Dear Holly: You Need Me in Your Life and I Know It

4 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

You and I have a special “father and daughter” bond. It’s undeniable.

By nature, I am not a needy person. I don’t “need” people to “like” me to feel good about myself. Otherwise I would be like Michael Scott or Andy Bernard on The Office.

I can accept that the world doesn’t revolve around me.

But I will admit- you have an effortless way of making me feel wanted and needed.

It’s in subtle ways, like when you come home from school everyday, you immediately run to my “office” at the kitchen table and yell “Daddy!” before engaging in a monologue about whatever accidentally hilarious story you have to tell me about school that day.

You make it too easy to love you! Way too easy.



Dear Jack: You’re Not Too Old to Want to Hold My Hand

9 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Now that you’re 9 and a half, it’s an age where I am doing my best to be mindful of sorting out the balance between what’s too “babyish” for you, versus what is inappropriate because it’s too heavy on the PG-13 side of things.

You surprised me recently with your actions, not your words. You taught me that you are still at a crucial age when you want to hold my hand, as a symbol of feeling close to me during father-and-son activities.

A couple of weeks ago when our family was at the beach, you and I had a daily routine of wading out into the crashes waves. You reached out for my hand the moment we took the first step into the water- every time.

But that makes sense. Those were pretty rough waves.

However, this past weekend I insisted on taking a walk at a nearby trail; just you and me.

The moment we stepped out of the Jeep, simply stepping off the asphalt of the parking lot onto the grass, well before the trail even began, you insisted:

“Here… Daddy.”

You reached out your hand to me and didn’t let go during that whole hour-long, very sweaty, hike.



Dear Jack: What I Learned from Father’s Day 2017

6 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Father’s Day morning was quite special, as my very first gift was getting to sleep in, thanks to Mommy. I didn’t wake up until 9:30. It was glorious!

We then made our way to the living room, where I was bombarded with goodies from you and your sister. I now have a Captain America dad shirt. (He’s my favorite super hero.) Plus Mommy got me some vegan treats too.

And of course I was especially delighted to see crafts from you and your sister. You made me a special “shrinky dink” keychain, featuring a drawing you made of your and me; where you’ve again drawn us the same size. I’m so happy because I was a little jealous when Mommy got one for Mother’s Day last month…

Your sister made me a glittery “World’s Best Dad” award, based on the shape of her hand.

I took special care to read through all the questionnaire answers you gave,

as they reveal how you perceive having me as your Daddy:

My dad’s hair is black. (That’s darker than I realized!)

He’s as tall as a boy. (Are you saying I’m short?)

He weighs about 60 pounds. (Last time I checked, I was closer to 160. Guess I recently lost 100 pounds!)

My dad looks handsome when he wears hair gel. (I think you gave this answer because I fix your hair and mine at the same time.)

My dad always says “no.” (Hey, just trying to balance out how nice Mommy is to you. Though on the next page, you said, “My dad is my superhero because he is nice.”)

He’s not very good at cooking. Once Daddy was cooking before I was born and Mommy didn’t like it. (Very true- and very good memory!)

My dad’s favorite song is Metallica. (Yes, just Metallica. I’ll always think of you when I think of them because I really got into them back in January when I stayed overnight without you in the hospital, of all things!)

My dad’s favorite place to go is Whole Foods. (True, I’m there nearly every day, picking up groceries on my mountain bike during my lunch break.)

He always forgets… I don’t think he forgets anything. (True, unless it relates to where some obscure kitchen utensil goes in the drawer. In that case, I need Mommy to draw me a diagram with directions and instructions!)

He really likes to hike. (Yes! And I love the creative way you drew us hiking together, with our backs turned. That’s cool.)

My dad’s job is truck driving. (Actually, I’m the manager of the retention department for a trucking company- but that’s a mouthful!)

He likes to wear plaid shirts. (Right on, good eye!)

He reminds me of a bozo. (If you’re saying I’m funny, I’ll take the compliment!)

I love my dad because he plays Hungry Sharks with me. (Not only did I spent countless hours of our Christmas vacation earning you extra points on that game, it also was a game we took turns playing while you were in the hospital.)

