I know, I know. Don’t acknowledgements normally go in the book? Yeah, probably. But, mine were getting a bit long. And, I started to realize that, for the most part, I’d always be thanking the same people. For that reason, I decided to do a permanent memorial to the amazing people in my life who make it so much better. I wouldn’t be here without you and believe me, I know that.

First and foremost, to my husband, love of my life, and king of my heart, Lee Edmund Bousquin, thank you for being my biggest fan. You have been the Jack to my Rebecca since before anyone knew what that meant, and I am blown away that you still look at me that way after all this time. You are the best thing that ever happened to me and it is my great joy to do this life with you. I can’t wait to see where we go next.

To my kids, the Small People, you are, by orders of magnitude, my very best creations. Everything else I do in this life will pale in comparison to the fabulousness that you are. You are incredible, and I love you more than…hmm…more than playing The Sims 4 with Auntie while eating a gluten free chocolate donut and drinking Moscato. I even love you more than playing Munchkin after midnight with the board of directors (yeah, there are snacks in this scenario, too). The point is, you are my heartbeat and I am so, so, proud to be your my-mom.

To KaTorie and Tiera, my not-so-baby sisters. Call me when you’re crying, and I’ll come running. When you forget that you are two of the best human beings on the planet, I’ll remind you. I am the holder of Big Sister Magic and my fairy dust has reach. There will never be a millisecond when I’m not proud of you, a moment I don’t see you, a breath when I don’t love you, or a minute when I’m not cheering you on. I am always for you. Always.

To Danyelle, my found sister who changed me for the better and for good. I love you. You are my family and I treasure you. You’ve been though more with me than almost anyone. We stood against the wind, and when it  tried to blow us over, we stayed. And, on the days when my arms were too weak to hold back the floodgates, you held them up for me. There is no me without you. We will count the minutes and measure in love because we know how far we’ve come and who we lost along the way. And, we’ll do it the way we always do – together. Whenever. Wherever. Forever.

To the best group of friends that exist on the planet, I am here because of you. When it all came apart, you kept me tethered. I am enormously grateful to have you in my life. My godsend, my captain, my knight, my evil scientist, and my engineer – you are my family and I love you. Next game night at my house, bring your own chocolate.

To the people who loved me like they grew me themselves. John and Theresa, Mom and Dad, you are forever memorialized exactly as you should be – as the parents who chose me intentionally, loved me beyond measure, and showed up consistently. The fact that I was confused with the greatest Chrissy in the history of great Chrissies should have been my first clue that we would be forever family. Of course, the second clue should have been that Chrissy and I are here on a level that’s out there and have been since I tried to steal you, but that’s not here or there. I love you all with an interstellar love that can’t be quantified or defined. Thank you for being my family.

To Raahima, who answered every question, gave every encouragement, and breathed life into a world I could only imagine. This book would not exist without your patience and kindness. The more we talked, every conversation became more about friendship than research. I owe you absolutely everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Finally, and most importantly, to my goddaughter and Princess Rocket Scientist, The Impossible Girl who came into the world on a song, my very own Amelia Pond. Baby Girl, when you were born, I was still dead inside. Your Auntie JoJo left us, and Mama and I were left broken shells of who we used to be, even though we were pretty good at faking it. When you entered our lives, you brought the oxygen with you. In ways you are far too young to understand, I literally owe you my life. You mean absolutely everything to me and I am so completely honored to love you and watch you grow up. Auntie Mo loves you. Let’s go buy all the things. Again.

Quick shoutout to the best Fam on the interwebz. I love you guys.