The thing is, Jake has taken care of me my whole life, both literally and figuratively. We were never really siblings who bickered or fought. When Jake wanted to play with Ninja Turtles, I was not only allowed but encouraged to join in with my little April doll. (Even though she later met an untimely demise.) Jake taught me the importance of humor - both with his own jokes, and his quickness to laugh - and all of this shaped my personality in a big way. He's always watched out for me, encouraged me to take risks, and cheered me up when I'm a real grump. Even though there is quite an age difference between us, it's never been too big of a deal. He's just rad and I'm lucky to have him as my brother.
In June, Jake drove to Boise a week before my wedding to help out. And help, he did! Holy moly. I should have kept a handwritten list of all the tasks he tackled to ensure the day go perfectly because he did SO. MUCH. He came with us to craft stores and searched for the perfect candles. He handmade 5 little flower girl crowns AND 5 little flower girl baskets. He helped me get programs and menus printed. He folded napkins "just so." When the weather report showed that there was going to be some wind, he found small river rocks, washed them, and sealed them so that the place settings wouldn't blow away. The day of the wedding, he set the dinner tables and scolded me to get back inside when I had been helping for too long and it was time to get my makeup done. As guests arrived, he made sure they knew where everything was and made all of the announcements to help the day flow smoothly. And as the party slowed down, he kept the playlist bumping so I wouldn't stop dancing until the end. I've never received a gift quite like that before and I am so grateful. The most grateful. There is literally no way in the world I could be MORE grateful.
I have always known how cool and kind and rad Jake is, but since today is his birthday... I figured everyone else should know how cool and kind and rad he is too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAKE!!!
And hey, do me a favor and find my cool brother on Instagram (here!) and tell him a big ol' HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He's the best and deserves the best day ever.
[photo by Dylan & Sara Photography]