#1 my husband
Justin is everything to me. He is such a support to me. I would be lost without him. He fell into my life nearly 12 years ago and has changed me for the better ever since. I love him and am thankful for the life, love and family he has given me. Justin, you make me look good. You are my much better half and I love you more than I could ever put into words. I love you forever.
#2 my children
Did you know that motherhood (parenthood in general) is really hard. It one of my biggest challenges I have ever faced. Regardless of the hurdles we have to cross, sometimes daily, my children are 4 of the best things that ever happened to me (Justin being the first). They bring so much adventure into my life. While there may be difficult days where I struggle to remember what I love about this job, it is and always will be my favorite job. They are the light in my days, they put smiles on my face, make me laugh, make me cry, make me love them more and more every day. Jaicie, Felicity, Collin and Timothy: I cannot imagine a world in which you didn't exist. I can't even Hardly remember a time when I didn't get to have you guys call me mom. I love you more than life and more than you will ever know, until at least the time you have your own kids call you mom and dad. I love you for always!
#3 our parents
Justin and I have both been through the loss of a parent. Mom died 8 years ago next spring and Justin's dad died 2 years ago this January. But for both of us the relationships that we had and have with both our parents and our in-laws have always been treasured. I miss my mom more everyday. I miss Justin's dad everyday. Not in the same way as my mom, but still miss him dearly.
My dad is an amazing man. He has been through so much in his life and been such an example to me of what I want my kids to have from me. From loosing his mother, to loosing my mother and loosing his father and every battle in between and since he has always been strong in heart to the things that matter most. I love you daddy, thanks me being you!
My mother in law is another exemplary woman. She lost her mom at a young age and has been such a sweet and wonderful support through loosing my mom. She has lifted me when I needed lifting, made me laugh when I needed to, and let me cry to her when I couldn't bear to let anyone else know I was crying. She is a rock in my life and I am so grateful, that if Heavenly Father needed to take my mom home too early, that he put another woman in my life that I could call mom and not feel guilty. She isn't my mother, but she is a mom to me. Thank Maureen, I love you and am so grateful for you in my life.
#4 our siblings
Between Justin and I we have 9 living siblings, all of which have married and had children. So 9 siblings, 9 spouses (or ex spouses), and 39 combined nieces and nephews (though it is possible my math is wrong, somewhere around there though.) All of which have had an influence in our lives. I love each of you and am so glad to have you as part of my life. So:Michelle, Steven, Kevin, Jeffrey, Paul, Taft, Shane, Brett and Phillip, thank you for being who you are and for being a part of our lives. Sorry we don't talk more often but we love you and your families. Keep up the good work and keep moving forward!
#5 My friends
I would be lost without the dear friends I have in my life. I sincerely hope that you know who you are because if I start going through all the ways my dear friends have touched my life, I may never be able to stop. Too the friends who drop everything and help with my kids, bring me dinner when I am sick, watch my dog when we go out of town, listen to me talk, let me listen to you talk, let me watch your kids, let me help when I can, and bring me random fudge and other treats...and to all the ones my brain can't think of, thank you for being you and being examples of good friends in my life so when my kids look to me to see my friends they can see what true friends are. I love you all dearly, you know who you are!
#6 My health
Some of you might look at that as a joke... Especially if we have talked in the past 6 weeks...6 weeks I have been sick now...ugh! From a cold, to bronchitis to pleurisy to another cold and migraines and coughing and all the runny noses, my health has not and is not up to par right now. But I know it will get better and fairly soon. I watched my mother die of cancer, I heard of a friend in Texas who died of cancer today, my colds and upper respiratory infections and afflictions are hardly anything compared...I am so grateful for the health that I do have even on the days where I feel like I can't get out of bed and might just die... I know that it will get better, maybe not tomorrow, but someday soon. I love my health. ...most of the time ;)
#7 the Gospel of Jesus Christ
My life is what it is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What glorious things I have in my life. The knowledge of eternal families and the fact that I can see my mom again when I die makes loosing her that much easier. Jesus Christ came and lived a perfect life to give us an example of who we should be and what we can become. And he gave his life for me so that I have the opportunity to seek forgiveness and return and live with him and Heavenly Father again, How wonderful it is to know why I am here and where I am going. I count the blessings I have gained from my belief in Jesus Christ on a daily basis. They are innumerable. I love the gospel, and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you!
#8 the simple bear necessities of life
Can't you just hear Baloo singing that from the Jungle Book. Its fun, makes me want to sing! There are so many things I take for granted in my daily life and I would be lost without the them. I am grateful for all the simple things in life that make my life a little easier.
I thought I could do 10, but I think my 8 favorite things can be enough. Life is what is because we make it! I am so grateful for the life I have been given. Even with all the hurdles we cross in every relationship we go through, life is a matter of major importance and I am so glad to be enjoying it. My few minutes has turned late, but I am so thankful for everything listed above and so much more, thank you to you all for being a part of my life. You have added to my life as a sculptor adds to a statue (thanks Steve for that). You have each given me a little more shape to who I am and I thank you for that. (Though maybe a little less shapely next time would be good... I kid, I kid... )