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Happy Birthday, Dad!

 Today is my dad’s birthday…and I didn’t even call him!  Darn diddly on me.  By the time I thought about it, it was way too late.  Not only is he an “early to bed” kinda guy, he lives on the other side of the world in Nigeria.  He usually makes his phone calls to the fam at 3pm our time–as he is about to go to bed himself.  My hubby reminds me that we did get to chat yesterday, but I didn’t even mention the fact that he would be 60 today. So I thought a little blog tribute (and email to make sure he saw it) would be almost just as good.

At the end of this month, he will join myself, hubby, and brothers in a triathlon–his first.  Though technically he goes the distance of the triathlon each Saturday on Banana Island.  Sounds exotic, doesn’t it?  He has always liked to play basketball with my brothers, but never been much of a runner, cyclist, or swimmer, so I’m pretty impressed that he has taken this on.  My mom says he’s in the best shape of his life.

(My dad with me as a baby)

It has been fun to hear the stories that come out of the service he has rendered in Nigeria.  He was sent there to work with an oil company, but has opportunities to immerse himself in the culture, really get to know the people, offer love and support through his church service. The American executives aren’t often revered around there, but they really love him, and he loves them too.  He loves learning about people, their stories, what makes them who they are, and I believe I got that trait from  him.  If you know me,  you know I will ask 20 questions about your life history in the first 5 minutes we talk.  It’s true.

 He grew up in a small farming town in Utah, got his degrees and wanted to see the world.  His small town didn’t understand that.  But he followed his dream and has lived a rich life full of experiences, and has taught his children to work hard and have fun in all they/we do. Growing up as the only girl with 3 brothers, he made sure I felt like a princess.  He always made sure I knew how much I was loved, and that he thought I was smart and beautiful.  For that, I am so grateful.  I emphasize to my husband how this boosted my self esteem, as I urge him to do the same with our girls.  Fathers have such a strong influence on their daughters in this way.  I struggled in school and told him early on that I didn’t want to go to college, but he kept urging me and helping me along the way. I am so grateful that once I went to college, I was able to succeed and ended up doing better than in high school and got my Bachelors degree in 3.5  years.

His posterity…we are a tight knit bunch.

He is an accomplished author, and though I can’t seem to keep a high enough attention span to be an avid reader like him, I LOVE to write and have journals upon journals on the shelves of my home.  More than anything, he views his role as a husband, father, and now grandfather as the most important.  I love watching him with my children.  He gets down on the floor and plays with them, listens to them, laughs at their jokes, runs outside with them, sings to them.  They love him, and for that I am truly grateful.  I love you dad! 

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  1. Beautiful, heart warming post, Kristen! I’m like you in that I loves learning about people, their stories, what makes them who they are, too.. So I really love these wonderful, personal, background glimpses of peoples’ lives. That last photo – a treasure!! And the big family photo is one of my all time memorable favorites from your blog. :)
    Happy birthday to your dad!

  2. Great picts, great memories, more to come. I could use a haircut in some of those shots. Love ya’ Bear.

  3. Happy Birthday Papa Hill!! I love the picture at the top and all the old growing up pics, my faves!

  4. What fun memories!