Growing up, I was always incredibly close to my own extended family - and still am. This in no way diminishes my love and gratefulness toward them. But I do believe that when it comes to our own, we often put our best selves out there in attempts to make them proud, and in that - we sometimes lose ourselves.
It is when we choose our own family of friends and loved ones that we find who we really are. I was lucky enough to find an amazing second family along the way who has celebrated life with me, grieved death with me, offered advice, let me make my own mistakes, been there while others have come and gone, laughed and have made me laugh, and who have been there for me through the most crucial parts of my life. I am so incredibly grateful for these people and consider them my own. I am so lucky that they have accepted me into their lives and let me be a part of their story.
Moving on from the "awws"... Let me finish by saying that these people are freakin awesome, hilarious, and down right rockstars. Thank you to the awesome times had and for the many to come.