One thing I've noticed, the older I've gotten, is how much I appreciate my parents.

We've become so close, it's almost funny to think at one point I looked at them so much differently. When I was younger, my parents were much more strict than they are now. They disciplined differently and didn't let me do certain things. The older I've gotten, the more freedom I've gotten, which is one big sigh of relief.

My parents are such great people. Throughout my whole life, I've always had friends of parents or people who know my parents tell me how great they both are. I'm so blessed to have been raised by them and to have gotten their characteristics.

My mom is so loving and generous, and she thinks of literally everyone else in her life before herself. She's smart and funny, and she is always there when I need someone to talk to. She's taught me how to be courteous, kind, funny (with her sense of humor), and most importantly, accepting towards others.

The older I get, the more I realize how similar I am to her. She's my favorite woman in the whole world. We understand each other.

My dad is a thoughtful, hilarious, wise, and helpful guy who has taught me so many lessons throughout the years. He always makes sure my finances are in order, even more than I do. He keeps me laughing with his funny stories and made-up songs that he sings. He always asks me how my day was every time I walk through the door. He is so adorable and thoughtful, and I'm so happy I got his wit and humor.

His smile lights up a room and I'm so happy I've been hearing his laugh and will continue to for the rest of my life.

Another great thing about my parents is that they've taught me what love looks like. They're so loving, kind, and patient towards each other. I've rarely ever seen them fight in my life. They still treat one another how they did when they first started dating. I have friends and know people whose parents aren't together, and I'm so lucky to say I can't imagine what that's like.

My parents complete each other; they are soulmates. I'm so lucky and appreciative that I get to have the honor of watching their love play out throughout their lives.

I'm so happy and thankful that these are the parents I ended up with. They're the best. I hope to be half of my parents when I become a parent myself.