For five and a half short years, I was an only child. I had Mom and Dad all to myself, all the attention, all the love — I was the luckiest, happiest little girl in the entire world. I didn't think life could get any better. But it did the day you, my little brother, was born. I know you are way cooler than me and, if you ever read this, will only pick on me, but that's OK. I have a few thank you's for you that I haven't quite been able to put into words until now.

Thank you for being my best friend.

We do have a big age difference, but for the first 10 years of your life, that didn't stop us from being inseparable. We did everything together. You even hung out with my friends and me. For the longest time, it was you and me no matter what. We grew apart as I entered my teen years as siblings often do, but I know that doesn't change our friendship, even if it looks different now.

Thank you for having my back.

Whether it's with Mom and Dad, shady friends or ex-boyfriends, you have always had my back in your own, sarcastic, snarky way. Even if you and I disagree often, we always join forces and support each other against all other enemies, even if we might be in the wrong. That's just how it works. You're also the best designated driver and designated bug killer. Thanks, Bro.

Thank you for embarrassing me.

This is a surprising thank you, I know. I am positive your No. 1 goal in life has been to embarrass me. You have succeeded many times. When you were 5, you punched a guy friend of mine because you thought he had a crush on me. When you were 9, you dressed up in camouflage, war paint and fake gun in tow. You hid in the bushes to wait for my first date to pick me up and jumped out, all decked out, shooting your fake gun — nearly scaring him away when he arrived (it's possible you did. We never went out again.) In those moments, I was irate. Now, I laugh and I thank you because I know that it's all just a part of brotherly love. We also have plenty of funny stories to tell.

Thank you for laughing with me.

We have our own language, one that doesn't require speaking. We burst out into giggles with just a look across the table at dinner, annoying our parents to no end, likely all due to the one of many inside jokes we have from our childhood. I know if I need a laugh, you are the one person who can always give that to me, whether it's with a "Family Guy" marathon or a corny meme. At the end of the day, we just get each other.

Thank you for keeping me in check.

Okay, first off, your intelligence blows me away. I still have a hard time grasping the fact that you are becoming your own person and are quite possibly smarter than I am. You aren't afraid to tell me when I am wrong. You are the one person who can do that and I will listen to immediately, because I know although you enjoy being right as much as I do, it is with good intentions. You remind me to stick to my guns, to think before I speak and to argue with education and purpose. You keep me honest and genuine to all whom I love... and myself.

Thank you for making me proud to call myself your big sister.

It's about to get gushy. You are making me more proud every single day. Your confidence, persistence and sense of humor are admirable and will get you far in both your personal and professional life. You treat girls with respect and have incredible taste, never settling for just a pretty face (this is such a relief, you have NO idea.) You have big goals and big dreams for the future, but I know if anyone can reach them, it's you. After all, you are my little brother and I expect nothing short of greatness.

I love you, always, little bro. Stop growing up, you're making me look uncool and really short.

-Your Big Sis