With the holidays soon approaching it's a good time to sit and reflect on family and what you're grateful for. You know before we get flooded with gifts and food.

Coming from a split household I was always worried about fitting in and being a part of my stepfamilies as I grew. My biological family was pretty small, but both stepfamilies were huge. I gained three sets of grandparents, 9 aunts and uncles (not including their significant others) and dozens of cousins. Most of these people have known me since I was between the ages of 1 and 5 and if they hadn't had told me I wouldn't have but a second thought to not being blood-related. There were those that didn't give me as warm of a welcome, but countless ones that welcomed a little ginger baby with wide open arms. I remember the day my soon to be cousin and I found out my mom and her uncle were going to get married. We were so happy. We used to spend all the time swimming in her pool, and playing dress up and we were so excited that we were going to get to be family. Now fifteen years later and she's one of the best friends I have!

My cousins Billy, Emily and I (step-dad side)Teagan Thompson

Christmas is always a little hectic for me to try to fit in time for every one of my families and presents, but I never wish that I didn't have to do it. I love seeing everyone and receiving love and hugs, and as our family continues to grow with little cousins it just gives me more opportunities to share love and happiness. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day consist of five stops. A meal at every one. I gain 5 pounds just thinking about it. My future dream wedding will probably get a little expensive but as long as I'm surrounded but every one of these people that have treated me as their own, I'll be the happiest I can be. And everyone will be in one stop so it'll be way easier than Christmas!

My aunt's wedding (step-mom side)Teagan Thompson

Thank you to my family that has gone out of their way to make me feel welcomed and loved. Thank you for accepting me as I am. Thank you for including me. Thank you for not treating me like the red-headed stepchild that I actually am. Thank you for double the presents as a kid. Because let's be honest, that was pretty cool. Thank you for allowing me to be in your lives, your loved one's lives and everything you have done for me. You really did not have to yet chose too anyway. I love you all.