I was born in Fort Myers, Florida on January 29, 1982 and I lived there my entire life until I came to the University of Florida.
I have always been extremely close to my sister, who is eight years older than me, and my mother.
Because my parents divorced when I was an infant, my mother, sister and I developed a strong bond.
My mother is an amazing person and someone I will always admire.
Wherever my life takes me, I know my family will always stand by me and love me.
"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses."~ Dr. Joyce Brothers ~
When I was four years old my mother began dating David and when I was seven she married him.
Even though I have a good relationship with my biological father, I am very close with my step-father.
He has helped me to become the person I am today.
There were bumpy roads along the way that only made us stronger.
Through my step-father, I acquired a wonderful step-sister, Tara, who is 17 months younger than me.
"Other things may change us, but we start and end at family."~ Anthony Brandt ~
My sister is one of the most important people in my life.
I know that no matter what happens she will be there for me.
She has always encouraged me to be who I am and been so proud of me in whatever I do.
Her kindness and warmth toward everyone she meets makes here a wonderful role model.
"Call it a clan, a network, a tribe, a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."~ Anne Howard ~
My sister's daughters, who are five and nine years old, are also very important to me.
In some ways they are like younger sisters.
We love and care about each other and I love spending time with them.
It is hard being away from them for long periods of time, because they are growing so quickly.
Their happiness means a lot to me.
"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future."~ Gail Lumet Buckley ~
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