Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful: Family

Mi familia... most of them anyway!
(This was over a year ago, but I think it's the most recent picture with both of my brothers.)
Look at that tiny little Pearl. She was only a couple weeks old here.
    Today I'm especially thankful for my family. I say especially, because I'm always thankful for them, but sometimes I'm reminded of just how blessed I am to be part of such a wonderful and loving family. I grew up in a big family and have the happiest memories of my childhood. My brothers and sisters are still some of my best friends, and days like today where we sit around and eat and laugh and talk and play games are very special. I love that my family is always there for each other, whether someone needs a listening ear, or a pot of soup on a hard day, an encouraging word, prayer, or someone to help with the kids or pick something up at the store. My sisters are some of my closest friends. I love that we've all been at each others' births and shared so many special life moments. Up until the time I got married, and I was 26, when I was at home I'd still go crawl into bed with my parents and talk. I don't hesitate to call them, day or night, if I'm in need of their wisdom or comfort. I'm so blessed to have lived near them for as long as I have.

    And if it weren't enough to have been born into such an amazing family, I have wonderful, loving in-laws as well. Both sets of Erik's parents have welcomed me into their lives and are wonderful grandparents to our children. We're so blessed by their love and support. I hear people talk about the difficulties they have with family and am so, so thankful for the relationships we all have with each other. I actually knew Erik's mom before I knew him, and she has been such a special part of my life, truly like a second mom to me. It was like icing on the cake that I got to marry Erik and have her as my mother-in-love.

    As we raise our own little family, I'm grateful for the loving homes we both came from. It's not something I ever take for granted as I see so much pain and brokenness in people's family situations. I hope that our children will grow up to be the best of friends with one another. I love that they all get to spend time with cousins and grandparents. (This is something I missed out on as we lived in a different country than any of our relatives growing up and only got to see them every couple of years.) Thanks to technology, communication with those who are far away is a lot easier than it was when I was a kid. (But we still miss them!) I'm so thankful for family! 

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