When I sat down to write this last night it was storming and the power went out. Just before that David, Sydney, Elle and I had been outside watching the storm in the distance. I love the smell of a summer rain and was glad I had a few moments to stand in awe of the creations of my Heavenly Father whom I love dearly. Each day I'm grateful for the people he has put in my life.
First, I must say thanks to the father of my children. We're so blessed to have two beautiful, healthy babies here on earth and another that although we did not have a chance to meet in this life, I know we will get to hold some day. David is a wonderful father and is definitely the "fun parent." Any given evening after work he can be caught playing the role of Prince or Hercules or dinosaur or lion while dancing or roaring with his little princess/ Megara/ dinosaur/ lion. (I usually gets stuck being the bad guy, if I'm allowed to play at all.) He has also been submitted to countless hours of coloring, blocking building and tea partying and I'm sure many more to come in this house of girls.
Thanks for always doing what you think is right (even when you're wrong - you're slowly learning that I'm always right!) I'm glad you are the one I get to attempt to figure this crazy parenting thing out with - I can't imagine this journey with anyone else. Thanks for doing everything you can to make me happy. Whether it is buying me a dog (even though the official aparment policy was no pets), eating shells and cheese with green grapes or the 10th hamburger that week (you did a great job making a pregnant woman happy), or dancing just to make me laugh when it is the last thing I feel like doing - you always have what is best for me in mind. Thanks for all you do to make sure us girls have everything we need (and then coming home to help me clean the house afterwards!) I love you.
And because I'm already bragging about him, I'll let you all know that David was named Faculty of the Year at the University of Phoenix . I'm so proud of him!
Second, I have to say thanks to my dad, better known as "Doddy" in these parts. I'm not really sure where that came about, but it has definitely stuck. I'll always remember the monster mask you kept in the hall closet to scare us, even though we knew it was you. Then there was the "big talk" at Pizza Hut when I was in the second grade when you told me the truth (because I asked) about the guy with the white beard, big black boots, and eight tiny reindeer. One of my favorite memories is the many years sitting on the bank of the Arkansas River guessing what time it was and how long until the Riverfest fireworks began. I'm pretty sure that mixed in there with the "what time is it" game I learned most of the random things I know. I'll also never forget the time you took us to see The Little Mermaid and while waiting for the movie to start, taught us how much fun it is to tear us Starburst wrappers into tiny squares, put them in your hands and cough.
Mostly, thanks for always listening and giving advice, but not making my decisions for me. Instead you taught me how to make my own decisions which has helped me grow into the person I am today. Now that I'm a parent, I'm beginning to understand how difficult it is to sit back and let your child learn not only from their good decisions, but also the bad ones. I hope that when my babies are grown I will be able to sit back and feel confident they will make the right decisions because they were taught how from the beginning. Thanks for always letting me be who I am and not forcing me to be someone that I'm not.
Oh, and thanks for teaching Sydney to fish, since she apparently thinks Dad and Mom are no good. For those who haven't heard the story, Papa took Sydney fishing one Saturday and they caught 11 fish in two hours. The next Friday David and I took her back to the same spot and caught a grand total of zero. In the car on the way home Sydney says, "I think my Papa needs to take me fishing...Mommy and Daddy don't know how." The picture above is of Papa and Sydney right after she hugged him and said, "We're best friends."