When it comes to growing up, oftentimes we attribute everything we have learned up until that point in our lives to the teachings of our parents. They do so much for us and are consistently there every day reminding you the do's and do not's of life. However, a lot of times our grandparents are such an integral part of who we become as we grow. A lot of times parents do the dirty work, such as punishments and scolding and maybe even a little bit of well-meaning nagging. As soon as you hear you're going to grandma's house though, all bets are off. There seem to be no better string of words in the English language as a kid.

I know that I for one became out of control with excitement when I knew I was heading to grandma's house. It didn't matter even a little bit which grandma it was. One grandma gave me unlimited access to an always full cookie jar in the kitchen, made me Mickey Mouse shaped waffles, had a beautiful flower garden I enjoyed looking at and had an entire upstairs dedicated to strictly playing and watching TV. The other grandma had tons of play clothes and jewelry, had tables and phones that could easily be made into offices, made us fake checks to spend in our fake store, had a barn full of horses, and let me stay the night just to make the best cinnamon rolls for me in the morning.

No matter how many times I wanted to stay the night, or how many new checks I wanted when all I did was scribble on the last one because I didn't actually know how to write, or how many cookies I took, or how many waffles I ate, or how messy my siblings and I made the playroom, my grandmas were right there to make me more waffles, hand me another cookie, or give me another pretend check. They have done so much for me over the years that a simple thank you could just never suffice, but it is still well deserved.

Thank you for everything you created for me, whether that be the checks, a paper driver's license for my Little Tike car, my completely awesome customized birthday cards, the space for my creative juices to flow while I was playing pretend, or the outstanding meals and desserts. Thank you for the birthday money, the Christmas presents, and the Easter treasure hunts. Thank you for giving me odd jobs to do when I was trying to raise money for trips. Thank you for the pretend driver's license so I would feel like an adult. Thank you for letting me take pictures at your house for multiple high school dances. Thank you for letting me come over just to play the grand piano. Thank you for helping me create things for school and fulfill any creative visions I had. Thank you for letting me pet the horses and ride them in your backyard. Thank you for letting me practice softball in your barn, as well as shoot baskets. Thank you for letting me leave my car there when I want to go for a run down the bike trail. Thank you for letting my siblings and I swim in the pond, despite how much you probably didn't want us to.

Thank you for the countless cookies and hugs and small gifts. Thank you for the crafts. Thank you for porch swing talks and for letting me dance through your garden and help you pick raspberries. Thank you for encouraging every single drawing I made when I wanted to design clothes. Thank you for letting me bring friends to the path behind your woods. Thank you for letting me play with Cocoa and get her worked up, even if it was a little annoying to you. Thank you for providing me with endless supplies for coloring. Thank you for the endless supply of toys upstairs and picking up after me even when it probably annoyed you. Thank you for letting me pick the roses from your flowers just because you knew they were my favorite. Thank you for letting me ride the scooters down the driveway until it got dark out, despite how boring it must have been for you. Thank you for letting me pick buckeyes from your buckeye tree.

Thank you for always showing me such an outpouring of love and for always reminding me how proud of my accomplishments you are. Thank you for continually supporting me in every way. Thank you for teaching me the manners of a lady, as well as how to knit and sew. Thank you for all that you did and continue to do for me.

I was undoubtedly a lucky gal growing up. Not only did I have wonderful parents, but my grandparents were just as great. There is absolutely no one like a grandma that fills your stomach with food, your head with knowledge, and your heart with love. Be sure to visit them every chance you get, because you won't have them forever and they're truly gifts on Earth.