To Mom and Dad,

I don’t say it often enough, but I hope you know how thankful I am for both of you. I often don’t recognize it, but everything I have and everything I am is thanks to you.

From giving up your time to drive me to girl scouts, soccer practices, and cross country meets, to just spending time with us playing board games and watching movies, you have always been there for us, even when we pushed you away.

You two are my cheering squad, with me through thick and thin. Through the darkest of times and the brightest, all my crazy ideas and unannounced life-changing decisions, I know I’ll always have support from both of you.

Your love for each other, for us, and for other people is a trait that I have always looked up to and hope to exemplify as well as you two do. You’re role models to far more than myself, CJ and Jesse, but to all who get the opportunity to meet you. You are loved and admired far more than you could ever realize.

Mom, you are the most generous person I’ve ever met. You are my biggest role model and my best friend. You are the definition of kind, selfless, loving and caring. I could write an entire article about the wonderful qualities that describe you and how you’ve shaped my life.

You put up with all my crap, and you aren’t afraid to call me on it. You know me better than anyone else, including myself, and I can only hope to be as great a mom as you one day.

And dad, there’s no one else that I love spending time with more than you. I value our conversations and our time together more than anything, and some of my favorite memories are those of us spending weekends together for soccer tournaments, dancing all night (aka until 9 p.m.) at daddy-daughter dances and riding back from ASP together, singing along to oldies music and talking about anything and everything.

I love how similar we are because I look up to you so much. You’ve given me a love for all things sports, a desire to travel the world, a great sense of humor, a healthy amount of competitiveness, and a passion for helping others through service.

You work so hard to give us the life we have, and I can’t express to you how thankful I am for that.

Thank you for supporting me in all that I do, giving me the opportunity of an education and to follow my dreams, though you have taught me far more than I could ever learn in a classroom. Thank you for always being there to give me a hug, some advice and for being so approachable. And thank you most of all for loving us so dang much.

I love you both more than I could ever tell you.