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Friday, September 30, 2005

A Brother's Toast

When Jen and I were growing up, our parents had this phrase they would use to get us to shape up when we weren't behaving at our "finest"...YOU DECIDE

For example, "Do you want to go to your room?" YOU DECIDE
"Do you want to go to the waterpark tomorrow?" YOU DECIDE
"Do you want to continue taking gymnastics and ballet lessons?" (specfically for Jen) YOU DECIDE

As much as we hated this phrase, I think it actually fine-tuned our decision-making skills over the years. I remember Jen coming to me on many occasions for advice on a variety of things:
What should she do when she grows up?
What college should she go to?
What it it like to drive a car? (which she could still use some advice on)

Yet regardless of the difficult choices at hand, she always seemed to make the right ones. Moving away from her childhood home and friends, starting a new life at 15 wasn't easy, but she still managed to make new friends, one of which is still her best friend today. Anyone here notice how she tends to gravitate towards people named "Jen"? I think there's 15 Jen's here today.

She figured out on her own that she wanted to go to the University of Maryland, and then to Johns Hopkins. Her creative and artistic side mixed in with a love for science/animals led her to choosing a career in medical illustration, something at which she is such a perfectionist that she's often too hard on herself, and doesn't realize how good she really is.... Earlier this year I was at an engagement party in Dallas with my in-laws, and the bride-to-be happened to be a medical illustrator. When I mentioned Jen's name, she knew EXACTLY who she was, and told me in fact that Jen was somewhat of a mentor to her.

But the most important choice of all was finding someone who fits her personality so well, and that someone is Ron. He is not only creative like Jen, but funny like Jen, spontaneous and adventurous like Jen, and talented in his own profession, in the computer industry, like Jen.

When I see them together I just know that they are so happy. All you have to do is watch them and listen to them to know this is true. I swear, in almost every photo I have they're doing that swing "dip" pose. I really like Ron a lot and am proud to have him as my new brother-in-law.

Yes, Mom and Dad, Jen has heard your repetitive anthem from our childhood loud and clear. She's made her decision, and it was an excellent one.

I'd like to raise a toast to Ron and Jen: May the two of you continue to make good choices together for many years to come.

Ron and Jen, YOU DECIDE

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