Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Dad is better than your Dad

 Today is Last month was my Dad's birthday, and because he is high maintenance wonderful, (hmmm... I wonder where I get that from) I am making him a list of reasons why I love him, too.

1. Boomp-boomps, woozie-woozie, 10 minutes wrestling, and "Have you ever been tackled in the __________"--we goof(ed) around a lot. It brings laughter to our lives.
2. He taught me the value of a work ethic, and even though I curse it a lot, I really appreciate the fact that he taught me to always "Work as If..."
3. He loves Disney movies as much as I do and willing takes me on Dad/Daughter dates to see them any time a new one comes out. He and Mom also got me a paper lantern to show me the way home after I moved out (Tangled), bonus because it's solar powered, and we all know that the sun lives in my hometown.
4. He has a very forgiving nature. He's put up with a lot of things from people (including me and Brother), but taught me that we are to forgive, as Christ has forgiven us.
5. When we order a pizza, it comes with 8 slices, meaning everyone in the family gets 2 slices. He almost always eats Brother's second slice and then just shrugs while Brother gets irrationally angry.
6. He regularly eats ice cream for breakfast, and then just shrugs and says "I don't know what you're talking about" when Mom asks him if he ate ice cream for breakfast.
7. He insists on tasting our food "for poison", even though we all know he just wants my share of the cookies.
8. When we were out of town for Mom's Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary, he forgot to get a map of the state from the car rental place. When asked about it he just replied with the longest, most drawn-out fffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccckkkkk that I have ever heard. Brother and I laughed hysterically for approximately 150 miles. And the rest of the weekend. And any time we talk about that trip, maps, rental cars, or cursing.
9. He taught me that even if it isn't popular, I need to know why I stand for the things that I stand for and that most importantly, I must not lose the courage of my convictions. "Worldview", anyone?
10. It's fairly common for him to drop whatever he is doing to go help a near-stranger move or fix something or do yardwork or whatever, with no expectation of repayment.
11. He's forgiving me for this being a month late because of the craziness with school and Christmas and stuff.
12. When I forgot my wallet (including ID) at the house when I left to fly back to my apartment after Thanksgiving, he ran out to meet Mom and then sprinted through the airport to bring it to me at the gate so I could make my flight back.
13. He came to my stuff. He goes to Brother's stuff. Even if he woke up at 2 AM and has been flying all day and is tired and cranky, he made it.
14. He tells me I'm beautiful, but he also ensures that I know that there is so much more to me than my looks, and that the other stuff is so much more important.
15. He made me this really awesome book for my 18th birthday that is a collection of pictures and memories and advice that is probably the single greatest labor of love that anyone has ever done for me.
16. Most people can't believe in God, or have trouble seeing him as a loving father because their fathers were such a disappointment. I have no such problems.
17. He taught me the value of education. He always says, "From the neck down, you're worth minimum wage. From the neck up, you're worth as much as you can get."
18. He taught me how important it is to intentionally make memories. We regularly do things with the express purpose of making a memory--I didn't realize how rare this was until I started trying to explain to other people what it is to intentionally make a memory.
19. He will dance with me.
20. He is honorable. Being a pilot means that we all have to trust that he doesn't have some sort of gambling problem or second family hidden somewhere, or some other nasty habit, but not only do people never accuse him of misconduct, none of us would give it a second thought if they did.
21. He regularly meets with a group of guys and just does life with them. He's teaching us the value of good friendships--both surrounding yourself with people you can depend on, and being someone that others can depend on.
22. Rev. Theodore Hesburgh said that "The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother," and he has done an excellent job of loving her, for 23 years and counting.
23. Whenever we have a large gathering, you will not find him with the adults, gossiping or arguing about politics, you'll find him running around with the kids in the backyard.
24. He taught me that the first 10% of your money is God's, the second 10% is to be saved, and the rest is for you.
25. They say that little girls marry their fathers. There are far worse men that I could marry. Whenever a boy I am dating does something that reminds me of my father, my heart softens toward him a little bit.
26. We have the kind of family that other people want to be a part of--and we have people who come to our home and share in our love and laughter and that is because of the kind of people that Dad and Mom are--the kind of people that are generous in their love. The kind of people that will listen and tease and advise.
27. On my parents' first date, he wore camo shorts with a pink and blue striped shirt and took my mom to a place that only had terrible seafood and veggie pizza (she hates both). He made her laugh so much that she thought he must have thought that she was faking it. He has since stopped wearing mismatched clothes and taking her to bad restaurants, but he still makes her laugh so hard that she can't breathe.
28. He taught me never to quit. You work hard, you adjust, and you keep going.
29. He is the kind of man (person) that he wants Brother and me to be--honest, honorable, steadfast. He models these qualities, he doesn't just tell us what to do.
30. We're a little bit the same person. We laugh at the same things, we like the same decor, we think similarly, and we have the same annoying habits.
31. It is physically impossible to stay mad at him for long, because he does something stupid that just makes you die laughing, and it's really hard to be mad at someone you're laughing at.
32. Once, at a family friends' birthday party, some little boy he hadn't met before hurt himself. My dad got him some ice and made sure he was ok and told him to let him know what the doctor said. This little boy then went to the doctor and subsequently instructed his mother to track down my dad so he could tell him what the doctor said, and when she said "Oh, honey, he was just being nice. We don't really need to tell him," the little boy said, "No, not [my Dad], he wouldn't just say that. He really cares." He's the kind of person who really cares, and it's obvious to the people around him.
33. He teaches, everything from how to drive (at least, until he got fed up and I learned the rest from Bestie's dad), to how to make scrambled eggs (never stop moving!), to how to do fractions and make a budget.
34. He's a bigger nerd than I am.
35. He puts our clutter away, but then pulls out massive amounts of crap for some project and leaves that on the kitchen table for 4 days until he gets back from his trip. In the mean time, we can't find the stuff that he put away and he doesn't remember what he did with it. There is no logic or reasoning behind where he puts things, but they're never where they should be. We still can't find the plug for the griddle, and it's been months. This is actually one of his more annoying habits, but it's sweet and so quintessentially Dad that I couldn't leave it out.
36. He wants Brother and me to be passionate about the things that we do, because he knows that we're frigging lazy if we're not passionate. He teaches us to find the nuggets of awesome in the midst of the crap.
37. He has modeled the importance of serving with your spouse--doing something with your partner that makes the world a better place--even when that something isn't necessarily what you want to do. He goes and helps Mom with weddings after flying all day, and he serves in the nursery at church, even though he would rather play with older kids than babies who just sit there.
38. Mom's contribution to my care package was practical things like paperclips and an Office Depot giftcard and my favorite dessert. Dad's contribution was an inflatable sword and a Disney Princess card and Disney Princess ring pops.
39. When he's tired, he plays with his ears. Watching this as a little girl, I somehow decided that playing with his ears (not my own) was soothing. So he lets me bend and twist his ears. It's weird, I know, but we're weird people.
40. He taught me to look past the next 5 seconds and predict the consequences of my actions. He is always saying "Everyone will eventually sit down to a banquet of consequences." This "banquet" can be a lovely feast or a miserable "roast" and whichever it turns out to be is entirely within my control. Also, he points out potential pitfalls that I may be missing. "Redflag!!"
41. He could have left or told my mom to get an abortion when they were 21 and she got pregnant after 6 weeks of dating. Instead he married her and has been loving us ever since. He doesn't run.
42. He does not disparage others, even in jest. When Mom and I watch awards shows or whatever and mock clothes and hairstyles and stupid quotes, he just reminds us to be kind.
43. He is inclusive, even especially of those that most want to exclude.
44. When I got into my program, he did all sorts of research on it and the school's reputation. When he found out how prestigious the school was, he told everyone he knew that his daughter was going to this awesome program. He tells other people how proud he is of us all the time.
45. When I tell other people what kind of guy my dad is, they always say how lucky I am and how jealous they are. I'm so glad that I had this man to model life for me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

