Father’s Day Adventures

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Yeah, it’s been a while. I know. I’ll explain that later, but today it’s Father’s Day. Dad’s, thank you. Thank you for setting a good example, being brave and strong, killing bugs, teaching how to dream, encouraging, supporting, loving, raising, disciplining, playing and being a little crazy with us. I hope you all got some extra love today.

We celebrated Dad’s day today with a little adventure, because that’s really the only way to do it for Luna’s Dad. First stop. The Treetop Adventure ropes course at Nashville Shores! While everyone else did ziplines, Tarzan swings, cargo nets and obstacles, Luna and I headed to the water park for some Mommy Toddler time. They climbed, sweated, swung and crawled while we splashed, sunbathes, snacked and swam. Not bad. (Although, I should add that spending the day with a baby by yourself at a waterpark can be a little challenging.)

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The swings were by far her favorite thing in the whole water park.
The swings were by far her favorite thing in the whole water park.

After wearing ourselves out in the the very hot sun, we had a late lunch with friends at Panera and THEN a movie date with more friends and dads to see Inside Out!

woohoo! movie time!
woohoo! movie time!

So good, so emotional, so sweet and funny and so Pixar. I’m always in my head anyways, now I feel like I know my head slightly better, or at least have characters to refer to now. Peter and I both cried…which maybe had a little to do with the fact that we have a little girl of our own. That, and we are both saps.

The night ended with sugary bowls of cereal in bed, topped with video games and trash TV. Honestly, it was such a good day, it may as well have been Mother’s Day. The only thing that would have been better was getting to spend it with my own Dad. Thankfully, we at least got to video chat. Love you and miss you Daddy!

Me and my Daddy... a few years ago.
Me and my Daddy… a few years ago.

Happy Father’s Day!

Cheers!

Dads Like Cars

lanemotor museum

Before Father’s Day I thought it would be a good idea to ask my Dad-in-law what he would like to do on his holiday. My Dad is in Texas and I figure Dad-in-law gets first choice over Husband on this particular holiday. We told him we’d do whatever he wants and much to my dismay he chose the Lane Motor Museum. If you remember correctly, I am not exactly a car enthusiast. In fact, my “dream car” would be a prius…which is what I currently drive. I have never been impressed for fast cars and couldn’t tell you the name of a fancy car I pass on the street. It’s just not my thang.

Some of the various tires from the various cars at the museum...so much variety!
Some of the various tires from the various cars at the museum…so much variety!

Honestly, I was hoping there’d be a nearby Starbucks I could sit at while Luna ate and the boys looked at cars. However, it was Father’s Day after all so I figured I should probably spend time with “the boys”. The Lane Motor Museum is actually the old Sunbeam bread bakery. The owner, Jeff Lane, opened this museum in 2002 and he has his own personal collection on display (including the first car he ever restored when he was just a teenager). I learned all of this while watching the intro video on loop while Luna ate.

more cool tires!
more cool tires!

Anyways, I’ll go ahead an admit that I really enjoyed the museum. The cars there are legitimately interesting to look at and read about. There were cars that drove both directions, went in water (amphibious), had 3 wheels, ran on coal,  made from fiberglass, created in a myriad of countries and had the craziest characteristics. I can’t tell you the names or anything about how they run, but they were very pretty, creative, innovative and have lots of history. The museum also had some small planes and motorcycles. Everything on display seemed to have a story and proved to be much more than just a car.

both ways

 

luigi

I think even Luna enjoyed walking around and looking at all the colors and shiny things. Of course, we forced her to take a million pictures, but how can we not take photos of the cutest baby ever? When she’s older she’ll be able to do a lot more. They had an entire area designated for kids to play and run around. There were many fathers and kids spending the day together and taking advantage of the play place, very cute.

racecar drivers

 

luna

Since it was Father’s Day the museum was not only letting Dads in for free, but also letting the first 240 guests on a free tour of the basement! See, the museum has over 400 cars, but only about 100 are on display at a time. the rest are either off on other exhibits, being maintained, repaired, restored or simply waiting their turn to be on display. On our basement tour we learned that virtually every car runs! It’s the museum’s goal to keep the cars in working condition. Some lucky souls actually get to drive the cars around to keep them running smoothly.

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Besides all of the crazy cars on the main floor and in the basement, there’s also some parked in the garage where everyone parks. Just outside of the garage is perhaps the most interesting vehicle of the whole museum. There is giant, and I mean GIANT, Lark LX Amphibian. It can carry 60 tons through the ocean and land. Just the tires are 9 feet tall.

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So, the Motor Museum turns out to be pretty entertaining after all. I’d even go back, which is saying a lot! One of my favorite parts of the museum were the many maps at the front where every guest is allowed to stick a pin to show where they are from. It is unbelievable how many people from all over the world have been to this museum.

my favorite

If you are interested in visiting the Lane Motor Museum be sure to check out their calendar of events! Have fun!

the world's smallest car is slightly bigger than Luna's stroller.
the world’s smallest car is slightly bigger than Luna’s stroller.

Cheers!

Husband’s First Daddy’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the many amazing Dads today! Sadly, I won’t get to celebrate with my Dad until mid-July, but I still consider myself lucky to have such a supportive and loving Father, not everyone can say that. Today, we celebrated Husband’s very first Father’s Day and while I have lots to share from the weekend (Cheekwood exhibits, Automobile museum tours, Orange is the New Black marathons, etc) I’ll just share a slice of our first Father’s Day.

She loves her Daddy!
She loves her Daddy!

