You look like you’re 25!



She’s not 25 anymore. She’s 26 today. And as beautiful as she was the day our grandpa nearly rolled out of his chair laughing at her new hairdo. She may have been 14 or 15; I don’t remember now, but she’d colored her hair or cut it and our dear sweet and unfiltered patriarch of the family thought this was the funniest thing since Barney Fife. You just had to be there.

I don’t remember the day Kelli Don was born. I remember insisting her name be Kelli after Kelly Kapowski, from Saved by the Bell, and my parents were hip enough to give in to my 5 year old hopes and dreams. As you can imagine, my world was a bit turned upside down when Kelli came into the world kicking and screaming and I’ve a handful of memories where I was less than nurturing and gentle as a big sister (I’m now paying for my sins with two kids at home that take turns being mean to the other. I deserve this headache). I’m sorry, sissy.

I do a terrible job of calling my siblings. There’s three of them. Really, it’s quite despicable as the eldest child. I have excuses surely, but nobody has time for that. Kelli lives in San Diego and it always makes my day to hear her voice on the other end of the phone or to get a text from her. Sometimes we have nothing to talk about (in these instances we do our best impressions of Grandma, “weeeelllllll”), but I miss her when we haven’t talked in too long.


I’m really proud of my little sister. She loves her home in San Diego and after serving in the US Marine Corps, she is working hard as a college student. She is a girl who does what she wants to do and I can’t help but envy her. She has traveled to the most amazing places and I know she’ll go anywhere she sets her mind to. I loved listening to her stories of when she worked for a General in Croatia or when she set out to travel Hungary, Poland, and more all by herself for several months. Seriously, she’s amazing. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know, but has more ferocity than old John Wayne himself. She’s smart. She’s beautiful. She’s strong. She’s one of a kind.

IMG_6852Kelli is the lovely girl holding the American flag


Don’t believe me? Check out these testimonials:

When Kelly was in 8th grade, she was voted in as a peer mediator. When we were all in the elevator, there was a sign that said” Do Not Jump in elevator”. Guess who started jumping! I was horrified! Quiet little Kelly! Everyone started laughing! Stink pot! -Aunt Connie

Jessie and I would just like to say that we love her and miss her and are SO PROUD of everything she has accomplished! We were reminiscing about having sleep overs at grandmas on the "hippie pad", taking luke warm baths (because grandma didn't want to burn us) and waking up for homemade biscuits and gravy. Beans and cornbread for dinner and grandma having to tell us COUNTLESS times to be quiet and go to bed. Threatening to spank us but we knew she never would. Also going to the old barn with the chicken coop and playing around. And rides on the 3 wheeler :) -Emily and Jessie

Remember that time when threw your dad out of the pool? Haha. -Tyler

Me and Grandpa love you very much. We’re very proud of you because you’re so brave Andy go off to far off places. But, always be careful. -Grandma

Happy Birthday aunt Kelli. I love you- Evie

Kelli is so unique and always finds a way to make me laugh, even if I’m trying to be mad at her! -Rachael

Miss ya, Kelli Kelli!!!! Come home soon!! -Billy

I love her and I’m sure glad I went to see her in May. I had a great time.  So proud of her. -Dad