...to many people...(this may be quite a long post).
First off...to James. He doesn't get nearly as much love and respect from me as he deserves. He works 60 hours a week most weeks, hardly complains about it, and comes home to only 3-4 hours of free time to spend with us before he has to go to bed. And he has to put up with me. Which is a feat in itself. He will hate me for saying this, but there is a wonderful, gentle, and caring man behind that wall that he puts up, it just takes a while to see it. He is the biggest mush around Aiden and it warms my heart to see how much he loves our little man. I will never forget the way he looked at me only minutes after Aiden was born. :)
Aiden. My poor miserable little boy who is teething and wakes up screaming. I hate when he's in pain. He makes every morning better just by smiling at me, and reminds me of how amazing I am that I can create something that wonderful. I am so proud of every little thing he accomplishes, even if it's only getting an inch off the floor while trying to sit up (which is his new thing).
My parents. Knowing we're struggling, they've offered up their home for us to stay in. They've been there for us countless times when we've had absolutely no idea what we're doing and needed a reality check, and sometimes just to help us out without making us feel guilty about it. I don't know if my dad agrees with this, but my mom has agreed to give me things for my wedding that I didn't know if I would get otherwise (i.e. catering). I know I frustrate them (A LOT), but they always have my best interests in mind, and even though they may not have wanted to, they accepted James into our family. If it weren't for them, we would not be making this work right now.
Grandpa Snook. He is such an amazing, strong man. He's been through so much losing his soulmate and companion for 35+ years (what seems only yesterday, but was really over 5 years ago). My family came too close to realizing what it would be like to lose him only a couple of weeks ago. I was scared to death to go see him in the hospital. A man with such a strong personality looked so small and weak. With a breathing tube needed, he couldn't talk at the time. I mask my emotions and I was trying to be strong for him because I knew that's what he needed at the time, but, man, did I just want to break down. He sure knows how to melt your heart though. Telling him "I love you" before we left, he mouthed it back to me around the tube, and I was so happy, I about cried. Made me realize how much of a grandpa's girl I really am. I don't need any more close calls like that anytime soon.
Diane: She has been so careful not to step on anyone's toes in the family. I would hate to think that she still feels the need to do this. After watching her help my grandpa get through all the crud and rebuild his life without grandma, she is absolutely amazing. I know we tell her, but I'm not sure if she understands exactly how grateful we are to have her. Her shining presence these last few years has lifted the whole family's spirits and seeing how much grandpa cares for her is inspiring. As the "outsider" first coming into our family's crazy dynamic, it had to be intimidating, but she handled it gracefully, and she's become a very important person in our lives.
Grandma and Grandpa Fountain: I know it hurt them to take a backseat when Grandma Bon passed away. I never meant to make them feel like that, but I spent entirely too much time mourning her loss, instead of realizing what I still had left. My Grandma Fountain is just as strong, if not stronger, than her after some of the decisions that she had to make early in life. She also lost both her parents when she was around my age. How much I would love to sit down and pick her brain one of these days. There are so many things I want to ask her about, but I feel like some of them would be hard to discuss. Grandpa is a man of few words, but you can tell that he loves his family, and he's very protective of us.
The rest of the family is always here when you need them, and I'm thankful for that. I know that not very many people have an extended family that is as tightly knit as ours. I know that I always have someone to lean on.
After leaving college and having Aiden, I don't have very many true friends left. So it means a lot to me for each and every one that stuck around despite me pushing them away.
I've been going through a lot lately, emotionally. My first instinct is to push everyone away to protect myself, because if there's no one there than no one can hurt me, right? I don't really believe that much anymore, but I know in the past I've hurt a lot of people, especially family, trying to fix myself. I don't feel like I tell them enough how much I appreciate and love them, and how much I really look up to them. This is a start.