Father’s Day 2014

Most know, this is not the easiest day for me. I miss the two dads in my life more than anything. One not more than the other. Both leave a gaping hole in my heart. And not a single Father’s Day passes in which I don’t yearn to hug them and smile with them. Neither of which I can do as they have both been gone for many years now. I hug my heart and hope the day passes quickly.

I think one of the hardest parts of missing the day with them is because it feels like a very secluded thing. I don’t think anyone can understand my pain and the hurt of missing them. Not to mention the confusion of celebration versus grief.

But a funny thing happened…a poem I wrote on Father’s Day 2011 (last year and this year) ended up with hundreds and hundreds of hits on Father’s Day weekend. I thought the first time it was a crazy fluke, but this year it happened again. I knew it wasn’t just a SEO dream come true. This poem is titled If Heaven had a Father’s Day.

And it is very clear to me that I am NOT the only one missing my Dad(s). I am not the only one that yearns for a Father’s Day hug from one that is no longer here. And the big hole in my heart is a just a bit bigger for all them too.

This year, I changed it up. I decided I would not be sad (as much), but I would celebrate the Dad in my life today. He is my husband. He is a terrific Father with two wonderful girls. A wonderful stepfather to my girl. I must admit, this is my first experience with video, but I did try my best. And you know what? It worked. I ended up way to busy to be sad.

This crafting of video and photos. The process of making the “tape” brought so much life to the present. How could I dwell on what I am missing when there is so much to be part of right now? My step girls are growing up way too fast.

So to my husband, I thank you…and I celebrate you…the girls and I loved making this for you. I think it is more precious than a simple card.

This is a hilarious response to what they know about him when I asked them both to tell me about their dad.

As a bonus…a little behind the scenes photo booth using a song for twins. It is an inside joke with our family, but oh so appropriate.

Happy Father’s Day to all!

The Square Root of Father’s Day

Father’s Day.

I have such a hard time with this one. It’s a mathematical puzzle, I can’t solve or calculate.

On one hand, it’s the day I think of my dad’s more than any other. It’s a day I smile and remember (precious memories)……. and it’s the day I miss them terribly.

It’s the week when I see a picture of a bride dancing with her father at her wedding and it makes me cry inconsolably.

I wish for many moments with them. I wish for them to know my step-daughters. I wish for that last hug, and last good-bye – just one more conversation, one more Christmas, one more birthday, one more Father’s Day.

It’s Father’s Day and mine are in heaven and if yours aren’t, I hope you squeeze them real tight.

And yet………

I have a wonderful husband in my life who is one of the BEST dads in the world. Not only to his two little girls, but to my daughter as well. He married me and got a full-time teenager. What in the world was he thinking?

Out of all the horror stories of marriages with teens, and he didn’t run away. He took on the challenge. For that alone, he should be celebrated as the hero he is. But it’s more than that, he loves her like his own too.

Accepting another person’s child as your own is the hardest thing to do in a blended family. For that I am so grateful…..

It truly makes life a blessing and it makes Father’s Day a whole lot easier for me.

My daughter is very lucky to have you. She is lucky to have her dad in the picture as well. Sydney gets what I had growing up – two WONDERFUL Dads. A gift more precious than gold.

So Jason, I picked some photographs out of the archives. Ones that I think celebrate the loving and caring Dad you are. Ones I hope show how much I love the father you are to these children.

The impact you have on these lives will last a life-time. I hope you know how much you mean to them by just being you and holding tight. I am so proud of you.

As a daughter, I can say, there is nothing more soul-filling than a Father’s love. Thank-you for gifting your love to our daughters.


Dad, step-dad, great husband, and one of the nicest guys I know.


Always a helper and support, you lend a hand to not only your daughters, but to anyone else that needs it.


Your accomplishments are always made sweeter by the joy that is shared by your family.


Despite a bitter divorce, you insisted on having a picture of the girl’s mom in their room at your house.


You are never afraid to be silly.


You uphold your dad duties of caring for your children and have never passed off that responsibility. From dinner, to bath, to bed-time book reading you do it all and cherish every moment.


Not many fathers are as proud as you are of your three beautiful daughters.


Not many step-fathers are such important mentors in their teen daughter’s life.


Not many Dads display such fine artwork on their refrigerator.


You are truly our knight-in-shining armor.


We are so blessed to have you.