I spoiled Husband with bagels from his favorite bagel shop for breakfast (local bagel shop, his actual favorite would be in NYC). We spent the morning with his Dad at a car museum (more on that soon), had lunch at a new brunch place, walked around “tinkerbell” park and had a big dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant.

Driving Daddy around in one of the vintage cars at the museum.
Driving Daddy around in one of the vintage cars at the museum.

We, of course, showered him with gifts, my favorite being the homemade cheesy stereotypical “best dad” t-shirt. I had the grand idea to make shirts for Husband and both Grandpas, World’s Greatest Dad, PawPaw and GranDude. In my head I imagined a fancy paint job with Luna’s hand and footprints, as well as Belle and Duckie’s paw prints scattered cutely across the shirt. In reality I locked myself, the pets and the baby in the garage, forced them all to stick their paws in paint, chased them around to then clean off the paint and ended up with paint all over each of us, the shirts, a sheet and the garage. Belle still has an orange paw. BTW, in case you are considering getting handprints of your baby, think again. It is near impossible to get an infant to open their hands. I manage to get one nice looking pink blob on one shirt.

Shockingly, all three men put on their shirts today and took photos, such troopers!

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Luna is a very lucky little girl to have these three men in her life who love her so much!

Chatting with Daddy
Chatting with Daddy

Huge thank you to my Husband for being the kind of Daddy who sings pop songs, reads picture books, goes on adventures, dances around the house, takes walks and loves his baby with his whole heart. Seeing you be the adoring Father I always knew you’d be makes me the happiest I’ve ever been.

Here’s to many tea parties, forts made from blankets, Barbie houses and lots of dress-up with Daddy!

Cheers!

 

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Today is Father’s Day, and like many other holidays I wish I was able to be with you, and I feel a twinge of guilt for living so far away. I woke up this morning thinking about our relationship over the last 28 years and how it’s evolved, had ups and downs and is often taken for granted. I may talk to Mom everyday, and I definitely inherited her shopping gene and her tendency to worry about everything, but I see pieces of you in my actions and choices everyday.

As a little girl as I was happiest being by your side. I loved being “Daddy’s little girl” and was even happier when you once called me “your only son”. I wanted to be just like you. One of my favorite memories is going to and from basketball practice and games with just you. We would stop at the 7/11 to pick up beef jerky and Gatorade, and you would tell me how I was the fastest kid on the team. On the way to games we would often have breakfast together at McDonald’s and I felt so cool to have that alone time with you. We weren’t like Mom or Sister; we were tougher, stronger and wittier. We liked to workout, play hard, be outside and be on the water. I was always SO disappointed that I couldn’t go hunting with you, but now I am so thankful you never let me. Shooting Bambi would have scarred me for life, and you obviously knew that.

Riding Jurassic Park together at Universal Studios.
Riding Jurassic Park together at Universal Studios.

I grew up to be much “girlier” than my days as a tomboy, but thanks to all my time with you I still know how to kick off my shoes, bait a hook, shoot a gun, drive a four-wheeler, change my oil and my tire, life weights, skin a fish and drive a truck. I just have better hair and painted nails while I do it.

Dad and I in Time Square
Dad and I in Time Square

Besides all of the wonderful “southern gal” skills you taught me, there is so much more. I know that my compassion to help others comes from you. I’ve seen you go out of your way to give someone a hand, spend time with a lonely family member and even support my best friends. When I was in high school I had a few friends who often needed a place to crash for a weekend, and sometimes a few weeks. Not only did you let them stay with us, but you loved them like your own daughters. You expected them home by curfew, and you treated their boyfriends like mine…by often scarring the sh*t out of them if they attempted a move on your turf.

Celebrating Natalie's 30th birthday
Celebrating Natalie’s 30th birthday

I know that I got my work ethic from you as well. There is not a time in my memory where you were not working hard. I remember you coming home in you nomex and heavy work boots, covered in sweat in the Texas heat, and then spending your weekend taking care of the house, remodeling rooms, mowing the grass and fixing every broken toy and tangled necklace I brought you. Numerous times, you reminded me of the importance of hard work. You expected me to make good grades, work hard, be respectful of my teachers and bosses and to do work that I will be proud of. Although, what really mattered is that you were proud of me.

Graduating with my Masters
Graduating with my Masters

The words that touch me the most are these, “I’m proud of you Hil”. Hearing that phrase after graduations, dance recitals, basketball games, career accomplishments and my wedding day was the poof I needed to know that I did well. This phrase is never tossed around lightly. I never hear it for doing frivolous activities or expected chores. No, you say it when you mean it most, so I know it’s true.

Taking Dad around NYC
Taking Dad around NYC

Every child thinks their Dad is the bravest. I know I thought you were. You weren’t afraid of the dark, the monsters in my closet, the bugs outside or climbing ladders. Now, as an adult. I am positive that you are the bravest. I have seen you stand up for yourself and for others, watch both your daughters move away and start their own families and look cancer in the eye (more than once) without fear. (However, I now know that you are a little afraid of bugs.) I don’t know how you do it Dad. You have been through trials that would tear me to pieces and break me down, but you always seem to come out stronger on the other side.

wedding

You may be watching me grow over the years, but I’ve seen you grow as well. Each year you become wiser, more sensitive, more spiritual and definitely more handsome. I’ve also seen you be promoted from Dad to Grandpa with Micah. The most proud I have ever seen you is with your Grandson, he’s one lucky little guy.  I cannot wait to one day see you with my children.

Thank you for teaching me to be thoughtful, hard-working, respectful, appreciative, strong and brave.

Happy Father’s Day Dad, love you most.

Cheers!