1. Lose 15 pounds by my friends' wedding (May 18th). I'm MOH, and I refuse to feel like I look chubby in the pictures (or, worse, actually be chubby). Plus, I'm creeping up towards the heaviest I've been and I don't like it. It is also probably good for me to exercise and eat better, considering how often people (ok, mostly the Boy and our mutual friend at school)say to me, "I can't believe the things you put in your body." I will be using this app to help me. It's amazing, it's free, and it is basically one of the best apps I've ever seen. If you're trying to lose weight, I highly recommend it. You put in your starting weight, your goal weight, and then it gives you different recommendations on calorie limits depending on how fast you want to lose it, you can scan the bar codes on your food, it has full restaurant menus, and it tracks your exercise and progress. It's brilliant.

2. Go to bed by midnight ~5 nights per week. This should help with the weight loss (getting enough sleep makes people eat less). Plus, getting enough sleep should make me healthier, happier, and less stressed overall.

3. Go/do/try at least 1 new thing per month. This month was Zumba with the bride from the aforementioned wedding. We burned 700 calories in an hour. I'm exhausted. My arms feel like they're going to fall off. I want at least one month to involve going to a city/state?/country? that I have never been to before. Considering I live in an entirely new area now, this should not be an issue, but you know how New Year's Resolutions go.

4. Better time management. I want to schedule work out time at least 3 days per week and finish my work by 8 PM every night. I'm going to use this app to track my time. I think my plan is to get up around 8, exercise for 30-60 minutes, come back, get ready, catch the 10 or 10:30 shuttle, start work by 11, and finish by 7 or 8. If I am going to do a group exercise class like zumba or yoga, I will go into school earlier and finish up for the day in time to go to the class. I will work/work out on the weekends as necessary.

5. Recognize when it is time to say "Fuckit" and actually say it. I really need to dial back the crazyeyes. It scares other people, it isn't good for me, it doesn't improve my performance, and frankly, I'm tired of being the craziest person in the class.

6. Read at least 1 fiction book per month. The roommate has me reading these books now, and the Boy (he needs a nickname, Bestie) is insisting that I read these books immediately so we can go see the movie. I'm mildly concerned about the rape scene. In general, I really hate reading/seeing people who are just cruel to one another, but rape/abuse scenes are especially hard to stomach. Anyway, I digress. I plan to read fiction books this year, because it's good for me to unwind and gives me something to look forward to.

Anyway, here is to a year full of love, laughter, growth, and joy. I'm going to get rid of some of the bad stuff and integrate more of the good stuff and hope for the best. I hope all of you make the best out of it, too.