I've gotten a little behind on being grateful, so let's catch up with the obvious "chaser" to my stepparent post...
I am, of course, terribly grateful for my Mom and Dad, whom I love very much.
Both of my parents are a special kind of crazy - but then, whose aren't? They both have quirks (most of which I seem to have inherited) and naturally, I've had ups and downs with both of my parents - but they have always, always been there for me, ready to bail me out and/or dispense sage advice (sometimes both, simultaneously.)
They taught me all of the important things I'd need to know to be a responsible adult someday - things such as never mix polka dots with plaid, a clean car runs better, cherish the gift of common sense (as it is very, very rare), and never pass up the opportunity for a good nap.
I was definitely blessed to have them as parents, but consider myself doubly blessed that I can now consider them both friends as well. Mom is a great shopping buddy (although she occasionally gets me in trouble by pointing out extra things that I absolutely need) and it's rare to talk to Dad on the phone for less than an hour. Mom is still the first person I call with news and complaints, and we love our ongoing Phase Ten tournament with Dad (who will not win this year) and my stepmom, Michele (who, knowing her, just might.)