Archive | June, 2015

Adventures with Dad

21 Jun

Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a DAD!

For as long as I can remember, I have always looked up to my dad…. and no, that’s not just because he’s managed to remain just barely taller than I am. 

As I was thinking earlier about what I would write, I recalled a conversation at lunch about how my parents would never understand the struggle of being the oldest child, as they are both the youngest in their families. But that also got me thinking about how special the role of the oldest child is – we are the ones who break in our parents, and in this specific post, our dads, for the siblings who follow.

I consider myself very lucky as a daughter because my dad has been a key player in my life from the very beginning. I have never once doubted his love for me. Just look at these early photos – it’s clear as day!

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From an early age I showed him I was going to be trouble. When I was one year old, he was watching me while my mom was at school, and it must have been one heck of a time because she came home to find this sticker on me. It cracks me up that this sticker survived 20 something years and two moves; I found it a couple of years ago and scanned it for safe keeping…and if you’ve been lucky enough to know me through my teen years like my dad, you will understand how foreshadowing it was. Lucky for him and everyone else, I mostly grew out of that stage!


Over the years we’ve had some great times – when I was in kindergarten he would pick me up and when we’d get home we’d laid down with a story book until I fell asleep…or so he thought that’s what I’d do. According to the story I’ve grown up hearing, I waited until DAD fell asleep, then I got up and went into another room and played. What can I say, I was a very stubborn and independent little kid!

And then when I got a little older, pretending to be a hairstylist was all the rage! And guess who my number one client was, good ol dad! Countless hours he spend sitting on the floor up against the couch while I combed and brushed and styled his hair. And, like every good hairstylist, he was subjected to my endless chatter or singing or storytelling – whichever I was in the mood for that day. He was a really good sport, I’m sure I pulled out more hair than he’d care to admit (maybe I’m the reason it’s a little thinner on top?? Hummm???).

Older still and there’s this great photo of my sister, Megan and I tackling him right after he got home from work. I’m not sure why we did, but it’s clear we missed him while he was away.


One of my all time favorite memories with my dad from my childhood would have to be our “Daddy-Daughter Date Days.” These could be anything from going to the park, bowling, eating at Pizza Hut – as a little kid it felt like the sky was the limit. This was my special time, and having two little sisters running around, it was nice to have his full attention if only for a little bit. It was in these little moments, when I would ramble on about who knows what, he would listen. And that was the start of a special connection, I knew no matter what was going on, if I needed him, he would be there to listen to me and to help me figure out life. He may not always have the answers, but he’d always do his best at helping me solve whatever problem I was facing.

Another favorite memory would be when he was my soccer coach. During this time in my life, I learned a very important lesson – even though I was the coach’s kid, he wasn’t going to treat me any differently, I would have my time sitting on the bench and playing my least favorite position – goalie. There was one game in particular I remember clear as day, I DID NOT want to play goalie because the other team was really good and they were already up by a lot of points, and guess who was up to be goalie at the start of the second half – me. I tried every trick in the book to make him switch me with someone else, I even through a temper tantrum right there on the field and got a stern talking to in front of my teammates. I CRIED THE WHOLE WAY TO THE  GOALIE BOX AND DURING THE WHOLE THIRD QUARTER. I don’t remember how many points that team scored against me, but I know now looking back it doesn’t matter. What my dad taught me is that life isn’t always fair and that I’m not entitled to anything just because I have a connection. I have to pay my dues (or play goalie) just like everyone else, and I’m a better person for learning that.

Over the years my dad has taught me many things, some he knew about, others he may not even realize I learned from him.

He is one of the most loving and caring people I know, but he shows it quietly through actions. There are many times I’ve seen him help someone in need, and countless other times I’m sure I don’t know about. He’s taught me compassion and service to others.

From my dad I have also learned good work ethic and to strive to keep learning and improving. I was impressed when he went back to finish his college degree when I was a senior in high school, and though it was tough, he never gave up. I’m sure there were things he would have much rather been doing, but he was determined to do this for him and his family. If he (and my mom when she went back for her Masters degree) could do it, there’s nothing in this world that can stop me from achieving my educational dreams either.

I have watched over the years as my dad’s faith has grown. I’ve seen him be our family rock and stand firm when things were hard, but I have also seen times when it was too hard to stand, so he’d kneel and ask for guidance or strength or peace or understanding. I know that he prays for each of my sisters and I, and we for him.

I have watched the way he treats my mom with love and respect. He adores her and she him, and I won’t settle for a love less than that. Together they are teammates, friends, the head of our family. He has set the bar high for the characteristics I want in my future husband and father of my children.

My dad is a goofball, there’s always a joke not far off. Most of the time I roll my eyes in exasperation, but secretly I love it. He’s always up for silly times with my sisters and I – anything to get us to laugh! And to think it all started way long ago when I thought he could pull a quarter out of my ear! He has a unique sense of humor, and though I don’t share that same trait, I have learned over the years not to take it for granted. My high school friends loved coming to my house, partly I think because of my dad – while there’s weren’t always invested in their lives or were more serious personalities, my goofy dad could always cheer them up and brighten their day. I lost track of the number of times they told me how cool my dad was!


