Dear Dad

Hello everyone! Here is my very late Father’s Day post. Don’t worry Daddy, I didn’t forget. I’ve been working on this for days, but got caught up at the lab today. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

***

Dear Daddy,

I was a daddy’s girl from the very beginning, and with precious bonding moments such as this:

Thank goodness we had Mom there to record your most attentive moments of fatherhood…

…how could I not be?

You were my first teacher. You taught me how to tie my shoes, ride a bike, drink a cup of coffee, sled…

Aww look how cute this is…how can you possibly want to get rid this sled!?

…as well as a whole host of other things. You always encouraged me to ask lots of questions, which earned me the nickname “The Question Lady” in preschool. I remember you teaching me how to use a computer, and letting me follow as you fixed things around the house. You even inadvertently taught me how to release the emergency break on the car, much to the chagrin of Mom who found me and the car in the street one morning (after I had released the break and the car had rolled down the driveway into the street)…

In those early days, I know you were very busy working a full time job and going to school part time. Yet, you still managed to find time to spend with us in the evenings:

I know you also made a real effort to attend as many of our activities as you could. Of course you couldn’t resist participating yourself. Don’t pretend like we had to twist your arm to get this classic shot:

I hope you don’t hate me too much for this one

But in all seriousness, I know it couldn’t have always been easy. Between balancing the work and school load, you had the additional worry that Jen and I might turn out like this:

I’m pretty sure this is the definition of “hell on wheels”

…but I hope today you mostly remember things like this:

Not many children are blessed with the example of hard work and diligence that you presented for Jen and I. I remember how eagerly we awaited your return from work each evening (around 9 pm), and how you helped put us to bed before setting off to do your homework (frequently until 3 am). Somehow, you managed to be awake again at 7 am to do it all over again. Today, as an adult still in school (who does not have two small children) I marvel at how you managed to do it all. We may not have always gotten to see you as much as we wanted in those early years, but I will never forget how proud I was of you on your graduation day.

Jen, if I were you I might re-visit the socks + dress shoes decision…

It was your (and mom’s) example that set me on the path I am on today. Many of the things I pride myself on, such as my work ethic, result directly from watching you. Additionally, I was inspired by all of the technical work that you did, and from the beginning I was *obviously* scientifically inclined..

This very important work was followed up with a study on the effects of various ingredients on the appearance and taste of pancakes.

I mean, with groundbreaking work such as this, I’m sure you knew you had a future Ph.D. student on your hands…

But my childhood wasn’t filled with just work. We had many good wonderful vacations, such as visiting Grandma Belle in Alabama,

I’ve seen this picture at least 100 times and this is the first time I’ve ever noticed Jen’s Flintstones toy on the table..

viewing Lake Michigan with Uncle John and his family (who knew I’d live three blocks from it one day!),

This is definitely a “classic Jen” face. Notice how Dad has the ole “git over here” grip on her hand…

embarking on our first cruise,

Wow, we are all so sunburned

journeying to caverns far below ground,

That is a really snazzy jacket

and of course relaxing on the beautiful Hawaiian islands.

Ohau, 2010

It’s been a pretty incredible journey together so far. I am so lucky to have you and mom as my first role models…even if you do embarrass me by wearing matching Chief’s sweatshirts on Skype….

Oh-em-gee guys…oh-em-gee…

Regardless, there is no one else I’d rather drink wine and talk about life with.

I love you always,

Heather

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