Happy Birthday Krysti!
I remember the first day we met. Your mom and dad came to Ohio University to help Uncle Jon move his stuff back home at the end of the school year. I think you were about 8 or 9 months old at that time. (We'd have to ask your mom for sure.) They had a pop-up camper and we camped out. They were so gracious to let me stay with you all, since we weren't yet related, and they didn't really know me.
But I knew you. Or at least I felt like I did. On the day I met your Uncle Jon, we had to walk from one end of campus to another to get to the computer lab we were going to be using. He and I had been grouped into a team (with two other boys - which is another story for another day...). As we walked, we talked and talked. I think we both knew very quickly that we'd each met someone special.
And all that way, he talked about his new niece, Christine. All about you, how special you were, your lovely blond hair and how smart you were. Later that week he even showed me pictures of him holding you in the hospital.
You may know this, but you are part of the reason I fell in love with Uncle Jon so easily. He had (and still has) SUCH a love for his family. And the way he spoke about you, it warmed my heart so deeply.
So meeting you was a big deal to me. To me, it sort of meant that I was worthy. That I was meeting his family so soon in our courtship felt like I was an important part of his life. Meeting his sister, who he respects so much, and you - the tiny person who had part of his heart.
You are such a beautiful young woman. You are kind, respectful, smart, confident and warm. You have a smile that lights the room. And you are so funny! (I mean that in a nice way...) You have the whole world ahead of you, and I am certain that you will continue to shine.
I am proud to be your aunt. Alissa, Alex and Abby adore you, and we are so happy every time we know we're going to get to spend some time with you.
I hope that your 18th birthday is wonderful, and that it holds a memory that you can keep close to your heart forever. Remember that, though we may never live in the same city, you are never more than a phone call away. And now that we're back on the Mainland, I hope we'll get to spend more time with you and your family.
As you bridge from teenager to adult, always know that the Heffners are in your corner. We love you and feel blessed that we're in the same family.
Have an amazing day tomorrow and know that our heart is there with you.
Aunt Tiffany, Uncle Jon, Alissa, Alex and Abby