Happy 56th Birthday, Dad. Thank you for being the best guy I know and for giving me a life that I will forever be grateful for. In honor of 56, here are just a few (56) reasons why I will always cheers to you.

  1. You (literally) created me
  2. You changed my diapers (ew)
  3. You always let me play airplane atop your feet
  4. You taught me how to ride a bike
  5. You bought me my first softball glove
  6. You taught me to stand up for myself
  7. And for my sister
  8. You slicked my hair straight back and braided my ponytail #Mr.Mom
  9. You always let me pick mayonnaise or mustard (even though we knew the answer)
  10. You made Mrs. Jio (two) wooden dinosaurs, which made me cool
  11. You “helped” to build my 4th grade gold mining cradle (gold painted rocks included)
  12. And heavily assisted with my 8th grade science project on surface tension
  13. You always helped with my math homework (life rule: anything can be solved with a proportion)
  14. You forced me wear a helmet skiing (and iceskating)
  15. You coached my softball teams
  16. But never played favorites
  17. You came to every golf match
  18. And bought me even nicer clubs than you have
  19. You paid for every sports lesson or training session I ever needed (aka, tons)
  20. You invested in me
  21. And endlessly support me
  22. You bought Lauren and me the coolest safest first car
  23. You built our house
  24. And (with mom) made it a home
  25. You made me swim in the ocean
  26. And get (way too) close to that six foot shark
  27. You gave me blue eyes
  28. And gray hair (genetically and due to stress)
  29. You comfort me
  30. And let me cry (within reason)
  31. You’re our hero at home
  32. And at work
  33. You love my mother, unconditionally
  34. You push me to better love my sister
  35. You’ve taught me to love myself
  36. And that I’m beautiful
  37. You’ve given me (unreasonably) high standards for men
  38. And for myself
  39. You’ve taught me to say no
  40. But to never take no for an answer
  41. You’ve given me every opportunity possible
  42. You’ve paid for my (overpriced) education
  43. And taught me to work hard and value that education
  44. You didn’t hate me when I pierced my nose
  45. Or when I got a tattoo (happy birthday?)
  46. You challenge me to be a better human being
  47. To love like you love and worry a little less
  48. You let me convince you to run a 1/2 marathon (0r two)
  49. And then pushed me to finish it when I didn’t think I could
  50. You’re 100% badass #FACT
  51. Your old blue truck is awesome (please, don’t sell it; this is my final plea)
  52. You’re handsome – and all my friends (unweirdly) think so, too
  53. And I love your bald spot, just hopeful that I don’t get one
  54. You inspire me beyond end
  55. You’re my best friend
  56. Home is wherever you are

I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday.


P.S. No, I’m not tatted. You did raise me, remember?