I am so thankful for my family, our family... My parents who raised me and loved me and were and are always there for me. The ones I love coming home to visit and who drive all the way to Iowa to see us. My mom who taught me love and who gives herself to anybody and everybody who needs her. My dad who is so kind and the perfect example of a father that I looked for in my spouse. And for all the times he let me call him crying in the middle of the night after on particularly ridiculous and overly-drawn out breakup. My stepmom Pam who gave me a baby brother, always can answer my cooking questions, and always has a positive attitude. And my stepdad John (definitely the best I've had!) for loving my mom, being so nice and easy going, and accepting, and just being the nicest guy and best person I could have ever hoped for for my mom.
Also for my siblings. All 12 of them. My sister who fought with me all growing up and then became my best friend in Utah. I miss living nearby, so we could go spend money we didn't have and drink coke at crappy Chinese food places. Or travel around China with.
My little brother, who was the most exciting thing that happened to me in college. I remember the first time I held him in the kitchen in our house in Round Rock, and he makes me laugh all the time. Says the funniest things and can be the nicest 5 year old you'll ever know.
And my 10 Demars siblings- Shelley, Jenna, David, Heidi, Melinda, Sean, Todd, Heather, Sharee, and Tyler.... The funnest and loudest group of people ever! They love to work hard and play hard, and I'm trying to keep up! One day I'll love building cabins on holidays and playing volleyball during every family get together. Until that day, I'm grateful they still think I'm a-ok the way I am. And all of their spouses, some of whom get me just like my biological siblings. Dave, James, Sheryl, Rick, Brent, Heather, Gabe, Brad, and now Jill! What a crazy huge family. I'm not going to list the 45 or whatever nieces and nephews. But I love them too.
And my beautiful grandparents, who I love and those of whom I miss so much. I know where they are, and I know I will see them again. Andy my grandma Fayne and Oma, for still knowing how to party hard!
Obviously I can't list all my amazing aunts and uncles and cousins and their babies that I love so much! I love my Franke and Salinas family, I couldn't have asked for a better family to be born into.
99999 (this is a message from Ellis)
Also, I'm grateful for all of my friends, who are also my family, who I love so much and who have been there for me through it all. I can't wait till we get our summer beach house like we always talked about, with our kids and husbands and our babies eating popsicles and eventually falling in love and marrying each other.
I am so grateful for the amazing people Heavenly Father knew I'd need in this life. I'm grateful that you all give me and my family so much. I wish I could hug and smooch all of you today, but I'll be too full and fat, and hopefully you will too!