To the people who gave me life… All of my love<3

My new goal for a bit (I like to change it up!) is just to make sure I live my life with as much gratitude as possible!


That being said, my best gift ever is my parents. I got some pretty cool ones. I’ve been feeling very much like writing letters lately, so here is one that is not sardonic! This one is actually quite heartfelt.

Dear mom and dad,

Thank you. Thank you for being mommy and daddy, for being momma and papa bear, for being madre y padre. Thank you for making me strong. Thank you for knowing that I haven’t always been easy to love…but doing it so well anyway. Thank you for the camping trips, for the vacations that went disastrously wrong (although Kansas isn’t too bad of a state to drive through and explore!), for the times you made me stick with something and the times that you knew I’d had enough. Thank you for monitoring me when Hope died. Thank you for the random Costco trips on Saturday afternoons. Thank you for MMA classes, even though you were both busy. Thank you for Christmas afternoons spent with movies and chocolate. It’s funny, ya know, the things you remember. Thank you for Blue. I loved him times a million. Thank you for all the silly nicknames! Thank you for being a team.

Dear momma,

Thank you for giving me your body for 9 months! I’m pretty sure that’s about as sacrificial as you can get. Thank you for giving me a name that was different, for setting me apart. Thank you for all the times you would rock me in the comfy blue chair, even when I was supposed to be sleeping. Thank you for teaching me to do laundry, how to clean an oven and how to make banana bread. Thank you for all the times you could sense that I needed a good cry, so you would curl up in bed with me and just let me sob. Thank you for playing with my hair and rubbing my back and promising me that yes, tomorrow will be better. Thank you for letting me be your assistant at Pampered Chef parties, I loved them! I loved being in the kitchen with you. Thank you for never putting me on a leash, even though I’m sure it would have been easier. Thank you for watching Martha Stewart with me before afternoon kindergarten. Thank you for teaching me that I never needed makeup, but complimenting me anyways when I tried a new look. Thank you for being at EVERY single football game I ever cheered at and for ringing that obnoxious cow bell! Thank you for never making me feel like less of a person for being female. Thank you for teaching me that nail polish is pretty but books are still better. Thanks for building potato cannons with us. Thanks for giving me a brother too, I sort of like him. Thanks for the times that you listened when I got hurt by someone you said was bad news. Thank you for warning me and thank you for never saying, “I told you so” when I was hurting. Thank you for always singing in the car with me! Everything from Dolly to Toddler Tunes and most things in between! Thank you for making sure I knew that I was loved, even when I packed a bag and asked you to take me to the bus station. Thank you for homeschooling, even when I hated math and tried to just paint all day. Thank you for loving me, even when I messed up really badly. Thank you for knowing when I needed you to call a boy stupid or tell me that a girl was silly. Thank you for always letting me call you for comfort, even in college. Thank you for taking me to the doctors and babying me when I hurt my foot or was sick. Thanks for knowing just when I need a push and switching to sympathy when you know I need a little extra love. Thank you for making up for the disappointments for others but loving me that much more.


Dear Daddy,

Thanks for knowing when I needed random life talks in the truck. Thanks for teaching me about the good music- the oldies! (Seriously though- what kind of weirdos don’t love Hotel California?) Thanks for complimenting me when I least expected it and probably needed to hear it the most. Thank you for the times you would push us around the yard in a wheel barrow. Thank you for giving us friends like Ryan growing up. Thank you for watching Criminal Minds with me, even though I know they freak you out. Thank you for forcing me into going on random, crazy, muddy walks in Tennessee… you were right, it was worth it. Thank you for all the times you drove me to tumbling. Thank you for all the times you let me tag along to the hockey rink, even though you knew I would be hungry and cold 30 minutes in. Thanks for knowing that when I had a bad day, Lighting games and BBQ could improve my mood. Thanks for encouraging my love of Lord of the Rings, even though it’s not a common “girl thing.” Thank you for taking me to the gun range and teaching me how to defend myself. Thank you for accepting Brody, our messy little rescue who barks too much and has allergies. Thank you for times like packing up the house at 4am… because really, those are the things I’ll remember. Thank you for all the selfies I subject you to, even when you’re tired. Thank you for teaching me the basics of construction. Thank you for teaching me to not whine, to just suck it up and haul the chunks of wood or the bucket of water. Thank you for keeping me from power tools (probably a good idea) but never doubting my ability to climb on a roof to clear of debris. Thank you for the redneck light hanging, the well fixing and the random trips to Home Depot. Thank you for teaching me how to build a barn. Thank you for building me and making me confident in myself and my abilities.

Thank you both, for being my biggest fans, even when I was just at tumbling or cheering at JV games. Thank you for wearing burnt orange, for bragging about me, for hugging me, for praising me, for teaching me to accept others and to just go head and wear the weird hippie skirt! Who cares what the mean girl says? Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to use your easel and paints, even if you’re not Picasso. For loving cheer, even if you’re not the best jumper. Thank you for encouraging me to roll with whatever I was feeling and for just accepting me.

You guys are pretty freaking rad. I love you as deep as the ocean.

All my love, Baner xoxox

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