I have a confession to make: I love my family.
Well, that’s not really a secret. But that doesn’t change its truth. I would do anything to be able to move closer to home, be near my parents, eat dinner every night at the house, and generally spend as much time in my home as possible.
Reality check: I am an adult. I cannot move back in with my parents without regressing in age and maturity a minimum of five years, and there’s no way I want to be 18 again.
Since I can’t move back in with my mom and dad, and the job prospects in my hometown are not so great that I can love with in a convenient distance (less than five miles), I instead look forward to every single excuse I can find to go home and spend some time. This makes the Holiday Season one of my absolute favorite times of year, despite the cold.
So, this year (and every day), I am thankful for my family. For my mom, who is always enthusiastic and supportive. For my dad, who always believes in whatever I can do, and who has always encouraged learning. For my brother, who is a constant source of unconditional love, even when he pokes me mercilessly in the stomach, and who always makes me laugh. For my sister, who will always be there when and if I need her, no matter what.
And for our extended (though not necessarily related) family: Don, who would be the first person I would call if I needed to be bailed out of jail. Wally, who is dependable and constant in our family, especially when we need him most. Aunt Vickie, who loves me and my brother and sister so much I’m not sure what we’d do without her. Our dogs, who greet me at the car as soon as I pull up the driveway. Claude & Linda, who are like bonus grandparents, and whom I really need to call for dinner soon. And our Texas Family, with whom the laughs never end (especially if it means getting into trouble!).
And then finally, my friends — those who are practically family, and who would fit right in at Palooza: there are too many of you to list, honestly. But some honorable mentions? Beth, who always makes me laugh and keeps me company. Shelby and Maurissa, who put up with my busy schedule and still find time to see me (and play mahjong). Tonia, who calls to check in and gives advice whenever I need it. You ladies are loving on a daily basis, especially when I need it most.
And pretty much the entire swing dance community, who treats me like family, makes me happy, gives all the cuddles, and always makes sure I’m loved.
I’m always at home when I’m with my family.