So today is my dad’s birthday – Happy Birthday Dad! I’ve been thinking a lot this week about all of the things I love about my dad and although I could write a novel on the subject, I’m going to try to share just a few things. When Car and I were little, my mom worked nights at a restaurant and my dad was in charge of the kids. Some of my earliest memories are of him playing with us in the evenings. He would bathe us and put curlers in our hair and then it was our turn to put curlers and barrettes in his hair. We would do his hair and then laugh and laugh at our creation. We put him through so much abuse! I remember loving that time every night with my dad.
My dad loves the outdoors – camping, hunting, fishing – all of it. We went camping and fishing all the time. He owned an Archery Shop aside from his job at the college and I have so many fun memories of camping and hanging out in the shop with my dad.
When I got older and so involved in dancing my dad never missed anything! He came to every recital, High School drill team competition, and every football and basketball game we performed at. When I was on the drill team at Dixie College he even came to all of those games to see me dance. I can’t believe all of the performances and games he sat through for me (aside from all of the stuff my sister and brother were involved in). He was always so supportive and proud of us. He was also always the calm voice of reason. I remember when I turned 16 and got my driver’s licence
. A couple of weeks later I got in my first accident! I came home so nervous to tell my parents about it but explained to them that it could have been worse…I didn’t get a ticket…just a “citation.” My mom was so mad at me! (“Dang it Erin! A ticket IS a citation!”) She wanted to ground me from the car for awhile but my dad’s calm response was “No…the best thing for Erin is to get right back out on the road. Accidents happen…all part of the learning process.” Loved ya for that one dad!
My dad has a silly, fun side that a lot of people don’t get to see. He was always saying and doing stupid things to get me and Car and Austin laughing. We’re always rolling our eyes and trying to suppress a smile around my dad. I have great memories of the holidays because he always made Christmas SO FUN for us. On Christmas Eve morning he would wake us up playing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on his Guitar or Saxophone (he plays both!).
My dad is extremely intelligent and always really stressed the importance of education. School and homework ALWAYS came first when we were growing up. He was the Dean of the Business Department of a college and I remember as a little girl thinking my dad was SO smart and SO important. I always wanted to marry someone who was smart and worked in an office like my dad. (Got my wish there!) When I was little I loved to go visit my dad in his big office. Then Car and I would go home and pretend that we were secretaries working for him. We would answer our pretend phones “Hello, Business and Technology…would you like to speak to the Dean?” :) Today my dad is the President of a different college that he helped get up and running and I’m so proud of him. He is a hard worker and loved and respected by everyone in the community.
One of the things I love most about my dad is the way he loves my mom. He is an amazing husband to her. He is extremely patient and caring and always puts her needs first. My mom is….well my mom! She is over the top social, spends too much money, stresses over everything and generally creates a lot of drama and excitement for them both. My dad is the best thing for her (the calm of the storm!) and we all wonder how he does it sometimes! This picture is of him proposing to her again on their 29th
Wedding Anniversary (didn’t want to do it on the 30th
because she would be expecting something big!). He sent her new diamond to me early because they were coming to San Diego and he wanted to surprise her. So cute! They have an amazing relationship.
Since I’ve had Ellie, it has been so fun to see my dad as a grandpa. He is so darling with my kids! He plays with them for hours! Ellie gets so excited to go to Utah to see Grandpa Van. They have a special routine for just the two of them called “feeding the fish.” My dad takes her out to his garage (which is more like a little house!) and they feed the fish in his aquarium
. Then they play all sorts of made up games. Ellie really looks forward to all of her time with grandpa and so do I! I love seeing the special relationship my dad is forming with each of my kids. I know they will cherish those memories forever. (This pic is of my dad with Ellie and my sister’s baby Claire). Cute grandpa!
Dad – I could go on forever about all the things I love about you. You have been the best dad a girl could ask for and I’ve always felt so lucky to be your daughter! Thanks for all you have done and continue to do for me. I love you so much! Hope your birthday is the best!!!