To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thank You! (P Style)

So, I am running about a week a half behind on the Father's Day post... no one is shocked! But, I have been looking forward to writing it ever since I wrote the one for Mother's Day. So, here we go:


Thank you for coming home for dinner almost every night, even when you often had to go back to work when it was over. Thanks for asking us about our days, everyday. It may not have seemed like it mattered, but trust me, it mattered a lot.

Thank you for choosing your family over everything/everyone else. I remember when I saw that article of you in Newsweek. It was the first time I realized that in the professional world, you were a pretty big deal, but I can't say I was too surprised, you had/have always been a pretty big deal to me.

Thank you for standing at the end of the pool at every childhood swim meet that I can remember and yelling "breathe" every time I came up for air. It's not like I would have forgotten to breathe, but I can't imagine not seeing you smile and cheer me on every stroke of the way.

Thank you for giving me everything I ever needed, but not giving me everything I ever wanted.

Thank you for saying "no" every time it was better for me.

Thank you for always being capable and willing to give blessings to all of your children and your wife and anyone else that asked.

Thank you for being the only person in the world who could heal my every heartache and cure my every sorrow with a hug and a kiss.

Thank you for being an exceptional husband. I can still remember every night at dinner you saying "Do you know how wonderful/amazing/perfect your mom is?" or something like that.

Thank you for teaching me how to drive a stick shift. It was a horrific rite of passage that I'll never forget. I think secretly I still drive one because it reminds me of you.

Thank you for trying to pass on your photographic memory, even if it involved paying me to memorize random facts of historic importance (i.e. Presidents of the United States in order)... P.S. I can still do it! I tested myself just the other day.

Thank you for taking us on lots of trips and family vacations. As an adult, I can only imagine how horrible that was for you.

Thank you for being a wonderful provider and protector. It might be a trite statement, but the gratitude for it is immeasurable.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of doing all I could to not only being smart, but also to be educated.

Thank you for teaching me how important it was to try as hard as I could at everything I attempted, but to be proud of myself, no matter the outcome.

Thank you for taking us out to breakfast every Saturday, just you and the kids. And, for making us animal pancakes. It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized that all four-legged animals looked exactly the same. As a kid, I saw in those pancakes whatever I asked you to make. And, boy were you a great artist!

Thank you for teaching me through your example to be kind to everyone, without exception.

Thank you for hugging EVERYONE you meet. I can't even tell you how many of my friends love you because they knew you loved them, even if you didn't know them all by name.

Thank you for studying the Top 40 when I was in high school and then conversing about the newest music every time you drove me anywhere with my friends. It was both embarrassing and cool that you were trying so hard.

Thank you for teaching me that it is always more important to give than to receive.

Thank you for picking my mom. It was the best decision you ever made. And, thank you for sticking with her, even though she probably spends most of your money!

Thank you for giving us all of those ridiculous nicknames, none of which I can ever remember, but somehow can also not forget.

Thank you for NEVER saying anything critical or judgemental about anyone. In my over three decades of existence I can NEVER remember you ever saying anything even remotely critical, which was especially important in my growth. You are the reason I am so comfortable in my own skin.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

Thank you for buying us Polly, we always wanted a dog. And, thank you for letting us keep Scottie, she needed a home, even though she was a piece of work!

Thank you for teaching me to stand on my own two feet, but also letting me know that I could always come home if I ever fell down.

Thank you for believing in me and telling me every time I talk to you that you're proud of your baby girl.

Thank you for teaching us how to work... really work. I remember hours and hours of weeding, after which we got paid by Slurpee. (I would like to point out that migrant workers got a better deal). But, it definitely gave us character and taught us important life lessons.

Thank you for teaching me how to negotiate every business decision I ever made. A great deal of my professional success is credited to your counsel.

Thank you for naming one of your big projects at work after moi (and one after all the other kids too), it made me feel special (and kind of like a hurricane).

Thank you for being the best "papa" in the world to 1o (soon-t0-be 12) of the luckiest little grandkids in all the world.

Thank you for being the perfect example of humility and generosity. People often tell me things that you've done for them and given to them and how it changed their lives.

Thank you for telling me every single day that you loved me, and often signing it too (although, I hope somewhere along the way you noticed that I am not deaf).

Thank you for my genetics - my legs (they look exactly like yours) and my teeth (still never had a cavity). Some of my greatest traits come from your gene pool.

Thank you for being a guy that welcomes everyone and anyone in your home and making them feel like they belong.

I wanted to post this picture for you. It's in my room. And, what I love most about it is the way I am smiling so big my eyes can't even stay open. Every decision you've ever made was for us - even before there was an "us". You've made my life so blissfully happy.

I love you more than I could ever express in words. To me you are everything! To quote the oldest and wisest of your brood, I will always have stars in my eyes when I look at you, my perfect daddy.

Love, Ali

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


A little over a week ago a few of us decided that we needed to go down to L.A. and dine at the Saddle Ranch and ride a mechanical bull and dance the night away... because, well, why not?!?

It was a blast. And, as soon as my boss found out my weekend plans, he gave me pointers. "I used to ride a bull you know, I am not sure if you were aware of that or not. First, sit on your hand and keep your arm straight. Second, always look at the bull, not at your friends." He's a riot. And, his pointers helped. Though, I am about as good at riding a mechanical bull as I am at anything labeled a sport or a game.

And, what goes with steak and a mechanical bull more than a ginormous sized cotton candy?!? Well, nothing, of course.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Update: Photo Style

Dear Mom, Dad and family. I've noticed that I haven't posted any photos lately. Just so you know, your baby girl still looks the same, except older. So, these pictures are mostly for you!

Last Week I went to see Glee in concert. It was so good! I LOVED it. And, we happened upon this candy store. Which I also LOVED (of course).
I had Youth Conference with my babies in our Shrek Green shirts! (By the way, is it just me, or do with think there are already too many Shrek movies, stop already!) And, I stared into the face of one ticked off rattlesnake, while trying to list off in my head times in which I had been more afraid, there were only a few.
We went to Pismo Beach, for the 3rd year. As always, it was quite enjoyable. The weather was nice. And, it's the one time each year I get to ride ATVs in the dunes. And, just about the only time I willingly go camping.

I have been quite active. I did a Ragnar Race again (200-mile relay race from Ventura to Dana Point). We were really good (clearly, I was the handicap). There was a dude on our team that ran 5 1/2 minute miles. I called him "the Kenyan." We had a blast, even on very little sleep, and we finished alive and in about 26 hours or so.

I also did a Warrior Dash... which sounds fierce, but actually was really a lot like a junior high school obstacle course. But, the day was fun. We got to have Wood Ranch and no one spilled their ribs on me this time, so that part rocked.

And, Sondra was nice enough to let me play with her kids all weekend. We went to Pretend City, a cute place that is a simulation of a city customized for the likes of little ankle-biters. A very darling idea.
Whew. Done. 2 months of photos/activities. Updated.