When I first started dating my boyfriend, I was overwhelmed by the immediate love and support that I received from his family. I was an outsider coming into an extremely tight knit group, and not once did I ever feel like I was out of place or unwanted. There's probably a million things I should be thanking you for, but here's a few that have always stood out to me.

Thank you for inviting me to all of your family functions.

Whether it was a big Italian dinner on Sundays, every holiday and birthday, or just a barbecue sitting by the pool, you've never excluded me from anything your family does. You not only make sure to include me, but you bring me right into the festivities and celebrated my birthdays and graduations as well. I have never felt like just his girlfriend sitting at the table because each one of you has gone out of your way to talk to me and make me feel absolutely loved.

Thank you for always supporting me.

You've been by my side through countless big decisions, and whether it was something as big as my college choice or something as small as what dress to wear, I know that I can trust you all to give me your honest opinion and look out for my best interests. Each of you has your own advice to offer, whether it is his grandmother giving me advice on how to be the best nurse I can be, or his mom helping me through girl drama when I feel like no one else understands, I know I have a huge support system that I can turn to whenever life gets tough.

Thank you for toughening me up.

Coming from a mostly female family, I was rarely exposed to wrestling (oh BOY has that changed), football, video games, superhero movies, or boys who can eat almost triple my body weight (sometimes I don't know how I manage to come out of family dinners with any food). I still can't completely differentiate between Marvel and DC, and I probably still can't beat any of you in sports (other than cornhole!!), but I never would have been exposed to any of these things if it weren't for you.

Thank you for raising him right.

There aren't many guys out there who are as respectful, kind, and family-oriented as he is. You've all instilled these values in him from day one, and that has made him the amazing guy that I fell in love with. I know that I have you to thank for his goofy sense of humor, his love for adventure, and most of all, his immense capability to love. Your presence in his life has made our relationship just that much stronger, and I am so grateful for the man you have raised him to be.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

You all have seen me in some of my best and worst moments, and yet you have still supported me and shown me love. Not only have you supported my relationship with your son/brother/nephew/cousin/grandson, but you have supported me as my own person and loved me no matter what. I am so lucky to have you in my life, and I wish I could remind you of that more often!

Love,

The girl who got more than she ever could have hoped for :)