Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers in Pictures

Happy Father's Day to all my fathers... I'm one blessed girl.  

My Grandad, my mother's father, and Ryan
My Dad, who asked me out on a date along with my Mom, and stuck around!

Still so thankful that he loved me like his own, and loved my Mama.  

Happy Father's Day in heaven, Dad.  I hope you got to log some time in a floater on heaven's river today. 

My husband's Dad, also my Daddy now... also because loves me like his own. 

Grampy and his little namesake (Richie)

Grampy and his oldest grandkid, Ryan

Grampy and his little Maelynn girl

Grampy, Richie, Eric, and Maelynn at the kids' baptism

All three of these men have taught me a ton.  Ranging from how to ride a bike, swim, multiply, bait a hook, change a tire, and back with my mirrors to the providence, sovereignty, love, grace, and mercy of God and its relevance to every inch of our lives,  One of these men has been robbed of much of his mind by dementia, one is in heaven too soon, and they're both missed a ton.  The other is thankfully still here, loving his wife, children, and grandchildren... and making us laugh a lot, too!  

Then there's the man who is a father because I'm a mother.  It's hard to put into words how grateful I am for his presence.  I wouldn't want to parent with anyone else.  I wouldn't want to share my life with anyone else.  Just scroll down... you can see the love for his kids in his eyes.  

Eric and Ryan
 He loves us as his Dad taught him to love... as Christ loves the church.

Bein' silly... it's what we do best. 
 He isn't afraid to be a little silly to get his kids to laugh, and the best thing to ever reach his ears is the sound of his children's laughter tickling his ears.

One proud daddy
There are things he used to love to do that he's gladly put aside to spend time taking care of and having fun with our family.   He works so hard for us, but always makes time to play.

Teaching Ryan and Jedi to play video games
Words fail to tell you how elated I am to have a man who our boys can look up to.  He isn't perfect, of course, but isn't afraid to admit he was wrong and apologize, even to the kids.

Daddy and his boys

Daddy and Richie enjoying one of the finer things... pizza!

Equally as amazing is his heart for our daughter.  She is growing up knowing her daddy thinks she's beautiful, smart, sweet, and fun.  Her daddy loves her so much, in fact, that he will look past her curls, long eyelashes, and pleading and correct her appropriately when she needs it.  After all, beautiful inside and out is the goal for all of us.

Daddy and his brand-new princess

Daddy and his brand new princess her first time at church

And he's a rockin' special needs dad.

I can't tell you how much time he's spent looking for just the right apps for the iPad, and that's after giving it to Ryan when he won it in a raffle.  All he needed to know was that they were helping kids with autism make great strides.  He supports me as we partner in advocating for Ryan, and many times stands up when I'm not able.

He's the kind of dad who loves his family and wants to be with them, wherever he goes.  It gets rough sometimes, but times like this are worth it.

Swimming with the fishes
I'm so proud of Eric.  He's not just an awesome daddy, he's an awesome special needs dad.  He loves his kids and leads our family and loves me in such  beautiful way.  He's not just the master of even the yuckiest diaper (or pull-up) change and the king of making the kids giggle 'till they drop, he's my best friend and I'm so very glad.  

Big shoes to fill
As Ryan found out the other day (even with his flip flops on), Eric leaves big shoes to fill.  

I love dearly all the dads in and out of my life, and at the risk of getting any more wordy...  

Happy Father's Day.   

Thanks be to God for the dads in my life.

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