I am the luckiest girl in the world. I know I might be kind of partial but I have the greatest family.
My brothers are funny, kind, and willing to give me (and have given me) anything I need. They've given up their home, their car, their time, their money, their children, and their love for me more times that I could ever remember. I want to thank you, my dear brothers, for your love. You all mean the world to me and I want you to know how much I love you.
My brother's wives are even better than my brothers. I know those boys wouldn't be half of who they are if it weren't for the three of you. Thank you for always caring about me and the drama in my life. I wish I lived closer to you. I love you.
My sister's husbands deserve medals for having to put up with the extension of their wife (that would be me). They had no idea when they married my sister's that I came with the package. They have taken such good care of me and have come to my aid over and over again. One time I mentioned to Rick that something was wrong with my bike. Two minutes later he was outside fixing the problem. I'm not even sure I asked him to look at it. He just did it. As an old single woman it sure is nice having Rick and Jake around whenever I need to be rescued. Thank you for taking care of me and for allowing me to be such a big part of your family.
My Dad (sure is hard to write this with all the tears blurring my vision) is the world's greatest Dad. He is my voice of reason. When I need good sound advice I call my Pops. He keeps me sane and has the ability to help me see that everything is going to work out. We went to lunch the other day and I realized that I truly am my father's daughter and for that I am very grateful. He is a good man and has taught me how to live a good life. Thank you for everything Pops, I love you.
My mom, although her presence is greatly missed, I feel like she has never left my side.
My nieces and nephews are the sunshine of my life, all thirteen of you. I wish there was some way for me to show you how much you mean to me. You bring me more joy than you could ever know. Your smiles, your laughs, your sweet little voices and really deep voices, your hugs and kisses, your constant desire to play, your never ending love has made my life so full. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your resilience. Thank you for lighting up every time you see me. I miss you the most when I am in Africa. I miss you the most when I'm anywhere but with you. I love you and always look forward to any opportunity I have to be in your presence.
My sisters...well...let's just say I will never be able to repay them for all they've given me. They are incredible examples to me. They are what I want to be like when I grow up. I couldn't live this life without them. They truly are my right and left arms. Their selflessness amazes me. They know every little tiny detail about my entire life and never complain when I'm sharing it with them. They are the official removers of DDD. They are the first phone call I ever make. They are my security. They know me better than anyone and their love never stops. I have shared the happiest and hardest times of my life with them. I don't know how I was so blessed to have two of God's greatest masterpieces as my sisters. Heid and Steph, you'll never know how much you mean to me but I'll spend the rest of my life trying to show you. I love you!!!
To my dear sweet family, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I wish there were better words to use to thank you for what you have all given me. Bette Midler says it best, you truly are the wind beneath my wings :) I love you all!!!