Back in May, I gave my wonderful Momma a little shout out for Mother's Day. She's really amazing. Both my parents are actually. So now that it's June, and in honor of Father's Day, it's my dad's turn.
My dad and I have always had a really special relationship. Though everyone says I look just like my mom, I would argue that I act just like my dad. He's the one who gave me my competitive nature, my speaking skills, and my sense of humor. He's walked me down the aisle, attended every sporting event, and become an incredible mentor and friend. We share the same occupation, faith, and outlook on life: to live it fully and make the most of it. I've learned so much from him, and I'm blessed to call him dad. This ones for you, Daddy!
What My Daddy Taught MeDo things right the first time.
I can remember my dad's exact words as he made me re-sweep the kitchen. "Kels, if you're going to do something worth doing, do it right the first time." My dad has never been one to cut corners. Much to the contrary, if he's taking something on, he's taking it on full steam and giving it his all. I mean, he literally built my parent's house (and their deck, and the pool). Talk about taking things on and making sure they're done right. He's instilled in me the drive to tackle things worth doing with all that I've got, so I don't have to do them again. When there are times that I'm tempted to do things just "well enough" to get by, I remember what I've learned, buckle down, and get them done the right way. This doesn't mean they can't be fun, or done with some laughs.
|Celebrating my 21st Birthday in Las Vegas|
If you've ever had a conversation with my dad or me, you know that we aren't often at a loss for words. We can pretty much talk to a brick wall, or find a way to bring just about anyone into a decent conversation. Every Sunday, we always had to (and still do) drag Dad away from all of the folks he was talking to at church. But not only is he a great conversationalist, he's not afraid to speak up when something's not right, or when someone needs to say the hard stuff. Dad serves on several different committees and groups through school and church, and he has always been honest and ready to say it when he thinks something isn't right, or isn't best for others. I've learned to do the same, having the hard conversations and taking a stand when it's called for.
|Just getting a little reading in.|
|Our amazing youth bball team.|
As the one who gave me my competitive spirit, and the one who also spent multiple years coaching me and my brothers in sports, my dad's always taught me that I should give my best, no matter what. If I gave my best, and left it all out there, there was nothing left to regret. Whether it was pushing myself to run harder, be a better hitter, make more jump shots, or get a 4.0, he showed me that the sky's the limit and that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. And he was always there to push me, with hours of batting practice in the backyard or road runs where we sprinted at the end. While this mentality may make family game nights an interesting experience, overall they have helped me to strive to be my best as a teacher, as a YoungLife leader, and as a wife.
|Catching me in the hotel pool for the bazillionth time.|
Since I was the only girl growing up with a dad who was a teacher, I spent many a summer with him and the boys. I got in on lots of gardening, shoveling, building retaining walls, staining decks, and other arguably "manly" tasks. But my dad never told me that I couldn't do something because I was a girl. Instead, he helped teach me how to do things and understand why they worked the way they did. And I loved it. He was patient and kind and didn't make me feel any less intelligent because I didn't know how to do something. He helped instill in me my love of learning, which is why I really did (and still do) enjoy school and figuring out new things. If I had it all figured out, wouldn't this world be so boring and limited? Instead, he showed me what it means to be inquisitive and continuously learning, which he has done over and over again in his career as an industrial technology teacher. Being our best involves continuing to learn, and as I write this he is actually spending two weeks at a training in Colorado so he can learn new things to teach his students. What a testament.
|FINALLY getting that silly computer to work back in the early 90s. Check out that floppy disk on the counter.|
My dad has been teaching for over thirty years, and he's still going. Seriously, it's amazing. I'm only four years in, and there are times when I think to myself, "How long until retirement?" But then I remember something that he told me when I was in college and just getting ready to graduate. He said, "Get a job you love, and it will never feel like work." And he has truly lived that out in his career. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone who sacrifices so much for his work and for his students without complaint. He gives up hours and hours to help them with their projects and to compete, and he's only technically a "part-time" teacher at this point. But he loves it, and you can tell. He spent years coaching high schoolers, up until I became one myself, and he's truly an amazing teacher and coach. I actually had the honor of teaching in the same building as my dad for two years. It's so inspiring to watch someone do something they love, and get paid for it.
Seriously, my dad is a pretty amazing guy. I'm so thankful for all of the ways that he loves me and has taught me what a father should be. He has taken amazing care of his little (and only) girl, and I know that he will be an incredible and well-loved Grandpa someday. There is so much love in his heart for his family and his students, and it is so apparent as you watch him live life on a daily basis. I'm thankful for all that he sacrifices to help Aaron and I in our home improvement endeavors, and for the way he challenges me to be a better person and wife. Dad, you're the best, and I love you so much. Thanks for being you, and for helping shape me into me.
Currently (and forever),