Dear Austin,

I wish we could go back to the days of running around in our pj's watching Disney Channel and eating Lucky Charms until our stomachs hurt. I miss the times we use to spend playing basketball and Xbox only to watch you win at both games. Though you've always been more athletic than me, I've always been your biggest supporter and will continue to cheer you on. You're no longer the little boy obsessed with Lightning McQueen and Rey Mysterio, but now a grown man looking to achieve his dreams. I'm so unbelievably proud of you, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store.

Coming home from college fills my heart with joy. As soon as I walk through the front door, I know I can be greeted with a big bear hug and smile on your face. Our ability to pick up right where we left off is a gift I hope we never lose. Taking a break from school to watch you play soccer, even for a short time, is something I look forward to. Though you're usually busy hanging out with friends or working outside, I'll be forever grateful for the time you take to spend time with me.

Watching you grow over the years hasn't been easy.

We've been through a lot together, some circumstances harder than we could've ever imagined. But through those trials and tribulations, I've seen you grow into a handsome, strong, bold young man ready to tackle any task you're given. You inspire me to work harder and be more confident in myself.

Your growth never ceases to amaze me and in so many ways has made me proud to be your older sister.

I can't help but think about the countless memories we have together riding four-wheelers, eavesdropping on our parents, and nerf-gun fighting in the backyard. You and Amanda were always right beside me in my best childhood memories, and I can't imagine my life any differently without you two. Over the past 18 years, I've learned so much from your crazy ideas and stupid mistakes.

All of these special memories, however, have shaped us into who we are today.

As you go on to finish your last year in high school, I hope this advice will guide you to make good decisions and life choices. Always remember to be yourself and never take anything for granted. Know that you can always call me, in good times or in bad, to share your stories and troubles. Treat girls right and compliment them too. Keep up with your grades, but make time for memories with your friends. Grow strong and independent, leaning on your gut and intuition.

I wish you the best of luck as you finish this last year, but know that the best is yet to come. You will miss home, so savor every moment you have left now. Ten years down the road when we are out of college and in our own careers, I hope we can relive the moments of our childhood memories and tell our own kids how much fun we had.

I'll love you forever (not so little) bro.

Yours truly,

Ash