7. My Family

I have more relatives than anyone I know — except people related to me.

Of course, it starts with 12 brothers and sisters, and goes from there.  My Dad was 9th of 12 siblings and my Mom was first of 6.  Her Dad was first of 10.  So I have I-don’t-know-how-many first cousins and second cousins and cousins-some-number-of-times-removed.  But there are many!  Lots of aunts and uncles, too.  And I remember two of my great-grandmothers.

Of course, the down side of being part of an enormous family is that you can feel pretty insignificant — just one of many like you.  This may be why I live on the other side of the country from most of my relatives, where people only know me.

But I have a pretty cool family!  I like them a lot.  They’re quirky and wonderful in ways that are definitely related to me.

I recently took vacation on the West Coast and got to see many, many relatives and was reminded that in this way, I am truly blessed.  In fact, my cup overflows.

2. My Kids

Any list of blessings has to start with my kids.  They’ve added so much joy and love and simple delight to my life.

And I’m so proud of the people they’ve grown to be.

I’ll admit we were *scared* when we found out I was pregnant so soon after we got married.  We were awfully young to be parents.  But I’m glad Jade and Tim shared our adventures.

The world is a better place because you two exist.

And I admit things worked out well — I’d rather be single and alone than a single mom of young kids.  But even though my kids have grown up and are on their own — just knowing they are out there is a huge blessing.