First and foremost, obvs, is my Pops.
My sweet dad has always been my hero. Like a lot of your daddies, he has always, always encouraged me to pursue any and everything I've wanted to do. Some of my very earliest memories are of him cheering me along, on the sidelines of my many sporting events, quizzing me on states and capitals on the many long family roadtrips that peppered my childhood, and spending breakfast, running lines with me for the high school plays I acted in.
He's instilled in us the value of family, by trekking (ahem... driving) across the country to his neck of the woods in southwestern Pennsylvania, sure to pause at meaningful historic stops along the way. He fostered my love of history and politics, and is my go-to for any and all questions on obscure battles, geography, debates.
He's the hardest working man I know, and I still love learning about all the traits I've inherited from him. He
[MCRD, san diego. josh's marine boot camp graduation.
my absolute favorite picture--maybe ever. september 2005.]
my absolute favorite picture--maybe ever. september 2005.]
He's played chauffeur and nurse during the three major surgeries I've endured, just sitting on the loveseat across my bed, through the night when I needed him. Dad took off work to play taxi service for me during nine months of intense physical therapy, three times a week, for my endless knee ailments.
He took me on my first camping trip, beginning a family tradition that has spanned my entire life. So many weekends of my youth were spent tucked into a fluffy sleeping bag, waking up to coffee boiled on a campfire. He led my three brothers onto becoming Eagle scouts, and always called me his "honorary scout" as I tagged along to family campouts until they were reserved for boys only.
He has tirelessly taught us the value of hard work, and--through his Air Force service, and consistent patriotism--the importance of honoring our veterans. He's taught us to never quit once you commit to something. He sang "my girl" to me for years, and years, first thing when I woke up and shuffled out of my bedroom, a mess of hair and rumpled nightgown. We have a book of inside jokes and I can honestly say, my snark and sarcasm come honestly.
I'm so proud to call him my daddy. And yes, he's still my hero. [and I wish I had more pics of the two of us! they're on a hard drive in nashville...oops!]
Onto my Papa... my mom's dad.
My Papa has always been one of my absolute favorite people in the world. Since my Mimi passed away in January 2010, our lives have definitely been changed forever. The way he still loves her is one of the most amazing examples of love anyone could witness, and I feel so blessed to have that in my life.
My Papa, first and foremost, has always taught me to follow my heart. He and my Mimi always instilled in us to have faith, keep those close to us who are important, and tell them how much they matter. He can always be counted on for a joke, and his laugh is contagious.
Some of my earliest memories with my grandparents were sitting in his lap on a swaying porch swing in the early summer mornings, him spoiling us rotten with Dr. Pepper and candy bars for breakfast. We'd help him pick pecans and vegetables from the garden. Throughout high school, when I'd swing by to visit them, I'd hardly ever leave without him having secretly stashed a $20 bill in my little VW bug's ashtray. His savory barbecue is practically world-renowned, and you'll hardly ever catch him without a cigar in his hand. He is always, always willing to "fix" just anything.
It's because of him that I know the sweetest kinds of love imaginable... both the deep love he shared with my grandmother for nearly five decades--and the way a Snickers bar can mend anything from a scraped knee to a bombed test. I love you, Papa!
Next is my Uncle B...
My uncle "B" is the epitome of "good old boy." He married my favorite aunt, and true to my drama queen nature, I spent the entirety of their wedding, SOBBING in my junior bridesmaid's gown, just knowing I had lost her forever. Soon enough, I was bouncing around their cute little first home... dramatics totally unnecessary.
He and my aunt have a love that is comparable to my grandparents--are are two of my favorite people in this world. He is the most laidback guy I know, and always offers reassurance and clarity. Throughout college, anytime I'd drop by to see them, he'd be sure to check on my car, make sure everything was in good shape. He dubbed me "pie mooch," a nickname that has stuck for years, since the one evening I stayed around for dessert, despite my intentions to leave earlier. He is an amazing dad to his three babies, and has raised them to be such respectful, appreciative, hard-working, fun-loving kids. I hope to be so lucky to have the type of family life they have. Love you, B!
Aaaand, Brother Josh...
It's still so hard to believe my little brother is a daddy... his two little ones are total carbon copies of him, and it's an incredible thing to witness. My brother has always been such a goofball, and is now a tender and adoring father. He is a great provider to his precious little family, and I am amazed at the way he has grown into such a great daddy. Happy Father's Day, Josh!!
And of course, my sweet Mister!
Witnessing this relationship is so precious to me... I've never seen a little boy adore his father the way Cary cherishes Sean. It melts my heart to be part of their banter, to hear Cary's giggles at the way Sean teases and plays with him. Cary's sweet brown eyes light up when he hears his daddy sign on for yet one last game of X-Box... and his laughter fills the house as they peg each other with nerf darts from their stealthy hiding places behind the couch and around hallway corners.
Their little moments are so reflective of the tender love Sean has for his little mini me... from their precious bedtime prayers to groggy morning breakfasts, and everything in between. I am so blessed to be able to be part of this, and I am amazed and grateful for Sean's amazing dedication and prioritizing of being a father.
Happy Father's Day, baby!!!
...and Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there--the guys you love! :)