Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, Same Fight

Today I am so thankful to my dad for fighting so hard against pancreatic cancer. He has fought since his diagnosis in October 2011 and made it so much longer than most pancreatic cancer patients ever do. For this, I am so grateful because we have had the gift of time with him. While I know now that Dad's time is limited (I still have a hard time saying and writing the words, "dying"), I am so thankful for the time we've had with him since October 2011. There have been a lot more "I love you's", a lot more hugs and a lot more just being together as a family. So, as the New Year approaches, I am thankful for the gift of time together that so many people do not get with this horrible disease. Love you, Dad.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thanks for our Family Dog

One day, many years ago, my dad and I were going to head to the humane society and adopt a collie that they had advertised. I was so excited to get a new dog to add to our family and so happy Dad asked me to come with him, we are both big dog lovers. Of course, because I was in like 7th or 8th grade, I could not leave the house until I had curled my girl-mullet and put on make up (that I was finally allowed to wear), so we left the house much later than anticipated. 

Dad waited patiently (I think) and by the time we made it to the humane society, the collie dog was already adopted. Luckily for me, I have a dad who wanted another dog as much as I did, so we ended up bringing home Sam, a sheltie-mutt dog who quickly became one of the best dogs we ever had. Today I am thankful for a dad who didn't lose his mind while waiting for his newly teen daughter to get dressed, fully apply her makeup and do her hair all to get ready to go to the pound, because we ended up with the perfect dog for our family

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thanks For the Gift of Memories

Today I am thankful to have a dad who created memories with my boys, not by buying them things, but by taking them fishing, patiently helping them put worms on a hook, or taking Max to golf lessons and out to lunch, going to as many baseball games as possible, a grandpa who made them things that they can keep forever and someday will look at and say, "My Grandpa Jim made that for me when I was little." I realize that at ages 8 and 10, they don't quite realize how lucky they are to have a grandpa who does things like this for them and with them, and I know that I will make sure those memories are not stored away in my boys' minds, but always fresh, because not everyone is as lucky as they are

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thanks for How I Was Raised

Today I am thankful for having a dad who I grew up respecting. My biggest fear in life was causing him disappointment because I respected him so much. I never wanted to let him down and when I did, the disappointment I had in myself was pretty huge. I am lucky that I had a dad who would tell me he was disappointed in what I had done and then explain why, but I'm also lucky that I was raised in a way that disappointing your father was all it took to turn around a behavior

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thankful to Dad- Lay Pastor

This Christmas Eve, I am thankful to my dad for following his faith and his heart a few years ago when he decided he wanted to minister somehow to others.  Dad took lay ministry courses and became a lay pastor.  He now pastor's at a local Methodist church and I can't tell you how proud I am of him.  Tonight I will proudly watch and listen (as I always do) to my dad give the Christmas Eve message at his church.  There is no other place I would want to be this Christmas Eve, then listening to my dad tell the story of Christmas.  The memories from tonight will be something I will carry with me forever.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thanks to Dad for My Brother

Today I am thankful to my dad for marrying my mom and giving me this guy as a big brother.  Growing up, my brother drove me crazy and I honestly could never picture that we would ever really get along.  Today, he's one of the best people I know and besides being my brother, he's my friend.  I don't say it enough but I consider myself incredibly lucky to have him as a brother.  On top of all of this, I have to say thanks to my dad for this picture, because as I was reliving memories and going through old pictures looking for a picture of Paul, I came across this never before seen gem, that evidently one day about 41-years ago, my mom thought her son would look outstandingly stylish in this ensemble and put it on him, white baby belt and all.    I.just.can' 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thanks to Dad For Christmas

Today I am thankful to my dad for coming every Christmas morning to watch my boys unwrap their presents.  Each year, at the crack of dawn (like 6:00AM) Dad and Mom will drive to my house and watch my boys open their gifts.  I don't think my boys realize what a blessing this is, but someday, when they look back at pictures and see their Grandpa Jim in the background of these pictures year after year, they will realize just how special it was that Grandpa got to be there for 10 and 8 Christmases respectively.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Always Being There

Today I am thankful to my dad for always being there for me, I know he's always a phone call away to calm me or help me through something, plus he does it in a way that always makes me laugh because of his responses to my panic.  For example, years ago when I was still teaching and living in Waterloo, my car was broken into by having the window bashed in, and my bag phone for the car was stolen (yes, I said "bag phone", those things were super cool), I called my dad crying trying to tell him what had happened.
His response?  "Kaye, were you actually in the car at the time someone bashed in your window and took the phone?"
 Me, "Umm, no."
 Dad, "Then why are you crying?"  He then proceeded to walk me through what to do next.

