Stephen is my "wittle brudder" and a best friend. We fought like cats and dogs... he threw a pair of scissors at me and dumped mustard all over my white jeans (yes, white jeans) and I convinced him to paint mom's pumpkin pies with BBQ sauce and then told on him, and I burnt his face with the matches as I was lighting the candles on his birthday cake. We rarely agreed as teens but as we grew into adults I couldn't imagine my life without him. Stephen makes me smile and laugh. He sat outside a testing center for 4 hours while I tested for my social work license... he sat waiting with a bag of Doritos and Mountain Dew and never left. He knew I was scared and wanted to be there pass or fail. I passed, so he took me out for steak. The poor kid was dragged to every softball game and band concert I had and he never complained and always cheered me on. I love the relationship I have with him. We laugh together, tease each other, and love unconditionally. I cherish the time we have together whether it's been at a NASCAR race, a sporting event, dumping buckets of water on each other on vacation, or just a friendly phone call to "check in". I know for a fact that I'm the luckiest girl alive when it comes to the brother department.
My daddy... the man who can do no wrong. He bought me a pony at age 2, he taught me to play softball at age 4, he bought me a silver trumpet at age 9 because I wanted to be in the OSU Marching band. He coached my softball teams, he drove my butt to trumpet lessons every week, he sold girl scout cookies for me and he sat through countless hours of choir concerts, plays and band concerts. He's the dad who drove 3 hours to sit on a hill to watch me tryout for the OSU marching band because I had called him the night before positive I was being cut. My dad has never once wavered in his support for me and I've always known he loves me unconditionally. I'm proud of him for the life changes he has made to become healthier and happier so he can be in our lives so much longer. I will forever be his "Alligator".
And finally my mom. Growing up she was always the mom everyone wanted around. She gave unselfishly and was always the classroom mom or the mom who drove us all around for everything. Admittedly, we didn't have the best relationship growing up as I was a daddy's girl. But thank God that mom and I have grown closer. She's my travel partner, my concert partner and my partner in crime as well as my best friend. Seeing her transform herself into a stronger more confident woman this last month makes me swell with pride! She still gives unselfishly and people still love her but it's awesome to see her loving herself as much as we all do!
I would be nothing without these 3 people. They are the push behind me when I start to stall and they are the never ending love and support everyone wishes they had. I have an amazing family. We may not agree all the time but we always remember to love and live and forget the bad. Thank you mom, dad and Stephen for always loving me, supporting me, and showing me what life is all about!! I love you!!!