Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Favorites

There's nothing quite like a father's love, and for those of us lucky enough to have experienced this, Father's Day is the perfect opportunity to let our dads, grandpas or other father figures to know their examples, wisdom and guidance have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

My dad was blessed with two, and then three sisters, and then three daughters. It may not have felt like such a blessing during a few of the hundreds of tear-filled outbursts that occurred regularly with me and my sisters, but he is certainly a blessing to us. Here are five favorite lessons from him.

1. The value of hard work. I may be pretty lazy sometimes, but any work ethic I do have, I owe to my dad. Growing up on our buffalo ranch, my dad would work hard all day at his day job and then come home and work hard outside and around the house—giving us our share of chores, of course. My dad doesn't give any project he works on less than 100 percent, so the same was (and still is) expected of us. Sure, we had plenty of time for fun and games, but we learned how much sweeter that is after completing a job well done.

The day he became Dr. Wes.
2. The value of education. There wasn't much of an emphasis on education for him in his youth, but as he pushed himself and continued to pursue higher education, it became one of the things he cherishes most, so of course it has always (and still is) been something he reminds us of pretty often. 

3. Doing the right thing—no matter what. My dad lives behind-the-scenes, taking care of all the little things that no one else thinks about to ensure the bigger things can actually happen. I dreaded going to practically any event we were somewhat involved in because I knew we were going to be the last ones to leave since my dad would make sure everything was cleaned up, complete, etc. 

He also lives by sticking to his moral code, even if doing the right thing means doing the most embarrassing, unpopular thing. This was a tough rule to follow sometimes, especially in high school, but what a great lesson to have learned so young.

I'm sure he didn't plan on me becoming quite so cat-obsessed,
but he still built my precious kitties a cat tower
for Christmas!
4. An appreciation for animals/nature. A science nut, my dad never misses an opportunity to educate anyone who will listen (or us as kids even when we weren't listening very well) on anything from why a tree looks the way it does, to why a certain butterfly species is going extinct, to how the new shopping mall we're excited about is hurting the environment. It's been so eye-opening since most people don't think twice about things like this.

5. The importance of family. Growing up, we were all required to attend one another's sporting events, band and choir concerts, and everything in between. Supporting and respecting our family members was an extremely important principle in our home. Friends will come and go, he says, but your family is always there for you. "We're all you've got," he has told me plenty of times, and I really couldn't ask for anything better.

Don't forget to tell your dad, "THANK YOU" this weekend!

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