Last night, Justin’s extended family gathered in New Jersey for dinner and a present exchange that could have put Santa himself out of business. After the packages had all been opened and the wrapping paper was all appropriately strewn about the room, we assembled ourselves around the table and slid the lid off a box of Cranium. We muddled our way through the rules, half making them up as we went along, and then twelve people set about to making total fools of themselves. The best kind of fools, really. The belly laugh, shouting, one-upping, smack-talking, oh-snapping, no you di’int, good natured, if only slightly a little competitive, kinds of fools of ourselves. And we loved every minute of it.
As an only child, I looked around the room at this big, adopted family of mine and realized how much I love each and every one of them. That Justin’s family had indeed become my family in every sense of the word. (We’ll, y’know except for the one that would make it illegal.:) And I guess it dawned on me that ‘family’ isn’t just limited to the one you’re born into. If you’re really lucky, it grows and grows over a lifetime. To all the people who come into your life, and change it for the better.
I know it might sound really silly, but that’s kind of what I feel like we have with all of you. Every day that you come in to our lives, you change it for the better. By listening. By caring. By bearing witness. By not only reading about our lives, but sharing yours with us as well. It’s a gift. It really is. And I never want to forget that. When I see your names pop up, I feel like I’m about to grab coffee with an old friend that I’ve known forever. The kind of friend that you have a shorthand language with. And you can pick up right where you left off. You laugh with us and cry with us, and you’re there to cheer us on. And you allow us in to cheer for you too. And I guess I just want to say thank you for being those kinds of friends.
The kind of friends that really…feel like family. Just know that now & always, we are so so thankful for you.
I hope you all had a very merry!
love love love,