Or the time I was flying back from the Detroit area after visiting an old friend years ago, and I stepped off the plane at O'hare only to discover all of the flights back into Cedar Rapids were cancelled due to a March snow storm.  I was panicked and on the verge of tears, all alone in this huge airport.  So, I called my dad (of course), but not with the bag phone- that was stolen, see above, and Dad walked me through exactly what to do, erasing the panic I had at being alone in an airport in a huge city where I knew no one.

I am thankful to have a dad who calms me with the right things to say, and always knows what to do to help his daughter.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thankful Today- What a Husband Should Be

Today I am thankful for having a dad who has remained a faithful, loyal and loving husband to my mom for 44 years. He has been through so much with Mom and her battle with HCM and never wavered in his commitment to her. So thankful to have a father who showed me what a husband should look like

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thanks For Vacations

Today I am thankful to Dad for family vacations growing up. We had some really fun ones, but the best and the ones that I hold most dear to me are all the ones we spent at lakes in Minnesota with the Creeche's. Boating, and tubing are some of my fondest memories of childhood. Thanks for helping to make those memories for me

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thankful for Mr. Fix-It

Today I am thankful to have a dad who can fix most anything and to this day, he is the first person I call when I need something repaired at my house. I've been married for almost 12-years, but it's still Dad that I call for fix-it advice. So thankful to have a dad who is there to help on so many things when we need it

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thanks to Dad, the Big Move

Today I am thankful to my dad (and my mom) for moving our family from Des Moines to Cedar Rapids/Marion when I was in 2nd grade. I was devastated at the time, mostly because I'd have to leave my favorite cousin, Kari, who was also my friend and my neighbor. In the end though, growing up in Marion was wonderful and I met so many great people. Friends who are still friends with me today. My roots are here and this is where I was meant to grow up. So thanks, Dad, for taking that job at Rockwell so many years ago and moving us here. You gave me a great childhood because of it

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Things He Made

Thanks to my dad for everything he ever made for me.  He is an amazing woodworker and has made an endless number of things, but by far my favorite is the cedar chest that sits in my husband and my's bedroom.  I use to store treasures of my children.  Report cards, pictures they made me for, school work that I can't bear to part with and some of their baby items.  I am so thankful to my dad for making me something that I can now hold my children's memories in.  Love you, Dad.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Strength

Today I want to say thanks to my dad for showing me what strength looks like.  I am so proud of my father. He is living his life knowing that it is measured in months, but yet he is so strong and so brave and so at peace with his fate. It blows me away.   I don't think I would ever, ever, be able to show the bravery and the strength he's shown during this time.  He amazes me and I am so, so proud to have him as my dad.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thanks to Dad- My Favorite Stuffed Animal

Today I am thankful to have a dad who makes a couple hour detour on the way home from a vacation so his 7-year old (I think I was 7) daughter can be reunited with her favorite stuffed animal that was left at a hotel.  I still have that stuffed animal today and Brady sleeps with it.  I seriously can't imagine not having Panda around and I am so thankful that my dad took the extra time and travel to make his little girl happy, because that same stuffed animal now makes my youngest happy at bedtime.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Braces

I want to extend another thank-you for paying for my braces as a kid.  I came across a picture the other day, one that's on this blog from last year, and I had to write again how thankful I am for those braces, Dad.  My teeth were seriously horrendous before my braces.  I  know you did me a big favor paying for those.  Seriously.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Marrying a Soccer Player

Today I am thankful to my dad for not batting an eye when he found out I was dating and then ultimately marrying Matt.  You know, even though Dad once coached Matt in soccer and got to truly experience his "vibrant" personality out on the field.  I think Matt said it best at our wedding when he said, "Jim, every time I'd yell at you back when you were my coach or say something inappropriate to  you, each and everytime it really meant, someday I will want to marry your daughter."  So thankful for you for coaching my future husband. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Party Crasher

