Today is your cousin Eli's birthday! Would you believe he is now a teenager? I guess since you've never met him, you wouldn't have any reason not to believe it, huh? =)
Eli was the first grandchild in the family, the first boy, my first nephew (now I have four), your eldest cousin. I remember when he was born and how happy I was to be an aunt! As a baby he was a bundle of energy - and he got into everything. We would find him splashing in the dog's water bowl, behind the couch and on in every room of the house exploring.
And he was so much fun. I was a senior in high school when he was about your age now and your auntie Lea was getting married that June (just like your auntie Chelsea is getting married this June). Eli was the ring bearer and flower boy since we only had one little person in the family back then! He walked to the front of the aisle perfectly, then dumped the whole basket of petals in one spot. It was hilarious!
He was always very smart and a quick learner. And had a boisterous, joyful personality. Truth be told he is the same way now; he has a lot of friends and is crazy intelligent. In fact, I think he is just like your auntie Becky (his mom) in so many ways. They even make the same squinty little smirk and shake their heads when someone says something corny - which seems to happen a lot in this family.
Eli is a nice kid. He has participated in several national missionary trips and enjoyed helping boys his age who are less fortunate. He has been a good older brother to his three siblings and I hope they continue to look up to him as they grow up.
Happy birthday to my first nephew Eli! I hope he has a great day.