Every year at this time I'm reminded of how blessed and full my life has been. I am an only child who was not blessed with siblings. Though I have been blessed to raise 4 children and have many wonderful cousins who love me like a brother. Tomorrow I am thankful to have all 4 of my grown children and my two grand children spending time with me.
Today what I'll say here is from the heart and deeply personal. A rare look at the family I love and what makes each one of them so special to me.
I'm thankful for my daughter Kim who is the most wonderful and patient mom I've ever seen. While her two small children keep her very busy. Kim is also my best friend. She listens when I vent and she's the first person I ask for help when I need it. I honestly would be totally lost without her.
I'm grateful for my son Matt and his wife Jess. Matt has my father's quick wit and sense of humor. He is much better at standing up for what he believes in than I am. He works very hard as a truck driver and owns a beautiful home. He makes great home made cranberry sauce. His wife Jess is a dedicated school teacher. She teaches Math and STEM. The both of them make me overflow with pride.
I'm thankful for my youngest son James because like his brother he works very hard as a truck driver. He was the least trouble growing up. Independent from a young age. A wonderful friend and when dad calls he's always there to help. I just wish he liked steaks and burgers like the rest of us.
I'm blessed with the chaos of sharing my house with my two grand children. Yes, the house is always a little messy and things are always breaking. Seeing them everyday and all the times they make me laugh hysterically is worth every bit of chaos. Especially when I come home from a long day at work to see their sweet smiling faces.
I'm grateful for my wonderful cousins too. Who never allow me to take myself too seriously. My cousin Roger is like the big brother I never had. His jokes about my personality quirks are the best part of spending time with him. My cousin John is Roger's younger brother. John is very very smart, laid back and calm. He is the perfect answer to my OCD and type A personality traits.
Finally, there's my cousin Elaine. She didn't have an easy life. Elaine lost her mom at 11. Today she is a proud great grandma and like a big sister to me. Sometimes grandpa's and grandma's need a shoulder to lean on and Elaine is mine.
Check out all of their pictures below.