Man Alive! I was looking through some old blog posts the other day and found my "happy 13th birthday, Willie" post. Elliott was almost one when you turned thirteen and today, you are nineteen.
Blows my mind that you've grown up. You still meow at us on the phone every once in a while, and were reminded on Christmas day that you used to call your bathrobe that Grandma Huber had given you, your George Foreman, but you also have adult conversations. And eat salads.
This past year has been so great for you. SB Pres., valedictorian, region champs in football and basketball and a decent showing in the region/state tennis tournament. You were the outstanding senior male, were academic all-state in three sports, and you were on TV rapping with Big Buddha.
This fall in particular, I have so much loved having you as my brother. My children adore you and something has clicked in little Quinner's head....he loves you the most. He will sit on your lap for hours. And me? It's been so much fun having you show up at our house all summer and this fall to hang out, take the boys hunting Sasquatch at the lake, and meeting you at the bookstore to get Christmas Eve presents.
Mostly though, I am so excited for you to leave on your mission. It's sad, that you'll be gone for two whole years - there is so much that you'll miss of us and we'll miss of you. But! But, the experiences you are going to have in Lithuania will be amazing! You will be as good of a missionary as you are uncle and little brother.
The most fun I've had in a very long time was the road trip we went on after Thanksgiving. Haley and I were talking about how, because of our age gap, you just missed out on a lot of stuff with us - even though you've done a lot of stuff too. But, being able to take a whirlwind trip to the ocean, just the three of us, was the best mission send off I hope all three of us could ask for. I hadn't laughed so hard , had the music so loud, or sang along so much in ages, and you and Haley are, and will always be my best friends.
Happy Birthday Willie!
We all love you very much!