He introduced me to the concept of hard work, hunting, fishing, ax throwing, boating, horseback riding and only shook his head when my interests stayed firmly rooted in ballet and theater.
And he didn't love it-- but he showed up. He left his hunting trip and drove miles to get to my 8-year-old pageant just in time to see my talent routine (ballet, of course). He came to my sporting events in high school and dropped me off at rodeo camp with the assurance that I would figure it out.
Action is his love language and so he showed me his love day in and day out. But he was never afraid to tell me-- tell he loved me, tell me I was his little princess, tell me I could do anything I wanted.
He was a bit exasperated by my dreams to live in DC and other countries but he bought plane tickets and called me to make sure I was okay. He taught me about money and how to fly fish. He was my wedding fairytale godmother in a way-- using his talents to create the day we envisioned. He's volunteered to watch Ryan's kids on numerous occasions, he shows up with pizzas in the shape of a pumpkin on Halloween, he gives our littles love without agenda.
Photo by Abby Littleton :)
And I love watching my husband parent his children. He is a sweet balance of compassion, structure, love and fun.
He is the patient one who can spend hours with the littles after school assisting with homework and the labor intensive process that is teaching a child to read.
He is the fun parent who plays baseball in the park until the twilight creeps in and we can no longer see.
He is the stern parent who lectures if poor grades are brought home or mean words are spoken.
He is the consistent parent-- our home, our marriage, our rules are as close to consistent as we can get them.
He is the balancer between his new wife and kids -- making sure none of us feel left out or unloved.
He is the peacemaker between households and the calmer of hearts.
He is a teacher -- pushing the littles to master bike riding without training wheels, camping without hot water and swimming without a life jacket.
Seeing my husband as a father is a sweet experience and if we ever have babies I already know how amazing he will be because he's doing it every day. Even on weeks without kids, he is 100 percent full-time.
I am so thankful for these men, this weekend and every day.
They have changed me.
And this man:
He came into my life at a young age and declared I needed glasses. I kind of disliked him for a few years because of it. But eventually I went back to his office and he hooked me up with contacts and I thought he was funny. Years later he married my mother and I've never seen her glow like she does when she is with him. He paints her toenails and gives her the love she deserves. He's been a good addition to our family. He's the best bonus dad a person could ask for and I am pretty dang proud that he is mine.
Happy Father's Day loves.