Dear Amanda (my sister), Uncle Wayne and Elizabeth (my neice),
I love you all very much. I understand if you would think otherwise because you've had birthdays pass recently without so much as a phone call. In short, I suck. But, let me say publicly, "I love you!!! And I'm so glad you were born!"
I'll go oldest to youngest (not mentioning ages of people over 30!).
Uncle Wayne, you are such a gem in our family. You married in and, yet you feel like flesh and blood. You are very tender without being mushy. I love our random phone conversations. I never know when they are coming and never know when they are ending, but they are always filled with depth, fun, silliness and a cooking tip. Which leads me to your love language of cooking. You speak-a-my-language. I'll never forget the first meal you made for Brent and I. Burgers with carmelized onions and Roquefort cheesey spread stuff. Actually, I don't forget anything you've made. Totally amazing stuff. We love you immensely. And look forward to seeing you and Annie again at Christmas time.
Amanda, my dear sister...and second Mommy. You are eight years my senior, which explains that last title. You made our childhood smashingly fun. You played with us and cared for us. You were such a good second Mommy!!! Now, we don't see each other nearly enough, but when we get on the phone we can talk for hours and hours. You are so sweet to encourage whenever you can. You are tender and gentle. And it shows in your parenting so well. You are a sweet Mommy to Elizabeth. I'm glad to have been a training ground!! (And being the first born, you were training ground! Thanks for breaking in the parents for me!)
Elizabeth. You can't read. You're five. But, maybe Mama will read this to you. I'm so very glad you were born. You were delivered by God to our family in a very special way. (We're pretty fond of adoption in our family, because our Daddy adopted us and made us feel so especially loved.) I love your imagination. I love the way you say, "Jillian", because it sounds so very sweet. I think watching you and Miles play during Christmas time last year was one of my favorite family memories of all time. You are a sweet cousin, a wonderful neice and a beautiful little girl. Happy Birthday...one day late! I love you!!!