My favorite memories with my Dad...

I am sure I am going to forget some along the way, but as of right now- these stand out in my mind....

1.) My humpty-dumpty doll.  I found this goofy little humpty-dumpty stuffed animal thing and I think when you would the little metal ring near his butt it played music.  I grabbed it on the shelf and my Dad told me I could hold it but then when we were done I'd have to put it back.  I believe it went like this- put it back.  Jessica made a sad face, Dad went back to the toy aisle...and the rest was history.  I had that thing for such a long time and wish I still did.

2.) Tiger the Cat.  Went on a road trip with Dad to a small town in IL while he was doing some legal work in this little quaint old-fashioned courthouse.  I was bored out of my mind, so he took me to his friend's farm in the area.  I got to feed the horses carrots and in one of the stalls were little kittens. "Take one", she said.  "Can I, Dad?"  He said YES.  I was SO excited. We got home, Mom wasn't.  Looking back I totally realize she was going to have to be the one to take care of it, but we had to drive it back the next DAY.  I was miserable, until a trip to Woolworth.  I owned every Jem doll one the shelf that day.  Turns out this was better than a cat...i already had one of those anyway :)

3.) French Toast and Chili.  Dad makes THE BEST french toast and is FAMOUS for his chili.

4.) The Day after Christmas.   Knowing now as a parent how bad the "aftermath" of Christmas can be, I'm sure he did this for my Mom so she could put the house back together and get us out of her hair for a while, but as a kid you'd never know it. Every year, day after Christmas, he would take us downtown to the Rock and Roll McDonalds, then to Water Tower place on Michigan Avenue.  It was freezing, crowded, and he only ever had a smile on his face when we did this every.year.

5.) My Baby Book.... is FULL of pictures of Dad holding me.  In every picture, just like this one here he looks SO proud.  I mean, I know I'm cute and all, but....  ;)

6.) My constant companion.  My dad took me everywhere with him.  When he was the precinct captain in our neighborhood, I walked with him and went door to door.  He took us trick or treating, to the grocery store, to the post the park.  He did extra stuff that most Dads wouldn't have done like took me to my 5th grade teacher's wedding and paid for all the school extras I had going on- clubs, poms, band, school trips to Springfield and Disney world...and he NEVER mentioned the money or how much it cost.  We weren't 'made of money' but he NEVER mentioned a word about how hard he must have worked for us to have braces and new clothes and vacations.  He did it and smiled the whole time.  He stood by me in the hard times and waited with me for 3 hours at my childhood best friend's wake.  Being a parent myself now and watching someone else's child die I can't even imagine how that must have tortured him but he did it for me.  He taught me to be patriotic for my country by bringing me to political picnics etc. and introducing me to our state's governor and although our political views are not the same, pride for our country is waning and he's taught me to instill that in my kids no matter what 'party' they decide to agree with.  He taught me consequence without anger or fear.  Like when he caught me smoking a cigarette in high school and never raised his voice- instead he made me flush them down the toilet and realize how stupid I was being  ( I proceeded to be stupid for a while after this discovery but eventually I stopped :)  He taught my religious ed classes in our home on Thursday nights.  He showed up faster than a speeding bullet when I got in my first car accident with a friend in high school., and even as an adult when I was in the emergency room for pneumonia, he  drove straight to the hospital to sit with me the whole time.   He sat at my make and take table last year to celebrate the stamp set I designed at CKC and he brags about his children constantly, even as adults.  

7.) Grandpa.  Trips to the library, basketball courts, attending EVERY basketball game, young author's conference, school parents are the most involved Grandparents and I can't even really convey what that means to me.  The relationship that my parents have cultivated with my children is more precious to me and perhaps, only 2nd to my own...but maybe even above my own.  My kids think the sun, moon and stars revolve around my parents and it's not because of anything I've told's because of EVERYTHING my parents do and are to them.  Precious, precious memories are being formed and remembered every day and that is so very cherished by me and important to me.  Can't. express. enough.

8.) "The Birthday Sign".  Every year on the night before our birthdays, Dad would make a sign saying "Today I am ___ , tomorrow I will be ______".  love that.  <3

9.) my current 'favorite' thing is when people tell me "omg, you sound JUST like your Dad".  Cuz that's a really, really good thing, in my opinion.  <3


We love you....bunches and bunches and BEYOND!

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it..."  ~Clarence Budington Kelland