He has been there for every important event in my life, from my birth to sports games, choir and band concerts, graduation from high school and college, flying with me to Florida to help get me settled when I started working for Disney, and even helping me make connections that landed me my job. My dad is awesome, and I don’t tell him that nearly enough! Just tonight he even unclogged our tub (thank’s dad, you rock!).

So on your special day, I want you to know how blessed I feel to be your oldest daughter, to be the one who got to first call you daddy! No matter how old I get or where the winds may blow me, I will always and forevermore be your little girl.

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And now for a few highlights from Father’s Day 2015…..

And last but not least, the video of him opening up my awesome card!


The package that almost wasn’t delivered…

8 Jun

Amazon is a dangerous place for someone like me. I love to bargain hunt and find fun things. So when a coworker came in a few weeks ago sporting an adorable Thirty-One purse, I knew I was in trouble.

I had asked her what it cost – and I was saddened to discover that it was part of a special Mother’s Day $20.00 sale which I had missed. In a matter of a few hours, I had convinced myself that since I would be traveling in July and needed a slightly bigger bag to comfortably store my iPad while on the plane, it was going to be a worthwhile purchase.

After seeing how adorable this purse was and all the features it toted, I searched for it on Thirty One’s website and imagine my shock when I noticed the $65.00 price tag! Enter Amazon – my retail hero!

15 minutes of searching, I finally found it – the beautiful purse my coworker showed me! Only this one was a beautiful gray with turquoise trim (her’s is fuchsia).

My fingers tingled with excitement when I clicked the purchase button, and all of that excitement crumbled away when the arrival date said Thursday, June 11th. That was a week and a half away! Why do you hate me so, Amazon?!

The next day while at lunch, my email notification went off  – I’ve got mail. From Amazon! (Anyone else hear the girl from You’ve Got Mail read that line, or is it just me? Dad, that one was for you!!) My fingers trembled slightly when I opened the message – your package has been shipped!

Oh happy day, my package is on its way! Close down the town, start the parade, cue the marching band! Okay, okay, I exaggerate, but in all honesty, I was pretty excited. Before I went back to work I started tracking that package, stocking it from move to more. I’m that person FedEx and the USPS hate, I am CONSTANTLY checking my tracking number to know where it is on its journey from shipping facility to my PO Box.

Here’s where my story takes a dark turn… for three days I watched my package bounce from Central Ohio to Northwest Pennsylvania and then back again. The worst part, when it was in NW PA, it was only 1 hour from my home, all they had to do was drive it over the state line!

Then comes Saturday and Sunday and my package goes MIA for 48 hours. Send out the USPS search squad! And finally, lo and behold, late Monday morning a glorious text message came to my phone – my package had been scanned at the post office a mile and a half from my home, but believe it or not, that’s not MY post office (there’s ANOTHER post office right across the street from my house).

It was decided right then and there, I would be going straight to the post office after work – no stops at home, no detours to Walmart, no delays at grandma’s house. I was a girl on a mission. I had laser focus – I was getting my package today, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Now, please remember that this post office is a mile and a half from my home, but I have never been inside – compared to MY post office, it just felt weird. But the post office lady was nice enough – she sometimes works a shift or two at my post office.

I start off by explaining that my post office was down the road, but I had received the text that my package had been received here and rather than wait for it to be delivered to my post office tomorrow, I wondered if I could pick it up. I even had my license ready for proof of identification. I don’t know how strict they are about handing over Amazon packages to random people!

She jots down my PO Box number and goes to check the boxes in the back. When she says there’s  nothing there, I once again remind her that it was checked in at 11:36 AM by showing her my text and that it would probably be with the other boxes going to my post office. Then she remembers, that post lady picked up boxes during her lunch break. So she makes a phone call down the road.

When she hung up, my heart sank. “She has nothing with that number at her post office. Are you sure it was received today?”

Yes! Yes it was – here’s the tracking!!! – I wanted to shout at the poor lady, but somehow kept my cool. 

Once again she went to check the bins in the back – “did it come via FedEx?” Yes, yes it did! Now we’re getting somewhere!

She pauses searching and thinks for a moment. “What was the last name again?” So I told her and away she hurries over to a bin on the other side of the room and the Heavens parted and the angels began singing as her hand came up holding my box! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Halllllllleluuuuuujah! 

And that’s when she told me the news – “it’s a good thing you came today. This box was marked refused and we were going to send it back to the shipper in the morning.”

YOU WERE GOING TO DO WHAT?! — I once again wanted to shout at this poor lady, but I kept my cool, hugged my box a little tighter and told her how I’d watched it bounce back and forth from Ohio to Pennsylvania for three days.   And then I left, my box safely tucked under my arm.

So much drama for a purse. But it’s a cute purse, so in the end, kind of worth it! Ladies, I know you understand!!

The best part of this purse is you can wear it three ways – as a cross body purse, a side purse or as a backpack depending on where you hook the strap! So versatile!