Tuesday, October 28, 2014

7 decades of dad

My dad turns 70 today.  To some that might seem a little old, but my dad makes 70 look young.  He’s got a good 30 years left in him.  (thank goodness….I’m not sure how the world would be without him).
And so, for family history sake, I’m going to write 70, yes 70! things that I love about my dad.  Because I really hit the jack pot.
  1. he loves me.  I've never doubted it. 
  2. he’s quirky.  maybe one of the most eccentric people on the planet.  he’s 100% him.  never trying to be anyone other than who he is at his core.
  3. he loves my mom.  I’ve never doubted it.
  4. he cries when he reads touching things aloud.  i inherited that from him.
  5. he’s a lover of nature and beauty.  he really loves it, drinks it all in.
  6. he’s the most devoted, deliberate father I could imagine.
  7. he likes country music, and usually tears up listening to it.
  8. he’s slow.  has taught me the beauty in slowness – the speed of going slow (though I can’t seem to get that one down) 
  9. he’s the most devoted, deliberate grandfather I could imagine.
  10. he loves Jesus and tries to be like him.
  11. he sees lots of potential in his kids, sometimes way more than is actually there, but that belief he has in us seems to propel us forward.
  12. he is visionary.  always creating, thinking big, solving problems, thinking beyond the norm.
  13. he’s a builder.  always working to build something good, lasting and strong. 
  14. he’s not bound by the things that seem to limit so many of us.  he doesn’t care what people think, he just forges ahead with what he believe is right.  and that’s almost always a good thing.
  15. he worked with my mom to build a solid family culture that brings me loads of joy.
  16. he has taught me to love the world.  to thirst to know it, to experience, to travel, to really grasp all parts of this mortal life.
  17. he’s taught me to question things, in faith.  to find out things for myself.
  18. he’s an excellent teacher, mostly just asks really good questions.
  19. he envisioned what Bear Lake would become for all of us and all of his grandkids and it has become that.  
  20. he is a spiritual creator.
  21. he flosses his teeth with paper sometimes
  22. he takes really good care of his body
  23. he’s a little bit crazy.
  24. he built a log cabin with his bare hands.
  25. he taught me to love horses.
  26. he taught me to love Indian food
  27. he taught me to eat sushi
  28. he’s teaching my kids all the secrets to life.
  29. he sees way more talent in me than i actually have.
  30. he actually got me an audition on Broadway once.
  31. in his mind I’m still destined to be a big time singer one day.
  32. he produced ValuesDriven
  33. he loves good movies
  34. he reads all the best books
  35. you can ALWAYS get him into a meaningful discussion
  36. he visits me wherever I live.
  37. he has always taken me on the best dates.
  38. since i’m his third daughter he calls me every third Sunday to do a phone “interview”
  39. he expects me to live up to my divine potential.
  40. he has given me some amazing fathers’ blessings.
  41. he has always treated me as an equal.
  42. he has always treated my mom as an equal.
  43. he’s a sucker for sunsets and autumn leaves
  44. he’s a notice-er
  45. he looks me right in the eye and doesn’t say anything, just looks intently into my soul, acknowledging who I am.
  46. if there’s a get together between any of his children he somehow always calls within the first 10 minutes.  it’s amazing.
  47. he’s a horrid speller like i am.
  48. he won’t back off something he truly believes.
  49. somehow he had the energy and drive and wisdom to parent us all differently, mostly in the ways we needed to be parented.
  50. his devotion to my mom is unwavering.
  51. he sent me flowers once for my birthday
  52. he has written me at least 100 love poems.
  53. he writes me real letters.  like the kind you receive in the mail.
  54. he is always up for a run.  it’s usually more of a walk/tennis shuffle/run….slow enough to really soak in the beauty around us.
  55. he loves jeff.  he respects him.  he has so gracefully stepped out of the place in my life that jeff stepped into.
  56. he weed whacks naked sometimes.
  57. he insisted i become scuba certified.
  58. growing up he prided our family on driving strange old clunkers.  he’s grown out of that, but, as the driver of an old clunker I’m happy he taught me to see beauty in them….to own them, drive them with pride.
  59. we had a little secret popping popcorn over the fire club when i was little.  i think it was one of the highlights of my childhood.
  60. he has told me every story he knows of his ancestors.  they are alive to me through his stories and pictures and words.
  61. he sometimes gets in spending moods and buys me little things.  this was huge growing up since i normally had to ‘buy’ everything myself.  as a dad he knew when to be generous and when to make me work for something.  it’s hard to find that balance.
  62. he sees my kids souls.  he lets them be who they are, and helps me to see who they are.
  63. he is unfalteringly devoted to helping strengthen families.  it is his life’s mission. 
  64. he unabashedly brags about his children and grandchildren
  65. he is unconventional in every part of his life….how he thinks, what he wears, how he lives, what he values. 
  66. he is (mostly) humble.  even with his larger than life personality he knows when it’s time to take a back seat and let others step up. 
  67. he has 700 ideas a day.  some of them die right away, but lots of them stick and he makes them into reality.
  68. he understands the purpose of life and has taught me what’s really important since the day i was born.
  69. he has taught me all the important things about my Heavenly Father.
  70. he loves more.
Thanks dad for being such a HUGE light in the world.  I love you deep to your good good core.
Here’s a few pictures of our leaf jump today in your honor:
IMG_0632  IMG_0685
And (again for family history) here’s a video of old pictures of my dad in the prime of his daddying.   I love seeing him in action, in the same phases I’m going through.  it makes me love him even more.


  1. Oh Man, whenever I want to be reminded of all that I would LIKE to be, I will just look through this blog post!
    Thanks so much Saydi!

  2. I love this list (especially #56 - ha!) What a great, great dad.

  3. How lucky am I to be married to this wild and wonderful man? Thanks for taking the time to do this! He dearly loved it on his birthday and as a permanent record of his goodness! Love you!

  4. These were awesome. Sooo true. I do think Broadway is a great idea for you Sayds. I LOVE the way you sing. I listened to your Values driven cd all through my mission and college. You have soooo many wonderfully amazing gifts. Hugs



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