Not everyone can say they have a close-knit family. I am thankful that I can say I do have a close family and they would do anything for me. They have been by my side during heartbreak, financial struggles, weight loss, joy, sorrow... the list goes on. Some people have no family or are disconnected from them. I don't want to know what that is like. Ever.
My parents have always set a good example for their kids. They have always been honest about life. Even during rough times they stuck it out and made the best out of the situation. Life hasn't always been daisies and roses but I think that has just made us a stronger family. I have seen them sacrifice so much for our family. They taught us that family comes first and we always stick together.
I am blessed to have two older brothers that are protective, caring, annoying, and two of my best friends. They defend me when needed, make fun of me endlessly and love me the way big brothers should. I wouldn't have it any other way. (Jimmy/Brian... this doesn't not give you persmission to increase the teasing!). Both of my brothers have married incredible women. They have become part of our family. My sisters. We shop, do coffee, talk about pretty much everything. I love spending time with them.
Last year I was welcomed into Jared's family with open arms. His family is a lot like mine. Before I met Jared, I would pray for the unknown man I would marry and the family that came with that. You hear horror stories of "the in-laws". Thankfully his family isn't that family.
Over the years our schedules have gotten more and more complicated. It has been good for us because we have all learned the importance of family. If your family needs you you stop what you're doing and lend a hand. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between... that's family.