Jake is one of my very favorite people. He's seriously the best little brother a girl could have. I've loved watching him grow up and figure out where he's headed through the past few years. I was way happy when he decided to do his undergrad at UMD since I was still there when he started. He studied like crazy all while working a ton as the on-air evening personality on a pretty wide-ranging radio station based here in town. Jake graduated in May of 2009 with a double major in English and communications and, believe me, he's one smart cookie. His writing is insightful and creative and always makes me want to study whatever he has written about just so I can have a somewhat intelligent conversation about the topic. He's a poet and songwriter, musician and leader. He's one of those guys that creates a following without meaning to. And the coolest thing about him is that he is a pure, honest, sensitive soul chasing after Jesus.
Uncle Jake is currently in the middle of an internship at the Vineyard Church in town (the same one I worked at and did my 2-year Bible & leadership program). He started last September as a worship intern and is extending it through the coming year. It's way fun to walk into church on Sunday morning and see him leading on stage. Who knows what he'll be playing at any given time. Guitar, mandolin, harmonica, banjo, piano. Seriously, the list just goes on from there. (We're all quite sure that his musical talents were passed down the line from Grandpa J, from whom Jake also inherited a number of instruments including a pretty sweet accordion last winter.) Ella gets excited when she hears Jake up front and loves to dance while he's playing.
Yesterday was Jake's 24th birthday, so Becky & Malena and Ella & I went down to the lake to celebrate with him. The girls have gotten pretty good at the birthday cake thing and were happy to help with Jake's.
I was amazed to find a Cherry Chip cake mix at the grocery store a few weeks ago. Cherry Chip was what Jake used to request every single year in high school but they stopped making it for a good while and we couldn't find it anywhere. I bought a couple boxes, just in case we can't find it again.
Ella wanted to help with presents. She's pretty good at that.
Malena was in on the action, too.
I am so glad that Ella gets to grow up with such a cool uncle and role model. We love you, Uncle Jake. Happy birthday.