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I have so many things to be grateful for. The more I think about it, the more blessed I feel. There are certain people that I want to thank in my life…

To my mom, for always being loving and having confidence in me when I didn’t. For always being there to support, encourage and push me when I couldn’t do it for myself. For being someone I could run to with my problems and need of advice; even when I pushed her away because of her advice, she never stopped loving me and accepting me. She would continue to drive me to be the person I am today. So many times she could have given me up as a lost cause, but she never stopped praying for me and loving me. She is a pillar of strength no matter how much she will say she is weak.

To my amazing “new” step-father for all the love he has given to my family and myself. It takes so much to love a whole new family of a wife and five step children, but he does it with such Godly grace, love, and kindness. He continues to amaze me with his loving heart, not just for my mother who needed it so much, but to all of us kids as well. HIs accepting nature always astounds me.

To my brother David, for being even tempered and loving, kind and patient. He is filled with easy going kindness and support. He is thoughtful, goofy, and sweet. He will be so incredibly busy, but will always make sure to take care of his family is doing well despite the distance.

To my future sister-in-law Myra for her laughter and kindness. I am so grateful the Lord gave my brother such an amazingly funny and gifted wife-to-be. She is as kind as she is sweet, funny and quirky, just like David.

To my sister Delaney for her love and support. There were many times I went to her first when I was going through so many hard times. She never judged, she prayed with me over the phone even when I was drunk and sobbing (even though apparently she never knew I was drunk at the time about four years ago). She is filled with such Godly love and grace, it is profound. Our sisterly relationship has grown so incredibly much over the years, and I am so thankful for it.

To my brother-in-law Nate for his love, kindness, and humor. He is so smart and he loves my sister so much. They are a God-made match. He is such an amazing provider, honest, and giving. I am so proud of him for opening up his heart to be a foster father, even though it has been an incredible challenge for him and my sister.

To my brother Kyam for his love, generosity, and kindness. He has so much talent, and no matter how exhausted and cranky he is, he never shows it to me, and is so sweet and loving. I am in awe of his talent given by the Lord, and pray he will continue to succeed in everything he does.

To my sister Libby, for her quick wit, Godly love, and kindness as well. She makes me laugh, and even when she is upset herself, if she knows she is needed, she will rise to the occasion without hesitation and listen. She has such incredible talent for so many things. She is so incredibly amazing in so many ways.

To my dad and “step-mother” Dee…we have had so many rough patches, but through the grace of the Lord, I feel like we are finally on the right track. There has been so much pigheadedness on my end and not knowing how to compromise in so many ways. My dad has given me so much support and love that I have taken for granted. Recently he has said to me, “Don’t ever doubt that I love you” and I burst into tears when we got off the phone. I don’t know why I took that love for granted. Maybe I was just so obsessed with myself I didn’t realize how much he missed out on my life, and then I was unwilling to share it with him. And to Dee…. she is so incredibly loving and kind. She has never been a “step-mother” to me, but a second mother. There is no “step” about it. She went above and beyond when it came to marrying my dad and accepting David and me as part of the family without prejudice. I have been truly blessed to have a mother such as her.

To my sister Katie and my brother Devlin… We are still getting re-acquainted, and I am glad they are willing to be in contact even though I have not been there for the majority of their lives. They both have their strengths…Katie with her serving nature, and Devlin with his hard work. Both are committed to what they do. I am so glad I have two siblings whom I barely know at this point who want to include me in their lives when we are able to be in contact.

To my new brothers Adam and Will…both of them have been so accepting of having so many new siblings when Mom and Bill got married. Again each with their own strengths and personalities. I can’t wait to continue getting to know them.

To my friends Rachel, Natalie, Wayne, Rad, Brian and Suzanne. The five of them have been steadfast rocks when I really needed them most. They are all my peeps I have met on FB in the last couple years. Rachel for her many laughs and conversations when we both have downs and lows. She is my sister in heart. Natalie for all her encouragement and support as well. Another sister in heart. Wayne, for his love of the Lord and encouragement when I have needed it the most (I still owe him a framed quote). Rad, for her undying support and encouragement. We talk so frequently it seems like a right shame we are so far away. Brian for all the times he talked my drunk ass off the floor in undignified shame and helped me appreciate myself. Suzanne for all the recent support and friendship she has provided lately (not to mention Pintrest information).

To my friends Heidi, Maggie and Lori. Heidi for her friendship, support, kindness and generosity. Some days I have wanted to pull my hair out at work from frustration, but she has always kept me from doing so. Maggie for all her friendship and kindness especially when I was going through some horrible times. We have had a lot of fun laughing and making snowflakes from coffee filters. Lori, for her constant and unwavering smiles and friendship even when times have been tough for both of us.

I have so, SO many things to be grateful for. These people have been true blessings in my life, and I thank the Lord for them. Sometimes I have felt so alone and thought I had nobody to talk to. But when I am able to write it all down like this, it shows me how many blessings I have been given, and they all truly outweigh any negativity in my life.