Daily thanks to Dad- thanks for putting this look on my face when you,Mom and the people who would ironically enough become my future in-law's, crashed a party I was having in college at our apartment. You came with your own beer (our keg wasn't good enough) and taco dip, which everyone loved because evidently the bag of chips we had out for food wasn't enough, (it was college, why was anyone eating, we had a keg). The look on my face is priceless, opening the door to see my dad there along with my mom and their friends, was such a shock and so hilarious. What a memory I will have forever. Plus, my perm is really pretty as well.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

Today, and actually everyday, I am thankful to my dad for taking me year after year to cut down our Christmas tree.  It was a tradition that I so very much loved doing with Dad.  I looked forward to it even in college and I am so glad that he kept that tradition going even after I moved out of the house.  The memories of going together to cut that tree down will be ones that I will hold forever as a favorite.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thanks to Dad for My Dollhouse

Thanks to my dad for making me a dollhouse.  Not many little girls are lucky enough to have a dad who is so handy that he can build her a dollhouse.  I am lucky enough to actually be one of them.  So thankful for that doll house and for all of the fun it brought me as I grew up.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thankful for that Barbie Dream House

Today I am thankful for my dad for staying up late on Christmas Eve so many years ago to put together my Barbie Dream House.  That thing rocked (it had an elevator and everything) and it gave me many, many hours of Barbie entertainment for years after.  I didn't know until years later what a pain in the ass it was for Dad to put that together, but I can say with much certainty, that I appreciate it and am so thankful that he did.  Seriously.  Barbie Dream Houses were awesome. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Karaoke and Missouri

Thanks to my dad for buying a house in the Ozarks in Missouri for several years, a home where I  paid many a visit.  Why am I thankful for this?  Yes, there was lots of family time on the lake down there boating and jet skiing, but there was also an afternoon at a bar called The Dummy, where I drank a little too much and sang a little karaoke.  That's not really news in itself, but the big deal is that while I was singing my version of "Like a Virgin", a Missourian shared with my father that he thought I sounded really good.  That had never happened before and it has never happened since and if you've heard me sing, you will know why.  So, because my parents decided to buy a home in Missouri, where people are evidently tone-deaf, I was paid a compliment that will never, ever, happen again.   I will always be thankful for that.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Dancing Recitals and Gymnastic Meets

Thanks to my dad for going to all of my dance recitals and gymnastic meets when I was little.  I know he loathed the dance recitals because they were so long and boring and I would only be on a stage a few times during those long hours in a hot auditorium, but still he went to see his little girl dance.   Gymnastic meets were the same thing- long days on Saturdays only to see me compete for a few minutes and then be done, but again, he did it and I never heard him complain.  I don't think he knows how much I loved knowing he was there to watch me, but there was nothing better than knowing Dad was in the crowd cheering me on. It meant the world to me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Post 3

Today I am thankful for my dad for attempting to teach me to play soccer.  He loves the sport so much and I am sure he was thrilled the day I said I wanted to play.  He coached my team and spent who knows how much time in the backyard trying to teach me to head soccer balls.  Sadly, my soccer career was short-lived because much to Dad's chagrin, I was much more interested in turning cartwheels and doing handsprings on the soccer field than actually playing soccer.  Thanks for trying though, Dad.  In the end, I married an excellent soccer player who you coached as well, so that has to count for something.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Daily Dad: My First Dance

Today I am thankful for having a dad who let his little daughter dance with him by putting her feet on top of his.  Every little girl should be so lucky to step on her dad's feet and move around the living room with him.  Thanks for always being my first dance in life.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thanks to Dad- Post 1

Last month so many people posted daily gratitudes on Facebook. I've decided this month to post daily "thanks to my dad" posts on this blog and on Facebook, because I will never take for granted again the things that he has given me, big to small. Today I am thankful to my dad for giving me my love of blue Christmas lights on a house. There's nothing prettier than all blue lights decorating the outside of a home. Not many people agree with that, but Dad has loved them for as long as I can remember and I always have too. It's because we have great taste!