This guy just had a birthday!
And it was a milestone! (He's double my age at this point.)
Braden and Dad, Omaha, NE
Check out that 'stache...he was STYLIN.
Seriously, check out the wedding day ensemble.
My Mom and Dad's wedding and engagement pictures
I've been lucky enough throughout life to count my family as my best friends and my parents are at the root of that. My dad is an incredible man and has taught me much in life; some by discussion, some by letting me figure it out, but most just by how he lives his life. No matter the success, the failure, the fear, the plan just-not-knowing -- he's been there for me, and is still there for me through everything.
Me and Dad, Salt Lake City, UT
Every year in school, actually nearly every semester I was in college, he would come visit on the way back home from whatever business trip he was on. He always made sure we went and did fun things like trips to Park City, movies, football games, soccer games, dinners out, or pizza parties with my roommates. My dad was always eager to embrace the wonderful people in my life. He asks how Pat is and how my friends are, but the clincher is he genuinely cares about the answer and about their welfare.
My graduation day, Aug. 08, Provo, UT
My dad always pushed me to achieve anything and everything that I can. I was never supposed to settle for less than I could do or for someone making me feel less than I am. I remember in high school not making Central District choir my sophomore year by TWO POINTS. I sat in my room sullen, angry, and very disappointed in myself. My dad came and knocked on the door and recounted to me his first set of job interviews when he was about to graduate from grad school. I remember him looking me in the eye and saying, "Does this mean you can't sing? No. Does this mean that you'll never be able to sing after today? No. So prove them wrong. Make them sorry they turned you down." And I did. I still use this lesson, this characteristic my dad and I share. When the world knocks me down and tells me I'm not enough, I pick myself back up (often with some help) and try my darndest to prove it wrong.
My Dad near Oakridge, OR.
When I first moved to Oregon I was terribly lonely. I had no friends here, worked weird hours and had just gone through a rough break up. I was alone. Within two months of me being here my dad took time off work to come visit me and show me what a wonderful, fun and beautiful place Oregon really is. And it REALLY IS. It still means so much to me that my happiness is worth more to him than the money he spent, the money he would've made that day at work, and enough to make him fly 3,500 miles just to put a smile on my face.
Mom and Dad, Rhode Island
I love you Dad. I am grateful for your example, your kindness, your faith in the Lord and in me, your compassion, your tenacity, your humor, and your friendship. I hope I can live up to the last name you gave me.
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