Happy Birthday, Dad!

Well… I had a different topic planned for today but the pictures for the post are MIA so we’re changing it up.

Since today is my dad’s birthday and we’re remarkably similar, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite traits that I got from him which I hope to pass down to my kid.

I’m not kidding when I say my dad and I are similar. His name is Kenny and he shares that name with his father so K calls my dad KJ or Kenny Jr. (usually just to me). When I act like my dad, K calls me KJJ. Before we knew if this baby was a boy or girl, K gave it the nickname KJJJ. I kid you not, that’s what she’s called in our pregnancy app. Lol

My dad and I think similarly, learn similarly, argue discuss politics with each other similarly. We carry our own burdens and the burdens of others similarly. We mostly have the same humor & sometimes we say the same thing at the same time. We often spill food on our shirts in the same place. Lol.

You get the point. It’s no wonder I adopted these ideals and characteristics from him.

Pets are our family.
When I was born we had a family dog. Since then my parents have welcomed two more dogs (plus Ly when I lived at home), two rabbits, and five cats. Bristol & Enzo are always welcome at their house. Dad’s also rescued a baby owl, squirrel, and rabbit. Additionally, unless the animal is dangerous or threatening our pets, he traps and releases pests because he knows I value that. My dad felt Lylee’s loss so deeply- damn near as badly as K and I.

Girls can do anything.
I have a little brother. I could have easily been dismissed when he was born. Instead, my dad bought us both four wheelers. He gave us both shooting lessons. He took me camping and trucking. He took me fishing and he’d have taken me hunting if I hadn’t turned him down, lol. I’d give him credit for teaching me to drive stick but that was actually my mom 😉

Forming your own opinions is important & changing your mind isn’t a weakness.
Years ago a friend told me about how her dad’s word was law in their house and she wasn’t allowed to disagree or argue about anything. Another person in the conversation nodded her head in agreement and shared similar stories. Even as adults, they were expected to curb their thoughts and opinions. I can’t relate to that. My parents have never told me how to feel about anything. And if you’ve spent a decent amount of time with my dad and I, you’ve probably heard us discuss/argue politics. I know he takes pride in the brain in my head- even when it believes differently than his. And I’m really proud of my dad because I think he’s changed some of his opinions and beliefs because of things we’ve discussed.

Working hard and breaking your back doesn’t entitle you to a damn thing.
I think my dad might be the least entitled person I know. He went to college, graduated, and jumped into the family business as a truck driver. When the family retired the business, my dad continued to drive independently. His industry is dying and his week-to-week looks different but he doesn’t quit and he doesn’t complain about the unknown. Don’t get me wrong, he does complain about other things but I have never heard my dad complain about being owed anything.
*I actually don’t have this characteristic. Hopefully my kid does.

I can credit my love of history and learning to my dad, too. On top of these things, I hope my daughter enjoys watching old westerns with him and riding along in his semi truck just like I did. My dad is one of my favorite people- and I’m sure it has nothing to do with how similar we are 😉

Happy Birthday, Dad!

(C)Ryan Armbrust Sniper Photo LLC

My Best Friend Had a Baby

When I see this quote it reminds me of my best friends, Erica & Nic:

Elliot 1

Erica and Nic planned for their baby. Erica has Type 1 diabetes, so they knew the path might be a little bumpy, but they were ready to be parents.

Click the picture for my post on the baby shower!
Click the picture for my post on the baby shower!

Yesterday, at 11:36 am, I received a text from Erica:
Her water had broken and she was settled in at the hospital. She told me not to rush- it would probably be a while until baby arrived- but K and I were welcome to drive up whenever we wanted.

I think it’s safe to say I freaked out.
Actually… that’s an understatement. I called K and told him that I was unavailable all day and I would be making one last baby-related shopping trip and then booking it to the hospital. Then I called my mom because I always call my mom when I’m excited.
Mom told me to cool it. This was actually good advice. I was ready to jump out a window and run to the hospital.

Enzo and I SnapChat-ed Erica!
Enzo and I SnapChatted Erica

K and I decided to run the errands that we had planned and then we’d head to the hospital. I might have annoyed him a bit because the only thing I could talk about all day was babies. Oops!

We finished our jobs and I stopped by Nic and Erica’s house to feed their three kitties. FINALLY it was time for us to join the family at the hospital. (Still no baby!)

We arrive around 5:45pm. Erica’s mom and dad, brother and brother’s girlfriend, and aunt and three cousins were waiting in the hall. Nic’s brother and sister-in-law were also there. We joined everyone and waited (un)patiently to hear a cry (and/or kidnap a nurse for information). Just after 6pm some of the equipment came out of the room and we were told there was a baby. (The messenger was smiling, so we weren’t fearful about complications.)

Just after 6:30 “DAD” emerged from the delivery room and delivered (get it?) the news.

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GRANDPA is in the light blue, GRANDMA is in pink, and UNCLE is in red…

Elliot Rose arrived at 6:05 pm. Six pounds, eight ounces. Eighteen inches and a full head of hair.
We also learned that Erica’s sugar was normal and had been under control the whole time, so she was feelin’ great!

Yay! A healthy, happy, baby!
Yay! A healthy, happy baby (& mom)!

Then it was back to the waiting room until visitors were permitted in.

Of course grandma, grandpa, and uncle went in first!
Eventually we all made our way in to see Erica and Elliot.

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I have a very cute picture of DAD and MOM as Elliot is being passed around, but I swore I wouldn’t put up any pictures of Erica… kinda.

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I’m about to break the rules because I LOVE this picture…

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MOM watches as DAD helps GRANDMA with Ellie’s hat

By 9:30 pm we all had gotten a chance to see Elliot and talk with Nic and Erica. The family started to say their goodbyes and K went to get some pizza for the new parents.

Once Ellie had been fed a second time (successfully! – Go, Erica!) it was finally my turn to cuddle the little peanut. When K got back he took a turn with her, too.

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Is there anything cuter than a grown man cuddling a baby? (The answer is “no.”)

I can’t explain the joy that Elliot has already brought to Nic and Erica’s family. The love between DAD and MOM is so strong and the indescribable joy on Grandma and Grandpa’s faces was almost more than I could handle. This baby is a very, very loved and wanted baby.

Personally, the happiness that flooded my body when I cuddled the little lady was incredible. It’s crazy to know that K and I will get to watch her grow and learn and struggle and succeed. I’m so honored to be an honorary “aunt.”

Congratulations, Nic and Erica! You guys are so lucky and definitely in for a lifetime of happiness!

-Louise