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Monday, March 17, 2014

Thank You :)


Not that my journey is over or anything but, I saw this today and thought it would make for a good entry.  As I get closer to turning 34 (seriously, when did THAT happen??), I reflect more and more on my life and all the wonderful people I've encountered, experiences I've had and just the all around great life I've had and continue to have each day.  With that, as my birthday comes up and I get close to marking 14 months on this adventure to a new me, I thought it would be fun to thank certain people for the part they've played so far in my journey.  And for the parts I know they will continue to play for years to come.

1.  Mom - You were the catalyst to start me on this journey.  I could never repay you for everything you've done for me since the day I was born.  God knows I was a trying child at times and I know I tested your patience more times than I could ever count.  But, you never gave up on me.  And I know you never will.  You are always excited for me, proud of me and help me find the best in every situation.  You've supported me in each and every thing I have ever done.  When I decided to go for the new job last year, I wasn't sure how you would react.  I should have known you would be nothing but supportive and excited for me.  That meant more to me than I think you'll ever know.  Thank you for being the greatest mom I could ever have been blessed enough to have :)

2.  Dad - You are always there for me and are always a voice of reason in my life.  I've often been told we are very similar (God knows I sleep like a rock because of you.  And I have good teeth too :) ) and I couldn't ask for anyone better to be compared to.  You have one of the kindest hearts I've ever seen and I am blessed to have whatever traits I inherited from you as a part of me.

3.  Andy - My big brother.  So, yeah, you may have tortured me at times as a kid.  But, let's be honest, I lucked out because you saved most of that torture for Ang :)  I wouldn't trade you for anything in the world.  You are such a down to earth, humble guy.  I admire the way you live your life, how you carry yourself on a regular basis, the way you put your family first and how you are raising your children to be just like you.  Without you, I wouldn't have met Renee' and, I honestly believe, I wouldn't have come as far as I have in the last 14 months.  You've been such a big part of this journey for me.  Not just the initial introduction.  But cheering me on, laughing at me (and with me), listening to me when I'm frustrated (which doesn't happen much anymore) and so much more I can't begin to list it all.  Love you brother :) 

4.  Angie - My little sister.  So, I think we did our fair share of torturing each other as kids but I wouldn't have it any other way.  That's what sisters do!  And now, I have the best friend in the world who knows me inside and out.  You know where I come from, where I've been and you get me.  We are very different people but I think that's what makes us such great friends.  You knew I was struggling last year but I knew you respected me enough to know that I would share a lot of things with you when I was ready.  That means more to me than you'll ever know.  Like Andy, you've been one of my biggest cheerleaders.  And, you make me feel somewhat smart when you ask for recipes :)  I also admire the way you live your life, how you put your marriage and family first and how you are raising Emma to be just as amazing of a person as you are.  She's hysterical and reminds me so much of you.  Love you sister :) 

5.  Kristin & Seth - Seriously?  Andy and Angie couldn't have picked better people to bring into our family.  I don't even think of you as "in-laws".  Kris, you are my sister and Seth you are my brother.  You've both supported me, cheered me on and, Kristin, you even tried yoga with me.  Kristin, you are such an amazing person and your kids are shining examples of who you are, inside and out.   Seth, Emma looks just like you and I can already see she inherited so many wonderful things from you.  It's so great to have someone who works in the same field as me to bounce things off of when I've needed to in the past.  Thank you both for supporting me through all of this and being such amazing people.  

6. Kim - I know for awhile I kind of distanced myself from our friendship.  Not for any specific reason but just because that's kind of where my head was at.  You supported me through so much, listened to me scream and cry about so many things and have just been one of the best friends I could ever ask for.  Hearing you get excited for me has made this adventure that much more special for me.  Thanks for being one of the best friends I could ever ask for.  

7.  Meredith - I cherish everything about our friendship.  Our conversations could literally last for hours and it would feel like no time has passed at all.  You completely "get" me in ways I don't think anyone else does or ever could.  Thank you for all of your support, smiles and encouragement.  Even from a distance, I know you are there for me and I can call or lean on you anytime I need to.  That's the definition of a best friend.  

8.  Kira and Kelli - I am so lucky to have developed such a fun friendship with both of you over the last 7 months.  You (along with so many other people), have made me love my job at Fairfield even more than I thought possible.  Thank you for cheering me on, pushing me to do things I may not want to do, helping me figure out this whole cooking thing, showing me what a bean looks like (yes, I'm serious), laughing with me on a regular basis and just for being two of the best people I've ever met.  Makes coming to work that much more fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  And, anytime you need a chocolate fix, I always have york peppermint patties in my desk drawer ;)

9.  Cooper, Chloe & Emma - These three are easily the greatest blessings in my life.  All three of you show me what unconditional love truly is on a regular basis.  It doesn't matter what size I am, what kind of day I've had or anything else.  I always know that the three of you love me and that has helped me through some pretty difficult times.  I think it was right before I met with Renee' for the first time that I said to my brother and sister (in-law) after a night of babysitting Coop and Chloe that the two people sleeping upstairs (and Emma) were the only things that were making me smile anymore.  While I am happy to say that is no longer the case, I can say that they make each day fun and I look forward to the time I get to spend with them.  And having them see me change my life in so many positive ways is an unbelievable feeling.

10. Renee' - I think back to the first time I met you and, to this day, I seriously can't believe all the things you've gotten me to do.  I'll keep this short because I couldn't possibly list everything without going on forever and a day.  I think I said to you a few weeks ago, I'm proof of what can happen when someone believes in you.  And I think that is as good of a summation of the last 14 months that I can come up with.   Thank you for being such an integral part of this adventure with me.  I can guarantee I would still be wandering around the grocery store looking for a garlic clove and many other things if we hadn't met.  In all seriousness, as much as you say I don't need to thank you, that's exactly what I'm doing today.  Because without you, I know I would not be the person I am today.  So, thank you :)  But I still can't balance any body parts on those darn physioballs.... ;)  Maybe someday.... far off in the future....

To anyone I didn't specifically list - just know that every single person I come into contact with every day makes an impact on my life in ways you could never imagine.  Thanks for whatever part you've played in my journey and I look forward to continue to sharing it with all of you!

Without all of you, I wouldn't have accomplished anywhere near as much as I have in the last 14 months.  I wouldn't have amazing memories, awesome friends (old and new), and so much more I could never list it all. So, thank you for whatever part you've played in my journey.  I look forward to all the fun times ahead of me with all of you as a part of my life. :)