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I am thankful for my family. I don't really want to group everyone together in this post so I'm going to get a little more specific:
My aunt and uncles are just awesome, I love family gatherings when we get to see each other. My parents are each a part of fairly large families so I do have a lot of them! My favorite aunt and uncle are practically like my second parents, I grew up with them living down the street and they are a huge source of encouragement. Overall, my favorite thing about uncles and aunts is that they are always willing to do something fun with me, play a game or watch a movie.
My cousins...I really don't know who I would be without the 4 girl cousins on my dads side. We are all so close in age and have truly grown up together. We've fought, laughed, cried and shared some of the coming of age experiences that shape who you are as a person. My 3 boy cousins were my best friends growing up, we grew apart over the years but are still friendly. They're coming with us to the beach house this summer so I'm hoping we'll reconnect. As far as younger cousins go, I have three little girl cousins who I adore. They are so funny and look up to me. Cousins are built in best friends!
My grandparents, I have a lot of grandparents! Some of them are step-grandparents but there really is no difference since I have always grown up with them. My favorite grandma means so much to me, she is one of those people who I has always understood me and who I totally connect with. She is the person that I get my zest for writing from and I have always shared a new story with her. My grandpas house is a source of so much nostalgia, it holds memories of countless Christmas Eve gatherings, Easter brunches, Memorial Day picnics and birthday parties. There is ALWAYS food at my grandpa's house, even if we're just stopping over on a Sunday, my grandma K will whip out cheese and crackers, chocolates, sausage, veggies and dip, cake...you name it! My final grandma, is hilarious and fun. We really don't have too much in common but she is always a good person to talk with or shop with. I love my grandparents so much.
My sisters! Ahhh, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times....I guess that sums it up! No, but seriously I love my sisters with all my heart. My older sister, M and I are seriously BFF's and always have been. We could talk and laugh for hours and have so many inside jokes. I fight with her sometimes but it doesn't last long. M is a great spiritual role model and the best friend I could ask for. E...oh E, she is my little sister, 5 years my junior. I love her but she is challenging. She can be so much fun and so full of happiness and energy. Or she can be a self entitled rain cloud. Bottom line, I don't know what I would do without her and I know she'll mature eventually. I really love growing up with two sisters, I even love being the middle child. I feel like I get the best of both worlds.
Finally, and I saved the best for last, my parents. God gave me the best of the best. I know I'm probably about to speak in cliches but I don't care, it's all true. My parents are always there for me, they raised me with integrity, they love each other, they love the Lord, they love my sisters and I. I don't know what more a child could ask for. They are the reason I am where I am today, they always encouraged me to do my best but NEVER put too much pressure on me. They work hard for their family and rarely complain. I will never stop thanking God for my parents.
A final shout out to my dog my adorable little snuffles, scruffles, snuggles, struggles, scrubbles, bubble, ruffy, baby-girl, pup-pup, nuffy. And guinea pig Baileyboy-I love them too!