My family has always been my world: my parents and sisters, then my husband, and now my sons, too. Growing up, my cousins were my best friends, and Matt and I hope our kids will someday say the same. I am very close with my Pop-Pop (the last grandparent for me), my in-laws, and several of my aunts and uncles.
Matt and I are also blessed to have friends that have become another level of family. (We've already made zombie apocalypse plans with these guys, so look for the band of us in matching t-shirts should the worst happen.)
All of these people love me, love Matt, and love my children. They've walked awful roads with us, holding hands, holding me, praying. They are a united front that keep me from ever thinking, "I'm alone in this." They make me laugh harder than is really responsible, and trash talk me during board games.
Family is the central focus of The Senator's Youngest Daughter. I'm blessed to have written about a loving family, committed parents, and a faithful husband from personal experience. The truth that many people may see this and wonder if families are still like that... but I assure you, by the grace of Jesus, mine is.
To be honest, when people say something like, "My family fights, but any of them would take a bullet for me," I sort of cringe. Is that what love looks like? I might take a bullet for a stranger in a certain situation, but I wouldn't live in happy, cooperative, supportive relationship with someone I didn't like. Family should be both -- the sudden, passionate, explosive love that calls you to action and the steady, mundane, just-another-Tuesday plodding love that fits and feels comfortable.