Happy Father’s Day with love!

Big Girl to the Big Screen

I’m not a big planner. I’m not. I try to get plans made, but really, I like being spontaneous. Don’t get me wrong. I loooove routines and order. That stuff makes me very happy, but doing something on the fly; throwing a party, grabbing a movie in the afternoon, eating out. Just do it! Just go! It’s an amazing thrill.

I know, I drive Jason CRAZY. He is much slower to the draw. A thinker, a planner, but when I see that window of opportunity….I just can’t help myself, and luckily he plods along with me on all my adventures.

That said, this last weekend – FATHER’S DAY – was not his weekend with the kids. We grieved over it. We did, but we just assumed there was NO WAY we would have them. There was a big fiasco on Easter. We had plans Easter, real plans, and his Ex couldn’t see the kids. I mean paybacks a dog right? He doesn’t grant a favor, she doesn’t grant a favor. It seems that’s the way it goes, from my eyes anyway.

I don’t understand it. I really don’t. Sydney’s Dad and I NEVER had these issues. We never waited to see who was getting the best of who, or if someone was undermining the other. You win some. You lose some, but you do what’s best for the kids and get along. One thing is for certain, when you choose divorce, you are going to miss out on something, and probably something big.

Being around those two are like two prickly porcupines. I can’t hardly stand it. Any moment the needle-like quills are going to fly. I have talked to Jason about just letting it go, and going the extra mile, but he doesn’t want to get walked all over. I can understand that and now, there is no meeting in the middle (yes, folks even after two and half years). Everyone wants their way. Sooooo…..since he doesn’t do what she wants….and what she wants, she thinks is the best way……..therein lies the problem.

I get along with her. I really like her. I mean she is the mother of two precious little people in my life and she picked a great guy to have them with. But I can’t do anything about THEM getting past their issues, and getting along. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work. I can only keep encouraging them to – for the sake of NOT raising alcoholics – PLEASE GET ALONG. Just do it! Be spontaneously different.

But miracle of all miracles, and a big thank-you to her, we get them on Father’s Day. Unplanned. We had TONS of stuff to get done. House work, yard work, organizing, and we had been out of town all last weekend, etc……but, we were so happy to throw it all out the window and PLAY. Yeah!!

I’ve wanted to go to the big movie with the girls for a looooong time. I mean Sydney went at two years old. Mama Michie took her 18 month old little boy. Did you see his smile? Sooo cute.

Bridget is turning FOUR and has never been to a movie for goodness sake. Apparently the wait was so ALL the family could go, including the Mom. I missed Molly’s first movie because I wasn’t invited, but no hard feelings, right? Sniff. Hmph. But, I digress…….

So, here it is – Father’s Day! We get the kids unexpectedly, the Mom had planned to have them, so she wouldn’t have plans other than the kids. Why not go to the MOVIE!!?! Toy Story 3 just came out. It was too good of an opportunity to miss. Perfect timing. Perfect age. The girls had just watched Toy Story 1 and 2 the day before.

Except when we asked, she said she had to work. Huh!? I mean, okay, her distaste for Jason and being around him is quite known. He wasn’t comfortable about it either, I insisted he ask her before he asked the girls, and she declined. But she had the CHOICE (in fact if we are keeping track, I asked her to the Circus, to Mother’s Day service with the girls, to Bethlehem live, and so on and so on – all DECLINED). You’d think I’d get the hint. Huh.

We were not even invited to Molly’s 6th birthday party with her kindergarten class friends. Nor did we even know about Bridget’s birthday party on Saturday. Not a single family member on Jason’s side invited. Not even the Grandma that picks them up for Church every week. So please, I’m sorry, if I don’t feel bad about our decision. I truly believe we tried to do the right thing. It was not at all intentional to hurt her feelings or make her miss out.

We went and had a blast. Bridget’s smile – so friggin’ excited – I love it. She did very, very well. Although, I don’t recommend a 3D movie for a four-year old. She kept smudging her shades, yo.


When asked to smile like she was going to a big girl movie. We got this kind of cheese.


MY FIRST movie with Molly. I told her it was very special. I told EVERY movie with her would be very special to me, because really, unless you see a movie again, it’s your FIRST time, right?


This movie was too cute. I just love Pixar and their imagination with toys. I even got a little teary, darn you Disney!


