Meet the three most important people in my life

Today, I am spending some time thinking about how truly lucky I am. I live in a country I love, studying the thing I'm most passionate about, living a life of adventure and unpredictability. I have a family who loves me and supports me unconditionally. My quasi-fiancee (it won't be official until he sees fit to give me a ring! Hint, hint, Sam) accepts me for who I am, and loves me despite my myriad of flaws.  I am surrounded by brilliant, talented, beautiful friends, and there are more who are just as fabulous on the other side of the world. I have a lot to be thankful for. But today, I want to introduce you to the three people who keep me going, day after day, month after month.  I do the things I do to make life better for me and for them, to make them proud of me.

This precious little man is my new nephew, Sawyer. I've never even met him in person, but I already love him more than I could ever possibly put into words.

This is Parker, Sawyer's big brother and my oldest nephew. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day is the thought that one day, before they hit puberty and decide I'm old and uncool, my nephews will brag to their friends that their Aunt Dan lived in Egypt for three years and has all sorts of awesome stories and rode camels. Hearing Parker say "I love you, Aunt Dan" warms my heart like nothing else and never fails to bring a tear to my eye. He's already becoming the most incredible little person.

I am in awe of my future husband Sam every day for so many reasons- not the least of which being that he is willing- nay, eager- to spend every day of the rest of his life with me. He is hardworking, honest, loyal to a fault, adventurous, spontaneous, caring, and- let's face it- sexy as hell. I have no idea how I was lucky enough to find my perfect man my first semester of college, and how I was silly enough to let him slip through my fingers once before. The one thing I'm sure of is that it will never happen again. This month marks three years since we met, and every day since I have been becoming a better person simply because I have him in my life.

These are just three of the people who inspire me to live a life that I am passionate about, and who encourage me, each in their own way, to be more.  I am so incredibly thankful.

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