I thought about blogging about you and letting my followers read about how wonderful you are. But then I decided why not write to you rather than just about you.
So first of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It is a huge understatement to say, "I am so glad you were born." Without you, there'd be no me. Weird.
You are hands down my favorite man. I know no one greater than you. For as long as I can remember I've been a Daddy's girl. Yes, I am following in mom's footsteps with my career choice, but you and I have always had a special bond. We connect in an unique way. I don't know what it is, but I treasure it.
Thank you for taking me on dates. My unfairly high standards for how guys should treat me comes back to you. And I am thankful for it. It has saved me a lot of pain over the years.
Along the same lines, thank you for trusting me. Even when I end up being wrong. Thank you for letting me make mistakes but being there to catch me when I fall. Skinned knees turned into heartbreaks, yet time and time again you helped me find my feet.
Every single day of my life you have been there for me. That phrase is overused but so unbelievably true. And I am unspeakably thankful that it is.
Thank you for making me play sports. So even now I can be athletic. I can play a pickup soccer game with guys and not be completely embarrassed. I can outrun most guys I know. And I am constantly impressing the opposite sex with my ability to throw a spiral. I owe all this to you. I'm not only thankful you made me play sports just so I can hang with the guys, but I also learned valuable lessons. That season when I was six and played softball and absolutely hated it, you taught me about commitment and not quitting on a team I had joined. I learned teamwork and how to make friends. I learned to fight through the pain. I learned that in sports, and in life, things will hurt. But I learned not to quit. To keep pushing through, to keep working hard. I will get through it, the pain will subside, and it will be worth it. I learned about never giving up (even when we're losing 78-4 :)). I learned that you will always be my fan. My biggest encourager. My best coach.
I admire so much about you, and I am still learning from you every single day. I'm learning how to live in the present and not worry about the future. I'm learning how to love, really love, all people. And how to serve with a heart of joy. You serve people so well and so humbly. And you love Jesus. And every day you are modeling for me how to fall more and more in love with my Heavenly Father. Thank you for being an earthly model of Him for me.
One day I'll meet someone. Another guy I think is unspeakably wonderful. But know, I will always be your little girl. You are the first man I ever loved. You'll always be my number one.
I know this is cliche, but I am so blessed to call you dad. Thank you for all you do.
I love you.
P.S. Thank you for my first and favorite nickname.
I wish I had a shirt like this to wear for you on your birthday like you do on mine. You are the coolest dad around.
I love you more than words can say.