Why I am Grateful for My Family.

With the Thanksgiving weekend coming to a close, now seems like a good time to post about some feelings of gratitude I feel year ’round.  Although its nice to have nice things, I believe that the best gifts in life are people and experiences.

As I write about often, I am exceedingly grateful for my little family of four (almost five!). My husband impresses me with his fierce work ethic and sweet devotion to his wife and children.  My daughter Evelyn is growing into such a lovely little lady, and my son Mack’s enthusiasm for life keeps me on my toes.  I can’t wait to watch the next little bundle become his or her own person.

At this particular moment in time, I am feeling especially grateful for my parents, sisters and brother. My parents were so young when they started our family, but they intentionally created a family home that supported, loved and encouraged everyone. I know there must have been times when they struggled to make ends meet, but our needs were always met and there was always time for hugs.

I sadly realize that some people aren’t born into a loving family.  Everyone deserves to grow up in a home where people are valued and treasured.  I pray that those who lack a supportive family seek out and create a wonderful family of their own.  There is plenty of room in the world for happy families – the more the merrier!

Here is why I feel so grateful to have my family in my life:

My Dad: For my whole life, my dad has been a hard worker. Although he was quite young and still in college when I was born, he never used that as an excuse to slow down. He taught my siblings and I that anything worth wanting is worth working for; quite simply, there are no shortcuts in life. At the age of 8, when I declared that I wanted to go to Notre Dame someday, my dad did nothing but encourage me for the next decade.  My dad is a wonderful father and grandfather. I swear, he is 30 years younger when he’s with his grandchildren!

My dad taught all of his children the value of hard work, and for that I am quite grateful.

My Mom: In many ways, my mom is the mom everyone wants.  Growing up, she made our school lunches, minimized sibling rivalries, shuttled us to-and-from various activities, tied our ponytails and reminded us to finish our homework.  But, her to-do list contained more important tasks like picking us up when we fell, helping us feel better after a fight with friends, sending letters when we were at camp and showing us that the world was a lot bigger than our back yard.  I find myself turning to her all the time now; she is a massive source of support for my siblings and me.

My mom taught her children to slow down and enjoy life, and for that I am eternally grateful.

My Sister Meghan: Meghan and I shared a room for the first 17 years of my life, and thanks to our polar opposite personalities it wasn’t always easy.  However, she is now one of my absolute best friends and we turn to each other in times of joy and sorrow.  She is one of the most ambitious and focused people I know, traits which have served her well over the past year filled with struggle. I am in complete awe of how gracefully she’s faced each challenge. Her sweet boy Trey is just a few months older than my Mack, and the two of them are together so often they are practically brothers.

I’m so grateful for Meghan and Trey!

My Sister Caitie: For as long as I can remember, Caitie has been the family jokester. When she wasn’t laughing with us, she was usually laughing at us, much to the delight of everyone else in the room.  Over the past year, she has shown me what strength really can be.  Despite heartbreaking sadness, she has emerged stronger and more devoted to what is truly important.

I’m so grateful for Caitie, Danny, Grace, little Danny and their next baby boy due in the spring!

My Sister Colleen: Like me, Colleen can be quite sentimental.  When Chris was deployed to Iraq, she was the sibling I would turn to when I needed a little pick-me-up because I knew she wouldn’t think I was crazy for being so in love with a man in a desert 6,400 miles away.  I turn to her for fashion advice because she is one of the most stylish ladies I know.  She has become an extremely hard worker, always focused on the task in front of her and never letting distractions get in the way of her goal.

I’m so grateful for Colleen and her new husband Rob!

My Brother Wes: By the time my brother was born, I was nearly 7 years old and quite occupied with all things Barbie.  But, I soon figured out that having a brother was FUN; he brought an entirely new perspective to things in our house. Due in part to our age difference and due in larger part to our mutual respect for each other, Wes and I have always gotten along without any drama.  Without losing sight of how to relax and have a good time, Wes has grown into a dedicated and thoughtful person.

I’m so grateful for my little brother Wes!

I hope you find a way to let the family in your life know how grateful you are for their presence!

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1 Comment for this entry

  1. lynne says:

    Awesome, I may have to follow suit with my family! This is a great post. I always thought you were the youngest like me! But I guess not! Your siblings are gorgeous!!! (as are you too of course!)

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