I am so blessed to have very special men in my life, and was honored to celebrate them this weekend for the fathers they are. Let me tell you about the guys who have my heart....
There's Jeffrey, who I'm smitten with. I could give you a list of the reasons why (like I did here) but there's only one this weekend, and it's because of the daddy he is. Though falling in love with a man with children can be intimidating, because I've certainly learned it's not as easy to be a part of their lives as it was Jeff's, there's one thing I'll never doubt....Jeff has been, is, and will be an amazing father. Every time he mentions those children's names, its with the most love a man can have. And then I find myself loving him more, uphill and down. :)
So Saturday when he came home from work, I told him to head out back. There was a little surprise waiting on him. Luckily, by lunch it was still overcast and breezy so I set up a little Father's Day picnic for us poolside.
And yes, as all special occasions warrant around these parts, Jeffrey had to eat on the "special plate." ('Cause Jenn loves a tradition, and Jeff is ever so patient with me)
So we had a yummy lunch of crabcakes (yes, I sure did make them!) and salad, and I told him what a cool pop I thought he was.
And we spent the afternoon floating in the pool being worthless.
And then Saturday night the tables were turned....and my sweet thang took me on a hot date.
We dined at Buckhead Grill, a really yummy restaurant in town, where the calamari appy isnt rubbery like some imposters but actually quite perfect. Props to the chef. My "bikini martini" made me feel quite fancy.
Anyhoo...my favorite part hands down is the way Jeff looks at me across the table when we go to dinner, and cracks a smile. He tells me I'm beautiful, over and over (like when I have a mouth full of fish) and I know he's gotta mean it. Who else could think that unless they're just so comfy and in love?? Ok, so maybe there's a few reasons I like this guy this weekend. Let's just say he aint half bad.
Sunday: Switch gears! It's Father's Day. Jeff went to go celebrate with his kids, and I went to go love on the man who I hope to become more like with each day. Could he be any more handsome here??!! hehe (See where I get that thick, curly hair now?)
I could tell you a million things about my father that make me so proud to call him mine. Is every child so proud? I truly think mine is an exception. I have friends who go to my father for advice. He's like the wise old (sorry dad) owl, so full of wisdom and knowledge. He has guided me through personal relationship struggles, with care and concern and tenderhearted advice, and then can become a financial advisor and accountant when I was a fresh college grad clueless as to how to make my own way. He knows his faith, and can counsel me when I come to him with religious matters of the heart. He is a gentle giant, at 6'5" with a deep deep voice, he has a way of commanding attention in a room, without being sturn or authoritative. He has a captivating personality, with a knack for telling the best stories. As tall as he is, children flock to him, and are captivated by his presence. He is a leader. He has fixed my flat tires, bandaged skinned knees, hung apartment blinds, moved me in, moved me out, moved me in, moved me out :), tied shoe laces and hair bows, built playhouses, and kissed booboos, ran off boys and shook their hands, healed broken hearts, loved and forgiven unconditionally. He's taught me to drive, and shoot, and fish, and ski, and love, and listen, and forgive, and pray, and learn.
Daddy, I love you. Love, Punkin Head ;)
My PawPaw is another Father I simply am crazy about. And for my friends who know him (and Mimi) they are smiling, and probably giggling too. At 80 years old, we still can't get him to fully ""retire" from the tile business he's build and known all his life, and we hear of little side jobs he still sneaks out and handles. And just last weekend he and daddy were putting up the latest shooting house on our hunting land he's been building in the backyard. He never stops! I love this man, his stories, his history, his integrity, his strength. His family fought hard to give him a good life in America, but he's so proud to be Italian, and tells us often of our family there, and stories of his own. He's proud to be an American, and the honor of wearing a Soldier's uniform to fight for his country, and I love to hear his stories of being overseas and the friends he still has from that time. His proudest accomplishments are his four children, my mama being one, and his wife of almost 60 years, and I love to watch this big strong man talking lovingly of them all. I can see how proud he is, and how much he loves them. And I love him just as much.
PawPaw is also one of the few 80 year olds I know that surfs the internet. Daily. I get more emails from him than I do anyone I think! Isn't that great! Needless to say, he's into technology, so he loves checking out our cell phones....(though he thinks what we pay for them is rediculous!) You know, back in his day....
So as soon as I showed him the Google Earth feature....those giant fingers when to zooming, and pinching....and our geography lesson ensued.
We were listening to the coolest story (with visual aid all the way down to the street!) of him going home as a young soldier to Celano, Italy, to his family's home town. He and Mimi have been back many times since, but this story brought tears to my eyes, and listening as he went back and forth from Italian to English and his sweet accented voice escalated (and repeated :) warmed my heart. As it does every time I see him.
I also squeezed in a visit with my Grandmudda, who is my heart and soul, and represents two other amazing Fathers, who happen to be grandfathers to me. One was Wes Parker, who passed away last year, and who I wrote about here and here. He took care of Grandmother, and she him, for the last 15 years, and was my second grandfather, if not by blood, by love.
And this man is my Granddaddy. What a hunk. He died when I was 10, but I have so many precious memories with him I tear up thinking about them! He was so strong, so dignified, so present. (Just like my dad) I never came to the lake without there being Skittles waiting on me (I was the grandchild who didn't want chocolate), and I always loved the Worther's Originals he had in a bowl. I spent hours in his boathouse watching him work, or fishing off the dock or that itchy fiberglass boat, or being pulled behind the pontoon. He was a prison warden, tough when warrented I assume, but gentle and loving to my Grandmother, his boys, his granddaughters, his neighbors, his friends. Everyone knew Mac. You had too, you were missing out if you didn't! I am so thankful I knew him too, if only for a few years, because I can see him in my Dad, and hopefully that good stuff will be passed on down to me too. I know he was one heckuva dad, because mine's about perfect.
So if you're still with me all the way through this, Happy Father's Day to your dad too! To the men in my life, the ones taking care of me on Heaven and Earth, I love you. I love you.