This is my dad Chris. This is one of my favorite things to see in life, his face lit up, the sparkle in his eyes, the look of true happiness. I feel so blessed that there have been many times in life that I’ve been able to see this expression on his face. My dad and I have had a special relationship through my life; of course like any parent and child we had our rough patches but they have made us closer. In honor of Father’s Day coming up, I want to honor the extraordinary father and person that he is.
When I reflect on my life with my dad, there have been numerous life shaping moments, too many to share in one post, so today I wanted to share with you guys some of the ones throughout the stages of my life that stand out in my mind and bring a tear to my eye just thinking about them.
In My Childhood…
My parents divorced when I was 5 and I was an only child. My dad was in the process of starting his own business so he didn’t have a lot of money. One of my favorite memories revolves around our Christmas “trees” when I was about 6 or 7. My dad didn’t have enough money to buy me presents and a Christmas tree so he drew an elaborate, decorated Christmas tree on a huge roll of paper and taped it on the wall with presents under it. The next year when his business was starting to earn a profit, he was able to afford the tree but not the stand, so that year he hung the Christmas tree from the ceiling! No matter how little money he had when I was young, he always wanted to make sure that I had a special Christmas. I so wish I had pictures of this to look back on!
In Early Adulthood:
It was my graduation from Ohio State and the ceremony was held in a large arena with a graduating class of around 4,000 students. As we all walked into the arena, I looked up in the stands in awe of how filled they were, realizing that I would never be able to spot my family. As I took my seat, something caught my eye in the upper corner of the arena. It was my dad. He was enthusiastically waving a sign that he had made out of a pillow case and dowel rods that read “GO LYDIA!” It was the only sign I could see in a sea of people that packed the arena. I felt so proud and happy that my dad was so proud of me.
My wedding. I was rushing to get ready (standard) when it was time to walk down the aisle. My dad walked in the room ready to walk me down the aisle, his face full of pride. It was an emotional walk down the aisle for both of us and such a moment of joy to see Ryan waiting for me. When we reached him, my dad held on to me so tightly before quietly saying something to Ryan (I still don’t know what it was).
My dad loves surprises and he had been holding on to a mega one for our reception. Ryan and I both went to Ohio State and are huge Buckeye fans. My dad had arranged for the Ohio State Alumni Marching Band to come and perform at our reception. It was an incredible surprise and got everyone on their feet to clap along to the Buckeye Battle Cry and sing along to the alma mater. It was one of the best parts of the day.
This year for Father’s Day I made an album of our wedding ( better late than never!) on Snapfish which perfectly capture those moments and other highlights of that unforgettable day. I was able to use one of their templates to design the exact album I envisioned, complete with beautiful backgrounds and embellishments and even text. I wanted to give him a personal gift that is just as heartfelt and special as he is.
Whether it was my first job, I was going for a promotion or even starting my blog, my dad has always had faith that I would succeed and cheered me on the whole way. Watching him build such a successful business from nothing has inspired me in so many ways, and his unconditional love and support has helped take me through both good and bad times.
Who has helped shape your life that you want to celebrate for Father’s Day? Snapfish is the perfect place to create meaningful, personalized photo gifts. I chose the album but the photo gift options are endless. Enter below for your chance to win 1 of 35 $50 Snapfish product codes! Enter through Friday, June 10th at 9 PM PT. Winner will be notified by Friday, June 17th.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.