Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Dear Teddy,
Let me explain.  I know that you’ll have lots of questions about your dad.  Why does he insist on wearing tacky Hawaiian shirts on vacation?  Why does he make up silly songs to describe what he’s doing at that moment?  Why does he use funny voices?  The answer is, your dad is one in a million. 

He doesn’t fit into any stereotype or can’t be defined.  I promise you that he will take you on adventures beyond your wildest imagination, make you laugh until your cheeks hurt, hold you when you are sad, and teach you wonderful and exciting things.  You are very lucky to have him as a father.  There is no doubt in my mind that he will be your best friend growing up, but he loves you so much already and you are just barely 5 months old.  Before life gets in the way and I forget all the little things that he does now to love you, I wanted to take some time to talk about your dad in honor of his first Father’s Day.

From the second that you were born, you wouldn’t believe how much your dad has been involved in everything.  He’s kind of a big kid, but he takes being your father very seriously.  I have never seen him take anything as seriously to be honest.  I’ve spent the last 5 months in shock at how crazy your father is.  He asks the funniest questions and I spend most of my time trying to calm him down with a smirk on my face.  Even though he takes being your daddy very seriously, it doesn’t mean that he’s serious.  He loves you so much and it’s my prayer that you end up being just like him.   
If I could pick my top 5 favorite qualities that I would hope you get from your dad here they are:
  1.  Cry.  I joke all the time about how much your dad cries.  It’s hilarious to me especially considering how much I don’t cry, but never mistake his tears for weakness.  His tears are the outward symbol of how deeply he loves.  He physically cries because he loves so much and whenever anyone he cares about feels pain, so does he.  A weak man who is so affected by others, would limit how many people he loves as to protect himself from pain.  Your father is strong.   I pray you get his capacity to love.
  2. Work hard.  Whatever he does, he does it with his whole heart.  I fell in love with him at Frontier Ranch because of his work ethic.  He is the first to volunteer and the last to complain.  Whether he is shoveling horse poop or answering an email on Sunday he wants to do his best.   I can’t stress how important a good work ethic is in a man. 
  3. Love Jesus.  It amazes me how much biblical knowledge your dad has, but true faith is more than having the knowledge, it’s living life with a personal relationship with Jesus.    
  4. Giggle. I mean it. Giggle like a little school girl when you think something is funny and don’t waste a second thinking about how it makes you look. Life is hard and without the ability to laugh and find joy it can be even harder. I can honestly say that ever since I met your dad in the summer of 2001, that he has made me laugh every single day. He’s Peter Pan and refuses to take anything too seriously, and I hope you never do either.
  5. Dance.  I can’t tell you how much I love dancing with your dad.  When he spins me across the dance floor it is impossible to keep the smile off my face.  He is confident, he leads, and is a great country dancer.  That being said, it took me a while to embrace any other dancing with him, though.  Here’s the thing, he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him so his dance moves never evolved past a 5 year old running in place and twisting awkwardly to the movement.   His favorite move is writing his name with his butt.  Please don’t get caught up in being the “cool guy” on the dance floor.  I learned to just embrace it.
Here’s a quick little snippet of your dad.  The good, the bad, the silly. 
He loved feeding you in the hospital.  He didn't realize that was an option and thus began his slow but sure fight to edge me out as your food source. 


Tears for bringing you home.  He drove backroads all the way home because he didn't want to get on the interstate.  It took us nearly 45 minutes to get home when it should have only taken 20 at most.  Again, I knew he was going to be protective, but dang.
We like to call this "character" Til-boppy. 
 We called this the Til-bumbo, but Matt thought Bumbo-Fighter was a way cooler name.  We agreed so this "character" was renamed.


Before you were born he called being in charge of bath time.  He registered for more bath toys than the law should allow.  He loves it, and you tolerate him.  You are the only baby that gets a 15 minute bath because your dad is splashing, singing songs, and wrapping you up in funny towels. 
I can't tell how many times I've walked into your dad's office and found him on the phone on on his computer just like this.  It was cute the first couple of times but I swear he would have you in your pack in play in there if I didn't put my foot down.

Ever since you were about 8 weeks old your dad started walking you to the grocery store.  He loves it.  He walks you to deposit a check, for one can of green beans, for one loaf of bread.  If I barely mention we need something he already has you strapped in the stroller and is half way down the block.
You should have seen how excited he was to put you in the pool the first time.  He asked me about a million times if you were having fun.  What was I supposed to say?  You were four months old, if you aren't crying than you are having fun.  This is my favorite picture because you are trying to decide what you think about the pool and your dad is desperately trying to explain to you how much he wants you to enjoy it.
Your dad is desperate to hear you giggle.  He spends a lot of time trying to get you to laugh.  I mean a lot.  He's resorted to the tickle monster.  At best you smile real big and snort.   
Your dad LOVES the beach.  He will literally play in the waves all day long from sun up to sun down.  He wants to build sand castles.  He wants to find sea shells.  He wants to rent the ridiculous floating bicycles.  He LOVES everything about the beach.  I thought he would die of happiness the first time he dipped your toes in the water and you squealed and stomped and splashed. 
 I keep waiting for you to end up with some type of rash on your face because your father kisses you all of the time.  You love it though and grab his goatee and smile.  He loves you more than you'll ever understand.


So there you go Teddy.  You've literally made us jump for joy. 







  1. True, true -- Love it!

  2. That is the sweetest post ever! I literally cried! ha. Did you meet TJ when you took us to Frontier?

    1. We met when we were both on summer staff in 2001. I had a big ole crush on him and he was oblivious.

  3. i love your little family. happy fathers day tj. you are a good one.
    did he get biscuits today?
    and what is that cuter than cute photo at the end? print it and frame it.

    1. He woke up to sausage and cheese biscuits (his favorite). Andrea took that pic of us when we were at the beach walking back to the condo. Isn't it great?!?! I have one of me, him, mama, and mason all jumping. It literally makes me giggle every time I see it.

  4. That was great Ellen!!! Love the last photo of you guys jumping!:) Can't wait to read more!!