Oh no! Competition for my popcorn. Maybe this movie thing is not such a good idea. Ha.


Bridget and her Dad on Father’s Day. Another first, and hopefully not the last.

It was the best Father’s Day present he could have gotten, second to the adorable coffee mug the girls made for him.

Unplans. The very best kind. Just do it! Just go!

Today is a big day

Thoughts have swirled around in my head about what to write for today.

Do I tell you about my Dad(s)? Gary and Carl. One biological, one by marriage; both showered me with all the love and care a girl could hope for.

Do I tell you how today is the first anniversary of my blog? The sad, shocking beginning that turned into the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

Or do I tell you about all my firsts on Father’s Day? The first time I ever visited a Church and liked it (3 yrs ago). The first time Jason told me he loved me (2 yrs ago). The first time I had a Father’s Day with no living Father (today).

Now you can see why this is probably one of the hardest posts to write. How do I celebrate the sheer joy and accomplishment of blogging, but also honor the two men that changed my life? Two men who are no longer here. Two men that departed way too soon. All my Father’s are in heaven now. I can’t hug them, or mail a card. I can only fill my heart with gratitude for being blessed by their presence in my life.

In a way, this is all connected. My blog. My Dads. Their life and death. I wrote about my step dad when I first starting blogging, One year later, A Father’s Love. I wanted everyone to know, there are GOOD step parents out there. Ones that truly love you, like you are their own. Ones that add to your life. So much about me reflects my step dad. My love of computers, my compassion for the disabled, and my desire to always live life to the fullest, despite the hand you are dealt. Writing his story was deeply touching and healing for me.

In the same first blog year that I remembered my step dad, I said good-bye to my real one – Good-bye Dad. I haven’t wrote the story about seeing him for the last time. Not really, but I will. I wrote a blog post within hours of his passing. It was the most therapeutic thing I could have done. He was a FUN Dad. He made me laugh. His death has been much harder for me. He wanted to be cremated. There is no grave. I know he wouldn’t be in that grave. I do. I guess I just wanted a place to visit and tell him what was going on, like I do with my step dad.

What’s weird about that is yesterday I realized…I DO have a place. The park by Jason’s house is FULL of wild life, and every bike ride I take, I see an animal. Some creature great, or small crosses my path. My Dad LOVED animals. He wanted to be a park ranger. I remember weekends at his house when I would look at ALL the books he had on wildlife. He even sent me a magazine subscription on animals every year when I was little. I realized, this is where he is for me, and why I love it so much. I see a bobcat and think….Dad would flip to see that (he had a stuffed one – no lie). I see a Red-tail Hawk in flight, and there is Dad forefront in my mind watching it soar with me. He is in that place, in that park, and it only took two bobcats, a snake, and a lizard to convince me of it (ha).

My year of blogging hasn’t just told stories, but I’ve met friends. I was even lucky enough to meet them in person. Take a look.

Peggy

From – Square Peg in a Round Hole. She is a delight and her blog is a delight, plus she had a friend with her named, Angelia. I kid you not. Pronounced Angela but still…..that’s pretty cool in my book.

Christy and Aiden.

From – Tales of the Toot. She is an incredible woman of faith and strength. It was an honor to meet them both.

Lance

From – Jungle of Life. I know Lance and his family are here to put a smile on your heart. They are just huge joy and I am so glad our paths crossed and we met in person. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any “live” pics (this time). You must check out his Sunday posts. They are divinely inspiring. Happy Father’s Day, Lance.

Lastly, I haven’t met her YET, but come this October, I will. I found my wedding photographer – right here in my first year of blogging. She visited my blog and that’s how we met.

Kellene

From – Bella Lucia Photography. Check out her blog and her pictures and tell me she is not mad talented. I can’t WAIT to hug her neck in person. I hope she doesn’t mind I borrowed her pic to showcase her.

I must thank Jason most of all, for coming into my life, and gifting me such wonderful things to blog about. For being my supporter, my subscriber, and even a commenter now and again. Without him, I would have never found this place, and never created this blog of memories, I so dearly love. I am very, very happy to see how far I have come, and how long I have accomplished blogging. What a great feeling. I wouldn’t trade a minute.

So thank you readers, bloggers, and friends, for sharing this first anniversary with me. Happy Father’s Day to you. Embrace all the love you can hold; hug a Dad today…..for me.