To The Little Brother I Moved Far Away From

To The Little Brother I Moved Far Away From

I miss you, you little (actually really tall) smart, funny dork.

To the little brother I ‘left behind:'

Thank you for being my biggest fan and supporting me all the way, even though me leaving was not easy. You let me go, the same way that Mom and Dad did. You could have thrown a fit and tried to chase Ben off, but you aren’t that kind of person. You were and still are super supportive, literally, you are the best brother ever, even to Ben.

I know that I promised you I would be at so many things, especially since it is your senior year. I hate that I am so far away. I wanted to see you off to your first last day of high school, last homecoming, all your FFA stuff especially since you’re the President, prom, heck even your actual graduation. I am going to do everything I possibly can so I don’t miss your party. Heck, I’m going to miss you giving up fair king and your last year showing, most likely your move-in day of college, or even your first day. I am so sorry that I am missing a lot. You know better than I do that this was not how I thought my life would roll.

When we were little, no way either of us thought this would happen. We would get mad at each other and not talk for days, even though we shared a bedroom wall. But no matter what we always have each other’s backs. We drop everything for each other, we really are inseparable.

I am so lucky to have a brother like you. I am so glad that you and Ben get along so well and you include and treat him like he is your brother. It makes me so happy. I know I got ‘taken away’ pretty early and kind of to the extreme. But you don’t hold it against Ben. You never were discouraging or mean, or tried to prevent or throw a wrench in it. You were great through all of it, especially the day I left. You didn’t see it, but leaving town was hard, not going to lie, there were some tears. And I absolutely hated you could not come out here with Mom and Dad to bring me my stuff.

While some of your habits drive me up the wall, I hate that you are not always walking past my bedroom door and usually peeping in to say something, usually extremely random. I hate that I cannot just yell through the wall to tell you something, even the random stuff. I hate that I do not get to tease your during NASCAR races because my drivers are usually better than yours. I miss randomly walking into your room to talk about our days, or to make fun of people. Or you just sitting down on my bed for the fun of it, sometimes we did not even have something to talk about. You give the best advice when it counts, and you can make me laugh until I would tear up. I miss having what we would call 'bro time' to talk about trucks and tractors.

You would drop anything to support me especially with Queen stuff three years ago, and basically everything my senior yearof high school. You would help me with FFA stuff all of the time. Even though you were just a freshman, you knew how it worked. You never complained about helping me. We were always a team. Even though I am your sister, we are bros.

I will always try to find a way to make up for how much I am missing. And trust me, so many things are happening here I wish you could see. A year ago, at this time, both of us figured that you would get married first and for sure you would move out first. While we really missed that one, one thing stayed true. You always wanted to know about that ‘Army guy’ I was always talking to. Well, a year later we are both counting down the days until we get to spend time with you. I wish you could for sure visit soon.

Your senior picture of me and you sit on my desk, right next to Ben’s. I get to see it every day. While it is the only picture of us to exist that I know of, of us hugging, there could not be two sibling’s closer than us. The only way we could be closer is if we actually looked alike!

I cannot wait to see you. Honestly, I cannot wait until you can come here. There are so many things Ben and I want to show you and so many places we want to take you. Until then, you always know that both of us a FaceTime or a phone call away. You know we both always answer.

I only got one little brother, but I got the best one.

Cover Image Credit: EMusselman Photography & Design

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An Open Letter To My Best Friend On Their Birthday

because your existence is something worth celebrating

An open letter to one of my best friends on their birthday...


First of all, I probably love your birthday more than you because it’s a day solely dedicated to your existence, and no one appreciates that more than me, and this is why.

You are always my number one. When I need someone to listen to my day, you’re there, offering a hug on a bad day, a shoulder to cry on when I’m upset, or just a few words to reassure me. Most importantly, you make me laugh. Even if I’m in a bad mood, you make me laugh. When I should be embarrassed, instead I just laugh. And when I do something ridiculous myself, you make me laugh with you about it as well. Nothing can go wrong with my partner in crime there to watch my back, and of course you know I’ve got yours too.

You never know where this next year will take you, but why should that stop you. I hope this is a year where you smile a lot, learn a lot, and love a lot. I hope you discover something new and exciting, hold on to what you’ve always loved before, and find something unexpected that will amaze you like nothing else, because honestly those are the best surprises. Just remember to take me with you if you are jumping on that bus, train, or plane to explore, because you’re not getting away from me that easily.

Not going to lie, some things will change. Nothing can stay exactly the same forever. But there will always be one fan cheering you on, a person to laugh with who loves you unconditionally, and a sarcastic friend who will keep you in your place while still supporting you to no end. And why is this? Look back at all those years (wow, you’re getting old), and look at the kind of person you’ve become. You’re pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself- you make the job of ‘proud friend’ easy for me. But then again, why do you think we’re friends in the first place? I knew you were amazing before, now you’re just old(er) and amazing. We’ll take every curve ball the world throws at us and throw it back even harder, once I actually learn how to throw.

Here’s to another year of adventures. Here’s to watching movies and videos that we will quote for months, to eating ice cream and having 5-hour phone conversations. Here’s to quoting songs and never being afraid to dance along (or have you laugh at me as I dance and sing along). Here’s to the board games that you may beat me at one day, but not today. Here’s to me being clumsy and stubborn and you being slightly less clumsy but just as stubborn. Here’s to playing would you rather and knowing random facts about each other because of it. Here’s to pizza at midnight, pancakes at noon, and cake on birthdays. Here’s to another year of having you as my best friend.

Happy Birthday!

Forever and Always,

Your person

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To my sister's boyfriend who became part of the family as he leaves for college

We love you.


When most people think of the overprotective big sibling, they picture the stereotypical shotgun-slinging big brother, sitting on the porch on prom night, daring his little sister's date to bring her home a second late. But that's not always the case.

As the oldest, watching your younger siblings enter the dating world is... interesting, to say the least. We all want nothing but the best for them, right? And that means holding their significant other to incredibly high standards, and for good reason.

But when it came to my sister's new boyfriend, only one thing really mattered to me: does he make her laugh?

Laughter is the best medicine, after all. Luckily for me, my sister and her boyfriend, he passed the test.

And with that, my family welcomed him with open arms. I mean, a successful kid with a good head on his shoulders, who has plans for his future AND a solid sense of humor? How could we not love him?

But now he's getting ready to leave... for college, that is.

To the boy who holds my sister's heart, here is my advice as you experience the biggest change of your life: live, love and laugh as much as you can, harder than you ever have before. You have the next three months to make as many memories with my sister as you possibly can, so take every opportunity that you can. Even if it seems minuscule or cheesy, do it, because no act of love is ever too small.

Once these three months fly by, which they will trust me, you'll be faced with the enormous reality of college. You will feel every single emotion possible; fear, pride, excitement, etc. But as you take that first step into the next chapter of your life and every step thereafter, my family and I will be cheering you on, with my sister's cheers always a little bit louder than everyone else's.

You're going to face some obstacles along the way, that's life. How you chose to handle them is up to you.

And even though some days it may feel like you're a million miles away, you're not, and that is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because my overprotective momma bear side will come out if you ever hurt my sister, and a blessing because you will always be welcomed home with open arms.

Rule number 2857 in the Oldest Sibling Handbook: don't boost your younger sibling's ego. But alas, here we are, so let me just say this. She sure did pick a great guy. We cannot wait to witness all you accomplish in college and beyond. So spend your summer wisely, kick some ass in college and treat my sister right... or I'll kick your ass.

Now go get 'em, tiger.

Cover Image Credit:

Rebecca Werez

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