Father’s Day really was special. It actually reminded me of a birthday or something.

I very much enjoyed celebrating fatherhood with you and your sister, and gaining your personal perspective.



Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

5 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

Dear Jack,

This past weekend made our 4th time in 3 years to go to a Monster Jam show. Clearly, we are fans! However, this made the first time that Papa got to go with us. He filled in for Mommy, since she was home with your baby sister Holly, along with Nonna.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

You and Holly got Papa and me our own special t-shirts for Father’s Day. Plus, you drew Papa a special Father’s Day picture which features you, Papa, and me as dogs, as well as Whiskers; a stray cat that stayed with Nonna and Papa for a few weeks around Thanksgiving last year.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

Another thing that made this time special was that it marked the first time Monster Jam was held at the Nissan Stadium in downtown Nashville, which is outdoors; as compared to the Bridgestone Area where it is normally held.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

Not only was the noise not so bad since it was outdoors, but there was more room for the trucks to do their thing. And, you counted over 13 different trucks… maybe even 20! That’s the most we’ve ever seen at a Monster Jam event.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

This was definitely my favorite Monster Jam show so far! So much action…

We had really good seats- any closer and we may have gotten mud slung on us!

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

You were very happy to see your favorite monster truck, Zombie, was there. I don’t think the driver intended this to happen, but the truck was smoking as it flew through the air. And just like the last time we saw Zombie, the truck lost one of its arms during all the action.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

That’s similar to the case with El Toro Loco, which lost one of its horns after the truck did a back flip. To our surprise, as seen on the big screen, the driver apparently gave away the broken horn to one lucky fan.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

Ultimately, it seems that the “back flip ramp” had a lot to do with which truck would ultimately win the completion, as doing a backf lip earned the driver extra bonus points, but at the same time greatly risked putting the truck out of commission if it landed upside-down.

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

The show ended with the winner being announced: Hot Wheels. Then we were all pleasantly surprised by fireworks!

Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

Getting to go to the Monster Jam really made Father’s Day special for Papa and me. As always, you and I are looking forward to going back to Monster Jam the next time it comes to Nashville.



Dear Jack: Monster Jam at the Nissan Stadium for Father’s Day 2016

Or… You Could Literally Give Dad “Nothing” for Father’s Day

Photograph of a 19th-Century stock certificate***not under copyright****

Photograph of a 19th-Century stock certificate***not under copyright****

You’ve probably already seen my “Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Target” post. If not, check it out, because I’m really proud of it. But, today I came across another idea; one that is much more unconventional.

This year the kids can literally give Dad “nothing”… this story has been receiving some great online coverage from the Huffington Post, AdWeek and many local broadcast affiliates.

I admit, if my wife asks me what I want for Father’s Day (or really, any holiday), it is typical for me not to easily be able to think of something.

If that is common among dads, I would theorize part of it has to do with a husband and father feeling funny about being served by our his family.

We as husbands and fathers are wired to provide for our family. Especially with my wife and I being serious Dave Ramsey followers (a few weeks ago we bought a new car and already had the money saved in the bank, not because we’re rich, because we are that strict with our budget), I always feel like I’m making an irresponsible decision if I give my family the green light to spend money on me for something I simply want, but don’t need.

Or… You Could Literally Give Dad “Nothing” for Father’s Day

So yeah, I admit, “nothing” is a much more practical answer to give when my family asks me what to get me for a gift.

This year, Century 21 decided to help families actually give dad nothing; as in a piece of Nothing, Arizona, an uninhabited ghost town about 120 miles Northwest of Phoenix.

From now through Father’s Day, families can go to and enter their father’s name to lease a piece of Nothing, Arizona, for one day; June 19th, 2016 for free.

Then they can then download, print, or email a certificate bestowing “Nothing” on their father – all free of charge.

Yep, it’s true- and you heard it first from me!

Now, granted, I would personally still recommend by giving Dad something. But first, start off by giving him nothing.

Or… You Could Literally Give Dad “Nothing” for Father’s Day

*All photos and images courtesy of Century 21 Real Estate.