excited when, a little over a year from now, you will get your mission call. I've loved watching you admire Tyler for his missionary service, and I know you've been waiting for so long until it's your turn to go. I'm going to call Asia or Africa, okay?

I remember the day you were born, even though I was only a little kid. You had a rough and scary start getting here, but you hung on and decided that you were going to make it. And since then, you have brought so much laughter, sarcasm, and fun to our family. As the lone blondie, I think we all can say you were the cutest out of the four of us, too.

 Your sense of humor continues to make me smile, although we might need to tone down those "get back in the kitchen" jokes. Someday some girl isn't going to realize you're joking and might slap you across the face. :) But you have the ability to snap anyone out of a bad mood with your humor and your smile, and I appreciate and admire that.

Even though I haven't lived at home during most of your teenage years, I've watched you from good ol' Provo, and I'm so proud of everything that you are. You have been such a loyal friend, even when your friends might not have been as nice as they could have been to you. I'm especially grateful for how you have treated the girls you spend time with. You are so patient, respectful, and kind to them. I admire how you drop whatever you are doing to help someone out. And I'm sorry I sometimes took advantage of that while we were growing up! Provo could use a few more guys like you. The girls you date and the girl you someday marry better realize how lucky they are. You hear that, girls? Because if you don't, I'll remind you.

You have always been such a peacemaker, Devin. When Tyler and I or Whitney and I had arguments, you were always there, even as a toddler, to remind us that fighting takes the happiness out of our home. That ability to bring calm to an environment is something that I hope and pray that you hold on to. It'll serve you well as you start a new life with roommates and eventually mission companions.

I admire the passion and enthusiasm you have for life. When you find something you love, you put your entire soul into it. Devin doesn't do anything half-heartedly.

I'm so excited to see you this Thursday, even though it'll just be for a little while. I wish you could come to my graduation, but you'll have much more fun starting classes instead. I can't believe you're a college student. Stop making me feel so old! I love you, Dev, and I'm so grateful for the example of kindness, strength, and humor that you have been to me. Go knock 'em dead.


And now...for some photos.

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