Last week, I was able to thank my friends who have made IML possible. This week, I’d like to thank my family. It’s so fitting that this post falls on Christmas week.

I have been given a huge family who is constantly showing me support no matter where I am in life. For this post, I’d like to mention a few key moments that have stood out to me in regards to IML. I want to share these moments to publicly thank the individuals who have given such great memories, but I also want to share these moments so that you, as a reader of this post, can be strengthened and inspired to reach out and keep the bonds with those you consider family. Maybe there is someone in your family who needs your support. Maybe you are the person who just wants to know your family has your back.

My mom and dad are “no-brainers” for this post. My parents have had to watch me struggle with finding a decent and stable job for the past couple years. When I first started talking to them about the idea of I Made Lemonade, I was so relieved to have their support. One day I went to my dad’s work just to say hi. His secretary greeted me and asked about how IML was doing. I was a little thrown off because I had never shared my idea with anyone outside my home and was just beginning to spread the word via social networking. She proceeded to tell me that my dad had been talking about the work I’d been doing for some time. It was just a little thing, but knowing that my parents were proud enough of what I was doing to share with their friends just gave me a little more strength to keep moving.

Some of my family live in California. About a month ago, my cousin Nicole was able to visit San Antonio for the first time in several years. She and I are about the same age, and it was a huge treat to see her. I went with my grandparents to pick her up from the airport, and the first thing she does is hand me a book she found. It was a Chicken Soup for the Soul, and it was a special one highlighting people who have made lemonade out of lemons. She bought it because it reminded her of me. That moment was so special to me. It was so nice to know she thought of me and of IML. It reminded me that there are so many stories out there.

The final memory I want to share actually happened during the beginning stages of IML. I had the idea to create I Made Lemonade, but it took time for me to work out details and figure out exactly what I wanted. For a while, I simply put the hashtag #makinglemonade on some Facebook posts to share my idea. During this early stage, I really didn’t tell anyone about IML. However, one day a friend of mind came up to me and told me how she had heard about my “making lemonade” idea from my Uncle Mark and how excited she was for me. I was SO confused because I didn’t remember telling my Uncle Mark anything about what I was doing. Turns out, he had noticed my hashtags and embraced the idea of making lemonade and shared that message during a small home Bible study. He had apparently asked if anyone at this Bible study had noticed my hashtags and talked about how cool it was that I was staying positive during my rough time of unemployment. This moment was definitely a key memory for IML. I believed that this message was so much bigger than me. I realized I was just thankful to even have the change to take part in spreading this message.

My family has been my greatest support.

To Mom, Dad, Will, Levi, and Makayla, thank you for always keeping me on my toes and believing in me.

To Uncle Mark, Aunt Misty, David, Christian, Noah, Elijah, and Silas, thank you for helping me out in so many ways. Thank you for your excitement.

To Uncle Josh, thank you for always being so caring.

To Grandma and Papa, thank you for always being proud of me and wanting the best for me.

To Grandma Mary Ann, thank you for being so interested in IML and for all your ideas.

To Auntie Angel, Uncle Richie, Nicole, Peyton, and Emersyn, thank you for cheering for me all the way from California.

Thank you most of all for your love.

~ Allysse