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Dear David,

Last night I fell asleep with the lights on, the TV humming lines from “How I Met Your Mother,” and the digital clock reading 8:30 p.m.. Last night I fell asleep, lying diagonally across the bed, with my head snuggled on your lap and hair buried in the blankets. Last night I fell asleep with an autumn candle burning near me that you had lit when I couldn’t handle the smell of your dinner.

Last night reminded me of how much I am loved.

You laughed and thought I was cute when I pouted about sore pregnancy muscles. You listened patiently as I complained that my current reading choice demeaned women. You demanded nothing and gave me your all.

Thank you. 

Thank you for being my best friend, my lover, my partner in crime, my encourager, and my stabilizing rock. Thank you for giving and giving, and laughing and loving. Thank you for talking to our baby, and changing your plans to change instead into a father. Thank you for canceling one of your upcoming football games to accompany me to a parenting class. Thank you for gently reminding me that it’s more important now. Our baby. Our child. Our family. Our new love.

You are my hero, and I love you. 

~Your Wife~ 264497_543748976356_6124881_n

You were not the first man, though, to love me. That award goes to my Daddy, and so…

~~~

Dear Daddy,

The distance between Houston and Denver means nothing when it comes to how much you still give and pour into my life. I’ve been stumped trying to find a birthday gift for your October birthday that adequately expresses how I feel about you.

You were my first hero. My first champion. The first man to tell me that I could do anything that I set my mind to accomplish.

You set the bar high and then built the stairs that I needed to climb up. You took days off work to escape to the beach with your family and you sang silly songs with us as we were headed off on our next great adventure. You gave me an appreciation for Texas, and reminded me that I could always come home. You taught me to laugh at myself, a skill I’ve greatly needed as a middle school teacher. You constantly reminded me not to take life so seriously; yet, you live and model a passion rarely beheld.

You gave when there was nothing to give. The clothes off your back to the homeless men and women you encountered. The money that was allocated to bills, trusting that God would provide for His children. The time and the energy even when you were working four jobs to make ends meet.

You still give. Without thought to the cost. Thank you.

When I think about you as my dad, I am overjoyed to picture you as my baby’s Grandpa. You’ve earned the cushy job. I love you so much.

~Your Daughter~ 30464_523736601316_3894995_n

And, as God has been so gracious to bless me with an incredible father-in-law, I am thankful all the more, and so…

~~~

Dear Dad Hasz,

From the first day that David brought me home to Crestwood, you have embraced me and made me feel like a member of the Hasz family. You and Mom sat on the porch swing, waiting for our arrival that weekend. I don’t know what you talked about or prayed about that day, but I do know that God answered all of my prayers when I found a new home. The dogwood tree was in full bloom, and so was hope.

Since then, you’ve taken me fishing, introduced me to Colorado, and endured more emotional ups and downs on the part of your new daughter-in-law than your amazing children probably prepared you for. You raised an incredible son, and then allowed him to marry his 18-year-old girlfriend. You are a brave man.

You have supported us and trusted that we were hearing from God when our decisions didn’t make the most logical sense. You prayed for us when we lost several babies and rejoiced with us when this pregnancy was deemed strong and safe. You’ve threatened to be called “The Duke” by grandchildren and given me an entirely new appreciation for old TV shows that I hadn’t known existed. You’ve kept the family laughing and dedicated your energies to providing for those you love.

You are a man of integrity, and I’m blessed to call you “Dad.” I’m looking forward to watching you fill the role of grandpa during little league games and future camping trips. David has already told me that he might let you buy our baby his/her first fishing pole.

Thank you. Thank you for following God and teaching your family to do the same.

~Your Daughter-in-Law~ 534604_591504948006_2107647941_n

~~~

This morning, as I inhaled oatmeal and gingerly sipped on a cup of coffee, I was inspired to thank the men in my life while reading a similar blog post from Ann Voskamp. Whether or not you write, I would encourage you to seek out the people in your life who support you and bless them. Thank them. I know that my cup overflows with more than I deserve, but that is grace. That is God’s goodness. And, I for one do not want to take that for granted.

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