1. The winter that my mom went back to work after having me, my dad stayed home to look after me (one of the perks of being a farmer). I don't remember this but have heard the story many times from my mom. Dad bought a little trike motorcycle for me (foot pedalled of course) and would push me around on it with a broom handle. As I say, I don't remember this but I am certain that I thought it was the coolest thing at the time.
2. When my sister and I were little, Dad was the absolute best for playing with us. I will start this off by saying that my dad is a true man's man. He likes cars, motorcycles, farming, football - your typical manly guy. But if Austin and I wanted him to play with us, he always would no matter what. On Christmas when we would get new Barbies and wanted daddy to play, you can bet that he would. Austin and I sure got lucky with such a great man as our father.
3. I mentioned before that Austin and I would spend a good chunk of our childhood summers in the feild with Mom and Dad - this gave us nearly endless hours to talk their ears off (can you imagine how many "why" questions were asked... sorry about that Dad!). But Dad never lost his patience (with us anyway - broken down machinery was a whole other issue, haha), he would just answer our questions and tell us more about whatever we wanted to know. I learned so much from him at a young age because he talked to me like I wasn't a little kid. I really appreciated that, and I still do.
Dad is one of the strongest men I know. He has gone through some really hard times but - resilient as always - he comes back from them even stronger. He has loved my mom, my sister and me with his whole being; and in doing so, taught me what the man I marry should be like. When I look at him, I am filled with pride and love. I take it as the highest compliment when someone calls me "Little Sam", comparing me to him - as they often do.
I hope you aren't too sick of country song lyrics yet because here are a few that remind me of my dad. "Strong" by Will Hoge is featured in Chevy Truck commercials, so you may have heard this one before.
He'll pick you up, won't let you down.
Rock solid inside out.
Somebody you can trust,
Steady as the sun.
Happy birthday Dad! I love you so much.