With Father’s Day day’s away, I have been thinking a lot about my Dad. I feel like when these holiday’s roll around, they come and go so quickly that I don’t take a minute to appreciate what they stand for. This year, I have been pausing and reminiscing about my dad, all the fun experiences we’ve had together, and everything he’s taught me.  Although many people think Mother’s Day & Father’s Day are Hallmark holidays – which they are – at least it forces us to think about our relationship with our parents.

DaddioLately, I’ve been reflecting on my relationship with my Dad and all the things he’s directly or indirectly taught me.  These 3 things came to mind:

1. Respect. I am an only child. I know what you’re thinking – you’re a spoiled brat that gets whatever you want. Which honestly, I hate hearing. It literally makes me cringe. Here’s why. My parents would never allow me to be a ‘spoiled brat’. Now, did my parent’s spoil me…yes.  Am I a brat? I’d like to think not. My dad always instilled respect in me. Respect for myself, respect for other people, respect for other people’s time, and respect for what others’ have to say.  He would discipline me if I was acting like a brat or not respecting someone. Even when I was 5 years old. If I was being a brat to another kid, he would teach me that doing that is not okay. I always had to share, I always had to use my manners – yes ma’am, yes sir – and I always had to be kind. Now that last one – always being kind – didn’t come from something my dad told me to do, it was something I always saw him do. I’ve never seen my dad be rude to anyone – unless it was necessary. But if he picked me up from school after a long day at work and a long commute, he’d greet my teachers and always have a smile on his face. He’s a listener. He engages with people and truly wants to understand what you have to say. That is how I learned to be kind. I saw it every single day.

2. Work hard, Play hard. If you know my dad, you know this – he is a beast! He does not sit down. My dad will wake up between 4:30 – 5:30AM on weekends (yes, weekends – it’s insane!), vacuum the house, clean the toilets, and head outside before 8:00AM to work in the yard. It’s actually ridiculous. He never asks for help. He doesn’t ever want to put someone out. His mentality is, ‘I can just do it!’ When really, he needs to ask for 2 extra hands. He works hard every day during the week and then even more on the weekends. I admire that about him so much.

Now, on Friday & Saturday evenings, he’s ready to have some fun. He’ll bring out some of his signature, Mike’s martini’s, and from that point forward, you are hooked for life (and feeling really good after 1 drink!).  He enjoys himself, he makes people laugh, and he treats his guests like their kings & queens. He wants everything to be perfect for his house guests and won’t sit down until it is.

Dad, if you are reading this, you are one amazing man! And, I’m not done…

3. Always Keep Your Head Up. When I was 18 years old, I started dating Chuck, my now husband. We broke up about 6 months later and I was devastated! I mean….devastated! I remember the next day, calling my dad in tears, so upset that my first boyfriend and I broke up. All I remember him saying was, ‘Lauren – that is great! Why are you so upset?’ and I’m like, ‘What?! no it’s not! what are you talking about? Dad, you’re crazy!’ And he proceeded to tell me that I was only 18 years old, had a lot of life to live, am beautiful, smart, and just needed some time a part from Chuck.

Quick side note – his two mottos have always been: (1) Sleep on it (2) Time heals everything.

He said, ‘It’s no big deal! Give it some time. You’ll see him again. I promise.’ Now, if I’m being honest, I thought my dad was crazy for saying that everything was okay cause I definitely didn’t feel that way. But as I look back at this one moment, it has brought me out of so many times where I thought I was going through something ‘hard’. Now, every time I’m going through a tough time, I ask myself, ‘What would my dad say about this?’ and I always choose to change my mindset from negative to positive. In life, I decide to turn a bad situation into a better one all…the…time.  If there is one person I can thank for this mentality, it’s you, Dad!

Daddio – you have made some pretty huge impacts on my life and half of them you probably didn’t know about until you read this. I am so grateful for you, your integrity, your patience, and your kind heart. It touches more people than you know.

For the rest of you – if you are still trying to find a rad gift for your dad, head over to Tommy Bahama! For every $150 you spend, you receive $50 back.

I’ve rounded up a few gift ideas that I know my dad would love so hope yours does too:

Fathers Day Gift Guide1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5